I’m new to posting on this forum. I thought since over the years I’ve learnt a lot from coming to this and many other forums that now I’ve had my procedure it would be a good time to give back by coming here to help others by telling my experience, answering questions etc. So where to begin……
I first noticed losing my hair at the age of 16. At that point right up to a couple years ago it was only a slow recede of the hairline and temples. The last couple years (I’m now 38) I started to notice apart from the frontal area receding also thinning along the left and right sides, and didnt want to get to the stage like my father where I had to start combing my hair to the left or to the right to keep the top looking thicker. Showering got to the point where there would be a hand full of hair around the drain each occassion which was very stressfull. I almost went on Propecia after my friend started taking it a few years ago, but decided against it when he told me his bone density had dropped dramatically since being on it. Neither of us know if it was related to Propecia, but I felt it not worth the risk. Around the beginning of 2006 I reached the point where the only way I could hide my recession was growing it longer so began to grow it. I kept it long right up until a couple weeks prior to my op. First small mistake I made was buying a trimmer to buzz cut it. I hadn’t received at that point my dos and donts forms for my procedure because I was a last minute booking just two weeks before the procedure. You are asked not to cut your hair prior to the procedure. Anyway I buzz cut it to 6mm thinking that I was helping the staff not having to cut it themselves. I stressed a bit but after seeing the doc he said it wasn’t a problem.
My procedure was in LA on the 2nd of April, with the pre-op appointment on the 1st of April, so I booked a flight from Japan to arrive on the 29th to give me some time to get settled in. I chose to stay for a whole month, because if your air travel is more than 5 hours you must stay atleast 7 days. I’m glad I didn’t choose to leave earlier. I would actually stay longer than a month if I knew what I know now. I wore a loose baseball cap the entire trip back to Japan (10 hours), and for two weeks after I had indents in my head on each temple from where the cap cardboard front touched the recipient area. Im a little paranoid as now three months out I have a tiny area where hair isn’t growing right where the indent was. Everywhere else I think things are progressing very well. If ever I get a procedure again I would probably wait another week and try to avoid wearing a hat and wear a bandanna instead. I’m not a Doctor so I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t wear a hat or you should stay a whole month etc. Just letting you know my plan of attack if I get another procedure done.
On the 1st of April I went for my pre-op appointment. The front office waiting area is designed by the Dr, and is stylishly set up with Leather lounge, magazines, spring water refreshments for those waiting etc. As of my procedure Renee and Caleb were the two fantastic employees on the front desk who take care of you while waiting to see the Dr or have your procedure. Both very friendly and proficient at their jobs. Renee after about 10 minuted took me to another room to take some before pics and fill out paperwork which takes I guess 20 minutes, then took me to Dr Armani’s spacious office which has a great view of LA from the 10th floor. Dr Armani is very professional in his manor, and you can tell he is really passionate about his work, and business. In the room also was Dr Paul Edwards who would be the other Dr during my procedure. Also very proffessional. They took a look at my hair and we briefly discussed expected outcomes, aspects of the procedure, after care etc, then I headed home.
Next Day arrived at 7am, greeted with a big smile and friendliness from Renee and Caleb, then later Sophia, the Nurse in charge during my procedure.
Then I got changed into your hospital outfit and taken to the procedure room.
I think from memory I was given a tablet that relaxs you a bit, and Sophia put in the drip. Unfortunately my veins weren’t behaving so after getting the drip put in, Sophia wasn’t happy with it so we found a new spot for it. Then I think I chose from an extensive menu what I would like to eat for Lunch, and chose a Dvd to watch during the procedure. Then all friendly techs, Dr Armani and Dr Edwards come in and meet you, then the procedure begins. The needles to numb the scalp I guess are similar in feeling to the needles you get at the Dentist. After the shock of the first 1 or 2 I didn’t really find them that painfull at all. When you start to feel any pain you simply say so and they give you some more needles to numb the area some more. I didn’t watch the DVD at all as my eyes swelled up, and I found it to much effort to try to watch it, so just relaxed the whole time. For me the worst part of the whole procedure was not the needles. It was 1 your bladder constantly filling up, and feeling like its going to explode, and 2 lieing on my face for the many hours of the procedure. I think from memory the whole procedure was about 14 hours. The last couple hours when I knew I would probably be a pain having to ask everyone to stop so I could go to the toilet, I held on and really thought I was going to explode. I’ve never needed to pee so much in my life. Around lunch time everyone takes a break and you eat your preordered meal looking out over the LA skyline, then back into it again. After the procedure you are given your first wash, Fucidin and Vit E then bandaged up, given an Alvi Armani bag with all the post op care information, and a few other goodies, but I wont spoil the surprise.)) Maybe I got the bag the day before. Cant remember. I’m writing this 3 months out from the op so a little rusty with exact details.
At this point many of the staff remind you upon leaving and getting in the Taxi be very careful not to bump your head, as its happened a few times to patients.
I chose Dr Armani because its my personal view that he’s the best at what he does.
I went to many forums to read posts from people who have had procedures, looked at 100s of photos of many different Drs work. Wrote to a couple. Then finally after great thought came to the conclusion that he was the person I wanted doing my transplant. I’m not saying anyone else should or shouldn’t go to Dr Armani. I think everyone should do their own due diligence, and decide for themselves.
I shall be posting my pre-op, post-op and 3 month pics very soon.
Feel free to post any questions and I’ll do my best to get back to you asap.
Thanks to all those who regularly post here. You really helped with my decision making process.