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My personal experience at the Maitland Clinic

T

Tim J

member
Pre surgery
Making the decision to undergo hair restoration has been a long and thoughtful process. One which I have contemplated for years.
I researched thoroughly before making an appointment for a consultation. I approached 3 clinics in total. One in Bristol, one in London and the Maitland Clinic in Portsmouth.

The notable difference when making initial contact was the non-sales like style taken by the Maitland Clinic. From the very first email enquiry, telephone call and making of the appointment the approach taken was patient centred, supporting you in making a well informed and guided decision with your best interests at the heart.

Following a number of email exchanges, a few telephone calls and the completion of an online form I attended my consultation with David Anderson and Dr Ball.

The consultation was informative but also grounded in reality. Although there was the standard information you felt like the discussion was about you, focussed on your needs, wants and aspirations. I received honest feedback from both David and Dr Ball. My hair and scalp health and condition was assessed and although a hair transplant could achieve a good result for me, Dr Ball concluded that with ongoing treatment of finasteride and by introducing minoxidil into my daily routine I may not even need a transplant.

It is easy to get carried away and absorbed by images and accounts on social media. The overt and tacky celebrity endorsements and the unnatural lowered hairlines can leave you with an unrealsitc image in your head in what you think can be achieved. Coupled with the seedy underbelly of the industry where rival clinics make slanderous statements about more reputable clinics can leave you in fear that you could be making the biggest mistake of your life. Who can you trust? Who can you believe?

What stood out for me during my consultation was the honesty of Dr Ball, he is open, transparent and to the point. His focus is on making sure you have a natural and sustainable result for the longer term.

I left my consultation well informed about options, both surgical and non surgical. That should I proceed with FUE that only an age appropriate procedure would be offered to me. Upon leaving, my expectations were better aligned to what was realistic and what could be achieved. I received one follow up email from David and then I was left to make an informed decision unhindered.

The Day of Surgery

One of the many reassuring and consistent members of the team who helped me throughout my stay was Karen, the Clinical Manager and Nurse. From the first pre surgery call and throughout the entire day of surgery, Karen is a warm, bright and friendly voice in the room.

She takes you metaphorically by the hand and leads you through each step of the process. Despite the need for us all to wear masks throughout the entire day due to COVID-19 , Karen was able to smile through her eyes and her voice. Her calming manner and positive approach being applied at exactly the right moment gave me the additional boosts I needed throughout the day.

Dr Ball lived up to his reputation and met all of my expectations. He is grounded, instills confidence and guides you to make pragmatic decisions. For me having my head completely shaved was still something I felt I wanted to avoid. On having an open discussion around achieving the best outcome, shaving my head became a very easy decision to make.

Following a review of both the crown and temples Dr Ball marked up my recipient sites. We had a conversation and agreed that should he feel that additional grafts would achieve an even better result that he had the autonomy to make this decision.

Although the procedure is long, the team make you feel very comfortable and at ease. There is a large flat screen TV with drinks and snacks close to hand and the clinic is bright and airy.

Dr Ball provides reassuring comments on how well everything is going at each stage of the process. This makes a big difference to my levels of confidence in how well the procedure is going. He is meticulous, focussed and creates a collaborative and friendly team atmosphere.

The team of Hair Technicians work tirelessly and in harmony with Dr Ball. Together they professionally perform each of the 3 stages. Making precise incisions specific to my individual needs, extractions from the donor site and transplantation to the recipient site. Although some discomfort is felt along the way, a top up of local anesthetic here and there, a further tablet to make you calm and a reassuring and empathetic word helps smooth the way.

With regular comfort breaks, 5 or 6 episodes of Big Little Lies and a few laughs and light banter with the team the day passes surprisingly quickly.

Nearly 12 hours later, I find myself watching the ‘Aftercare Video’ and receiving my aftercare briefing from Karen. Her caring reassuring tone again taking the fear completely out of what to expect next in the coming days during recovery. I leave the clinic (my sister is driving) with Karen still by my side as she wants to make sure I get to the car safely. It’s the small touches that make the difference.

Post Surgery

The first night is a little nerve wrecking, although it passes without any problems. Sleeping in an upright position with a neck pillow, not dissimilar to a long haul flight in economy, waking every 2 hours to spray your head takes a little getting used to.

All the aftercare instructions are clear and easy to follow. Karen rings the day following surgery and I am reassured to know she is only an IM or phone call away should I have any questions.

The next few days pass quickly, a little swelling, discomfort and some itching to indicate the first signs of healing are my only symptoms.

By day three I have given up taking the pain killers and I reluctantly take the last of the steroids on a just in case basis. Non contact hair washes are a welcome relief and the 2 hourly spraying at night comes to end too. Things are already beginning to feel normal again, the only reminder of my surgery will be the buzz cut looking back at me.

If you have questions about my experience, please do get in touch.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Tim. It`s good to hear you had a good experience at the clinic and thanks for the detailed write up. It sounds like you did your research and not fooled by all the false and misleading information out there.
Once you`re over the first few post op days things do return to normal quite quickly, sometimes the redness can linger though. You may become anxious waiting for growth, this is quite common.
How long have you been on the medications now?
Do you know how many grafts you received and will you be adding any pictures to compliment your story?
All the best.
Bm.
 
T

Tim J

member
Hi Bm,

I have been taking finasteride for nearly 5 years and this has definitely stopped further hair loss. I have had a few side effects, a reduction in the amount of ejaculate and a slight reduction in sexual appetite. No idea how common these side effects are for other men?

I had 1634 grafts restored to the crown and temples. The most uncomfortable part of the process has been the pain in the donor area. This did persist on and off for around 12 days. The lack of sleep was also a bit tricky in the first week.

I am now completely back to normal and the wait has commenced, the exciting part, New hair growth :)

Thanks Tim
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry to hear you suffered some lingering post op pain, the donor can feel sore while healing but all good now for you. When you do suffer from pain it is best to take your pain meds at the allocated intervals to keep on top of it. Sleeping and spraying do take its toll but it is worth it in the end.
Keep an eye on the sides, hopefully, they don`t worsen but these two are common in the small percentage of guys who do suffer them.
Waiting can be anxious but time soon passes by and then you see the new growth.
 
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