View Full Version : Suggestions for quality repair work in Washington DC area.

06-05-2010, 09:44 PM
Hey there,

About 12 years ago I had a bad series of transplants done by Dr Weidig in Bethesda. Long story short the guy basically straight up lied about the procedure and results.

Over the last few years I have had a doctor in Baltimore MD do some repair work and he's done a pretty good job..but he admits he doesn't feel comfortable removing some of the older plug grafts to reduce some of the 'plugginess.' I also have a long scar in the back I would like to have closed and part of that is from some of his repair work.

I'm looking for any suggestions on a doctor in the Washington DC, Northern VA area from people with results from anyone they suggest who could do quality repair work and close up this long tall scar in the back. I feel like I'm at that 75% satisified range and Im looking for that quality repair work that would get me to where I want to be...mainly plugless and the scar closed up. I know that nothing will be perfect but I think I've seen some amazing work that you could never tell someone had work done on this site.

Thanks for any help any of you could provide for a doctor/reference.


06-06-2010, 08:22 AM
Like you, I am also a Weidig descendent suffering from the same issue. My recommendation would be to search the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons http://www.iahrs.org/ and look there. These doctors are certified by showing consistently positive results. Many have online consultation forms. Good luck and keep us posted!

06-07-2010, 02:31 PM

I live in the DC area myself and been here for awhile so I am very familiar with the docs in this area past and present. Jeff Weidig has been retired for quite some time now although he was at one time the area's premier open donor surgeon. Premier does not imply the most "natural looking results" as you know. But back then, he did most of the HT procedures which IMHO was mostly attributable to the heavy, expensive advertising he did. Plugs/open donor were the technology at that time. And yet awesome docs like Dr. Robert True offered strip which IMO was far better technology than open donor. Drs. True and Elliott used to have an office in Behtesda, MD back in that day. Dr. True did much smaller procedures back then because he recognized that hairloss was progressive and wanted to see where the patients' hairloss was headed. He made the transition into strip along with the other top docs of that day.

The fundamental problem was that hairloss meds like Propecia (finasteride) were not available, just Rogaine. Rogaine does not "stop" hairloss so many of the open donor patients were not informed that someday as they continued to lose their natural hair around the plugs that they would be left in a dilemma. The plugs stayed but the hair around the plugs in the recipient zones would be lost leaving the plugs standing out like a sore thumb in many cases. Now what?!

I mean at first, the pluds added great density as long as the patient held onto his hairline, but we all know that MPB is genetic and progressive and it would be a matter of time and the patient would have to scramble trying to get the missing areas filled back in.

Thank God FUE came along whereby the plugs can potentially get thinned out by extracting the FUs within the plugs and then re-implanting the grafts between the rows of plugs. Some guys even went to other strip doctors and plastic surgeons years later and had thier plugs cut out, dissected into FU's and reimplant. Some I know just had then cut out and not reimplanted because they gave up after being so discouraged. I have seen some pretty good corrective work in dealing with plugs but IMHO, it takes a combination of good strip and FUE skills.

Some plugs may be too compact to thin out with FUE, others have the potential of being thinned out without having to remove them. BUT IT TAKES THE EXPERIENCE AND SKILL OF A REPUTABLE SURGEON WHO CAN UTILIZE BOTH EXCISION AND EXTRACTION TECHNIQUES to produce the best "end result".

One good thing about Weidg's work was that his large punch out plugs had good survival rates. His yield was good as the two of you undoubtedly experienced. I did note very little discoloration, pitting, ridging, etc with his work. And believe me, I have seen "countless" plug (open donor/punch out)cases over the past 30 years to know the differences. Some guys who had plugs done in the 70's, 80, 90's had such extensive pitting, discoloration, and ridging that they were beyond repair potential. Not the case with Dr. Weidig. His work was good for the technology of his day.

Listen guys, because you live in the area, either one of you are welcome to contact me and you are welcome to make an appointment to come and meet with me in my Northern Virginia office at absolutely no charge. I would be more than happy to look at your past work and then make some recommendations as to who I think would do the best repair work again using a combination approach of excision and extraction. I have sustained four seperate HT procedures myself for a grand total of 6900 grafts so been through this myself as a patient. I don't make any commissions, I don't enroll patients for surgery. I don't collect any money. I am simply an independent advocate and spend a fair amount of time helping patients who need repair without any charge for my advice and assistance.

