I had a 1500-graft FUE procedure last Friday (June 6th) in Dr. Armani’s Los Angeles clinic. I flew into LA on Thursday afternoon, had a consultation that afternoon with Dr. Armani, and had the procedure the following morning. I went in the following morning (Saturday) to have the bandages removed and the donor and recipient areas cleaned before my 11:00 a.m. flight back home.
I was very apprehensive to even go through with the procedure given the fact that it would be my eighth procedure and did not think that I had enough donor to make a difference.
The Consultation: The bulk of all of my procedures have been placement of grafts in the first two-thirds of my scalp (Zones 1, 2 & 3). After viewing my photos (taken several minutes before the consultation), Dr. Armani recommended that he place ALL harvested grafts in the CROWN. My crown area is quite sparse, to put it kindly. I disagreed and requested that he place whatever he could get from my donor into Zones 1 & 2 (Hairline) to even out the hairline. The consultation lasted a little over an hour. Dr. Armani is very personable and very easy to talk to.
The Procedure: Talk about early! I arrived at the clinic around 6:40 a.m. and was greeted by a whole host of friendly, smiling people who all called me by name (this may seem silly to some, but I have never received this response from any other clinic). I was asked to take off my street clothes and put on some very comfortable PJ’s (Ralph Lauren, of course). They started an IV and gave me several injections in the upper arm. Then they shaved off all of my hair and began the “freezing” in the recipient areas. At no time were there less than four individuals in the room with me, including Dr. Edwards, who did the extractions. Dr. Edwards is an extremely gentle and soft-spoken doctor who knows exactly how to interact with his patients. The donor harvesting lasted until almost 1:00 p.m., at which point I was led to another suite and served my lunch. I sat there for 1/2 hour, ate my lunch and looked out the window into the heart of Beverly Hills (no, I did not see any celebs, damnit). Then came the creation of the recipient sites. Dr. Armani came in and administered the “freezing” injections to my recipient areas and began making the recipient sites. This lasted for several hours. The “freezing” injections are the only part of the procedure that are painful, but are over quickly. The technicians and Dr. Edwards spent the rest of the procedure placing the grafts in the recipient sites created by Dr. Armani. Once completed, Dr. Armani came back in and did a thorough inspection of the grafts and I was sent to another room where my scalp was cleansed, post-op photos taken and a bandage and surgical cap were applied. It was after 6:00 p.m. I got back to my hotel at LAX after 7:00 p.m. Long day! I did not need any of the pain medications that I was given post-op.
The Day After: I awoke early and wanted to get back to the clinic so that i would not miss my flight home. They cleaned my scalp again and applied the Vit E oil to the recipients and the anti-bacterial to the donor. They re-applied the gauze bandages at my request so that it would be more of a “selling point” at airport security. They put on another surgical cap and I spoke briefly with Dr. Edwards. They called me a taxi and I left for LAX. When I got to the security checkpoint, the guy manning the detector said “What in the hell is that puffy hat fo?”. I tried to explain to him that I had just had surgery and could not take it off. He then said “You aint go’in through my line with no puffy hat on”. At this time, I was disgusted and requested a private screening - I was bound and determined not to remove my “puffy” surgical cap. I was escorted into a private room where two other guys felt around on the “puffy” hat and the bandages and let me go without further incident. This is the first time that I have ever been hassled in an airport following a procedure. You get some strange looks from people in the airport when you are wearing a “puffy” hat:-)
I am in the process of creating a blog and will post (with pictures) when available. Thank you for reading my story. I must add that EVERY individual in Dr. Armani’s LA Clinic is a top-notch professional and that when you are the patient, you are the center of ALL of their attention. They are wonderful people.