Hair Transplant Stories and Patient Testimonials
Just before Thanksgiving of 2004, I received a call from my dermatologist”s office to come in right away. I had noticed a spot on my scalp that had been there for a few years that I felt looked different. I wouldn”t have even noticed it if I hadn”t had a change in medication which caused the hair on top of my head to start falling out. I could now see the spot clearly. I had had it looked at a few years back but was told it was nothing and it wasn”t biopsied.
This time it was. It was melanoma. I had the dermatologist check the rest of my head and another spot was located toward the rear of my head. I assumed this to be a death sentence. I was referred to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fl. The earliest that I could be scheduled to be operated on was February 2005. The surgeon there explained that they would have to remove the two areas but that I would be able to restyle my hair to cover these areas. Wrong! The surgeon took out two areas that were the size of a half dollar each.
I had to have two skin graphs inserted to cover the areas where the melanomas were removed. While I was happy that they got all the cancer, I was devastated by the end result. It put me into a deep depression. I know longer cared how I looked. For a while I wore different bandannas to cover the “holes”. Then I purchased a wiglet which did the job but was uncomfortably hot in the Florida heat. I started to look at different options for “new hair”. My surgeon at Moffitt told me that I would be wasting my money as there wasn”t any blood supply to these areas and nothing would grow. I asked him what could be done and he said, “I don”t know”. That got me angry and I decided that I would do my own research on the Internet.
I remembered seeing conjoined twins on TV that had balloons in their scalp to stretch the skin. That”s where I began. I found names of doctor”s that performed this type of surgery, looked at how it was done, and printed out names of doctor”s in my area that could perform a tissue expansion. The first local doctor I went to, Dr. Edward Carvallo, explained that I could have this procedure done but he hadn’t done it in five years and hadn”t had a lot of success with it. The second surgeon, Dr. Mila Mician, of Tampa, spent an hour with me. She explained that she didn”t feel she could help me but gave me the name of Dr. Jeffrey Epstein. She had attended one of his lectures and thought that he could do the procedure.
I called to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Epstein. My husband and I met with him in his office. I knew immediately upon shaking his hand that he was a warm and caring doctor. He took the time to explain what he would do and even showed me pictures of another patient that had a similar procedure a few months prior. I felt complete confidence in his ability to help me. The only problem was that I would have to go to Miami for the surgery (I live on the other coast which is a six hour drive) and find a local doctor who would be willing to fill my tissue expanders. I contacted the first surgeon, Dr. Carvallo, and asked if he would be willing to fill my expanders. He said yes and so we proceeded. Dr. Epstein inserted my expanders inserted on March 6, 2005. The expanders were filled twice a week for the first month and then only once a week for the second.
Dr. Epstein said I would only need them in for two months. Dr. Epstein performed the surgery to remove them on June 5, 2005 and finalize the procedure. My husband sent weekly pictures of my head to Dr. Epstein so he could monitor my progress. Dr. Epstein was always available by e-mail to answer any questions that I had. Dr. Epstein and Dr. Carvallo communicated by phone so that I always felt I was receiving the best care.
I can”t thank Dr. Epstein enough for his gifted hands and his caring attitude. He gave me back my zest for life. The day after the surgery I went to Dr. Epstein”s office. He noticed how happy I was and I said I was euphoric. My depression was completely gone. I can”t explain how happy I was to look in the mirror and see hair again. The care I received from Dr. Epstein and his staff was exceptional. They were all so caring and kind.
My husband emailed Dr. Epstein a picture of me three weeks after surgery. I had just had my hair styled (first time in more than two years). You couldn”t even see that I had recently had surgery. I lost some hair due to the trauma to the scalp but I already have “regrowth” that is more than 1/8″ long. I know that my head will only look better and better as times goes on thanks to Dr. Epstein.