Three Days After Surgery and I Feel Fine

Video recording Dr. Mejia as he explains how he separates the hair follicles by number of hairs (Photo by Blanca Stella Mejia)

The operation went very smoothly and painlessly. Of course, I was under the effects of anesthesia and Lortab and valium, which meant that I was able to sit back and relax while Doctor Mejia did his thing.

I ended up with 2,799 grafts, which can mean up to 7,000 hairs considering a graft can contain anywhere from 1 to 4 hair strands.

I have plenty of photos and video footage to post, but I’ve been busy attending my trial and fielding interviews regarding my arrest covering the Occupy Miami eviction as well as  keeping my other blog updated.

Here are videos from the live stream we shot.

But I haven’t felt any pain since, but that’s because I’ve been taking a Lortab upon waking and one at night.

The Lortab is strong enough to kill the pain but not strong enough to turn me into a zombie since I was actually able to stand in front of the judge and speak clearly despite the scabs on my head.

Every once in a while, I get the urge to scratch at the scabs because they itch, but I refrain from doing so because it can make the grafts fall out.

But it’s not bothersome itch. I just ignore it or tap my fingers on it and it goes away.

This weekend, I plan to post more photos as well an edited video of the procedure. I just wanted to post the above photo to show that even though I just had a strip of follicles removed from the back of my head, I still had the physical energy and mental capacity to document some of the procedure with my camera.

At least nobody threatened to arrest me for that.

But here is a much more gruesome photo taken while Dr. Mejia was removing the follicles from the back of my head.

The opening in the back of my head from where the follicles were removed. (Photo by Blanca Stella Mejia)I also wanted a photo of myself holding the removed follicles as you can see below. The fact that I was smiling shows I was feeling no pain thanks to the meds.

And I wasn’t exactly agonizing in pain in this next photo with my friends, Karla, Blanca and Dr. Mejia right before we broke for lunch.

About to take a lunch break, from left to right, Carlos, Karla, Blanca and Dr. MejiaBut all those pictures were taken the day of the operation.

Here is one I just snapped with my iPhone at 1:38 a.m. Thursday as I sign off to sleep a few hours before a photo assignment at 8 a.m., so I’ll have plenty of explaining to do with the corporate executives I usually photograph at these events.

The redness is where the new hairs will grow, so you can see, I was balding significantly. The scabs should fall out in another few days and the actual hairs should soon start growing, about a centimeter-a-month. It should be fully grown out within a year, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it will look.

You can also see that Dr. Mejia created a natural hairline by making the hairline asymmetrical. Many doctors, especially those who conducted the earlier transplants, made the mistake of creating a symmetrical hairline, which gave a very doll-like appearance.

He also inserted grafts in the crown area of my head as well as between the existing hairs to give it a more dense appearance.

I am allowed to take showers thankfully, but I am only allowed to shampoo the back of my head, especially the part where the follicles were removed. In fact, Dr. Mejia insisted I shampoo this area to prevent infection and nasty buildup.

I also have a Spanish language TV news crew coming to my home later this afternoon to interview me about photographer rights, the topic I write about on my other blog, so I’m considering wearing a hat for that interview.

Unless I can persuade them to do a story on hair transplants while they’re here.

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Dr. Ricardo Mejia

Jupiter, Florida's Most Qualified and Experienced Hair Transplant Surgeon