07-08-2011, 04:43 AM
My Story: I'm 35 and have been plagued by MPB since I was 23. At first it just started moving at the sides of the front until eventually I was forced to change hairstyles and start brushing it forward. Since then it has been a case of simply watching the hair retreat from the front until my crown started thinning as well. The two areas have yet to join forces but I have decided that if I'm going to address this then now is the time.
Its worth noting that back in 2003 I signed for a year’s treatment at the Belgravia Centre in London but ended the treatment three months prematurely as I was seeing no results from my fortnightly trips in and seemed to have VERY different views as to improvement to my Trichologist. After that my confidence took a big hit as I resigned myself to a life of being (what feels like) the only balding guy in the room.
Jump forward to 2009 and my fiancée (12 years together) up and walked 4 months before the wedding taking any remaining shred of confidence I had with her. I've spent the last year "getting back out there" but am unable to shift the physiological damage my hair loss has caused. I'm not stupid, I know that 70% of the male population suffers in varying degrees with this affliction and am quite prepared to accept that the majority of women probably don't even notice such things. The fact is, I do, I see it every time I walk past a reflective window, I see a change in people’s faces if I take off a cap, the slight glance thrown upwards before retreating. Perhaps this is all in my head, perhaps I simply look better with hair. I do know that I want to do something about it.
So, gone are the plans to replace my car, I have 1 week 6 days till my HT with Ziering Medical and 3100 grafts (Strip Method). Working as I do running a IT Department at a Academy (Secondary School) I will have 6 weeks to recover during the school summer break until 1370 kids return to taunt me in a way only school kids know how. I know the procedure backwards and can only hope that the resulting changes 12-18 months down the line will improve the way I feel about myself.
Right now I'm 70% excited, 20% nervous and 10% Scared shittless of the irreversible change I have committed myself to.
07-08-2011, 06:29 AM
good luck, hopefully the kids wont notice the procedure, 6 weeks is enough for redness to go
07-08-2011, 08:58 AM
Well done, That's a great story. You've picked a great doctor and you seem to be doing the procedure for all the right reasons. I wish there were others who shared these sorts of stories. Interesting to hear about your Belgravia experience, I assume you are from the Uk? I was a client of theirs for over ten years. Only used propecia from them over the last year. Lucky for me my progression had been very slow (helped by minoxidil) but in hindsight they fleeced me for thousands. Just because they used the three fda / mhra modalities (Propecia, Minoxidil, Laser therapy) they thought they could charge literally £1200 -£1400 per year for it!!!.. I got smart and found a reliable source of generic finasteride and changed to Rogaine foam. Per year I now pay about £500 all in tops. Hope it goes well which I'm sure it will. You will be well healed by the time school starts again and regrowth will no doubt build over the months. Most likely they will barely notice until you are heading for good coverage!.. If it's good enough for Rooney, why not.
07-08-2011, 09:36 AM
Rooney's transplant might actually make it go down easier with the kids - if they even notice anything. You teachers and your six weeks breaks... :D
Have you dabbled in Propecia or Regaine during these past twelve years?
Best of luck - hope it all works out for you.
07-09-2011, 05:16 AM
I wish u all the luck that God shall bless upon you, and it does sound pretty exciting since at this age i believe "even though i dont know much", just that i pretty sure that
these days transplants have pretty good success rate with most people and Dr. Ziering sounds like an artist according to the website good for you and you got a pretty decent job although im only 21 im barely employed and sucks having to deal with hairloss it just feels like just a year or 2 ago i was so happy and had the shiniest puffy long fine hair and now i feel like a part of me is dying every day and every time i shower and it sucks to struggle while struggling to finding a job as u struggle with the pain and suffering of hair loss and struggling to pay for the stuff that i don't for sure know will work and the duration of my life. I bet that the doctor will probably perscribe or tell you to get on finasteride or minox to keep what you still have and to increase hair growth speed. God bless you man
Good for you bro
Good luck man, I wish you the best !
07-11-2011, 02:04 AM
Thanks to you all for the positive feedback to my first post :). Quickly, to clarify, to 8868alex; yes I'm from the UK, to MattJ I am not a teacher, I merly work in a school and have 24 days holiday per year so will be working through the summer break as usual. However, working at such a place and undertaking a HT is not an easy if you don't try to utilise the 6 week gap while those poor overworked, underpaid Teachers are all laying on beaches. Anyway, for someone with my job, 6 weeks without students OR staff is 6 weeks of starting jobs and actually finishing them:cool:
I have never expirimented with Propecia or Regaine, mainly due to the whole "Belgravia" expirence which left me with little to no confidence that there was any treatment which could help me, and I certainly wasn't about to trust the opionun of any "professional" after that level of dissapointment. However, I have now researched these drugs in quite some depth and am of two minds as to whether to risk the side effects of Propecia. Advise from Ziering medical is that I wait for a few months after the proceedure before making any such decissions (£500 per year from them), a good friend of mine has informed me that he now buys his Propecia on-line from India for around £100 per year (yet to be confirmed). So I've decided, like eveything else in this mini adventure I will be careful not to make snap decisions and leave this one til a little down the road.
11 days till my proceedure now, I have managed to take 3 days off work (Thur, Fri & Mon) which I'm slightly concerned will not be suficient but fingers crossed. I thought some of you might be interested in my proceedures preparation instructions.
