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HGC (Hair Growth Centre) London, Maida Vale

J

JonathanLondon

member
20th July 2021

FUE procedure yesterday at Hair Growth Centre, London, Chippenham Road.

This review is long, because I think that an actual account of my experience would be helpful for others who are doubting using HGC due to the cheap price, and the difficulty in knowing which reviews are reliable. An account like this would have been reassuring for me when I started researching FUE.

I had concerns because this hair treatment centre seems to be one of the cheapest in the UK (that I have seen). I was considering going to Turkey to have it done, however there are so many clinics that it is a minefield to reliably find somewhere that will do a good job, at the right budget. There were a lot of unknowns and Covid made travelling difficult or impossible over the past year or so.

I am came across HGC by chance online, and the price seemed too good to be true. Therefore I was suspicious. There are thousands of positive reviews on Google and Trust Pilot. This is useful, however I am naturally suspicious of those as well.

There are some negative reviews, which sounded very severe, and that was worrying. Eventually, I decided to go for a free consultation to see what they recommend, and to use the opportunity to observe the place and look out for any warning signals that I should avoid having my FUE treatment there.

I arrived a few minutes late because parking was not available. They only have three spaces on a first come first serve basis. However, one of the spaces became available within around 20 minutes and fortunately they didn’t seem to mind that I was late. I was asked to wait just a few minutes before my consultation started.

At my consultation, we discussed my options and they gave recommendations. The special offer they offered was a package that included up to 3000 grafts. This would be my first FUE procedure. I have receded significantly at the front, and thinning at the crown area. I was told that the front receding areas could be effectively treated, and some improvement to the crown as well. I said that I was very concerned to get a natural look afterwards, and the design of the hairline was most important to me. The consultant said that he recommended that I my FUE treatment with a specific doctor who is the most specialist in the hairline design.

I observed that it is a very busy place. People arriving for appointments very frequently, nurses or technicians walking the corridors constantly. As much as I was able to tell, the place looked organised and well managed.

One individual in the waiting room had just finished his FUE treatment, so I went over to ask him how it went and get an indication from what I knew for certain was a real person, in the flesh. (Sometimes I worry that reviews are not). He was clearly dazed after his treatment, which is completely understandable, but he spoke positively about the treatment he received, and didn’t express any negativity.

Overall, after leaving the place, I felt significantly reassured. Also, I live in London and would much rather have my procedure in London and go back to my home the same day, rather than travel long distance. And who knows how long I’d have to wait with no end in site to Covid.

In the following days, I tried to contact the consultant again to go over a few points and raise some questions, however it took a while to get hold of him. After leaving enough messages at reception for him to call, we did have a conversation. We also had a video call where he could address some questions better. This was very helpful, he addressed my concerns, and I felt comfortable to pay a deposit and book a date.

I booked an appointment quite far ahead for October, but then my calendar freed up (no travel in the summer) and I decided to move it forward to 19 July.

Once you are booked in, the HGC sends you a calendar appointment to confirm the date and time. They also send a link to their website with all the useful information that patients will need before and after their FUE procedure.

However, about 3 weeks before the appointment I received an automated email from them saying that the surgeon with whom I requested the FUE surgery would be on annual leave and therefore a different doctor had been assigned. I found this annoying that it was an automated email, particularly as I had specifically booked that surgeon for a good reason that I agreed with the surgery. However, I have the HGC clearly deals with a high volumes of patients and therefore things like this can happen – so perhaps that is something to consider when booking. You may have to be flexible.

I tried to contact the clinic to query this, and left messages to be called back. However once again, I was left waiting for that call and had to chase. I also emailed the consultant to explain my concern however he did not reply. It was only after several calls to chase that I did get through to the consultant again. He tried to reassure me that the doctor who had been assigned to me was excellent and that I had nothing to worry about. To be fair, he did give me the option to delay my procedure until the original surgeon returned. But on balance I decided that I would rather not wait another three weeks.

I decided to keep my original appointment for 19th July, and turned up yesterday for the procedure nice and early.

They open early at HGC so I didn’t have to sit outside before they open. When I arrived at the front desk, I was asked my name, and then told that I had to pay the balance straight away. I found this surprising because usually payment would be requested at the end of the procedure, or at least not the first thing as you arrive. But I paid as requested. A moment later the receptionist apologised because the doctor was running late, but I should please take a seat. Alarm bells started ringing at that moment because I had just paid in full, and started doubting whether the doctor would turn up at all. I explained to the receptionist that perhaps he should have told me that before insisting on taking full payment.

