I was diagnosed with a Dermatofibrous sarcoma (a self-contained malignant tumor) when I was 26 years old which had been growing on the back of my head since I was born. When the doctor removed the 2-inch tumor so much tissue had to be removed that they needed to use a graft to close the wound. In addition, I had radiation therapy in that area for 6 weeks, killing the hair follicles around the graft. As a result, I was left with a postcard-sized bald spot and the only hair that I had grew from the top of my head, which failed to adequately cover my bare area.
In 1986, when the cancer operation took place, there was not much that could be done in the way of hair replacement, so for 14 years, I had to make do with my thinly veiled bald spot on the back of my head. When I turned 40, an acquaintance embarrassed me by pointing out the "bald spot" to others, thus prompting me to decide to do something about it. For 3 years, I invested in a hair treatment that used partial wigs glued onto the bald spot that needed to be removed every month. This eventually irritated my skin and my dermatologist referred me to Dr. Paul Rose who in turn referred me to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).
As a result of this recommendation, I met Dr. Tony Mangubat who performed the Scalp Expansion surgery. This entailed having an implant surgically placed in my scalp; this implant was then injected three times a week with saline, causing the implant to expand, which in turn stretched my skin on my scalp. After 6 months the implant was removed, and the excess skin was used to cover my bald spot. I now have a full head of my own hair.
I cannot even begin to put into words what this has done for me. For close to 17 years I either had no hair in the back of my head, or I had to deal with a wig and the irritation of its removal every month. The emotional impact was taking a big toll; when I didn't have any hair on the back of my head, I was always self-conscious about my appearance and felt very uncomfortable with people I did not know. The wig improved the situation, but it aggravated my skin, was expensive, and was not a long-term solution.
Dr. Mangubat and the ISHRS have changed my life. My confidence and self-esteem have soared and I can't stop smiling; friends and family are amazed at the miracle, and a miracle it is. Dr. Mangubat has a positive outlook and a wonderfully upbeat personality, both qualities that are necessary for this type of procedure. One's appearance plays such an important role in self-esteem and confidence; Dr. Mangubat understands the emotional impact of what he does and is supportive throughout the entire process. The care I received from him and his staff was exceptional - always available, always positive. I am so appreciative and so thankful - to Dr. Mangubat for his care and expertise, and to the ISHRS for making it all possible.
Hair Restoration Surgeon: E. Antonio Mangubat, MD