What to Expect on Surgery Day
• After being greeted, you will be asked to sign a Medical Consent Form which goes over the benefits and risks of the procedure and is documentation that we have discussed these with you, plus a separate Consent For Additional Grafts, which was created so patients who decide to do larger procedures on the day of surgery may do so. You will have a chance to talk to the surgeon prior to signing these forms if you have any questions.
• Prior to beginning the procedures digital pre-operative photos are taken. This allows us to follow your progress after the procedure and becomes part of your medical record.
• You will be escorted to the procedure room to meet the surgeon, discuss your goals and expectations, draw a hairline, and go over the surgical plan. It is important that you and your surgeon agree on the short and long term surgical plan. These issues will be discussed prior to you receiving any sedatives which could impair your judgment. This is also an opportunity to ask any last minute questions.
• Once the hairline has been drawn and the surgical plan decided upon, the hair just above the donor area (back of the head) is taped up. The hair to be removed is then trimmed. We tape up the hair to keep it out of the way during surgery. Later we will remove the tape and comb down the hair enabling us to conceal the suture line. This is the only preparation required before anaesthetic is given.
• You will be offered a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure – this is optional (I'm paying for it, I'm def going to take it!:D)
• You will lie face down on a specially made pillow. Several injections of local anaesthesia are administered by a physician or registered nurse, to the donor area. While in this position the donor strip is removed by your surgeon and then sutured with non-absorbable sutures (entire process takes about 30-40 minutes including anaesthesia). After this, the suture line is rinsed and a clean dressing is applied. You are then able to move into a reclined sitting position.
• For the next few hours you will be able to relax while the tissue is dissected under magnification by our surgical technicians into follicular units. The time it takes to separate the follicular units depends on session size, hair type, and colour.
• Once an accurate count of your grafts has been reached, you will receive a series of injections to anaesthetize the front and top of your head. This is done with you in the reclined position. Once anaesthetized, the surgeon will artistically recreate a natural hair pattern by making small incision sites in the proper angle and direction. Making the sites takes 30 to 90 minutes depending on hair type and size of surgery.
• After the sites are made, the grafts will be placed into them by highly trained technicians. After placement, your surgeon will perform a final check of grafts to ensure they have been placed in the correct angle and direction.
• The entire process can take the better part of a day, depending on the numbers of grafts. You will be able to relax and watch TV during site making and graft placement, or you can bring in a CD or MP3 player (small ear-only head phones) so you can listen to music if you prefer.
• We will provide a sandwich or baguette for you, and you can get up to use the bathroom as needed.
• After completing the procedure and final surgeon’s check, our staff will review the post-operative instructions with you, including how to sleep, washing your grafts, things to avoid, and how to maintain your new investment. These will be given as written instructions as well.
• All bandages will be removed prior to your return home. We recommend bringing in a clean loose fitting hat to wear home.
• If you chose to have a sedative, we suggest you arrange transport home for yourself. For those who do not, you may drive home after the procedure.
• While we encourage you to call if you have any questions, someone from our staff will call you within the first few days to ensure that you are doing well. After your procedure your care is not over. We will see you at 10 days for suture removal, and then at 5, 10 and 15 months. Digital pictures will be taken at each of these visits, as we follow your progress together.
Pre-Operative Instructions for ALL Patients
• During the 7 days prior to and following surgery, DO NOT take or consume Aspirin, Alcohol, anti-inflammatory drugs, multi-vitamins/herbal remedies.
• Reduce your caffeine – i.e. coffee and tea intake - to half a cup a day.
• Patients are advised to stop smoking, nicotine patches and nicotine chewing gums completely with immediate effect.
• Exercise and strenuous physical activity must be stopped 1 week pre-op and not resumed until 2 weeks post-op.
• Please bring along any medication(s) you may be taking including alternative medicinal preparations. If you are on antibiotics, please telephone the Nurse prior to your surgery date.
• On your surgery day, wear comfortable clothing, preferably a shirt/blouse which buttons down the front. Do not wear a polo neck or similar. You will be changing into a hospital gown, please wear undergarments. It is recommended to leave valuables at home and remove all jewellery/watches.
• Bring a clean oversized cap/bandana or similar head-covering for your journey home – a tight fitted baseball cap is not recommended.
• Should you contract either a cold, temperature, sore throat or any flu-like symptoms when you are due for surgery, please telephone the Nurse in charge at the hospital on 0121 445 0270 as it may be necessary to postpone your surgery.
• If you are travelling by train, we can arrange for our driver to collect you free of charge from Bromsgrove, Barnt Green, Alvechurch, Birmingham New Street or Birmingham International stations. If you are flying, we can collect you from Birmingham Airport. We require a minimum 5 days notice to arrange this service. If you have not pre-ordered collection, any taxis or transfer costs must be arranged by yourself at your own cost.
• We can recommend local hotel accommodation if required. For further information, please call 0121 445 0219.
• Please note that this building is a “non smoking” building.
• Do not have your hair cut or coloured less than 1 week prior to surgery. Please leave your hair at least one half inch long. You can have a hair cut or colouring 4-6wks after your surgery.
• Please wash your hair the morning of your procedure and do not apply anything to your hair like hair spray or hair gel.
• You must inform the Nurse prior to surgery if you previously have had complications at the dentist or with local anaesthetic.
• If you are using minoxidil, discontinue 48 hours prior to surgery.
• Have a good breakfast or lunch prior to coming to surgery.
• Following surgery, patients will need to recuperate before returning to work, and we generally advise a week’s leave. Your surgeon will advise you of this on discharge from the hospital.
• Your suture removal appointment will be approximately 10 days after your surgery day.
Enjoy, if anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask.