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2500 FUE with Dr Ball – Maitland Clinic

HTP1

HTP1

member
Firstly, I’ve never posted on here, but I used this forum as one of the resources over the last three years’ of research into a HTP.

So a thank you to those on here who take the time to help others navigate a quite murky industry, full of hyperbole and misleading claims.

I met and interacted with a few clinics over the past couple of years. I’m fortunate enough that price was low priority for me and I was also willing to travel anywhere. I wanted the right surgeon and team the first time. I was unwilling to make any compromise and was in no rush to jump in and have surgery.

This was my first HTP and the only other thing I have done in relation to my hair previously is take Finasteride. I am going to add Minoxidil to my routine, too.

I met David Anderson in London in late 2019. Those who know David from the hair loss community will know he’s had quite the journey with his hair. I like talking to people who have ‘skin in the game’ and know what it’s like to go through the experience themselves.

David sets the tone for the clinic. Highly knowledgeable, friendly, and patient-focused. There are lots of reviews about the Maitland Clinic where either David or Dr Ball have pushed people away from surgery, either to see what will happen on meds, because someone doesn’t need one or is unsuitable for a HTP.

That integrity is of fundamental importance to me. That sells itself and is something too few businesses appreciate.

I met Dr Ball at his clinic in Portsmouth for a consultation. He spent over two hours with me going through every aspect of potential surgery. He is wholly patient-focused. The word ‘passionate’ is overused, but Dr Ball clearly loves his job. Ask him about it and he’ll talk about it all day. If you've taken the time to learn a bit about the subject yourself, it feels like talking to an extremely knowledgeable friend.

I had my pre-op consultation the day prior to surgery. Dr Ball once more spent over two hours with me and finalising every last detail.

Due to my indecision I was still deciding whether to do FUT or FUE the day before surgery (poor on my part),but there are pros and cons to each (as you all know).

Thankfully this wasn’t an issue for Dr Ball and we talked it out over a couple of hours (he’s never in a rush when with you) and decided I decided on FUE. My head was shaved and the hair design finalised.

At 07:30 the next day I arrived for my surgery. I had blood-pressure taken, weight measured and some other basic health checks.

Dr Ball operates upon one patient per day. You are the entire focus for the day, no matter how long the procedures takes. I was at the clinic for 13 hours or so.

The clinic and theatre are immaculately prepared and clean. Everything is fully explained throughout and nothing is done to you without you understanding what is going to happen.

I started off by having the numbing injections (local anaesthetic). The vibration tool they use helps reduce the sting, but they’re no big deal. I felt nothing else throughout the rest of the day though topping up the injections and pain killers.

Dr Ball began by designing the hairline by making the incisions where the donor hair would later be placed. Only he did this.

After a break we moved onto extracting the donor grafts. This took over three hours and we were able to achieve the upper target of 2500 FU. Dr Ball extracts every graft himself.

Once removed they are collected by a technician who then hands them to three other technicians who prepare the grafts for their placement. This includes separating the grafts under microscopes into 1s, 2s and 3s etc. The Maitland team even separate 1s into different categories to achieve a natural result.

The team at the Maitland Clinic work like clockwork. Seamlessly transitioning from one phase to the next. They are consummate professionals. They are all for personable, engaging and have great chemistry together. When appropriate, they are also fun and humorous (like when having a collective debate as to which radio station to listen to!). This all adds to making a long day relaxing and pleasurable.

After the extractions, I had another short break before Dr Ball made some further recipient incisions due to the higher graft count (2500 was at the top end of what we were aiming to extract). The technicians then spent over 4 hours placing all the grafts into Dr Ball’s designs. Again, I was able to watch TV / listen to the radio whilst this process was in progress.

It was a long day but I’d challenge anyone to look at any of the team and try and guess whether it was the first or 12th hour. A reflection of their focus and expertise.

Once the grafts we placed I went through the post-care procedures with Karen and was given a bag containing everything would use in the following two weeks (neck support to sleep, ATP spray, a written plan and much more).

The surgery looks immaculate and I’ve not needed to take any pain killers even on the first day after the surgery. I am months away from seeing the full results, but am confident that any variables in the control of the clinic were completed to the highest standard.

I couldn’t be any happier with the experience. I’d suggest if you’re considering a HTP, at least meet with the team at the Maitland Clinic and have them as one of your options.

I'd make exactly the same decision again.

I have suffered baldness of the crown and front hair line. One of the big things I like about Dr Ball is he’s very much thinking of the future. He isn’t going to give you a hairline that’s going to cause issues later down the line if and when further hair minimises / is lost.

I wasn’t bothered about lowing the front much, just drawing a ‘line in the sand’ and having a defined hair line. Dr Ball wasn’t keen on any further lowering in any case due to the aforementioned thinking of the long-term – it’d have also used up more donor hair as the temples would have come into play.

I think it was a 1800 / 700 split to the crown / front, but of course the crown will have more hairs relative to the FU count as it’ll have a lot of the 3s placed into it.

I’ve got a lots of donor hair left and I’ll see where I am in a year’s time. One of the things I like about Dr Ball is he seems to do so much with less hair.

Here I am on day 4. If you want to know any more about my experience etc then ask away.

Thanks.
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to the forum, I`m pleased it helped you in your research.
It`s good to hear you had a very positive experience with the clinic and everything went smoothly with surgery. At first glance looking at your pictures you`d think you had more grafts placed in the crown with the area being larger. Your graft placement in the hairline is a higher density of course.
At 3 days post op it looks to be healing well. Are you feeling any discomfort or itchiness?
All the best.
Bm.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
Hi, BM.

