View Full Version : Feedback on Dr. Steven Gabel (Portland, OR)

Jennifer F
11-08-2014, 08:24 AM
I just had surgery last week, so it is far to early for before and after pictures. Although I am confident that the results will be great, this posting is simply information on my procedure and the process.

First, I am transgender. This posed no issue for Dr. Gable or the staff, and everybody was very kind. In fact, they were interested in learning more about the transitioning process so that they could make future clients as comfortable as possible.

The process started by having a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Gabel about 6 weeks before the surgery (he was booked out about 6 weeks). The consultation was comfortable and comprehensive with no embarrassment. The office manager provided a written estimate which is based on the number of grafts that are anticipated to be implanted, and as she has 8+ years of experience with Dr. Gable she was more than capable of answering questions related to the financial side. We then scheduled a surgery date and I made a security deposit to hold the date.

On the day of surgery, I arrived at 6:30am to find several people busy preparing for the day. We spent about 2 hours signing paperwork (e.g., informed consent), finalizing the hairline design, taking photographs and taking medication (e.g., valium). Surgery began around 8:30am and vitals are monitored throughout the day to ensure safety.

My job was simple -- don't move! This sounds easy, but when you are in a chair for 10 or so hours it is difficult to not adjust your position, cough, scratch an itch... If it is necessary to move, you need to give Dr. Gable and his team a heads up so that they can stop working before you adjust.

The donor site was harvested quickly and efficiently -- I would guess that this was done by about 9:30am. The entire team immediately started processing the donor tissue and turning it into 1-, 2- and 3-hair follicles suitable for implantation. Once a few samples were available, Dr. Gabel performed a few test incisions to check the size of the incision vs. my specific hair follicles, and after making a few minor adjustments to his instruments he was happy that the incision size was appropriate.

For the next hour or so, Dr. Gabel proceeded to make tiny incisions over the entire graft area making sure that (1) he had high density and (2) that the alignment was appropriate so that the hair has a natural orientation. Nothing difficult or painful, but very odd listening to all the tiny incisions being made.

While Dr. Gabel is busy making the incisions, the team is busy preparing the grafts. I was surprised to see that it took 7 people working constantly under a microscope for about 8 hours each to prepare all the grafts.

After the incisions were made, the implantations begin. The grafts are placed by Dr. Gabel and his key assistants (one of whom has been doing this for almost 15 years!). Since there are so many team members preparing the grafts, Dr. Gabel randomly checks the quality of the grafts from each team member to make sure everybody is doing their job correctly.

We took a quick 30 minute lunch break around 12:30 where the staff provided a very nice meal from a local restaurant (you order this during the paperwork phase). The food was good and there were plenty of options to support pretty much any dietary restrictions.

It takes a long time to implant more than 3,000 grafts, so it was a long day in the chair. That being said, the staff was not only efficient but also downright pleasant. We talked about anything and everything which made the day go by much faster than it could have. Plus they have decent music from Pandora or you can listen to your own CDs, etc.

I was so impressed with the entire staff that I am going to bring in lunch for them in the near future. First time I've ever "tipped" a medical group!

So, hopefully this provides some useful information for people considering Dr. Gabel. I realize that the proof is in the pudding (or in this case in the final results), but I will say that in my experience you tend to get good results when the team actually enjoys their jobs and cares about the results.

12-17-2014, 11:08 PM
Thanks for the nice write up. I like Dr. Gabel and think he's one of the good guys in the industry and does solid work. I wish you well with your recovery and eventual growth.