1995 FUE with Dr Ron Shapiro. My experience & pictures

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  • justdoit
    Junior Member
    • Dec 2009
    • 6

    1995 FUE with Dr Ron Shapiro. My experience & pictures

    Hello guys,

    I'd like to share with you all my experience. I got a hair transplant almost a month ago and I feel I can help other guys.

    I'm sharing it on the main forum of my country.
    The english-speaking community being more "active" (unfortunately? ) I'll do my best to translate my story and I hope it'll help here also.


    "Hello everybody,

    I'm back from the US (Minneapolis) where I was lucky enough to have the magician Ron Shapiro himself take care of my head.

    I won't get the pictures until monday then I'll start with the chitchat (Note: I'm now 1 month post-op).

    1/ Story

    We're a small community but If you've never heard of me before
    18 yo : My hairline starts to recede (on the sides)
    19 yo : My hairline is gone. I catch a seborrheic dermatitis.
    20 yo : Improvment with Nizoral 2% but shedding continues
    21 yo : My crown is thinning, in my frontal area I've just an "island of hairs" left in the middle. I start finasteride. I also start Minox but stop because of dandruff.
    22 yo : Finasteride works. No side effect. Shedding is slower but continues, I stop fina and start dutas. Stronger but yet no side effect.
    23 yo : My crown's back to normal density. Frontal area looks like when I was 20/21.
    24 yo : It's time to chose an agressive strategy
    25 yo : Hair transplant in Shapiro Medical Group. I start Rogaine Foam.


    2/ The clinic

    Since a year, I'm thinking about getting a hairtransplant. I'm fed-up to decline any invitation to theme park because of the wind, no swimming because of water, no sport because of shower in common area. I want an HT to stop thinking about hair at all time.
    I became crazy about hairs, that's the first thing I see when I meet someone.
    When I found this forum (Note : my national forum), it accelerated the process. My budget was ready.. Well... All my savings.
    I was willing to get an HT with the top-doc of North America so I gathered a few names : Cole / Armani / Rahal / Shapiro.

    I sent them all emails and pictures, here is one of them


    and here is what I got :

    Armani : No answer
    Cole : 800 grafts but no answers to my questions. Just one or two commercial emails every weeks.. Bothering!
    Rahal : 3000 grafts but no answers to my main question 'why so many grafts?'
    Shapiro : NA because it's not by email but by phone

    Not satisfied, I decided to send an email to Shapiro to set up a call conference.
    I got a phone consultation with Matt Zupan (patient educator). I'm not very good in english but good enough to understand.
    Matt is really patient. He spent an hour to explain me everything about HT and it was out of normal working hours (better for me).

    Matt has 20 years experience with SMG. He definetely knows what he's talking about. For free, he gave me a lot of advice for hair transplant but also just to take care of my hairs on a day-to-day basis. He asked me for pictures to show them to the doctors (Paul & Ron).
    He also asked me to draw the hairline I'd like to get back on the pics.
    He told me : 1600-1800 grafts, and ok for a FUE so that I can keep my hair short as I like to. I've got some realistic expectations.

    Going through a surgery it's not like ordering a pizza. You need to be as careful as you can, even if you had a nice contact with the surgeon. Then I started to look on all the international forums for pictures of Shapiro's brother.
    At the end, I was convinced, SMG are the best was the best clinic in the world to give my hairline back.

    The week following, I said "ok" to Matt and we started to schedule. It took time but we succeeded to find the perfect date for both of us. I was ok for both Ron & Paul but finally because of my date I scheduled with Ron.
    Then, you need to send a deposit of 1000 USD.

    3/ The surgery

    (... 30 minutes of translation, I'm exhausted. Hope it's not too bad, I get a drink I'll be back in a sec...)

    Allright, the clinic of SMG is real close to an international airport in a business area with plenty of hotels at walking distance.
    Those hotels have free shuttle (no need to pay a cab) and you can call them whenever you want.
    A package (hotel+trip) does not worth a lot. I could get a Plaza hotel with my limited budget, with free massage, hot tubes, swimming-pool, a good restaurant and so on.

    Monday, 2pm :
    I arrive in the clinic for the pre-op consultation. The place is remarkably decorated. Last stage of 5-storey-building. We feel like home, everything is clean, orderly.
    Kelly and Jenny welcome you, if I'm not mistaken on the names, they are really sweet. They give you a drink.
    I'm 20 minutes early but Matt is ok to meet me right away.
    Here I am, in the process of getting an HT, in front of the guy, no turn back.
    Matt is a nice fellow, tall and nice-looking. He takes some pictures and we discuss a few minutes. 6 years that nobody have touched my hair, it's really hard at the beginning but I've got all confidence in him. He draws me a first hairline on the computer. I don't really like it for the moment but that why we're here : to discuss it.
    Doctor Ron Shapiro arrives in the room, he's pretty impressive. You just feel confortable when he's has your head in his hands.
    It's like if you ask Bill Gates to set-up your Windows. You want to close your eves and let him work in silence.

    He asked me a lot of questions, he's a easy-going person, you can talk to him. You can feel that he just want you to be happy.
    Together we define a very conservative hairline as I wish to have. He takes a pictures and he goes back to surgery. It was impressive and the hairline was almost perfect in the first draw.

    Matt showed me the place. I met a patient in the middle of a FUE. He didn't want me to see his face but I was able to ask him a few questions and to see the work of the technicians.

    Back to the hotel, big sleep... Yes.. Forget about sleeping pills, if you chose one of the top doc, you won't need it.

    Tuesday :
    7:30 am, I arrive at the clinic. I'm there... Finally.
    I tell the doc. Don't show me a needle at any price, it scares me.
    We draw a hairline quickly. For the first day, Shapiro just wants to go down a little bit but not too much. His bet is around 700 grafts today.
    I take off my shirt, eat three pills, pick-up a movie, my lunch and make myself confortable in the chair.

    Tom arrives, he's in charge of extracting the follicles. A very nice guy with a matchless self-mastery.
    To anesthesia the donor area, it's not painful at all but I was in panic because of needles. I got a massage with a kind of vibro that helps a lot. You don't no where the needles are. I had countless hand on the shoulder, conforting speech from Janna, from the doc, from Tom, from the technicians.
    During the three days of my surgery, my pain level stayed the same : 0.

    Tom was able to extract 1000 grafts on the first day.
    He used a 1mm punch if I remember correctly. I had fun with Tom. He has experience in different kind of surgery.
    In the morning I remember Shapiro asking him to take : "as much as you can"
    They put the grafts in a saline solution and give them to a technician who works in front of you. She analyses them, sort them (1,2,3), cut them if needed (with a 3, you can get a 1 and a 2). Janna could explain but I think she also clean the grafts if there is too much skin around, I'm not sure about that though.
    I could stand-up whenever I needed, to go to the restrooms but also to walk, watch everybody working. In three days I saw two FUT. I met with patients from US, UK, Iran.

    At lunch, you eat with the tean. Everyday they pick up a restaurant and they deliver what you want. It's delicious. Everything is free, drinks included. You're part of the team. Sometimes I said "we" when I talked to them. I feel good.

    After the lunch, Ron started to make the incisions. How does this work?
    He knows that he has 1000 grafts for today. An assistant count each incision with an electronic device. You can ear the noise of your skin and the "bip" at the same time. It's absolutely no painful, you cannot feel anything.
    He always ask "how many left?" to be able to spread the incisions.

    After a few hundreds incisions, he stopped and ask his team to transplant the first grafts.
    You have two technicians above your head. (Note : sorry I cannot translate this part, it's too complicated. And US forums are very good so I guess you know how it works).
    It was so well done that I fall asleep. Then incisions. Then transplants. Incisions. Transplant. Until all the grafts are on your head.
    Tom stayed with me the whole time.

    We finished earlier than expected. Around 4:30pm if I remember. But I was completely exhausted. It's really hard to stay in a chair for so many hours.
    When I read about 3000 FUE in one day, I don't know but I feel like some docs just want to make money. I'm happy to went through this all thing with SMG. They really care about your confort. It's hard choice to make for a young man, so you need to be in the best place you can afford.

    After a review with Matt and the doc, they call me a shuttle and gave me a post-op kit. I did not wear my hat. I felt so proud that I wanted to show my head to everybody.
    At the hotel... Free massage, free cable. I ate at the restaurant, was good.

    At 9pm, I fall asleep watching TV. So tired that Unfortunately I forgot my travel pillow. I get up at 11pm with blood on the pillows.
    With a FUE you have some "holes" in the back, it's not painful, not a lot of blood but you still need to be careful.
    Therefore I called Matt. He explained me how to clean my mess and was ready to come & see me. But honestly it was nothing. It's just good to see that the 24hours patient care line is not a lie! Here is a picture :



    After that, I slept 8 hours straight with my travel pillow this time.

    Wednesday, 2nd day of surgery :
    I arrived at 8am. Shapiro told me that now we could start to transplant the hairline. Nothing definitive as we have one more day.