I waited at reception as asked, and I am pleased to say that the delay was not too long, and I went for a pre op Q&A session where I was asked the usual stuff about medication I am taking, and to sign documents.

Next, I had a meeting with the doctor. This lasted around 30 minutes during which time we discussed the plan, and designed my hairline. The doctor put me at ease and I felt a lot more comfortable. He also asked whether I would like to have a PRP hair treatment at extra cost. I asked to think about it, but in the end decided to do it.

Next was the head shave. Nothing much to report.

Then the procedure started. Two technicians carry out about 90% of the procedure. I found them to be diligent and helpful with any questions I had. The technicians do the donor hair extractions first. The anaesthetic injections are very painful. I wasn’t really prepared for that, or for the overall discomfort of the whole procedure. But that is part of the package when you get FUE I guess. The doctor carried out all of the incisions, which apparently is important. This took around 30 minutes or so, and the doctor called it the template for the implants.

It is a long slow process, just be prepared for it.

The doctor visited a few times to check on progress and to provide reassurance.

In terms of the décor, and the layout etc, it is absolutely fine, and clean etc. It is not what I would call the Ritz medical experience, but to get that, you will surely pay lots more. I found it quite annoying that to get to the toilet, I had to walk across the reception room looking pretty raw, and wearing a flattering blue operating gown. It didn’t bother me much, and that’s a price worth paying in my opinion, but if you want glitz, or a more beautiful environment, then you will naturally go elsewhere.

At the end of the treatment (finally), the doctor did the PRP injection. (I asked him to do it rather than the technician for no particular reason, and he didn’t mind). I am including a range of pictures with this so you can assess my results for yourself, and I will update this regularly with more pictures as my recover progresses. Again, I would have found something like this very helpful when deciding.

Before they send you off, they give you a cocktail of medicines, and a list of instructions of what to do over the next couple of weeks, in terms of medication, how to wash the implanted area, and generally protect it during the very sensitive recovery days.

In summary, I am extremely pleased so far. Overall, the service has been good, on the day itself, the service was excellent. The only small complaint is how they asked for payment before I could catch my breath on arrival. In general, communication and responsiveness prior to the procedure needs to be improved. HGC are not good at replying to emails, in fact I think the only email I have ever received from them was the one containing a receipt for my deposit payment. It is true, as I have read on other reviews, that during the procedure, the door is opened and various technicians or nurses walk in and out freely. It didn't seem a problem or bother me personally.

My results so far look as expected. I had approximately 2500 grafts, although I don’t know the exact count. I should ask about that, and I will definitely update this with progress pictures. The pain immediately after surgery was horrible. Last night I managed to sleep very little. Trying to sleep on my back with an aeroplane pillow was painful. There is a lot of pressure at the top of the neck already because of the bandage. I am looking forward to removing that later today.

So far, I feel I made a good choice and have no regrets. Travelling to Turkey would be annoying, and take several days of course. And in these times, with covid tests/quarantine/cancellations etc etc, I couldn’t think of anything worse.

I hope this helps people who were in my position a few months ago, and I am happy for people to contact me through Hair Loss Experieces if you would like any more specific details.

To explain the pictures I have posted.
The first are over a year old to show my original hair state.
The picures with the comb show my hair after approximately a year of taking Finasteride, and Minoxidil.
The rest are obviously the post op pictures, day 1, and i will add as things progress.


IMG_2891.jpgIMG_2892.jpgafter IMG_5534.jpgafter IMG_5538.jpgIMG_3622.JPGafter IMG_5561.jpgIMG_5591.jpgIMG_5592.jpgIMG_5584.jpgIMG_5593.jpg
 
P

pastaisyellow

member
Thanks for posting this, I've been hoping someone who'd used HGC would put a post on here. I'm going there in 3 weeks, nervous but looking forward to it. Keep us updated :)
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hello Johnathan.
I have a couple of questions for you.
Who was the doctor?
Was your hairline lowered?
Who did the extractions of your grafts?
Who made the incisions where the grafts were placed?
Did they use implanter pens or forceps?

