HT with Dr.Madhu on 19-Feb-2012
As scheduled I flew from UK to Hyderabad, India to have my HT procedure with Dr.Madhu. The procedure was slated for the 19th of February, 2012. I reached Hyderabad a day before on the 18th of Feb. I had done my own accomodation owing to the fact that Dr.Madhu's centre didnt receive my mails asking for help on booking accomodation. I had booked a 1 bedroom Service Apartment called Falcon's Nest (Falcons Nest Service Apartments & Studio Flats @ Hyderabad & Vizag) in Jubilee Hills area, a 5 minute walk from the HT clinic. The Service Apartment folks arranged for my Airport pickup at an additional cost.
[The Apartment was nice and cosy, cleaned on a daily basis, the people very friendly and helpful, I absolutely had no grudge against the stay which was quite comfortable and peaceful, however the food provided was predominantly Indian cuisine with a complementary breakfast. The apartment staff were quite helpful and always ready at hand to help out, Falcons Nest is located right behind the Best Western Hotel in Jubilee Hills which was my first choice but couldnt get available accomodation during my surgery dates. I came to know later from Dr.Madhu that they have preferential arrangements with the hotel that I missed. And by the way Best Western hotel does have some restaurants that are open to non-guests also.]
I had my preliminary sitting with Dr.Madhu on the same day. The clinic was very easy to locate and I just walked from my apartment [i had my google maps ready for reference - iPhone as well has printed maps]. The lady at the reception Ms.Afroze, was very courteous and always with a smile. My name was kind of well known there, owing to the email & the advance money transfer issues that i had faced earlier. After a 5 minute wait I had a preliminary consultation with Dr.Vijetha. She examined my donor area for flexibility and the number of grafts that could be extracted and explained the entire process and what realistic expectations I can expect from a HT. I had high hopes of getting a 4000-5000 grafts which was explained as not feasible owing to my donor area hair quality & scalp flexibility.
Then I met Dr.Madhu himself in person... a very warm and soft spoken person who confirmed that around 3000 grafts was the maximum possible ( ) after a visual examination of my scalp and donor hair. I wanted to get the HT done without shaving my recipient area and the doctor confirmed that it is possible to do the transplant without shaving my hair. (Its the doctors decision however!!). I clarified all my doubts and anxiety with the doctor and he drew the potential hairline that would be ideal for my head and the number of grafts expected. I was ok to go with the doctors suggestion though I'd have loved a lower hairline. But since my primary intent was to cover the balding patches on the front rather than a lower hairline and given the fact that my donor grafts werent on the lines I had expected, I was happy to go with the suggested hairline. I was explained the pre-requisites of washing and shamppoing that has to be done before the procedure. I made the initial payment also with One of the administrators Mr.Harsha.
After spending about an hour in the clinic I went back to my apartment. It was a hot day however and i preferred to stay indoors than venturing outside except for locating some cash machines for money withdrawal and a supermarket for buying fruits and stuff to store in the apartment refrigerator. The only nearby supermarket had closed permaenetly and I had to walk about half a mile for the next nearest supermarket which was also closed in the afternoon. Towards the eveing I took an autorickshaw (Three wheelers) back to the supermarket again to get my essentials for the next few days when I probably maynot be going out after the HT procedure.
The big day arrived finally (after a wait of close to 2 months after my initial enquiry and bookings) and I reached the HT clinic by 6.30AM my heart pounding at its fastest... phew.. I might have a head full of hair again . I had got some chocolates from the duty free shop that I handed over to Dr.Vijetha and asked her to distribute to the entire staff (Definitely not a bribe... just a goodwill gesture on my part ) A cosy little room with a hospital bed and a locker was at my disposal till i completed the procedure. I had just carried my Mobile and wallet that i could securely lock and go for my procedure. The pre-ht photos were clicked and I put on the blue surgical gown, I was given an injection and some tablets that i just gobbled without asking any question . Dr.Madhu drew the hairline on my head and showed it to me again for my acceptance. And then it started !!!
I had to lay face down on a surgery table, quite comfortably with some custom made face rest while the back of my scalp was harvested. Dr.Madhu performed this part. I felt the first 2 or 3 pricks and after that complete bliss. I could hear & feel the knife going over my scalp and thankfully no pain at all ( I guess that was normal ). I dont know how long it took, could be 30 mins to an hour, but some soft music was going in the background and I kind of dozed off. Suddenly I was woken up and the good doctor told me that the harvesting was over and around 3000 grafts could be expected. I was then walked around to the lab area where the technicians were working on my hair. I was still feeling a bit dizzy probably due to the medications. I was accosted to a Dentist kind of chair and my head was rested. Dr.Madhu was giving instructions to the 2 assitant girls - Geetha & Easwari, who were working on my hair making the fine slits and inserting the grafts into them. I remember dozing off and waking up couple of times with the soothing music in the background. I was not in a very attentive state to ask for a Movie or TV to be played. I was happy to sleep while the work went on. Dr.Madhu popped every now then I suppose, I remember seeing him twice when i woke up in between. Finally I was woken up and Geetha, one of Doctors assistants gave me a mirror to see my head. OHMYGOD... it was a bloody mess and not a headfull of hair... They put a black head band around my forehead to avoid the swelling. I was taken back to the cosy little room and I was given some more tablets. This time I did ask what they were for ... an antibiotic and some vitamins. I was allowed to feel the back of my head, obviously there was the bandage and the hair band was around that, so literally I just felt the bandages . The anaesthetic effect was phenomenal, I just couldnt feel pang of pain on my head, in fact I couldnt feel anything on my head. I was told and my research also confirmed that it could remain so or go off in a couple of months or more.
