My hair transplant addictionEveryone has heard of the hair transplant and most people could probably name at least on person in the public eye who’s undergone the procedure, but what most people don’t realise is that usually it involves more than one visit to the Surgery.

In an upcoming autobiography the Fox Sports Announcer Joe Buck tells of his addiction to “hair plugs” (as he refer to the transplant) and how he underwent multiple procedures in an attempt to maintain his hair.

Broadcasting is brutal and unfair

The truth is, as he points out, that “Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill.”. He recounts how, as a young man he became with obsessed with a fear of losing his hair to the point that he decided at the age of 24 to fly to New York City for his first procedure. He goes on to admit (like a reformed alcoholic) that as a result of this experience, “I Joseph, Francis Buck, became a hair plug addict.”.

He began to take every opportunity to get further treatments, usually in the down time between the end of the football and start of the baseball season. He underwent his 8th transplant in 2011 but this time, things didn’t work out as planned and when he came round from the operation he found he couldn’t speak.

Although the exact cause was never completely pinpointed the most likely explanation was nerve damage from the cuff used in the operation which may have been jostled on to the nerve, responsible for firing his left vocal chord.

All surgery carries some risk

Fortunately for Buck he made a complete recovery and because of his standing with the network he retained his position through the recuperation phase. He hasn’t had a hair restoration procedure since 2011 and, although he wouldn’t rule another one out, he’s adamant he wouldn’t have it done under general anaesthetic again.

Buck’s story comes as a salutary lesson that a hair transplant is invasive surgery and like any surgical procedure it carries some risk.

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By Ian Watson

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