Over 20 Years of Hair Transplant Struggle: Chronicle of a Hair Transplant Victim's Inspirational TransformationThe use of the Transstem Method
This is a true story…
This story of a former hair transplant victim who has spent over 20 years living with the consequences of some very bad hair transplant decisions. After living with a pluggy and unnatural hairline for a good part of his life, this hair transplant victim eventually found salvation from the Transstem Method, created by the known Molecular and nuclear biologist Dr Theo Giannaros in Athens Greece and is now the proud author of this incredible story.
Few corrective surgeries can rival what was actually involved in giving this hair transplant victim the ultimate transformation. In this story, you will read about the finest in micro surgical techniques, skin grafting, excision free transplant as well as revolutionary and ground breaking stem cell injection.
The following is an account of my experiences over the last 22 years. I am not a doctor and I am not promoting hair transplantation as all my efforts were concerned with correcting the unsightly condition of seven previous and hair transplant surgeries. I am not affiliated with any physician or represent any company or organization with regard to hair related matters and receive no compensation from anyone. I have gone too great effort and personal expense to seek an acceptable corrective surgical result. It is my opinion that corrective hair transplant surgery should be considered a specialty within the hair transplant process. It is also my opinion that hair transplanting a virgin head is a much easier process when compared to correcting a botched hair transplant and this is not an easy task for any doctor!
I had my first three hair transplant surgeries in 1988 via the "Black & Decker" punch graft method over a five-month period. Needless to say, the end result was something less than the image of the pictures in the color brochure with glowing testimonials and a picture of the medical director in a three-piece suit sitting behind his hardwood desk. I won't get into a rant about the many registered letters of complaint and phone calls that were never responded to. It would be 15 years before I put my faith in another physician in the hopes of correcting a wall of plugs protruding from my frontal hairline.
In 1994, I approached another clinic that advertised they performed hair transplant surgery for an evaluation of my condition. I was informed that I had sufficient donor area and that a series of surgeries would correct the condition. Throughout the 15 years, I would visit other doctors, not related to hair transplantation surgery, in the hope of getting some insight to my condition and had no luck in doing so. There was one surgery performed from the doctor at this clinic and I never returned. I would later find out that this particular doctor was responsible for many disfiguring hair transplant surgeries.
The next year, in 1995, I had an evaluation from another doctor that said he could help me and that he performs corrective surgery on an ongoing basis and has been performing hair transplant surgery for many years. Once again I put my faith in another physician and submitted to a series of three corrective surgeries with this doctor. The results of the corrective surgery are evident in my before pictures.
In 1998, at 50 years old I retired from my business and decided I would try a different approach to acquiring a corrective surgery other than putting my faith in another physician involved in standard hair transplant surgery. I now had the time and financial resources to acquire a capable physician and a true corrective surgery, if available. Anger is a great motivator! I listened to radio advertising from two of the previous physicians responsible for my hair transplant surgery proclaiming they were expert/specialist and the "new technology" in hair transplantation is superior. The clinic responsible for my first three plughair transplants advertised "you have seen people with bad hair transplants and we would not do that to you!" After 20 years I walked into this clinic and had a chat with the head honcho. Nothing is worse for a hair transplant doctors business when there is someone like me in the waiting room verbalizing and frightening the prospects waiting for an evaluation. I told the doctor and manager I would do some advertising of my own. And I did!
I took out advertising in all Greek newspapers for "Bad Hair Transplant" recipients in the hope of making contact with someone that had the bad hair transplant and was able to locate a physician capable of repair. At the same time with the same advertising, I offered free information to anyone looking into the hair transplant process. The responses I received from prior hair transplant recipients were nothing but horror stories. Not one person could give me any insight to a physician concerning a corrective method. In fact, it seems that many people, including myself, have been playing musical chairs, a better term is Russian roulette, with the same doctors responsible for other people's bad hair transplants.
Had the internet been available even seven years ago, to the extent it is today, things might have been different. The various forums on the internet have provided the good, the bad and the ugly with regard to information. The internet is a tool and I have learned to read between the lines to source out viable information. I would visit many doctors over the next two years and I was interviewing them as much as they were evaluation me. There are doctors of note that have satisfied clients concerning corrective surgery. The prognosis with regard to my situation came down to a ravaged donor area and not enough elasticity for suturing the donor site. Every evaluation ended with "something could be done to improve the condition." I received proposals that ranged from a single surgery to a series of four surgeries. More confused than ever, I still surfed the net and participated in forums and voiced my opinions concerning hair transplants. There are proponents of hair transplants and there are people satisfied with the surgery and I wish them well. However, the people that responded to my advertising and the people emailing me were recipients of a botched hair transplant and have been living with the adverse effects from a surgery that was supposed to improve your life.
