Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Day of: My PRP Treatment



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Yesterday, I received the most advanced technologies for medical hair treatment that exists. Dr. Bauman Medical Group facility is the biggest Hair Restoration facility under one roof in the world. 
And I got the golden ticket.





 Dr. Alan Bauman and I have been in contact since I was first diagnosed with Alopecia and wrote my first blog. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackie-nguyen/my-hair-loss-and-depression-alopecia-areata_b_5846486.html)

 We wrote a few times, but I was never able to fly out to his offices located in Boca Raton, Florida because being a broke actor in New York, meant no money for flights or treatment. However, currently I am touring with the National Broadway Tour of Dr. Seuss' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and our last city just happened to be Ft. Lauderdale, only 20 minutes from Dr. Bauman.


The stars aligned. It was time to visit the Hair God. My Oprah moment arrived.

After contemplating my various options of treatment, I decided to go with what is known as Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment, better known as PRP. 


This procedure is where they extract my own blood, separate the platelets and plasma from the red blood cells, then add a stem cell called Extracellular Matrix or ECM (like ACell or BioD). Once this fusion is done, they inject the blood back into my scalp, in hopes of releasing powerful molecules which have profound biologic effects on hair follicles and skin. This procedure is similar to what they do for burned victims and post-hair restoration surgeries. Wait, my own blood and stem cells?! 
Talk about advanced technology, people. Let me walk you through my amazing day of treatment!


I have arrived at Bauman Medical!


 Walking into Dr. Bauman's facility was like I had gone to Hair Heaven. Rooms upon rooms of the most advanced technologies, beautiful consultation rooms with Florida Palm trees in view of the windows, bright open space, a medical hair salon wing, a photography room set up for before/after pictures, complimentary food, sparkling water, relaxing music, I could go on forever!



But like, GORGEOUS.
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HAIR CHECK ROOM! Ugh...the most beautiful.
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Getting proper measurements of the thickness of my hair to track regrowth.
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Photos being taken of certain areas of baldness.

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Meeting with Dr. Bauman, discussing the procedure and my Alopecia.
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Discussing #hairgoals.
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Fifteen minutes of Laser Therapy! What kinda Star Wars machine....
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This is my wonderful friend, Hillary. She accompanied me to get my treatment and held my hand the entire time. Dr. Bauman's office had massage chairs for patients and their friends and family! SCORE! What luxury!
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  Getting my head massaged and my follicles sanitized properly for the procedure! 

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Obsessed with thumbs up. So far, so good!
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  Time for drawing some blood! The staff was incredibly kind and hilarious! 2015-12-16-1450281919-189303-IMG_9291.jpg




This was the only painful part of the procedure. The staff is injecting anesthesia into the scalp in preparation for treatment. It does feel like bee stings, but the minute it's done, you feel nothing! The staff made sure I had water, paid careful attention to my needs, and gave me comforting words every step of the way.
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The pain finally faded away. :)
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Anesthesia, selfie! 
(The redness and swelling is a natural part of the procedure. Sorry if this is graphic to anyone! I just wanted to make sure I shared the entire experience. As you can tell, I'm living my life.)

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Procedure has begun! This process took about 10 minutes.

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WE DID IT! Thanks Doctor Hair God!
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 This treatment was done in hopes of seeing some results in the next 3-6 months. For many of Dr. Bauman's patients (with Alopecia), they have seen a success rate of 80%. However, like many of us with Auto-immune diseases, we understand that there are never guarantees. I could lose all of my hair tomorrow, just because my body decides to attack itself again. Or, this treatment could totally work and I'll have a ponytail next year! The journey of someone with Alopecia is ongoing. My personal journey has only begun. As an actor, not having hair has been a difficult hurdle to jump, no doubt. I have tried everything under the sun. But I have hope.


Over the moon for Dr. Bauman and his procedure.



2015-12-16-1450283797-4058448-IMG_9337.jpg What I gained from my treatment yesterday was not only knowledge of a technique that has not gained as much notoriety as it should, but also the love and compassion of a team that cares. This was an option unavailable to me a year ago, and now as I sit in recovery, I am full of gratitude. 

I wasn't even aware PRP could be available to me until Dr. Bauman and I began our correspondence. Yesterday, I witnessed a man fulfilling his purpose. Because I am an Oprah die-hard fanatic, this is a lesson I've taken from her. Witnessing someone fulfill their purpose is to witness God's work. And damn straight, I saw that. 

Dr. Bauman is undeniably passionate about his job. From cancer patients, to burned victims, to typical male patterned baldness, Dr. Bauman caters his knowledge and expertise to each individual battling with their hair loss. He knows hair, he loves hair, and he wants to make sure his patients are cared for. Hair God. I could not have been more honored to receive treatment.





 Learn more about Dr. Bauman and his amazing work here: http://baumanmedical.com




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The next several months will be followed up by Skype calls, measurements and the tiny handful of hope that Dr. Bauman gifted me with yesterday. I am excited for the future and hope to continue to spread awareness of PRP and of Alopecia to many one blog at a time.

36 comments:

  1. You were a trooper! I'm so proud of you and the facilities were just as wonderful as you described them! :) You're amazing!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I pray this procedure works for you! And for everyone who uses/needs it! You are adorable with or without hair!

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  3. what kinda star wars machiiiiinnneee hahaha

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  6. How is this progressing Jackie? I´m very curious because I have severe eyebrow loss myself and are looking for a solution.

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  7. Hi, I came across your blog while doing some endless research on female hair loss. Been going through a Telogen effluvium (sudden increased shedding) for 8 months and so far have lost 50% of my hair. I'm lucky I still have hair but the struggle is rea no matter. I miss my hair too.

    Anyways, I don't know if you are aware but we are pretty close to getting a cure for AA. Google JAK inhibitors alopecia aerata and you will find some info. Dr Angela Christiano is doing some amazing work and the clinical trials have been going well. Also check out hairlosscureby2020.com, they cover the topic pretty well. Hopefully we find a cure to both alopecia aerata and androgenic alopecia!

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  8. I have lost a lot of hair recently and I want to thank you for sharing your post! I'm going to the Doctor in about a week to get this figured out.

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  10. PRP therapy is the best therapy to give permanent solution to your hair loss problem. This involves the use of patients own blood to cure hair loss problem.

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  15. What are they, how do they work, and when are they coming?
    Answer of This question is the simplest explanation is that most stem cell therapies are based around growing new hair follicles in a lab, often through a technique which allows existing follicles to be replicated. New follicles capable of growing hair are typically engineered after doctors take a small skin sample from the patient’s scalp then, once new follicles have been harvested, implant them back into the patient’s scalp.
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  19. It was a pleasure taking care of you Jackie! Thank you for the all-encompassing review of the PRP hair growth procedure and process Hope you are doing well--you are overdue for the follow-up! :) Regards, Dr. Alan Bauman Medical Director Bauman Medical, www.baumanmedical.com

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