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MY 30 YEAR JOURNEY WITH HAIR TRANSPLANTS!

H

headon

Valued member
MY 30 YEAR JOURNEY WITH HAIR TRANSPLANTS! Australia to Minneapolis 1987 ~ 2017


My Hair Transplant Journey has been a LONG one. It all began for me in 1987 when I had my very first Hair Transplant. And now, being 20 months Post Op, (July 2017) I am seeing the result I have been waiting for ... for 30 years! Thanks to Dr. RON SHAPIRO and all his team at the Shapiro Medical Group in Minneapolis.


Here is my story.
I am an actor from Melbourne Australia. I began my professional acting career here in Melbourne back in the mid 70 s. I appeared on many television shows at the time along with appearances in several feature films. All was going well until I noticed I was starting to lose my hair. As the years progressed I started becoming more and more anxious about my hair loss. In 1987 I decided to have my first Hair Transplant with Dr. Richard Shiell one of the most respected surgeons not only here in Australia but around the world. Over the next five years I had a further five transplants with Dr. Shiell. It was in 2006 when I decided to have my seventh HT with Dr. Russell Knudsen, another very respected hair surgeon having taken over from Dr. Shiell who had by this stage retired. Then three years later in 2010 I had my eighth HT with Dr. Knudsen. All in all I was very happy with all my results over the years with both Dr. Shiell and Dr. Knudsen. Then in 2012 I appeared on television in a drama series and noticed, under the harsh studio lights and now with High Definition cameras, that my transplant was detectable around the hairline. This caused me great anxiety. Most of my donor hair was now depleted and I was at a loss of what to do. I felt I needed to get some repair work done to mainly address the hairline issue, but did I have sufficient donor available to do this? I want to point out that I began my hair transplant journey at a time when hair transplantation was in its infancy. The instruments and techniques of today are light years ahead from those early days. The HT surgeons performing transplants in the early eighties and nineties, as good as some of them were, produced the best results possible with the techniques and instruments available to them at that time. Back in 2012 ~ my dilemma? My confidence was totally gone and I had no idea how I was going to step in front of a camera again. I decided to once again begin to do what I first did around 1984, which was to research hair transplantation, but now I have access to technology and the World Wide Web! For the next three years I do intensive online research and finally decide to bite the bullet and go with:


Dr. RON SHAPIRO of Shapiro Medical Group in Bloomington Minneapolis.


I make the call and speak to Matt Zupan, patient educator and coordinator. From the very beginning of our conversation I found Matt to be incredibly informative, supportive and sensitive to my needs. He actually took the time to LISTEN and addressed all my concerns.
In May of 2015 I departed Melbourne Australia for Minneapolis. It's a very, very long way but I was comforted by the fact that I was going to one of the very best HT surgeons in the world. On the 9th. Of May I arrived and checked into The Hilton Garden Inn, recommended by The Shapiro Medical Group. It's in walking distance from SMG and reasonably priced. There is also a FREE shuttle service, offered by Hilton Garden Inn, which taxied me to and from SMG. I had arrived at Saint Paul International Airport very late on the night of Saturday May 16th. I called The Hilton Garden Inn and they dispatched their shuttle bus to pick me up. It was only a short ride from the airport to the Hilton Garden Inn (15-20 min). By now it was after 11pm at night and I was pretty tired from my long trip. I was shown to my room and collapsed onto my very comfortable bed. I woke up around noon the following day (Sunday). I had spoken to Dr. Ron Shapiro, personally, in one of my many phone consultations prior to leaving Australia and he suggested I, having such a long flight, should take a day off before my in house consultation. I followed his advice and am so pleased I did. The day of my consultation (Tuesday May 12th.) was on a separate day from my actual operation, which was on Wednesday May 13th.


On the day of my In-house consultation and walking into the rooms of The Shapiro Medical Group, I have to say, I was quite emotional.
I had finally arrived! This was the end of a long journey, not just the journey from Melbourne Australia to Bloomington Minneapolis but the emotional journey that began way back in 1986 with my very first HT. When I first met Dr. Ron Shapiro, even before he spoke, I knew I had made the right decision. He confirmed for me what I detected in one of the Youtube videos I'd seen years earlier of Dr. Ron Shapiro talking on hair transplantation.


What did I detect in that video? In two words ¦ authentic & caring . These qualities were reaffirmed for me in my first face-to-face consultation. I was blown away by Dr. Ron's focus and attention during my one-hour consultation. I felt myself breathing out and relaxing knowing I had, after all these years, finally found what I had been looking for, for so long.
The Consultation consisted of clarifying what it was I wanted to achieve with the limited donor hair I had remaining, having had eight previous transplants! My main objective was a natural hairline.


My first session (I would return six months later for session two) basically consisted of PUNCHOUTS (of the old grafts) to be dissected and re planted. The main aim being to utilise the old grafts in a way to finetune the hairline and get rid of the old detectable big grafts from my very first couple of transplants circa late 80 s. I would like to say at this point that along with all the amazing team at SMG, Dr. David Josephitis worked in consultation with Dr. Ron and was hands on with my punch-out session and then again when I returned six months later for my main strip and FUE surgery. Yes I did make that long journey again in November of 2015 for session two.


