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1400 FUE with Dr Edward Ball @ The Maitland Clinic (UK) - Hair Transplant Patients - Hair Transplant section - Hairloss Experiences Hair Loss Forum  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sun Oct 8th, 2017 03:18 pm
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Hassler
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Hi All,
I'm a forty six year old male with mild to moderate recession and thinning of the frontal forelock. For years I'd taken Propecia and Minoxidil on and off, I'd say it helped, but as most people who take medication will testify, it doesn't tend to be a silver bullet they hope for - it probably slows things down somewhat and thats about it. This is my hair transplant story.

BACKGROUND & PRE-OP
For a mid forties guy, my hair loss wasn't severe, and I spent a long time debating in my head whether a transplant was something I needed.  This pic was taken at my pre-op consultation with the Maitland Clinic:



Its a difficult decision for somebody like me if I "need" a HT, after all Hair Transplantation is not coronary heart surgery, I wasn't going to die or become incapacitated if I didn't have surgery. That said, the slightly lopsided hairline and mild thinning in the front really did irritate me (see pre-op pics). So "need" for me just meant that if my objectives could be met, then why not - it would hopefully remove an irritation from my life and give me something I wanted (I'd always been rather fond of my hair).  

One of the things that attracted me to the idea of hair transplantation is that transplanted hair appears very "strong", unlike hair which is miniaturising, it can be grown out nicely (the quiff seems very much in fashion with the guys who have had it done). Despite not feeling the need for an Elvis look, that stronger thicker hair that can be grown out longer was what I wanted, and I was prepared to take the risk of surgery to get it......if I could find the right surgeon.

That last bit wasn't an easy process. Several previous consultations had been useful, but I hadn't walked away with feelings of complete confidence. Clinics tended to have photos/videos of what I considered very "mixed" results, some appeared very good (if not always clear), while others looked questionable, especially when looking at the exit points of the hair/hairline where most of my work would be done. With reference to me individually, questions such as whether FUE or FUT were more suitable in my case, number of grafts I would need, and the risk of shock loss given I had quite a lot of pre-existing hair hadn't really been answered in a way that tied up with my own research. The idea was very much on hold. Then I stumbled across the Maitland clinic, via an online article. I was impressed, further research on forums showed a growing list of very satisfied clients so I booked a consultation with David Anderson and Dr Ball in Hampshire.

I walked into the consultation thinking and hoping I'd found the right place based on my research of them, and I away from the consultation absolutely convinced I had. The following factors really stood out from other clinics:

1). Results - from researching a broad spectrum across the internet, their results came out top for me. My advice here is don't just look at "amazing" results on different clinics own website as quite simply all clinics have some very good results on show (what clinic is going to stick bad results on there). My approach was to look at results across a much wider spectrum (especially the likes of these forums) and look for evidence of good and bad results. It's a very subjective thing what a good or bad result is, but for me, anything with a whiff of "it's a hair transplant" about it is simply a bad hair transplant regardless of all other factors. The Maitland Clinic were the only ones where I honestly couldn't identify any bad results or dissatisfied clients out there. It's my view that hair transplantation isn't a simple skill that anybody who has been trained can exhibit to a high degree, it actually requires a "talent", and if a doctor/team doesn't have the talent, no amount of training or experience will make them world class, no more so than a bit of training by Pep Guardiola would make me a premier league footballer or years of practice in the shower would make me a world class singer.

2). The Maitland Clinic routinely do both FUE and FUT on a case by case basis. My advice here is not to make this choice yourself based on whether you prefer the thought of multiple small dots or a single linear scar, as that grossly trivialises the whole issue. FUE has clear advantages regarding the scarring but I certainly didn't want FUE just because it's the method a doctor prefers, I want the option that's most suitable for me, and although from my research I was 80% sure FUE made more sense in my case, I wanted that independently validated by a doctor that does BOTH. I would advise all prospective HT patients to seek the advice of at least one surgeon who does both, even if you end up going somewhere else for the procedure.

3). Dr Balls name is on the clinic door (metaphorically speaking) - actually, it's his middle name, but given the alternative would sound like a clinic specialising in gonad enhancement, I think he made the right choice there. Some people may say "so what?" but I've always felt that in any walk of life, when somebody is putting their name to the end result, then that person will take the utmost pride in every aspect of what they do. I spoke to one clinic who couldn't/wouldn't tell me who would be the surgeon doing my procedure, it's whoever they can get for a particular day (oh, but they are all brilliant they said), how they can get people to sign up to that, I just don't know.

