My Hair Transplant Hell - where do I go from here? - BaldTruthTalk.com
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  1. #1
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    Default My Hair Transplant Hell - where do I go from here?

    Hi my name is Alan and this is my story of my failed FUE hair transplant.
    About 80% of the grafts did not take and it left me with hundreds of scares all over my head. I apologise for the length of my story in advance, it has taken me a while to get the confidence to come on to these forums to tell my story.

    I would like to keep the details of the surgeon and Clinic anonymous at this moment in time so I can get non bias feedback and advice from everyone if possible. The surgeon is an IAHRS registered Doctor and resides in the UK.

    I started losing my hair at around the age of 21 and like millions of other guys suffering from hair loss, its been an uphill battle ever since. My hair loss eventually led to depression for which I received counselling, it helped me get my life back together again. I started reading hair loss forums like The Bald Truth which helped me a lot and I shaved my head and tried to get on with my life, but I realized my confidence and my ability to fit in socially would always be affected.

    Finally in 2012 I decided to do something about my hair loss and after reading on different hair loss forums how thousands of people had successful life changing hair transplants, FUE and Strip, I decided on a hair transplant.
    I discussed it with my Dad and with the help of my Mum, they said they would fund my hair transplant, they just wanted to see me happy. My dad was retired and used his life savings to help me.
    My Dad passed away from a heart attack in January this year. He was an inspiration to me and gave his last savings just so he could see me happy in life. I will miss him so much.

    I did some research on the type of transplant that would be best for me, and I concluded that a FUE transplant would suit my needs better, as the scarring is minimal and I could buzz my hair short if I wanted. My budget was also a problem as some clinics were way more expensive than others.
    I found a surgeon that worked in a well known clinic in the centre of London, but he also worked in smaller clinics around the country which had cheaper prices. The surgeon was IAHRS certified and he seemed very well marketed for FUE transplants on the net, but not much information or feedback was available on the forums.

    I decided to book a consultation at one of his clinics in the UK, this one was based up North. I arrived at the clinic, and I was met by the clinic manager, she told me I would have to wait to see the surgeon, this was because he was doing a procedure at the time, I waited about 30 minutes. The consultation only lasted about 10 minutes. The Surgeon took about 10 seconds to decide that my donor area was good for 4000-4500 hairs maximum, my donor area was quite thin and sparse I was told.

    This was well under my budget which made me happy. After my consultation I sat down with the Clinic manager to discuss the price of my procedure and a date. I told her my budget and the surgeon had said I was good for 4500 hairs maximum. The manager then said I could stretch to 6500 hairs with my budget and she was sure that they could get 6500 hairs out of me, she went away and then had a word with the Surgeon. When she came back she said don't worry 6500 hairs is fine. This confused me as to how she could over rule a FUE surgeons consultation, but excitement over my transplant had kicked in and I soon forgot about it.

    I was told the price for my 6,500 hairs FUE transplant, which happened to be my full budget, and I was then asked if I could pay in cash. I explained it would be very difficult to get that kind of money in cash, but I was then offered a further discount if I could pay in cash.
    My procedure would be on December 1 at 10:00 am.

    On the day of my procedure, I set off early in the morning, I was very nervous carrying such a very large amount of cash.
    I arrived at the clinic at 9:50 am on the morning of my procedure where I was immediately taken to the clinic managers office, I paid for my hair transplant in cash, I had already paid a deposit by debit card. The manager then left to count the money, I never saw her for the rest of that day. The surgeon introduced me to a young girl who was a trainee surgeon and asked if I minded if she sat in to observe my procedure, with which I was fine with.
    The surgeon and his team prepared me, I was given a local anaesthesia and the procedure got under way. It was decided I would have 3500 hairs on my crown and 3000 on my frontal area. Everything seemed to be going smoothly when the Surgeon said that my hair grafts were extremely difficult to extract and compared my grafts to an afro Caribbean persons grafts, he also mentioned he did not really have the proper tools with him for my grafts, but said it would be OK, but it would take a lot longer. We stopped for a lunch after about 3 hours, I was taken to a small office where a packet of sandwiches and a Ribena drink was waiting for me.

    My procedure took around 8 hours and was relatively pain free, apart from the last 30 minutes when the local anaesthesia began to wear off, but there was not many grafts left to implant. I was told I would have to come back next week for another procedure as it had taken a lot longer than they thought it would take.
    I was given a strict regimen of saline spray to use every 30 minutes and antibiotics to take.
    I was booked in for my second procedure on Sunday December 9, 8 days later, and I was asked If I could arrive at 9 am so they could get an early start.
    I booked a hotel to stay in overnight at the nearby village, as there was not a train that early on a Sunday from where I lived. I arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 8:40 am from the hotel and I arrived at the clinic for my second procedure at 8:55 am.
    To my surprise the clinic gates were locked and the lights were all off, I took a walk around but I could see no one was there. I tried calling the clinic several times but no one answered.
    It was a freezing cold December morning and raining. It was now 9:30 am and still the Surgeon and his team had not turned up, I was soaking wet and very cold, I began to think I got the date of my procedure wrong.