I first heard of Dr Theo Giannaros and his team in Athens Greece the summer of last year and that his approach was different. I kept his name and a printout of his website among the many doctors in my file. I emailed my "before" pictures to Dr. Giannaros. I was contacted and informed that the removal of the plugs could be achieved with a series of 4 or 5 surgeries over a ten day period. The elasticity concern in the donor area was not an issue as there is no suturing and the hair follicles are removed within the entire donor area with a minimum of surrounding tissue removed. I am intrigued but I'm not ready to hop on a plane just yet! I kept surfing and getting feedback from people, especially from Greece and Southern Europe, and once again decided to put my faith in another doctor. He wasn’ t actually a Medical Doctor, But A Molecular Biologist specialized in the Biology of Beauty
Monday February 5th, 2008
Athens, here I come! My plane leaves Boston Logan airport February 5th and I have a two-hour layover in Los Angeles before the 14-hour flight to Athens - Greece. It's a long flight and I have pretty good case of jet lag when the plane lands at 6:00am Athens time February 6th.
Wednesday February 7th, 2008
I clear customs and crash in a hotel for a day. I am picked up the next day and meet Dr. Aris Tzikos and get transported to my accommodations at the surgery center where I met Dr. Theo Giannaros. I was examined by both Dr. Tzikos, & Dr Giannaros then settle in and prepared for surgery the next day.
Friday February 9th, 2008
As prepared as I was and with the information I had, it really comes down to putting yourself in the hands of the doctors. Surgery starts at noontime! Extensive videotaping and then discussion between the two doctors. The left frontal side was damaged from prior surgeries as the thick wall of plugs and scaring was severe in this area. The anesthetic is applied to the frontal area by Dr. Kamarinos in very small amounts. The "ouch factor" is minimal and I tolerate it well. The doctors proceed with the labor intensive task of plug removal and skin grafting the area where the plugs were removed. The follicles from the plugs are disbursed into other areas. The two doctors work together and independently. Breaks are taken for lunch and resting. Surgery finishes 13-1/2 hours later at 1:30am. I take it easy over the weekend and I feel OK considering the marathon surgery I just went through and prepare myself for the next surgery.
Monday February 12th, 2008
The right frontal side is addressed in the same manor as the left side. This area was very pluggy but was not as damaged as the left side. Surgery time with lunch and breaks is 10 hours.
The next day is a rest day. There is some minor swelling and this is normal with hairline frontal surgery due to the anesthetic.
Wednesday February 14th 2008
This was a short day with the top area approached away from the frontal hairline and hair follicles are extracted from the donor area and implanted into this region. Surgery time is 8 hours.
Thursday February 15th, 2008
Another marathon surgery! Follicles were removed from the donor area and implanted in the frontal area establishing a new hairline. The hair follicle has to be inserted at the proper angle in the recipient site. A very long tedious process! Surgery time is another 11 hours.
Saturday February 17th, 2008
A touch up of plug removal in the back area and disbursement of the follicles. The injection of the Stem cells taken from my own fat were injected in to the skin of my head. This was the final step or my …restoration Surgery time is 6 hours.
I want to point out that this method of surgery is exhausting for the physicians as they are bent over you for hour after hour wearing binocular visual aids.
NOW LET AS DISCRIBE THE RESULTS...
I was a corrective patient and a worst case scenario and should not be confused with a new virgin head having hair transplant surgery. My goal was to diminish the unsightly effects of the prior seven hair transplant surgeries. I am told by Dr.Tzikos that I will look worse before I start to look better. However, the thick plugs that were staring at me for 22 years are gone and considering what I looked like there is already a definite improvement and I am encouraged with the results.
Considering the surgery was performed 5 weeks ago, I am greatly encouraged with the results. I don't expect to have an Elvis head of hair when I am fully healed and the new hair grafts have grown in as that was not my intention for having the surgery. My greatest hope was to have the thick wall of plugs completely removed and re-establish the frontal hairline
I wet my hair on the top of my head and combed my hair directly back and took the pictures at a closer distance than the other photo's. I do not comb my hair in this manner but I felt as though this was necessary to expose the area fully where the frontal corrective surgery was performed. The area is still healing and it will take several months to completely heal.
It has been 11 weeks since my corrective surgery with Dr. Giannaros in Greece. The skin grafting in the area where the former pencil eraser sized plugs, that had formed my hairline, has healed and blended in nicely. The area you see in the picture on the upper hairline with my hair wet, was severely damaged with a raised wall of scar tissue and thick plugs. The plugs had been placed at the wrong angle on the hairline and grew outwardly in an unnatural direction and amplified the unsightly condition.
Another benefit of the corrective surgery, besides the cosmetic improvement, was the cobblestoning and raised plugs would constantly get irritated and even more so in the hot summer months. I can report that I feel better as there is no longer any irritation via the removal of the raised plugs and scar tissue. The majority of the follicular units that were transplanted are just starting to break through the surface and I am looking forward to the future when they have grown to length and blend in.
I will return to Dr. Giannaros and the rest of his team next year for corrective donor scar revision from prior hair transplant surgeries. Dr. Giannaros and his team is able to utilize your chest hair and transplant the follicles into the prior donor scars to diminish the appearance and save any valuable donor hair for the top of your head. I also have enough donor hair for another 500 grafts and will utilize this for a touch up. But, actually, the best part of my reconstruction was the injection of my own Stem cells, which are …still working in my scalp producing hair follicles
Once again, I am greatly encouraged with the results. It also takes getting use to looking at yourself, especially when I look at a "before" picture of myself. I am now a raving fan of the TRANSSTEM METHOD, of Dr. Giannaros team and of Greece… Thank you very much guys!