Happy Monday folks,
After getting into various heated debates with a few very passionate members of our HT “fraternity”, I decided to get some more opinions from more docs, techs, patients and others regarding my BHT result and overall condition of all the HT work I’ve had to date.
In addition, I wanted to observe Dr. Umar’s BHT presentation to his peers and judge the reaction for myself.
Just to recap my hairstory…
I’ve had 16 strips dating back to 1992 and two BHT procedures.
Here’s my stats:
date # size
06/04/92 30 2.0…Dr. Peterson (now retired) 1992 - 2004
07/02/92 30 2.0
11/06/92 50 1.5
04/08/93 50 1.5
07/09/93 60 16g
01/06/94 50 16g
04/11/94 50 16g
12/19/94 120 16g/18g (60 each)
12/21/95 100 16g
08/13/96 150 88/68 blade
02/27/97 200 88/68/ blade
11/02/98 300 88/68
12/03/99 600 68/88
02/02/01 500 16g/18g
06/14/02 700 16g/18g
05/25/04 850 8g/19g…Dr. Ziering
08/27/05 300 BHT… Dr. Umar
07/29/06 1031 BHT … Dr. Umar
Well, my friends, what an interesting and bizarre (in a good way) weekend.
I met many of the regular posters on the HT boards and was finally able to put a face with some of the screen names. I also met at least 12 HT doctors, one famous forum moderator, many wonderful techs, fellow patients and even some spouses of docs as well as many other folks who for whatever reason found themselves in Las Vegas to discuss one of our favorite topics… hair transplantation.
I met docs and techs from the U.S., England, Germany, Amsterdam, The Congo, Brazil, Thailand, Japan and Canada. Probably more countries as well and I apologize for leaving them out. It was tough to keep track of everyone.
Overall, I probably had at least 50 people examining my melon and at least a hundred folks just introducing themselves quickly to get a quick look at my BHT hairline that is enhancing the older HT work.
After overcoming the initial weirdness of it all, it became quite fun and social. I never imagined being in an atmosphere where I could freely and openly socialize with folks so interested, informative and supportive about a subject I mostly kept private for so many years.
I did not spend hours on end listening to presentations about strip techniques, FUE techniques, discussions on placing grafts or Norwood lectures. Although I wish I had had the opportunity to hear about robotic graft placement. Every possible subject about HT seemed to be addressed.
My goal was simple. Get feedback and advise about maintaining my HT from as many docs and techs as possible and observe Dr. Umar’s BHT presentation to see how his peers responded to his findings.
In short, Dr. Umar presented 6 of his BHT success cases in seven minutes. This was Dr. Umar’s first appearance at the ISHRS meeting and he was only allotted seven minutes to discuss BHT.
In a very well attended hotel ballroom, Dr. U. used a PowerPoint slideshow to illustrate his experiences regarding his BHT work, including beard hair extraction and placement.
He presented major repair cases, minor repair cases (like me) and BHT growing on a slick bald scalp as well as very clean extraction sites.
Needless to say he was facing a tough audience of educated, experienced and dedicated doctors and techs as well as other folks that work at their respective clinics along with some spouses and many patients.
I could feel some serious skepticism as well as genuine interest in the room as he began his short presentation.
He candidly spoke about the challenges he’s encountered as well as the successes he’s had regarding BHT. Honestly he seemed a little nervous but his eloquence and quiet dignity made his presentation come across sincere and passionate, not bombastic or condescending in any way.
It was amazing to sit in a crowd of docs forced to face their own HT challenges as they took in some very depressing repair cases possibly caused by a doc sitting in the next row.
Upon finishing his presentation, running a little overtime and almost “getting the hook” from one of the ISHRS officials, the crowd applauded enthusiastically. It really was quite something to see as a growing crowd of HT big shots formed near the stage to ask him questions, look me over and most surprising… express genuine support, interest and respect across the board.
I kid you not folks, he achieved near “rock star status” for about a good two hours. Lol. From what I saw, it was nothing short of amazing how positive the responses to his work were without exception.
He was a little overwhelmed but maintained his composure as doc after doc warmly accepted his presentation, congratulated him on his work and asked tough questions. However, everyone was very excited and friendly. Not exactly what I expected. I feared I’d witness some hostility or even a few hecklers but there was none of it.
Immediately following his presentation there was a doctor from Japan who made a seven minute presentation entitled “Difficulty of BHT”. His presentation actually turned out to show BHT growth but with high rates of transections of follicles causing fairly low yield.
I personally met at least a dozen HT docs, some pretty big fish in the community as well as some lesser-known docs. I’ve never had so many fingers in my hair in two hours. Lol. Kind of weird, but well worth the trip. All of them combed through my hair or simply used their fingers to get a look at the BHT “feathering” my 1990s strip hairline that was made up of micros and FUs.
Without exception, every doc and tech that examined my head was very impressed with the naturalness of the BHT effect on the hairline and felt my pictures accurately represented my case. They were also impressed with the density of my much older HT work. About half of these docs wanted to examine my strip donor scars, a few, IMO, just to prove to themselves that I had any work done at all.
It was very gratifying to hear HT docs tell me even they would never think I had any work done if meeting me on the street. Their candor and support was a little overwhelming for me as well.
Almost all of them wanted a peek at the donor sites on my legs. This added to the surreal experience as they marveled at the complete lack of visible scarring. I probably should have worn shorts to the meeting to avoid rolling up my pant legs over and over. This did become comical after a while. Lol.
In conclusion, it was a strange and wondrous trip.
I was immersed in the HT community, in person, for the first time.
Overall, the atmosphere changed from a seemingly tired and hungry crowd (although curious yet skeptical) to an electrified atmosphere as Dr. U. clearly demonstrated BHT is a viable donor source (even if there are still obstacles to overcome). The results of the cases shown were seemingly accepted unanimously.
I kid you not.
The reaction to Dr. Umar’s presentation was something to see.
I brought the video camera to document the event bat was sternly told no cameras were permitted under any circumstances inside the hall.
I may never again be immersed in the inner sanctum of the HT community but after over 15 years as a multiple HT procedure case, it was liberating to meet so many docs from around the world, get so many supportive opinions and witness the first BHT presentations (to my knowledge) at the ISHRS.
I open the field to questions and discussion but I am hoping to keep the thread civil. However please ask the tough questions and I will do my best to provide clear, honest answers about the trip.
It was some journey.