Dr.Madhu came and had a look and said that it was a good coverage. I presume he says that to all the patients
I was asked to rest for sometime till the dizzy feeling subsided. I tried lying down which wasnt very comfortable with a big bandage at the back of your head. I was given some biscuits and juice that I gobbled down. Being a every 3 hours eating guy', I was literally starving. I was then given the data sheet with the number of grafts transplanted and after care instructions and a bottle of Johnson's baby shampoo. I was also given a surgical cap to cover my head from the sun and dirt. I think it was about 11.30AM when i walked out of the surgery. So i had been there in the HT clinic for about 5 hours. I walked back to the Service Apartment , ordered my lunch and retired to the comfort of my bedroom with the nice 36' TV. Well, thats it about the big day. I was asked to eat a relatively light food the rest of the day oil & spice free and the regualr dosage of tablets. Had a good sleep that night though not a very comfortable one esp. with the bandage round at the back of the head. Tried sleeping by sitting on the couch which was not very good for me. I slept on the mattress with 2 pillows and resting my bandage between the 2 pillows trying to create a pressure free zone for the bandage. I expected some pain the next morning due to the pressure, but there was none absolutely.
I went for my hairwash back to the clinic a day after as instructed. It was a matter of 5 minutes, shampooing, washing & drying. The Nurse Manju did a very good job and instructed me how to do the washing from the next day onwards. The surgical gauze band and the black tennis band on my head were removed thankfully. There was slight swelling in my forehead. I met Dr.Vijetha again and clarified few more doubts and I was asked to come for the suture removal on the 6th day. I had opted to stay in Hyderabad till my suture removal and then fly back to Britain. So spent the next 2 days quietly indoors as i didnt want to dislodge the grafts or cause any issue to my precious hairs and also it was quite hot by UK standards, close to 35 degrees everyday. Tried washing the hair myself and succeeded. Obviously I had to wash daily from day 3 by myself. The swelling slowy descended down from the hairline area to the proper forehead above the eye and i was told that its quite normal when i contacted Dr.Vijetha over phone. Scabs started forming and i was diligently washing my hair and scalp to rid them. Suddenly my head esp. the bald patch in the frontal was covered with hair. It was a great feeling to see that in the mirror and I presume I wouold have looked umpteen times in the mirror at my proud mane.
The next 2 days I went around a bit in the nearby areas of Hyderabad. In fact I watched 'The Artist' in a nearby multiplex cinema and tasted the local cuisine. Sixth day after HT I had my sutures removed. It was a bit uncomfortable and bearable pain when the sutures were removed and was told that some of the sutures would remain and fall off themselves. The swelling had also subsided completely. I was allowed to wash my hand properly and feel the suture area. The next day I washed my hair with shampoo and felt a slight bulge and a liquid discharge, and my heart skipped a beat... infection was the last thing I wanted. With a bit of panic I called the reception and Aforze assured me that there should not be any issue, but still asked me drop in quickly to the clinic before they closed for the day. I almost ran to to the clinic and Dr.Vijetha examined my suture and said that it was absolutely fine and healing properly. I had touched a remaining suture which had some dried blood that had become wet due to the hairwash. Thanked the doctor and came back happily to the apartment to do my packing for the flight the next morning.
My service apartment folks arranged my return airport drop and I had to pay them in Indian Rupees after the drop. Took the morning Emirates flight to UK via Dubai.
It is now 2 months and a week since I had my transplant. All the transplanted hairs have shed and additionally shockloss has set in leading to a very sparsely populated head. Donor area has healed completely, but shockloss at the donor area has also set in with a strip of bald patch at the back. I am however comforted by the fact that these are temporary losses and hopefuly starting in another 2 months to 6 months time i should be happier. I did have my post HT issues of itching and pimples at the recipient and donor areas. Fortunately I had carried the required medications preventively prescribed to me by Dr.Madhu's team. Post the 2 months mark, things seem to be settled at the top. Being a fitness freak I was desperately waiting to start my gym regimen and restarted after 4 weeks, though I read in lots of forums that a mild workout could be started after 2 weeks.
Overall it was a very good experience and my choice to go for Dr.Pathuri Madhu seems to heve been rewarding. the Doctor and his team were very courteous, patient and helpful and I will rate my trip, surgery and stay as very good.
I have posted a few before and immediately after pictures. My before photos are a bit sharper than the ones taken at the HT clinic . Since I opted for HT without shaving the transplants are not that much clearly visible. I have put my trust entirely on God and the good doctor & his team. <!-- / message --><!-- edit note -->
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