You can e-mail me for my advocate office number. You can also e-mail me your digital quality photos in privacy if you are unable to meet in person. I wish you both the best resolve as I understand exactly what you are dealing with.

06-07-2010, 02:49 PM
I would agree that itís best to check with the IAHRS. William Lindsey is in the DC area and heís certified.

06-07-2010, 06:56 PM
Gill, i now live in the Pacific NW, but do visit that area a few times a year for family. I have pictures posted here and I do agree with what you said. It has been a long time ago for me 1994 since I had it done. I have seen Dr Gabel and Mike from HnW. The plugs have held up good as far as production, but now they just look like hell! The donor area is rough from the shotgun type extractions though.
Jeff went to try his hand at pro-am golf as I understand it.

06-08-2010, 11:36 AM
Gill, i now live in the Pacific NW, but do visit that area a few times a year for family. I have pictures posted here and I do agree with what you said. It has been a long time ago for me 1994 since I had it done. I have seen Dr Gabel and Mike from HnW. The plugs have held up good as far as production, but now they just look like hell! The donor area is rough from the shotgun type extractions though.
Jeff went to try his hand at pro-am golf as I understand it.


It sounds like you relocated which is no problem. Just let me know ahead of time and we should be able to nail down a date and time if you do want to get togethor or you can send pics in private.

You're right about Dr. Weidig going to the green. IMHO, I think he decided to retire from HT surgery because when strip, specifically the FUHT procedure became more forefront with the good docs, he either had to completely change his methodology and switch to strip or get out of the business. Other docs who were doing plugs faced the same dilemma. Their patients continued to lose hair and went back for more surgery however their donor zones were depleted in many cases. There was really very little that Dr. Weidig and other plug doctors could do for these past patients because they either did not know how to do strip or they were not proficient at it.

So many of these patients went to strip docs and had thin strips taken in order to try and harvest as many grafts as they could to plant between the plugs. The problem was that there was such little hair left in their donor zones that there would never be enough harvestable grafts to adequately camoflauge the recipient area. The plugs still stood out because of their high density.

So whether the plugs are cut out (excised), or thinned out (extraction), it is almost always a battle that cannot be won. It really does take thinning of the plugs AND added grafts between the rows in order to attain a cosmetically acceptable appearance. The good news is that in many cases it can be accomplished in the right hands. That's why you must limit your search to those long-term proven docs who have not only learned both strip and FUE but also have proven repair experience USING BOTH TECHNIQUES.

Remember guys, if you have a wide scalp to hair color contrast, the skill of the repair surgeon becomes even more incredibly critical. And especially when working to establish and/or correct the commencement of your hairline.

If your doc of choice does not perform FUE or is not proficient at it, then all they can offer the patient is to cut out his plugs and dissect them. IMHO, Dr. Weidig's plugs are not difficult to thin out with FUE extractions. It's usually the pitted plugs or ones that were compacted too tightly when placed in the recipient area that need to be "cut" out. Cutting out the plugs however induces trauma to the recipient area. Agree so far? Some of the excised area may need to be sutured closed. Then, recipient incisions need to be created in the same area that was cut and cause further trauma. Could this affect the yield of the new grafts? Sure it can.

That's why it's important that your repair doc can do either technique proficiently. I mean IMHO it makes no sense to cut out plugs that can be thinned out with FUE extractions and subsequently reducing the overall trauma to the area, not to mention reducing the overall cost of the repair procedure.

Hope that makes some sense to you heresjohnny and really anyone in need of repair who had plugs/open donor HT surgery in the past.

06-08-2010, 04:29 PM
Thanks Gillenator,

that was very helpful information much of which I had no idea of. So again thanks for taking the time to explain.

06-11-2010, 11:37 AM
You're very welcome! These cases have no easy answers so always glad to share any successes and resolve especially when it involves repair.