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I made the trek to the ISHRS meeting in Las Vegas


#1

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.


#2

Great update. Did you see Intercytex’s presentation?


#3

I am happy you got to meet the folks at the ISHRS. I can tell by your statements that you had a good experience and that finially (at least your observations) that BHT got some level of positive momentum through DR. Umar. And in my previous attendances only one or two doctors had tried to present BHT cases and did not get such a good response.

Congrats. Three questions. You say that your BHT has done you good to feather your previous transplants… sort of soften the hairline if you will.

  1. Do you still maintain a test session before diving in?
  2. Do you think BHT in meggassessions are appropriate or that folks should use BHT to fill or feather only?
  3. Did Umar present ANY cases that were not perfect BHT procedures that he had performed in the past or was the conference attendees left with only his flagship cases? In other words was he fair in his summary discussion in BHT to show that there has been some issues?

Again this is just a normal question that I am personally wanting to know.


#4

» Great update. Did you see Intercytex’s presentation?

Sorry bro.

I was only allowed inside the hall for 15 minutes to see the BHT presentations and into the patient results discussion room.

Ciao.


#5

Hi HT,

To answer your questions:

  1. Do you still maintain a test session before diving in?

Yes, I believe that is the prudent way to go.
I did a test of 300 before getting another 1000.

  1. Do you think BHT in meggassessions are appropriate or that folks should use BHT to fill or feather only?

I believe that hybrid HTs are the future for those that don’t have enough head hair donor. BHT (if the test works for the patient) can be KEY to a more natural looking hairline and for filler, IMO. Or nape hair may do the trick as well, hairline wise. Beard hair shows GREAT promise, IMO, for filler and fixing scars…

  1. Did Umar present ANY cases that were not perfect BHT procedures that he had performed in the past or was the conference attendees left with only his flagship cases? In other words was he fair in his summary discussion in BHT to show that there has been some issues?

He had seven minutes to show his results.
Although he did focus on the growth, he did acknowledge the challenges he encountered as well. He did not claim to have discovered the holy grail of BHT. He also made it very clear that head hair should be used first (if possible) and that BHT cannot be compared to head hair.

The doctor from Japan who spoke directly after him provided a good balance, IMO. I believe that was why there were two BHT presentations.

Was your wife in attendance?

It would have been nice to get her opinion on all this.

How about inviting me to appear on your show?

Ciao.


#6

No my wife was with me at home.

You are definitely invited for Sunday! We have worked the kinks out. By all means we need your input.

And thank you for your bird’s eye into the ISHRS! It looks like it was fun. I regret not being there as I would have taken pictures of everyone and everything!


#7

“And thank you for your bird’s eye into the ISHRS! It looks like it was fun. I regret not being there as I would have taken pictures of everyone and everything!”

If you had tried to take pictures, you would have been thrown out on your arse. I tried.

You are very welcome.


#8

you should know me by now Sofar. Stealth activity would have been employed. I had it all planned out.

legal pictures of course.


#9

Lol.

Yes, but if you posted or published them, it might have been a legal problem for you.

I don’t think it would have ben worth it.

Just my opinion.


#10

why do you always disagree with me? LOL! I have been to several meetings. I know what would be legal and not legal. I will show you next year.


#11

Just trying to help.

I agree with much of what you post.
Just looking out.

Peace.


#12

» Hi HT,
»
» To answer your questions:
»
» 1. Do you still maintain a test session before diving in?
»
» Yes, I believe that is the prudent way to go.
» I did a test of 300 before getting another 1000.
»
» 2. Do you think BHT in meggassessions are appropriate or that folks should
» use BHT to fill or feather only?
»
» I believe that hybrid HTs are the future for those that don’t have enough
» head hair donor. BHT (if the test works for the patient) can be KEY to a
» more natural looking hairline and for filler, IMO. Or nape hair may do the
» trick as well, hairline wise. Beard hair shows GREAT promise, IMO, for
» filler and fixing scars…
»
» 3. Did Umar present ANY cases that were not perfect BHT procedures that he
» had performed in the past or was the conference attendees left with only
» his flagship cases? In other words was he fair in his summary discussion
» in BHT to show that there has been some issues?
»
» He had seven minutes to show his results.
» Although he did focus on the growth, he did acknowledge the challenges he
» encountered as well. He did not claim to have discovered the holy grail of
» BHT. He also made it very clear that head hair should be used first (if
» possible) and that BHT cannot be compared to head hair.
»
» The doctor from Japan who spoke directly after him provided a good
» balance, IMO. I believe that was why there were two BHT presentations.
»
» Was your wife in attendance?
»
» It would have been nice to get her opinion on all this.
»
» How about inviting me to appear on your show?
»
» Ciao.