Could you ask the doctor to send you your surgery data detailing the graft breakdown and what density they place at for your hairline. The reason I’m asking is the density does not look enough for a hairline. I could be wrong because you have quite a bit of blood there, so getting them to confirm would be helpful.

Thanks Bm.
 
T

Techno1

member
Johnathan, having observed your images I don’t wish to offend but the density appears low. Unless you have existing follicles (shaved down) between these grafts I fear that this won’t achieve a satisfactory result.
The area looks very bloody. Why did they not clean it before sending you home?
 
J

JonathanLondon

member
Hi
The doctor was Dr Shuaib Mir.
Here are pictures pre-op so you can see the hairline before, with the markup done in the plan stage.
I think they have implanted over some of my existing hair yes. And along the side parting area where they have implanted, again, this is an area of thinning, but some hair.

This was done with forceps, they did not use a pen.
And also some Day 5 pictures, after a light wash.

Interested in your thoughts, so keep em coming.
Thanks.
 

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J

JonathanLondon

member
As a general update on the procedure, I was please to receive a call from HGC, as promised on Day 2 to check how I was and to answer questions. I was also able to call and had no problem getting through the next day either with questions.

Can I ask if any of the experts here have a view on when the correct time to resume Finasteride would be after the FUE?
I was taking for a year prior to the surgery, but stopped a couple of days before. I wouldn't want to stay off it for long because I would be concerned about loosing existing hair.

Thanks
 
J

JonathanLondon

member
Hello Johnathan.
I have a couple of questions for you.
Who was the doctor?
Was your hairline lowered?
Who did the extractions of your grafts?
Who made the incisions where the grafts were placed?
Did they use implanter pens or forceps?

Could you ask the doctor to send you your surgery data detailing the graft breakdown and what density they place at for your hairline. The reason I’m asking is the density does not look enough for a hairline. I could be wrong because you have quite a bit of blood there, so getting them to confirm would be helpful.

Thanks Bm.
Hi, Maybe the pictures i posted today answer whether the hairline was lowered?
I think it was, but very little in the centre, and more so, in those corners above the temples. I'm not sure that is considered lowering the hairline as when I was young, it was a lot lower still.
Only the incisions were carried out by the doctor.
Forceps, no pen.
I will ask about the exact numbers and density when I go for a follow up meeting. But was told around 2500.
 
J

jeezy

member
As a general update on the procedure, I was please to receive a call from HGC, as promised on Day 2 to check how I was and to answer questions. I was also able to call and had no problem getting through the next day either with questions.

Can I ask if any of the experts here have a view on when the correct time to resume Finasteride would be after the FUE?
I was taking for a year prior to the surgery, but stopped a couple of days before. I wouldn't want to stay off it for long because I would be concerned about loosing existing hair.

Thanks
Did your Dr not provide after care treatment plan? From memory I believe 4 weeks post surgery was what I was told as protocol for Fin and Minoxidil introduction

What are the charges for FUE from HGC?
 
J

JonathanLondon

member
Of course. We will have a 6 week follow up appointment initially.

I have heard differing opinions on restarting Finasteride and wanted to ask on here to hear the views.
 
C

CrankySysadmin

member
According to their website DR Mir has 3 years experience and has completed over 1000 successful surgeries. Cut the BS Hair Growth Centre
 
T

Techno1

member
Johnathan, I’m unsure why you were advised to stop Finasteride before having surgery. It helps prevent shocked hairs.
Your hairline appears to be 2cm lower. To create a natural density would require 1800 grafts and I don’t think you’ve had enough density transplanted. I’m unsure why they placed grafts in the halo pattern, the density appears very sparse which won’t make much, if any cosmetic improvement.
 
J

JonathanLondon

member
Thanks. The doctor advised to stop finasteride for two weeks. Something to do with it potentially affecting the grafts whilst they settle over the first two weeks.

It’s troubling to hear that. I hope the results turn out as well as I have seen from other people’s pictures who went there.
Having said that, if the results are not satisfactory, at least others will be able to make a more informed decision before booking there. That is the purpose of writing this.

I paid £2000 for the surgery, which is all I was willing to pay for this due to circumstances. Other clinics that I could find were all charging considerably more. I realise that this may be reflected in the results, but again, I made a decision based on seeing and hearing from other patients, not only price. Hopefully I can cut, or wear my hair in a way that it will look acceptable.

I’ll continue to post updates and pictures.
 
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