I am in my 40's - I have experienced gradual loss over the last 7 years but more noticeable in the past two. Constantly worrying about the receding hairline and not happy with the way I have begun to look. I definitely do not suit going bald as my hair is very thick at the back/sides and very thin at the front and temples - started to look like Max Wall after about 4 weeks after a hair cut.
I decided to go for it and responded to the Vinci Clinic website via a google search. I met with Paul Oliver its consultant in my local town - afterwards felt very positive but was still unsure. I couldn't be sure they were any good as couldn't find much about them on the net. I really didn't want to travel abroad so I considered Farjo but they couldn't fit me in for a consultation for a few weeks.
I deliberated for ages and did a lot of research on all the main surgeons in the Uk. The ones who have done famous people who have appeared in the press - ie james nesbit, rooney etc but after reading many HT reviews on forums such as this one I decided against it. Apart from Farjo they all seemed to recommend non uk surgeons which i found odd.
I asked Vinci (Paul Oliver) who their Doctor in London would be and he recommended Dr Rogers. I checked out some reviews on him - two of which were pretty damning to say the least but one was from a daily mail reporter back in 2007 and that was very positive plus a most recent one (danielle).
I continued to look at lots of forums/Dr Reviews - I also got in touch which Spex - the only advice he offered was to go abroad as uk docs are rubbish generally but he did say Farjo is probably the only one of any note in the UK. He couldn't really comment on Dr Rogers which I found very strange considering Spex is an expert in the HT field. Dr Rogers had performed over 4000 procedures so how could he not know much about him. This raised my suspicions that a lot of these so called experts and forum addicts/advisers are in fact representing a few select Doctors.
I decided to go with my logical head that if Dr Rogers had performed 4000 ops and they were then it would be all over the net. I have to say that whilst i recognise the forums are here to inform, many of them actually put people off from going ahead. Its the old HT''s pre 90's, 80's and 70's which went wrong that people keep bringing up.
I decided to see one other clinic before choosing Dr Roger and so booked a consultation with Ziering after reading about Jason from Dancing with Ice judge's experience. Unfortunately, they cancelled on the morning of the day citing flight issues with their consultant. I was not happy I would say. Interestingly they quoted my �6500 for a 2000 graft FUT - this was �1750 more than Vinci.
So, I decided to go for it and booked myself in for a FUT with Dr Rogers via the Vinci Clinic. Dr Rogers also has his own clinic in Harley Street which is were I got it done a week ago,
The clinic was going through a refurb but that didn't put me off. I was put at ease explained everything by one of his assistants before I met Dr Rogers for the pre op consultation. I much of asked a 100 questions but he answered them all and didn't felt rushed for him to get on with it.
I paid Vinci �4750 for 2000 grafts. He said for the area of coverage I was looking for he reckoned he could get lose to that. I asked about density and he said he would aim for 50 pcm sq. But it would depend on the donor area.
Any after the chat I put on a robe and went in the surgery room where I met his team. I think there were 7 in total. All very pleasant - mixture of nationalities. What struck me was the team seemed established - the team were the ones to dissect the donor hair and then implant in the new area.
Dr Rogers went about numbing the donor area - some of the injections were a little painful but not as painful as an injection down the dentists. What i did find surprising was the left side far more sensitive than the right side.
I put on my headphones whilst he went to work on extracting the donor hair and stitching up. I couldn't feel a thing.
After a lunch break - cheese sandwich supplied he went to work on numbing up the recipient area. Again a little uncomfortable on the left side but the right side was no problems at all. After a short wait for the anaesthetic to kick in he went about making the incisions. I chose to listen to music rather than watch a dvd that was offered.
Whilst he was doing this the team were busy separating the hairs from the donor site into groups of 1, 2 and 3 hairs. After another while he finished his work and showed me the area - by this time it was extremely red looking but looked like a good hairline and coverage.
The girls soon finished their work and i was told the estimate was c1900 grafts mainly 2 and 3 hairs. They all seemed pleased and so was I. All going well.
I actually thought for a moment about what i had done, going through with this, I was pleased with my can do attitude rather than just wimp out.
The girls then went to work, taking it in turns for shorts spells at a time due to the deep concentration needed. I was very pleased with this approach as this clearly is the most important part. What they could do could make or break the success of the HT.
My head felt very heavy lying back and both areas being numbed up made it feel like i was wearing a very tight cap.
After what seemed about 50 tracks later on my IPOD they were done. One of the assistants explained all the post op stuff about shampoo, oil, saline for cleaning and what to expect over the next fews days and weeks. The do's and don'ts etc.
I didn't see Dr Rogers at this point as he was in another consultation which was a pity as i wanted to shake his hand and thank him for his care and the experience.
I was all done in 7 hours - 10 am to 5pm.
When I got home i was shocked at the work and noticed a lot of thinning looking hair that wasn't there before. I reassured myself this would be normal as clearly he would need to make incisions behind my original hairline to allow the HT to blend in and work with an further loss I might experience in the future.
I noticed also that the hairline seemed a little lower than what i wanted - I spoke with Paul the next day about it and he said the redness would create the impression the line to be lower but once the redness went combined with the single hair that they put at the front it would not create such as solid line as low as it would look just after the op. I hoped he was right because over the next couple of days i wondered how i would keep my secret safe from my friends and work colleagues which such a strong line below my existing one.
The donor area was sore for a couple of nights - I had difficulty sleeping but nothing too bad. My partner commented on what a great stitch it was and how it was impossible to notice even after one day. This has pleased me immensely.
I have religiously followed the post op advice. Cleaning the area, not letting the skip cap be too tight and shampooing and applying oil as directed.
I have also been taking arnica as I have found this to work for bruising and recovery from a previous operation i had on a knee and nose.
A week has now passed and all has been great with my recovery. I noticed within 4 days a significant improvement, scabs started to drop off, redness starting to disappear. On day five I started to go outside without my skip cap and on day six played my first round of golf. By day six all scabs had fallen off and donor site soreness stopped. I have experience no tightness at all from day one which was most surprising.
You can see from the pics how pleasing the results are after only one week. The hair to my surprise has also grown, my partner and I can't believe how much it has grown. You can see from the pics how much it has and soft it looks.
I've got a week of my holidays before i go back to work so I am feeling more confident with each day that my secret will be kept safe.
I'll put up more pics in 4 weeks and hopefully I wont have experienced any shedding or shock loss by them.
The last thing i would say is that I could not recommend Dr Rogers more highly. My experience so far has been fantastic - for those thinking about getting this done then there is no need to go to USA or Belgium. Dr Rogers or Farjo clearly are as good as the best elsewhere.