Hello Gentlemen – I am not new to this forum but decided to sign in today so that I can share my experience and give some positive information back to this wonderful community that has provided me a great deal of useful information during my research in the last 6 – 7 months, so in a way, I’m new!
First of all, some details:
I’m a male (who’d have guessed that), 63 years old, “Expat” Scot living in Germany and I’ve just had a hair transplant (even at my age, hey I’m vain!) but I’ll get to that in the following. One of the gentleman on this forum that really tipped this for me was @Dazed, a member of my generation – thank you and cheers sir, I love your attitude, you were an inspiration for me!
So let me get to the nitty gritty:
4777 Grafts from the originally estimated 5200 (apparently there was a very large number of “3-hair grafts” amongst them so I got some money back!
The procedure took place last week 6/7th November, 2019 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland – yep, you’ve got it - Hattingen Hair – the surgeons were Dr. Sever and Dr. Laura Muresanu
Why Hattingen Hair?
Well first of all, they are only 220 Km from where I live in Germany, and I found out about them after combing(?) the Internet, talking to one person who had been there, reading and listening to what Joe Tillman had to say, the German forum, alopezie.de and of course, hairrestorationnetwork.com as well as Hattingen’s own website. I spent most of my time on this forum though, because although I am fluent in German, I found the German website to be a little too, well you know, “German” (they talk a lot and don’t always get op the point and don’t answer questions directly).
After contacting several other clinics, and talking mostly to some kind of salesperson/representative (but never the actual doctor), I contacted Dr. Muresanu and went to him for a face-to-face consultation – this was important to me because I think it is important to talk to the person who is actually going to “knife me” - also he doesn't charge a fee for the consultation
To cut a long story short, I drove to Schaffhausen 30th May and the straight-cut, no-messing-around Dr. Muresanu examined me, listened to my expectations and then told me what he could actually do while taking all things into consideration. His honest and open way impressed me and I only had to think for a day before accepting his offer – in short, I trusted him right from the very start and decided he was the best doctor for me.
I got a date for the procedure promptly – 2nd/3rd March 2020
I should point out at this stage, Dr. Muresanu doesn’t do mega sessions (anymore) and spreads the surgery over two days with a 3rd day for the first wash and discussion of the follow-up care. He said it’s better that way and very much less taxing for the surgeon and technicians and of course, patient.
Later, Dr. Muresanu contacted me to offer me a new date because somebody dropped out at short notice and short notice it was indeed: 6 days. I accepted because at my age, time counts so I drove to Schaffhausen with my wife on Tuesday evening for surgery at 7 o’clock the next day. We stayed at a hotel only 5 minutes walk from the clinic.
The following is an account of the proceedings for anyone else that may be considering Hattingen – I know that there is gentleman on this forum who will be having his procedure there 19th November so this one’s initially for you but of course, also for everybody else. Don’t worry, it’s gonna be OK!
After arriving, Dr. Muresanu drew the hairline, took pictures, explained what was going to happen and then he gave me the anaesthetic. That was only part of the whole procedure that hurt ( a little!)
I felt absolutely nothing from there on, but I “heard” the trips being cut – strange feeling!
After that, the was a short break while the technicians started taking the follicles out of the strip.
Shortly after that, the procedure continued and Dr, Muresanu started on the hairline. The rest at the front was done by the technicians with intermittent checks on progress by Dr. Muresanu. Once completed, I got another dose of anaesthetic and my head was dressed and covered with a head cloth (bandana).
This was about 1:30 pm and then lunch was served and following that, I went back to the hotel (around 2:30 pm) armed with pain killers
I spent the afternoon taking a look at the picturesque town of Schaffhausen with my wife (she spent most of the time in the boutiques – beware, Switzerland is expensive so perhaps you shouldn’t take your wife – she may think that if your having an expensive hair transplant, then she needs new clothes!)
After a surprisingly and relatively good night’s sleep (I needed the pain killer towards the morning though – I’m a wimp), I was back at the surgery at 7 o’clock for the rest of the procedure.
This time, strips were taken from both sides and used to fill the crown and “thicken up” the front a little. Dr Muresanu joined them to the strip taken from the back on the previous day (perfectly!) and JFYI, the length of the whole strip is 30 cm. Dr. Muresanu started on my crown and this took some time, after which, the team did the rest. Finished at around 1:00 pm, lunch again and, armed with pain killers again, back to the hotel and another tour of the boutiques.
The second night wasn’t so wonderful but still bearable and I turned up the next morning for the first wash and final instructions – this time at 9 o’clock.
On both days I was able to watch the extremely efficient and friendly team do their work and saw the “bits from my head” being dissected and take a look at my hair follicles under the microscopes – they explained what they were doing and how. The same team also help plant the follicles on both days
Afterwards, armed with shampoo, antibiotic gel, surgical staple remover, pain killers and various other things, my wife drove me back home.
The following two nights weren’t the best in my life but I did manage to get a few hours sleep. However, my wife complained that a snored a lot (lying on my back with a raised head!) – now, from day 4 post-OP, I’m getting my usual 7-8 hours sleep and am not in need of any pain killers.
I was told to wash my hair twice a day and apply an antibiotic gel afterwards for the first five days. Other than that no rocket science.
The initial skin tension is practically unnoticeable now and there is some numbness but I don’t actually notice that until a tap on the back of my head. There is some slight scabbing on top but it’s drying out and flaking away a little
Otherwise (day 8 post-OP) no pain, no discomfort and I go back to work on Monday wearing a bandana and wondering what I’m going to tell my colleagues.
Hope this is of interest and I will upload some pictures as everything progresses – not sure if it makes sense to upload post-OP pictures, after all they’re all the same – but when things start to happen in a few months, I will upload them for comparison!
Can I recommend Hattingen? – Hell yeah – best decision I ever made!
Cheers and take care!