    This day was as good as the first. I didn't see any needles, the team was ready to do everything to make me feel confortable. Janna & Matt came to talk to me a lot of times. I really feel at home, I knew everybody, I can walk and say hello to everybody, it's really good.
    Tom extracted me something like 600 grafts this day.
    Then ? Lunch, Incisions, Transplant, Incisions, Transplant. End of the day at 5pm.

    Nothing else to say, it was intense. Just to see the results after the second day brings me a big smile on my face.... And it was not finished yet!

    Ron Shapiro always shows you what he's doing with a mirror, he explains why he did this, how he creates his famous hairlines. He's nothing but a guy who loves to share his knowledge and I liked that a lot.

    Thurday, 3rd day of HT :
    Here we are... The final day... the last brushstroke of the master.
    Dr Ron Shapiro is so meticulous, it's impressive.
    He took my head and with a single stroke of a pen, he draws the hairline I dreamt about the past 6 years. I told him, no more change, it's perfect for me.

    One last time, Tom gives me the anesthesia. He saw that I loved cinema but that there wasn't any movies on their big list that I had not already seen. Therefore he brought me two movies from his house. That's what I like with SMG and all the team was just as nice as Tom.

    This final day was quick, in a few hours it was finished. I did it... Just do it.
    I'm very proud.

    My back hurts a lot and my neck the same. Three days without moving, it's hard.
    But I can always stand and walk and discuss with people.

    Dr Ron Shapiro made the final incisions. Only 53 grafts left.
    We finish at 1pm I think. Short but intense. I took my lunch. Everybody congralutes me.
    I discuss Matt who invites me at his place tonight.
    I go to the hotel to put new clothes on. Three days without washing my hairs... I'm looking forward tomorrow for the first shampoo at the clinic.

    Matt picked me up on time. (Note :I won't translate everything on this forum)
    It was just kind from him to introduce me to his really nice family. We eat all together and I was glad to talk to people really interested in different cultures.

    The day after, I went to the clinic in the morning. We took some pictures. It's awesome to see new hairs where there wasn't anything a few days ago. I love my hairline.
    Tom took care of my shampoo. I also asked him to finish my haircut (buzz the sides).

    Then I pay.
    It was time for me to say goodbye. A lot of emotions because everybody was so nice with me.
    I don't hope I'll see them again, or at least not in a clinic but I know that if there is a place I've to go next time if I need another HT, it'll be in Minneapolis.


    At the security checkpoint in the airport, they ask me about the bottle of Graftcyte (I had a letter from Shapiro). They were so interested in my hairtransplant that I explained them everything and gave them the phone number of the clinic. Really funny.

    Here is the count :


    1s 869
    2s 1032
    3s 94
    Total Grafts 1995 = 3215 Hairs


    The pictures will follow
  • justdoit
    Junior Member
    • Dec 2009
    • 6

    #2
    Pictures post-op

    Here are the immediate post-op pictures






    Comment

    • justdoit
      Junior Member
      • Dec 2009
      • 6

      #3
      Post-op 2 & 3 days

      Here are pictures D+2 and D+3 :

      Close-up LF


      Back


      Front


      Left side

      Comment

      • justdoit
        Junior Member
        • Dec 2009
        • 6

        #4
        D+3

        Here again post-op D+3

        Close-up donor area


        Right side

        Comment

        • justdoit
          Junior Member
          • Dec 2009
          • 6

          #5
          Donor

          Here is the donor area at D+7




          I'll keep you posted, if you have any questions, feel free to ask

          Comment

          • follicallychallengedkid
            Junior Member
            • Sep 2009
            • 23

            #6
            These are very detailed and great posts - your efforts to have your experience translated into (good) English (with pictures!) are much appreciated on this forum.

            I am 22 years old now and Finasteride has worked briefly for me. Now, I'm losing grounds again and interested in Dutasteride. Did you experience any side effects with Dutasteride? Were you not deterred by the possibility of becoming sterile (this is my main concern given my age).

            Another thing - did you get any transplants in the frontal area in between existing hair? I understand that this is the area that is least responsive to treatments like Finasteride/Dustasteride, and is therefore more susceptible to go bald while on these treatments. I would be concerned about have a strip of bald patch should these hairs shed years later.

            It's early to tell but the pictures look great. And that last picture of your donor area really does show FUE's main advantage over FUT - virtually undetectable scarring, with amazing healing time! I can't believe that's how your donor area looks after just 7 days. I hope you good luck in the coming months. I completely understand how you feel about turning down all those invitations because of (lack of) hair.

