Below are pictures from my first hair transplant procedure on July 14, 2014.
The procedure moved a 6,210 total hairs lowering my frontal hairline while building out my temporal peaks.
Overall, the procedure lasted around 7 hours and was a very comfortable and relaxing experience. Throughout the surgery I was awake and talking and experienced very little pain or discomfort and was the only patient that day.
The surgeon and I go through a plan of action on what to address. He will lower and straighten out my hairline as well as build out the side temporal peaks. I opt to keep my hair on the top and sides as I work in an office and can’t shave my head. The marker line is not an exact design, but an agreement between the patient and surgeon on where the hair will be placed. The back of my head where the donor strip will be removed is shaved.
Prior to anesthetizing my scalp, I take some Valium to help relax. I listen to reggae music while my blood pressure is taken and Dr. Huebner begins to anesthetize my scalp. Throughout the procedure I will be awake and talking and am entertained via Netflix and snacks.
Removing the donor strip
Once my donor site is anesthetized, the surgeon uses a scalpel-like instrument to excise two strips from the donor site in the back of my head. The donor site is then stitched together using one long plastic suture.
Dissecting the donor strip
Once the donor strips are removed and the donor site is stitched together, a team of three technicians begin whittling the strips into individual follicular unit grafts.
My donor strips measured 31.05 square centimeters or slightly longer than a 12-inch ruler. The surgeon uses an equation of the length of the donor strip multiplied by 200 hairs per square centimeter to determine how much hair a patient can get in one procedure. I got 6,210 hairs through my two strips.
The yellow area is the subcutaneous fat that nourishes the hair follicles. The hairs sticking out are the hair shafts and the black dots are the follicle’s bulb. Each shaft must have a bulb or a hair transected and cannot be used. During my procedure I had zero transected hairs.
Creating the recipient sites
Once the technicians are finished dissecting the strips into grafts, the surgeon begins creating the recipient sites in my frontal hairline, temporal peaks, and vertex where the grafts will be placed. A small hypodermic needle or blade is used to create the sites and because they are so small, there will be no noticeable scar.
Placing the grafts
Once all of the recipient sites are created, the surgeon and his technicians begin placing the grafts how your hair naturally grows making the surgery undetectable once all of the new hairs grow in.
One-hair micrografts are placed in the frontal hairline to create a soft, natural appearance while larger two- and three-hair grafts are placed behind the ones to create density. The surgeon also uses a multiple follicular unit that can have up to 8 hairs growing out of it to create maximum density in the vertex and crown of your head.
Once the surgery is completed, I am given post-op instructions to care for my grafts over the next 10 days. For the next five days I will use a healing spray called Graftcyte which is a copper peptide solution as well as antibiotics and prescription pain killers. On the 10th day post-op I will have my sutures removed by my primary care physician.
3 days post-op
The third day post-op was when I had the most swelling in my face from the anesthesia. I had a lot of grafts on my head so when I went outside, I wore a hat and sunglasses. Unless I pointed it out, no one would’ve noticed I had a procedure.