    At 9:40 am a car pulled into the car park and it was the young trainee Doctor who had observed my previous procedure, she let me wait in her car and explained the surgeon and his team had been at a party last night and had slept in, but they were on their way. I thought this was very unprofessional, and I was slightly worried if they would be in a fit state for my procedure. The surgeon and his team arrived at 9:55 am a full hour late for my procedure. They apologised and once inside the clinic I dried myself off and I was given a cup of tea and biscuits, I was told the biscuits were to get my blood sugar levels up. I was then given 2 Valium tablets to take, I was told they were to relax me. I wondered why I did not receive Valium the week before, or why I would need them this time.

    I was prepared by the team and just before my second procedure started, the Surgeon said to me "We are really being a bit naughty here, as you normally have to wait 9 months for the scalp to heal before doing another procedure"
    I expressed my concerns, but he said not to worry and that he had done this before.
    The Nurse then started to clean away the scabs on my head that had formed from the previous procedure 8 days earlier, I immediately noticed a large amount of hair coming away on the cotton wool.
    I was given local anaesthesia, which this time was a lot more painful on my scalp.

    NOTHING would prepare me for the pain and agony I would go through for the next 9 hours. After about 30 minutes the surgeon had to stop as I was shaking so much from the pain, he gave me some more local anaesthesia, but it did not help much. About an hour into the procedure I had an acid reflux attack which left me choking.
    The surgeon had to stop several times to ask if I was OK, we then took a lunch break after 2 hours. I called my Dad to tell him the pain was to much and that I did not think I could continue.
    When I returned the surgeon was no where to be seen, but one of the surgeons understudies was taking over. He was slightly slower at the procedure and explained the reason it was so painful was because they were working on an area of the scalp that just began to heal and he said I was very brave to put up with the pain.
    After 9 long hours my procedure was finished and it was the biggest relief I had ever felt. I felt sick, dizzy and physically and mentally exhausted.
    Again I was given a saline spray to use every 30 minutes, along with antibiotics and pain killers. I was also given a prescription for fenasteride and told to use Rogaine to help regrowth.

    When I got home I had to call a friend to pick me up from the station as I was still feeling unwell and dizzy. A few days after my second procedure I noticed a lot of hair had fallen out over my shoulders and around my pillow. I was using a neck pillow so my head was free from contact on any surface. Day 5 after my procedure and I very gently massaged my head and scabs that had formed in baby shampoo as directed by my surgeon and the after care instructions. I noticed a large amount of what looked like grafts had fallen out, they were 2 or 3 hairs held together by a white bulb.

    Over the following weeks I noticed a lot of hair and what looked like grafts falling out. I contacted my surgeon who assured me this was normal. Four weeks after my procedure I had hardly any hair left from my transplant, I looked much like I did before my hair transplant, I also noticed I had bad scarring around the sides and back of my head. At the four month mark, I still had little to no regrowth, there was some minor growth on my front hairline. Again the surgeon reassured me it could take up to 12 months to see any decent results from my transplant.

    At the 12 month mark I had a small amount of regrowth from my FUE transplant, Finasteride and Rogaine could of been responsible for that though. I was feeling very down and depressed about my results. I started to wear a hat to hide the scars around my head and I became a social recluse, I started calling in sick to work and I didn't see any friends for a while.

    In distress I contacted my surgeon who agreed to meet me and examine my scalp.
    This time I went to his London Clinic to meet him. I arrived and was shown to a large room where my surgeon met me. He examined my head with a camera attached to his laptop. He expressed surprise that a number of grafts had not taken, but he assured me that he could see lots of regrowth coming through. I was advised this time that it can take up to 18 months to see full results and that I should be patient again, he said the scarring was also worse than hoped for, this was because there was not enough hair growing back around my donor area to cover the scaring, too much hair had been used.

    I contacted the original clinic where I had my transplant and explained I was not happy with my results and that a number of grafts had fallen out. After about a month of debate with the clinic manager, I managed to get a 35% refund. The clinic manager said she had been told by the surgeon that I should expect lots of hair growth in coming months.
    Eighteen months had passed since my transplant and there had been no change or hair growth since I last went to see my surgeon. You could not tell I had a FUE hair transplant, apart from the hundreds of round scares all over my head. I was feeling very depressed and down again. At work I was asked by colleges what had happened to my head, and why I had hundreds of scares all over me. I was humiliated behind my back, I got the nickname leopard man because of my scars, I quit my Job and spent most of my time in my house, hardly ever going out. It was a good friend that suggested I go to counselling, as it had helped me in the past.