Sofar,

In regards to a test session with Dr. Umar, does he charge for a full session for a test session? I’m think about going to him next summer for 2000 to 3000 grafts to fill in my donor area and soften my hairline. I’d like to have a small test session done to see how I respond. I’m all the way out in PA so I don’t want to make too many trips out though. Thanks and by the way your pics are amazing.


#13

Thanks bro!

I’m not sure about Dr. U.'s pricing or testing policies.
E-mail him and I’m sure you will get a timely response.

I would guess if you scheduled a FUE session, he would work something out with you reagrding a BHT test.

Best of luck!


#14

I’m glad Dr. Umar had a positive reception. This year’s meeting program chair was Sharon Keene. I’ve made several FUE presentations with her in the audience over the years and she has not been receptive to the procedure. She seemed even less receptive to body hair. Last year I presented several studies on body hair yield and some credible results. At the end of my presentation, Dr. Minotakis, who was on my panel, stated that he had never personally seen good results from body hair. Sharon Keene came to the floor microphone and stated that she was pleased to hear someone come out against body hair transplants. Therefore, it is good to see that that Dr. Umar was well taken and perhaps the tide is changing. This is not to say that others have not embraced the technology and some have tried it with mixed results. Dr. Marzola has not seen positive results, but Dr. Unger has seen positive results.

You may recall that Dr. Minotakis was the medical director at DHI in Athens, Greece in the past. Both he and Dr. Keene are very bright physicians. With any new procedure, it is good to have individuals on both sides of the topic to insure controlled advancement of a new technology. FUE in general is much more difficult than a strip procedure with more risk and greater technical challenges. BHT seems to be even more challenging as results seem more variable. It would not be good to see a mass entrance into this procedure as many technical nuiances remain unexplored.


#15

Greetings Dr. Cole.

For those interested, here are some recollections of specific doctors’ comments about my case at the convention…

About a half hour before Dr. U’s presentation, I introduced myself to Dr. Wong and complimented him on his excellent strip work but unfortunately didn’t get the chance to have him examine my head and give his feedback. I’ll see him next year. Lol.

Also before the presentation, I also introduced myself to Dr. Unger, complimented him on his contributions to the HT filed and briefly explained to him that I was a BHT patient of Dr. Umar.

He looked me over briefly but sternly, took a good look up toward my hairline, nodded and shook my hand and in a supportive, firm manner. He wished me all the best and smiled broadly and sincerely, IMO. I’m not sure if he saw Dr. U’s presentation but I have a feeling he did. ; )

Dr Marzola (from Australia) and Dr. Rassman (based in Beverley hills, the owner of NHI) were very warm and supportive. They talked with Dr. Umar for some time after the presentation in the patient room with great interest.

Both doctors where very impressed at the results shown in the presentation and my personal result. They examined my hairline, head and calves with very positive comments about the naturalness of the hairline and the extremely clean donor sites.

Dr Marzola in particular was asking tough questions trying to find out what he can do differently in his BHT work. It was clear he has performed some BHT from the way he spoke.

I should mention that not Sharon Keene (the chair of the ISHRS meeting), the moderator of the session (Paul rose) or anyone I interacted with had anything negative to say.

I was by Dr. U.'s side for over an hour and a half in the patient room plus some more time outside the patient room on our way out, talking to many good folks who were all very positive and praised the BHT work.

Honestly guys, it was all accolades for Dr. U., if anyone (and the hall was pretty packed) had any suspicions, they kept it to themselves.

Dr Cole can ask Dr Mwamba (his employee) who as also there.

There were many more doctors and others who I interacted with and am more than willing to share their names and what I can remember about their comments.

Here are some more impressions…

Dr. Bisanga is an extremely enthuastuc and warm gentleman. He examined me and was very impressed with he BHT growth.

Dr. Rahl was very personable and supportive of my case and the presentation. He also acknowledged the BHT growth and was supportive of Dr. U.'s presentation.

Even Dr. Zeiring, my former strip doc was excited and interested about BHT. He also was very engrossed and complimented Dr. U. on his BHT work in the presentation and my case as well.

He examined my head to check the good growth of his own strip work and also examined the BHT he observed growing in my hairline. He mentioned how valuable BHT can be for repair cases.

Both docs practice in LA.
It was strip vs. fue! Lol.
It could have been tense.
I think they actually hit it off pretty well. :slight_smile:

More memories to come if anyone is interested.

It’s time for me to retire… it’s been a long day.

Ciao.


#16

double post, sorry (edited)


#17

Doctors don’t want to embrace it because it is difficult to do, as simple as that. I have seen enough from this board to know that body hair cannot replace head hair but is a great source of donor for repair guys. Those docs who are against BHT should come out of their shells and take a look at the pics in this forum.


#18

Was Farell also a guest of Dr. Umar? How is his HT from Wolf?


#19

Farell, was there independent of Dr. U. (I believe).

His hair looks good.
Curly.

He was a very nice guy and we talked quite a bit.

He’s ok in my book.

Strict, but a straight shooter none the less.