Stickman Readers' Submissions January 7th, 2005

Hair Restoration In Thailand

I thank the creator for the many gifts that he has given me in my life. I’m a healthy and happy 44 year old man, who has been blessed with good health, a great sense of humor and an upbeat outlook on life. As the lord giveth, he doth taketh away.
In my case it was my hair. Starting in my mid twenties, I began the family tradition of balding. My receding hairline continued the march backwards in my thirties and by the time I was forty, I was extremely thin on top.

I had always been very sensitive about my baldness. It definitely did not entice the opposite sex and always made me look older than my actual age. I tried my best not to let it get to me. Unfortunately, some people can’t help but mention your
baldness or guess your age as ten years older than you actually are. I was able to grow an abundance of hair on the sides. To try and cover the top I used the time honored swoosh brushing technique, bringing a whole bunch of hair from the side,
over top and landing on the other side. Then I would gel it down. I finally gave it up when my friends told me how ridiculous it looked.

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Not being happy with my look I started scouting the alternatives. Hair pieces never looked natural and the upkeep wasn’t for me. I decided on micro grafting. The technique is to remove hair follicles from the back and sides and place them on top.
The surgeon removes a patch of hair that is then chopped up into 1, 2 and 3 follicle parts. Then these parts are surgically inserted into the balding area. It grows real hair on top and it is the most natural looking of the alternatives. It is
also the most expensive. I first did a transplant session in the US (1,000 hair follicles) for $8500.00. I was told at the time that a second session would be needed to attain the look I desired.

About a year went by, the new hair was in and it was definitely not enough. I called the surgeon to schedule a second session and was told that the price had gone up and I’d be looking at a $10,000.00 fee for the new session. It was around this
time that I was asked to attend a conference in Bangkok. Having read about world class plastic surgery being performed in Bangkok, I looked into having the transplant surgery done there. I found a local doctor.

Dr. P was trained in the US and advertised the same technique. I talked with him on the phone, exchanged e-mails, checked on patient references and was convinced that he could do the job. I saw him for a pre-surgical consultation and blood test early
in the week, did my business and then showed up for my scheduled appointment later in the week.

The only problem I had happened when I was waiting for the surgery and the assistant came into the room to prep me and give me the blood test results. She said, “Mr J, your AIDS test come back and is positive”. I said “Positive, you
mean I have AIDS”. “No, positive good, no have AIDS”, she said. I didn’t need this stress.

The rest of the surgery was exactly the same as in the US. I received local anesthesia to both the donor and recipient areas, the patch of hair was removed and re-inserted and it was completed in four hours. I had agreed upon 1,100 grafts at $2,200.00.
They had misjudged and removed 1,400 hair follicles and inserted the extra 300 at no additional cost. I left that office with a bag full of antibiotics and pain killers, had quite an uncomfortable evening back in the hotel room and went back the
next day for a follow up. Everything proceeded without incident.

The day after the follow up I was on a plane back to the US. I had the donor area stitches removed in America. There were no problems or complications and one year later I achieved the head of hair that I was looking for.

I noticed the difference and I’m thrilled with the result. My friends don’t really notice; my baldness was never something that registered with them, I was a friend for who I was, not what I looked like. The people I really didn’t
care about were the ones who noticed something different. Most of the time they thought I had either lost weight, started working out or that I was finally getting some good loving.

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Stickman's thoughts:

Yep, medical procedures sure are a lot cheaper in Thailand!

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