4). Dr Ball operates strictly on 1 patient per day. Having undergone the process I think this is a hugely undervalued aspect of any clinic that works on this basis (there aren't many). One of the things that struck me on the day is that hair transplantation (esp FUE) is extremely time consuming, and one that requires very high degrees of concentration to achieve optimal results. While perfectly feasible for one team to do multiple patients in a long day, it can't be conducive to achieving the best results - the surgeon would be rushing under time pressure and undoubtedly become mentally and physically fatigued leading to poor results.


SURGERY DAY

The day itself as an amazing experience. After sitting for 10 minutes in the waiting room at 8:15 wondering "what am I doing here...I don't need to do this" my nerves vanished once Dr Ball entered the room. We'd designed my hairline the previous evening, and the lines were still on my head next morning. Dr Ball advised me to look over the hairline that evening and if I wasn't entirely comfortable then we would have the chance for one final refinement the next morning - which I took. The day was so much easier then I expected. Pain wise, I felt very little. Dr Ball did all the incisions and extractions himself, and the grafts were implanted by Janna and Mo. Jessica ensured I was entirely comfortable throughout the day and there was TV and munchies on offer.  
 One of the things I was impressed with was the friendliness and dedication of the team. This is clearly a group of talented individuals that work together, and that know and have great respect for each other, but by no means do you feel like your an intruder amongst them, we had some good chats and laughs at appropriate points during the day, but when it was time to get down to business, everybody was so focussed on the job at hand (you could hear a pin drop).

The process was very "un-rushed", the extractions and incisions are done with the utmost care and attention to detail, and I very much got the impression that they work on the basis that "we take as long as it takes to get it spot on". I entered surgery around 9am and was finished just before 6pm, which is by no means quick for 1400 FUE, however when I looked at my head post-op, it was clear why - my head was very clean, no blood anywhere, just redness in the implanted area. I know that my scalp was bleeding quite a bit at the start, but clearly Dr Ball had taken the time to control this and keep my head cleaned as he went. Having looked on YouTube of pictures of patients with their heads caked in blood post-op, I have no idea how their surgeon managed to see what he was doing, surely the results can't be great in these cases.  Pics from surgery day:




POST-OP
I'm now two months post op after surgery.   Here are pictures, I was amazed how clean my result was and how quickly I recovered.



Pre-op





Day of surgery 1





Day of surgery 2





Day of surgery 3






4 days post op





7 days post op






7 days post op





14 days post op






2 months post op (taken today)








I hope you will agree that the pictures show the care and attention given to the operation, with a lot of pre-existing hair, this was always going to be an important factor in achieving a good overall result.   
Finally, here is me at 2 months post-op:




At two months it's still too early to give any final verdict, but I couldn't be happier with where I am at this point. By rights, I should be in the "doldrums" at this point, but nothing could be further from the truth, all my native hair has grown back through (no apparent collateral damage) and there are some grafts which did not seem to shed (I would say 20-30%), giving me an overall improvement at this stage over my pre-op position (which I had not expected).  

I will post further updates at 6 months.Hope you found this useful.
BM.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 8th, 2017 09:15 pm
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reddude
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Looks good.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 9th, 2017 08:18 am
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Bigmac
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Hi Hassler.
Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your story, sounds a very positive experience.
The work looks nice and clean and you healed very quickly. At 2 months your frontal hairline is looking good. I think you`ll be in for a great result.
Looking forward to following your progress.
All the best.
Bm.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 9th, 2017 09:08 pm
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janna
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Hi Hassler,
Thanks so much for posting about your experience with us.  We really appreciate your detailed write-up with clear pics.  You really healed well!
More than likely you're holding onto some of the transplanted hairs.  Patients tend to shed 70% in the first month and a half to 2 months after surgery.  The remaining 30% will shed but it'll be difficult to tell.  Growth of the transplanted hairs typically occurs 3 months to 4 months after surgery.  But it's great that you're able to appreciate the non-shed hairs during the "doldrum" months.  ;)   
We're looking forward to following rest of your progress.  
Janna





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 Posted: Mon Oct 16th, 2017 11:32 am
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Dazzster26
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Hi Friend 

Firstly thank you for the pictures the work looks great and will give you a nice result wishing you great growth ,


Dazz

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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 07:43 pm
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Hassler
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Hi All, I'm now at 4 months post op so thought I would share my latest progress. I would be happy to hear any opinions/feedback from users on my results. Personally, I couldn't be happier, I've pretty much achieved all the objectives I had at the start, which was to correct my slightly "lopsided" hairline, thicken the front to remove the "see through" look (my scalp was becoming more an more visible in the front) and also be able to grow my hair out longer (without it looking a scraggy mess).