            -FCK

            Comment

            • justdoit
              Junior Member
              • Dec 2009
              • 6

              #7
              Originally posted by follicallychallengedkid
              These are very detailed and great posts - your efforts to have your experience translated into (good) English (with pictures!) are much appreciated on this forum.

              I am 22 years old now and Finasteride has worked briefly for me. Now, I'm losing grounds again and interested in Dutasteride. Did you experience any side effects with Dutasteride? Were you not deterred by the possibility of becoming sterile (this is my main concern given my age).

              Another thing - did you get any transplants in the frontal area in between existing hair? I understand that this is the area that is least responsive to treatments like Finasteride/Dustasteride, and is therefore more susceptible to go bald while on these treatments. I would be concerned about have a strip of bald patch should these hairs shed years later.

              It's early to tell but the pictures look great. And that last picture of your donor area really does show FUE's main advantage over FUT - virtually undetectable scarring, with amazing healing time! I can't believe that's how your donor area looks after just 7 days. I hope you good luck in the coming months. I completely understand how you feel about turning down all those invitations because of (lack of) hair.

              -FCK
              Hi Fck,

              Concerning the Dutasteride, I didn't experience any side effects. Sometimes I have a very high level of libido just after I take the pills. For this reason, I take it at least one hour before to go to bed. If not, I cannot sleep, I need to... Well you got it.
              I don't think that Dutasteride last long in your body, then you can always try two weeks to see if you feel anything unusual. For finasteride, I'm sure it lasts like 24 or 48 hours in your organism. You may ask a doctor if it's the same for dutas.
              No, I've never thought about being sterile and I've never read anything which links dutas and sterility.

              Concerning, the middle front area, I did get some hairs transplanted in between to reinforce the area. I will also start rogaine foam on this area in the following days, it did work for some people.
              I understand your concern and I had the same. But here like everywhere else, I won't go bald from one day to another. If I start loosing density in 5/10 years, I'll cover it up with nanogen a year or two and can add some density with a FUE later.

              Thank you for the pics, I'll do my best to add this kind of documentation every month (starting when the growth will begin... Hope !)
              My donor area looks like nothing has ever happened right now. Even with very very short hair.

              Looking forward to keep you posted, and do not hesitate if you have any other questions.

              Comment

              • the B spot
                Doctor Representative
                • Jan 2009
                • 85

                #8
                Hey justdoit, Wow, what a detailed write up mate!!!! Tom told me you were a great sport throughout the process.

                Thanks for sharing your experience with us at SMG......now just sit back and wait it out!!!!

                Take Care,
                Jason
                Patient Advocate/FUE Coordinator for Shapiro Medical Group. My advice and opinions are my own and is not medical advice. I am a Cubs fan.

                Comment

                • Spex
                  Dr Representative
                  • Nov 2008
                  • 4289

                  #9
                  Justdoit - looking great - this will be a beauty to watch - thanks for sharing!

                  Heal and grow well!
                  Visit my website: SPEXHAIR

                  Watch regular segments and interviews on The Bald Truth UK show

                  View Media interviews www.spexhair.media

                  Subscribe to my YouTube Channel : SpexHair Youtube

                  I am not a doctor or medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions expressed are my own unless stated otherwise. Always consult with your own family doctor prior to embarking on any form of hair loss treatment or surgery.

                  Comment

                  • Hpark8119
                    Junior Member
                    • Dec 2009
                    • 6

                    #10
                    Impressive

                    I've just read your blog on your HT. I'm very impressed and happy that it all worked out for you. I am 23 right now and considering a HT but was wondering how much this operation costs? Thank you,

                    Comment

                    • bullitnut
                      Member
                      • Dec 2008
                      • 97

                      #11
                      wow! i cant believe i havent seen this till now. This looks fantastic and what a write up!! this documentation will certainly help others in a similar situation....... i for one am looking forward to updates if possible.

                      I wish you all the best bro you look great bullit
                      all opinions expressed are my own based solely on my own experiences and knowledge, i do not work for any clinic/doctor. 2 bad UK ht's and 1 world class ht with SMG.
                      my blog www.hairlosstips.co.uk

                      Comment

                      • soccerfan
                        Junior Member
                        • May 2010
                        • 1

                        #12
                        very nice, any updates?

                        Comment

                        • nordstrom2
                          Junior Member
                          • Apr 2011
                          • 1

                          #13
                          Any new updates?

                          Comment

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