    It was the best thing I could of done. Today I still wear a hat everywhere I go to hide my scars, but I am slowly getting back to some normality, it's been a long journey.
    After getting some of my confidence back I decided to contact my FUE surgeon again to tell him what I had been through and that my FUE transplant had been a complete failure. I decided I would ask for a full refund. It's what my Dad had constantly told me I should do, and it was his life savings that paid for my transplant, so its the least I could do in his memory or it will of all been for nothing.

    I emailed my surgeon several times and sent him texts and even tried calling him, but I would get no reply. Its only when I said I would tell my story on the forums and ask advice from the hair loss community that he finally contacted me. During our conversation he said he did not know why my transplant had failed and he said he was sorry about everything I had gone through, and apologised again for when he left me waiting in the freezing rain for an hour when I had my second procedure, because he had been at a party. My surgeon then said he just wanted to see me happy.
    I questioned him about the fact he did two procedures in such a short time without allowing my scalp to heal, and the fact too much donor hair was taken. I wanted to know if any of these things could of affected my transplant success, but he never gave me a direct answer. He said I was an anomaly, and that in the scientific community I am known as the X factor, and that no explanation could be given.

    After everything that had been said and done I told my surgeon I just wanted a refund and that I would have to live with the scarring for the rest of my life. He finally agreed to contact the clinic and arrange a full refund. That was almost two months ago. After numerous emails and texts he is now completely ignoring me.

    I feel as everything has been for nothing. I don't think I have a one or two year court battle left in me physically or mentally to get justice for myself or my Dad, but at the same time I do not want to give up my fight as I would feel I am letting my Dad down.

    I don't know what to do or where to go now, I just feel lost.

    Thank you if you have taking the time to read my very long story. Coming to these forums and talking about my hair transplant has helped, even if it's a small relief. Even after everything that has happened to me I would still recommend to everyone to consider a hair transplant, as it changes peoples lives for the better as can be seen on these very forums. I just wish I had taken a different path.

    I would really appreciate any help or advice anyone has. Thank you again for reading.

    Alan.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PayDay's Avatar
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    I'm very sorry to hear about your experience. Even in the best hands, surgery does not always work out, but if this surgeon agreed to a full refund he should make sure that you get it. Perhaps you should send him a link to your post? By not mentioning his name or the name of the clinic you have shown good faith. I'm sure if your complaint is valid, and there is not reason to believe that it's not, the clinic will probably honor your refund. It would be stupid for them not to.

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    Hi PayDay thank you for taking time to read my post. I never ever imagined that my FUE transplant could fail, or as a side effect the scarring would be so bad, I suppose no one having a hair transplant would want to consider it might fail. Is it just a case that I was a bad candidate for a Fue transplant, or was it something the surgeon did wrong with my procedure, I don't suppose I will ever know for sure.
    He did seem sincere while talking with me on the phone, apologising for certain events that had happened and promising to arrange a refund with the clinic, maybe the clinic manager is not to keen to give a refund even after everything that has happened. I will send an email with a link to my post and see if I get a response.
    Thanks again for your input and advice PayDay.

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    Hi Alan, I read your story, and I am very sorry that you had that happen to you. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it has been for you, and from your story, you seem to have coped remarkably well (certainly better than I would have).

    I don't really know what else to say. I hope that you get your refund, and that you are able to find some peace. I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your father, he sounds like a good man.

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    Alan ,

    That is a thoroughly depressing story and I really feel for you .

    To be blunt , it's a pretty shocking story - the clinic and the surgery have displayed a complete lack of professionalism . Keep up the fight , get your refund , and seek out independent advice from a number of reputable HT surgeons for an unbiased assessment of your results .Do you have written confirmation from the surgeon in question that you will receive a full refund ? Personally , I wouldn't let this drop under any circumstances , although it may be further distressing in an already distressing situation .

    Of course , there is never a guarantee that a HT will be a complete success , but there are enough indicators in your story to suggest that negligence may have a part to play in your poor results .

    Good luck and carry on the fight . If the clinic / surgeon continue to play games , I'd go for them both barrels .

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    Alan,

    I've just spent a great deal of time reading your story and I'd just like to say you are an incredibly lucky man to have had a man like your father in your life. Never let go of that.

    What has happened to you is a crime and I'll tell you now - you are stronger than you think. Don't you give up on chasing this, take it all the way, where ever it needs to go, to court, watchdog, whatever you need to do, make it happen.

    Your dad believed in you enough to invest his entire life savings in your happiness, he saw something in you that only a father can see, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

    He gave you money, yes, but I bet everyday of your life that man gave you so much more. Use that, live for that, honour that. He makes you strong, strong for yourself, strong for your mother and strong enough to get justice.