You help run an extremely valuable resource.

I've not needed any pain killers since the operation, which is nice. On the day my body was getting rid / processing the anaesthetic quickly so I had a fair few injections throughout the day to keep me numb.

I've had a little bit of itching on the crown, but it's not been too distracting. I did a diluted baby shampoo cup wash which sorted that. I did get a bit of swelling on the forehead but that's also subsided. I've had a bit of a tingling sensation which I expect are the nerves 'readjusting' / the new hairs connecting to the blood supply (?).

Some of the donor area is a little sore when applying the Vaseline, but it's really minor.

Overall I'd have snapped your hand off if I was told this would be what I'd feel during the initial recovery.

Thanks for asking.

P.S. My hair loss was asymmetrical if anyone is wondering where there is more on one side than the other of the hairline.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks regarding the forum.
When the donor is healing and feeling sore it`s useful to take a couple of painkillers 30 mins before going to bed, they take the edge off. Like me, you probably have a high pain tolerance and the healing process doesn`t bother you. Aloe Vera gel is good for the itching if you do experience it. It always feels nice washing your hair, the baby shampoo is nice and mild.
Good to hear the swelling was minimal and now subsided.
Hair loss patterns vary greatly, it's not uncommon for people to have more grafts on one side.
I`m sure you will be happy with your result once it`s grown out. As you said, Dr Ball is meticulous in his work.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
Thanks for the advice.

I'm confident Dr Ball and the team did everything in their control as well as they could, so that bodes well for me getting a result.

Day 6 tomorrow so I can have graft contact / not sleep with the neck pillow (although used to it now).
 
M

mazalov_an

member
Hi HTP1,

I'm glad you had such a good experience and wish you all the best for your recovery. You were right to be very prudent in your approach to surgery.

Best,
Maz
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the advice.

I'm confident Dr Ball and the team did everything in their control as well as they could, so that bodes well for me getting a result.

Day 6 tomorrow so I can have graft contact / not sleep with the neck pillow (although used to it now).

I`ve met a few of his patients, all were extremely happy with their results. They looked very natural and undetectable to having had any surgery.
Once you can relax and sleep normally you automatically feel better.
 
J

JGee01

member
Thanks for the advice.

I'm confident Dr Ball and the team did everything in their control as well as they could, so that bodes well for me getting a result.

Day 6 tomorrow so I can have graft contact / not sleep with the neck pillow (although used to it now).
May I ask how long you waited between your consultation with Dr Ball to the day of surgery?
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
Apologies to HTP1 for hijacking this thread somewhat. It wasn't my intention - so please admin amend this as you see appropriate.
Glad you sorted your misunderstanding.

I spent a lot of time doing due diligence (as best as one can). I found it the hardest to find negative experiences with Dr Ball.

May I ask how long you waited between your consultation with Dr Ball to the day of surgery?
You certainly may.

In mid-November 2019 I met with David in Harley Street. We discussed dates in the summer of 2020.

Early March 2020 I put a deposit down to secure the 24th of July.

At the end of May I had an online Zoom meeting with Dr Ball.

On the 8th of June I met with Dr Ball in person.

On the 23rd of July I met with Dr Ball once again.

The 24th of July was my operation.
 
Kevboy

Kevboy

member
It looks like your thin areas will be sorted when everything grows. How bald was your crown?
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
Hi Kev.

It was pretty much totally bald at one point. When I started taking Finasteride I found some very fine, miniaturised hairs appeared and have remained ever since. An indication of the impact of the meds.

I don't have a before picture with longer hair, but the 'walls' around my balding crown are very strong.When you look at it under a camera there's nothing then suddenly there's strong hair. It's not a gradual thing.

You can sort of see that on the top down picture. Where the recipient area ends it's straight into solid hair.

I've never used Minoxidil so will be using that on the crown in a couple of weeks in addition.
 
Kevboy

Kevboy

member
I`m hoping my crown fills in with Finasteride. Nice to hear you`re having success with it.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
My expectations with Finasteride were that it would stabilise my hair loss. Anything beyond that was a bonus.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
Day 8. Most of the scabs are off the crown, the front still has a few.

I think this crown picture shows the artistry and finesse Dr Ball has.
 

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sl

sl

BHR Clinic Patient Advisor
Well done on your surgery and the work looks nice and clean. I am a big fan of David and had the pleasure to meet him a few times and he is for sure one of the good guys out there and as you say has had a long road. I think Janna is also at the Maitland and again a person I have great respect for. Looking forward to your result.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
Thanks.

It's still really strange to see and feel hair in my crown which was basically totally bald and had been for sometime.

I think talking to people like David (and yourself by the looks of it) who have been a patient is a big bonus when discussing potential surgery.
 
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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
It takes skill to create a good crown swirl with the hairs growing at the correct angles. Yours looks very good. I`ll follow it with interest as most of my transplants were in my crown.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
It's a tricky area, especially with how much hair it can eat up.

Day 10 and some of my donor area. Wouldn't think I had thousands of extractions.
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
For a moment I thought that was the top of your head. Your donor has healed really well and looks untouched.
 
HTP1

HTP1

member
It does look like that. Not the best photo.

Just to be clear to everyone that's the back of my head. I really need to get someone else to take the pic.
 
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