Happy at 4 months....and still more to go?!?!?

Attached Image (viewed 455 times):

The Maitland Clinic.jpg

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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 09:57 pm
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Bigmac
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It's looking very nice at 4 months and the density is great.  
It would be nice to see a straight on picture to see the whole hairline if possible.
Good to hear you're happy and still a long way to go.
Thanks for the update.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 19th, 2017 12:03 pm
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Hassler
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This is the front on view......

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IMG_6256.jpg

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 Posted: Wed Dec 20th, 2017 08:33 pm
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Bigmac
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That looks great, very natural.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 21st, 2017 06:48 pm
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janna
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I’m amazed at your results at 4 months!  Can’t imagine more thickening to come but then I’ve never heard of a patient achieving full result at 4 months either. 
Thanks for the update! 



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 Posted: Thu Dec 21st, 2017 08:45 pm
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SADbutTRUE
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Great head of hair.very good job by doc and staff.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 12:03 pm
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Wow this has to be the fastest growing HT I've ever seen on the forums. Dr Ball/Janna Mo and the team have done a superb job and that hair line looks awesome. What a Christmas present to yourself dude I'm buzzing for ya as that's superb. 

I agree with BM when he says the work looks very clean.......great write up I enjoyed reading your experience.
Thanks for sharing.
Warm wishes BN



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 Posted: Thu Dec 28th, 2017 10:35 pm
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rohitbarane
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How can it be you have full looking result 4 months after surgery? 

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 Posted: Fri Dec 29th, 2017 12:27 pm
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Hassler
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Hi,
I know my experience is not remotely "typical" but in my case I do indeed have a "full looking" result 4 months after surgery (I am quietly hoping there is more left in the tank tho).  These are the factors that I think combine in giving me this:
  • Baseline position - as you can see from my pre-op pics, I wasn't bald prior to surgery, I was a mild/moderate diffuse thinner, not severe.  My hairline now is largely in the same place as it was prior to surgery, with minor adjustment (literally a few millimetres) to add irregularity in front, and even up left and right hand sides
  • Graft shedding - A significant number of grafts just grew straight off the bat, without shedding, best guess would be around 50%.  I know I did shed some, especially the finer ones along the hairline as I saw them come back in around 2-3 months, but behind the hairline I could always see many transplanted hairs (they are much stronger and more pigmented) which were the same length as their native counterparts, so they couldn't have shed/rested/regrown (I've not cut my hair on top since the procedure).
  • Medication - I was advised by Dr Ball to go on propecia at my consultation (2 months prior to surgery) which I did.  After giving it much consideration I actually went further, I went propecia every day and Avodart EOD.  So what you seeing is also the effect of 6 months medication (impossible to tell how much but I certainly believe it's doing something for me, and no significant side effects)
I'm definitely not the only one that has seen this type of result at this stage, if you YouTube "Life of Steve Hair Transplant", there is another UK chap who video documented his FUE post op progress every day for 155 days, and you can see that he has a very full result at around 125 days.  He also states he didn't shed extensively, so I think that is the biggest factor.
Cheers,Ben.


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 Posted: Sat Dec 30th, 2017 02:54 pm
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rohitbarane
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Thank you for the clarification. Do you think the hair loss medications are making it grow quicker?
What is Avodart?

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 Posted: Sat Dec 30th, 2017 08:48 pm
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Hassler
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Not really quicker, but possibly strengthening/thickening my native hair adding to the overall impression of a "full result" that I have at this stage.  I personally don't think my full result is through yet, as I have many short, fine, kinky new hairs along the front which I expect to mature and thicken over the coming months.
Avodart is similar to Propecia, a DHT inhibitor.  Slightly more powerful.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2017 12:16 am
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Bigmac
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The hair should continue to thicken and you`ll probably get more growth. The meds could be a factor in the super fast growth but that's something we won`t know.
Good to hear you`re not experiencing any sides. Is the Advodart you`re taking every other day 5mg?



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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2017 12:08 pm
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Dazzster26
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WoW absolutely Brilliant at 4 months Post Op Congratulations ¬b`and am sure their will be more to come in the months ahead all the very best 

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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2017 01:05 pm
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Hassler
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Bigmac wrote: Is the Advodart you`re taking every other day 5mg?

Yes it is, it's the genuine stuff from Glaxo.  I noticed a slight (but manageable) decrease in "sexual energy" for the first couple of months, but everything is now 100% back to normal ;)

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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2017 11:54 pm
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Bigmac
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Good to hear the sides were only temporary.
Where do you purchase the Advodart from? 



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