    I can't claim to know you, or know much more about you than what your story tells me, but in all honesty your story tells me all I need to know. Don't let these assholes get away with this. Get that money back, do something with it that'll make you happy and fulfill your father's wishes. It'll be hard but it'll be worth it.

    Be proud, be strong and never give up.

  7. #7
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    Really sorry to hear your story Allan regarding your father and the failed hair transplant. Unfortunately you are not the only one in this situation with poor results from this type of proceedure. I hope you can get your money back. Unfortunately all those grafts will be lost and this is the reason we need better treatments then those we currently have. All the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clee984 View Post
    Hi Alan, I read your story, and I am very sorry that you had that happen to you. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it has been for you, and from your story, you seem to have coped remarkably well (certainly better than I would have).

    I don't really know what else to say. I hope that you get your refund, and that you are able to find some peace. I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your father, he sounds like a good man.
    Hello Clee984 thanks for reading my thread, and for your words of support. I have my good days and my bad, I have left some of what I went through out of my post. I can say that there were days I didn't think my life was worth living any more. I do know that I have to try and move on with my life, I would like to put all this behind me as it feels like a great weight pushing down on me constantly everyday, If I can put this all behind me. maybe I can find peace.

    No words can express how great a man my Dad was. He was always there every step of the way helping me in any and every way he could from the moment I came into this world until the moment he left us. I miss his support, when he was around I always had a feeling that everything would be alright. On my bad days I think of my Dad and it gives me inspiration to carry on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suarez View Post
    Alan ,

    That is a thoroughly depressing story and I really feel for you .

    To be blunt , it's a pretty shocking story - the clinic and the surgery have displayed a complete lack of professionalism . Keep up the fight , get your refund , and seek out independent advice from a number of reputable HT surgeons for an unbiased assessment of your results .Do you have written confirmation from the surgeon in question that you will receive a full refund ? Personally , I wouldn't let this drop under any circumstances , although it may be further distressing in an already distressing situation .

    Of course , there is never a guarantee that a HT will be a complete success , but there are enough indicators in your story to suggest that negligence may have a part to play in your poor results .

    Good luck and carry on the fight . If the clinic / surgeon continue to play games , I'd go for them both barrels .
    Hello Suarez,

    Unfortunately it was verbally over the phone that my surgeon agreed to call the clinic to arrange a refund. I have saved all previous communication between the surgeon and myself including emails and texts.

    I contacted a well known member of this community a few weeks back who is very experienced in hair loss and transplants, and he was the one who recommended I post on these forums to get feedback and advice.

    When I had my consultation the surgeon never once mentioned that there is a chance the Fue transplant might not work, or I might be left with bad scarring, I would of probably walked away. Before my transplant I was able to cope with my hair loss to a certain degree, I would just shave my head and try to get on with it, now I don't even have that option.

    I will try my best to continue the fight Suarez, thank you for your words of advice and support.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not giving up View Post
    Alan,

    I've just spent a great deal of time reading your story and I'd just like to say you are an incredibly lucky man to have had a man like your father in your life. Never let go of that.

    What has happened to you is a crime and I'll tell you now - you are stronger than you think. Don't you give up on chasing this, take it all the way, where ever it needs to go, to court, watchdog, whatever you need to do, make it happen.

    Your dad believed in you enough to invest his entire life savings in your happiness, he saw something in you that only a father can see, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

    He gave you money, yes, but I bet everyday of your life that man gave you so much more. Use that, live for that, honour that. He makes you strong, strong for yourself, strong for your mother and strong enough to get justice.

    I can't claim to know you, or know much more about you than what your story tells me, but in all honesty your story tells me all I need to know. Don't let these assholes get away with this. Get that money back, do something with it that'll make you happy and fulfill your father's wishes. It'll be hard but it'll be worth it.

    Be proud, be strong and never give up.
    Thank you for taking time to read my story Not Giving Up, and thank you for your kind words towards my Dad, your words have left me feeling emotional but very inspired.

    My dad worked very hard all his life, he spent most of his life paying bills and mortgages and didn't spend a penny on himself, but he saved what he could. He was happy with the simple things in life, a cup of tea and an apple pie, walking the dog, watching the football, but when it came to his family he did all he could to support us and make us happy. I don't think anything can ever prepare us for when we lose a much loved parent.

    On my bad days it feels like everything is to much to cope with and everything is not worth the effort. I still go to counselling, but I go less frequent now or I can go when I need to, but it does help me a lot when I do go. It was my counsellor that got me through my post hair transplant depression, she is an amazing woman and I owe a lot to her to.

    I will give it all I can Not Giving Up, and it's posts like yours and other members from these forums who have posted that give me hope and inspire me to continue my fight.

    Alan

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