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I had eagerly anticipated my hair transplant surgery at the reputable COSMED VIDA clinic in Tijuana, as recommended by my friends. I had even paid a $500 deposit and waited for five days in anticipation. However, my excitement turned to disappointment when they canceled the surgery at the last minute. It was a frustrating situation, especially my return flight to Florida to see my fiancé, Danelle was not for another week, allowing myself time to recover. Now I found myself with a few unexpected days to kill in Tijuana, or perhaps I could hang spend my time north of the border.
In my search for an alternative, I turned to google and stumbled across the listing for Dr. Carlos Alessandrini, a hair transplant surgeon in Tijuana, Mexico. To my surprise, he informed me that he had a cancellation and could accommodate me in just three days. Even more surprising, he could do the surgery for $2900, a big savings from $4,500 that COSMED has quoted. The quick response and flexibility intrigued me, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit nervous about the possibility of being scammed. However, something about Dr. Alessandrini’s demeanor and my intuition pushed me to take a leap of faith. I decided to trust him and promptly sent the required $300 non-refundable deposit via Cash App.
With the surgery scheduled, I made arrangements to stay at the Quartz Hotel the night before the procedure. The morning of the surgery, I embarked on a short walk, crossing the Tijuana River and arriving at the clinic by 8:00 am.
Upon arrival, I was taken aback when I was instructed to go to the lab for a blood draw. Confused, I voiced my concern, stating that I had already completed all the necessary pre-surgery lab work with COSMED. However, the explanation soon followed.
“This has nothing to do with your blood count; it’s for Platelet-rich plasma,” Dr. Carlos explained.
With a quizzical look on my face, I made my way to the lab, where the technician drew 10 vials of blood, each containing 5 ml. I returned promptly to the clinic to have my hair shaved and prepare for the extraction process.
During the extraction, 1500 grafts of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) were carefully taken from the back of my head and transplanted to my crown, where I desired more hair density. The entire procedure took around four hours, and it went seamlessly.
As the surgery neared its completion, Dr. Carlos Alessandrini appeared to inject the platelets into the transplanted area.
“Oh yeah, how could I forget the 10 vials of blood.”
“Yes, and we spin it twice. The first to get the plasma. The second to get the Platelet-rich plasma. Most doctors don’t do that. Most doctors don’t even deal with PRP,” Dr. Carlos explained. “The PRP will help to promote the growth of transplanted hair follicles and improve overall hair density. When PRP is used to coat the hair follicles before transplantation, it may provide additional nourishment and support to the grafts, potentially increasing their chances of survival and success.”
“COSMED didn’t mention anything about PRP,” I mentioned.
“Well I actually stumbled upon PRP by accident. A long time ago I had a patient had debilitating knee pain that he had difficulty walking. He asked for the PRP injections, so I decided to give it a try. Within five treatments, he was riding his bicycle for his appointments. PRP has been credited with helping Kobe Bryant and other professional sports stars recover from sprained knees and injured tendons in less time than would be possible with other forms of therapy. So if it works for Kobe’s knee, it’ll work for your hair.”
After the surgery, Dr. Carlos emphasized the importance of post-operative care, especially considering my upcoming long trip back to Washington, DC.
“You have to be careful. Each tree that’s been taken from the backyard has been moved to the front yard. Your job is to nurture those trees – water it, feed it. If you do your job and follow my recommendations to the letter, you’ll have an excellent result,” he advised.
Impressed by the standard of service and quality of care provided by Dr. Carlos and his team, I felt reassured about the outcome of my hair transplant surgery.
“Remember to avoid strenuous activities and refrain from touching the grafted area for four weeks,” Dr. Carlos reminded me.
“But how can I wash my hair during this time?” I asked, concerned about maintaining hygiene.
“Mix baby shampoo and water in a mug and gently pour it on the recipient area. Let it dry naturally and continue to use Minoxidil,” he explained.
Following the surgery, I retreated to the Quartz Hotel to recover. Although I experienced some minor bleeding on the pillow, it was nothing too drastic or alarming.
Twenty-four hours later, I removed the bandage, and on the second day, I carefully washed the recipient area with baby shampoo and warm water. I also incorporated a saline solution and vitamin E to aid in the healing process.
Understanding that the journey to noticeable results would be a long one, I knew I needed patience. After the initial swelling subsided, the transplanted follicles would shed before new hair growth occurred. It could take a year or even longer to witness the final results of the surgery.
During my recovery period in Tijuana, I noticed a banner on the wall of the hotel advertising a plastic surgeon named Dra. Jesse Ham Bustos. Intrigued, I decided to send her a message, inquiring about the possibility of getting liposuction. Her assistant responded promptly, asking if I could come in the following week. Unfortunately, I had to decline the invitation as I had to return to Florida to be with my fiancé, Danelle. Nonetheless, I made a mental note of Dra. Jesse Ham Bustos for potential future reference.
As I bid farewell to Tijuana, I reflected on my unexpected journey. Despite the initial setback with COSMED vida clinic, fate had guided me to Dr. Carlos Alessandrini, who provided a positive experience throughout my hair transplant surgery. Now it was up to me to follow his post-operative instructions diligently and nurture the transplanted hair follicles. With time, patience, and the care they deserved, I hoped to achieve the excellent results I had always dreamed of.