Session Two.
Late on Sunday November 1st 2015 I landed at Saint Paul International Airport. It was a different feeling from my first trip, six months earlier. It was a good feeling. It felt familiar the second time around, The Hilton Garden Inn also now familiar. I was looking forward to seeing Dr. Shapiro and his team again. On the Monday November 2nd I slept in and was looking forward to my in-house consultation with Dr. Shapiro later that afternoon. I entered the rooms of The Shapiro Medical Group as Matt (Zupan) welcomed me, and shortly after the familiar smiling face of Dr. Ron Shapiro greeted me as he walked toward me down the corridor. We shook hands ~ it was good to be back! I was looking forward to the next phase of my HT, which consisted of both Strip surgery and FUE. Having had eight previous transplants, as mentioned earlier, my donor area was limited, but Dr. Ron with the assistance of Dr. David Josephitis managed to extract approximately 1650 grafts from my strip, then on the following day I was back in the chair for FUE where another (aprox) 500 grafts were extracted.


All in all, between the Strip and the FUE I had a total of (aprox) 2,150 grafts extracted; And now the long wait for the results to materialise. I had planned to stay on in Bloomington for an extra few days before heading back to Australia. I took advantage of this time to visit The Mall Of America, infamous for being the nations largest mall! I also took advantage of the free shuttle bus, provided by The Hilton Garden Inn, to taxi me to and from the Mall. Malls really aren t my thing, but having a few days to kill before my trip back to Australia, the opportunity to visit America s biggest mall was too good an opportunity to miss! What can I say about the experience ~ it was BIG! The following day, on the suggestion of Matt Zupan, I took a walk around Normandale Lake just a stone s throw away from the medical centre. It was a crisp Autumn sunny morning with Autumn leaves all around. I even spotted an Eagle perched on a tree! I was in a very good frame of mind and was happy with my decision to stay on a few extra days post my surgery.


The weekend was approaching and I had decided to spend the weekend in doors in my hotel room when the phone rang. It was Matt. Knowing I was a long way from home and knew nobody, Matt invited me to a party. It was Dr. Ron Shapiro s son s 4th birthday party.
I was blown away by this gesture! It speaks heaps of the character of Dr. Ron Shapiro and his team. I took up the offer. Matt, and his wife, picked me up from my hotel room and I we headed out. Most of the Shapiro Medical Group were at the party along with Dr. David Josephitis, Janna Shafer and others. They made me feel very at home, being a very long way from my home. It was such a great night and I will never forget it.


I am saying this in this, my testimonial for S.M.G. because I want to convey not just the fact (which most of the world knows) that Dr. Ron Shapiro is one of the best HT surgeons in the world, but that he is also a very caring and authentic human being. I am an actor, as I said, and also a director and teacher of acting, and I have spent 35 years observing human behaviour. I can read the character of a person with my eyes closed! Dr. Shapiro s character is impeccable. He is the real deal! I am looking forward to seeing him again ... YES ... I will be returning for some possible refining. I am very pleased with the results, now being 20 months post-op. Remember, this was a repair job, and having had EIGHT PREVIOUS HAIR TRANSPLANTS, what Dr. Shapiro and his team were able to accomplish with my limited donor was truly amazing.


I cannot recommend The Shapiro Medical Group highly enough. That sounds like such a cliché phrase but it s the truth! I feel like I have my life back! Words fail me. All I can say is thank-you! and ~ I LL BE BACK!
 
SADbutTRUE

SADbutTRUE

Valued member
welcome to the forums,SMG is a top outfit, hopefully you can share some photos with face covered,to show the transformation,if not I'm happy SMG has been able to help you.take care.
 
Pete from Farjo

Pete from Farjo

Valued member
Interesting read that. Congrats on your procedures. Look forward to your pics.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Enjoyed reading your hair loss journey, the bad times and now the good times. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.
Thanks for sharing your story.
All the best.
Bm.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
Loved reading your thread, i echo totally what you said about Dr Ron and all the team at Shapiro. Apart from the fact that they are incredibly talented and have decades of experience and Knowledge the thing that still stood out to me the most was just how passionate and caring they all were.
I know it sounds corny but it's so hard to put into words unless you've actually been there the great feeling you get whilst being one of their patients....the only way i can describe it is that they make you feel like they are operating on one of their own family members. They really do care about every aspect of a patients well being throughout the entire process, from the consultation, the surgery and the after care.
Can't wait to see your pics.
Thanks for sharing dude;)
 
H

headon

Valued member
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Your hairline picture from March 2020 looks very good. It frames your face nicely.
Reading your comment on your other thread I see you have one final surgery booked. What's the plan for this one?
 
Kevboy

Kevboy

member
What a journey Oz to the US. The clinic has made good your old work.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
I was thinking that too Kev Boy....must have taken some time dude.....mind you SMG are worth travelling to from anywhere imo.
 
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