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Norwood 4, 2100 grafts, FUE, Dr Lupanzula, Mar-20

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Hi all,

In the spirit of ‘paying it forward’ here’s my review of my recent transplant with Dr Lupanzula.


Norwood 4, Aged 55. Had full head of hair till around 50.

FUE procedure, 2111 grafts, 4444 hair, on surface area of roughly 50cm2.

(Another procedure to be done in a year, for the crown and back of the head.)

Graft details :

                             FU’s       Hair

1 Hair                  443        443

2 Hairs                1086     2162

3 Hairs                509        1527

4 Hairs                78          312

Total     FU’s       2111     4444


Mid 50’s, started losing hair around 8 years ago. I had been thinking of a transplant for 3 years as my hair have been shedding with increasing speed. Now at Norwood 4 I would say and knew that this year I would have to pull the trigger. Denial, fear of pain, and the negative emotions associated with anything to do with hair loss kept me from doing it.

Anyway, I did some research – I read these and other forums. Read lots of reviews. Where are the negatives ones? There seem to be very few of those – so I wondered how many of the reviews are actually genuine?

Had a face-to-face consult with two very well know doctors. Met Dr Lupanzula in Feb in London, and I liked what I heard. Asked further questions via his assistant Scott, who was, and continues to be, very responsive and informative, without being pushy or ‘sales-manny’. A week later I signed up. They had a slot in 3 weeks’ time, and I looked forward to anxiety and sleepless nights till then.


The Event

My pre-op consult was the same day as my operation, and this was fine with me. Day started at 6:30am. Photos takes, hairlines drawn, blood samples taken for the blood tests, hair shaved off. Dr Lupanzula did all of these himself.

Around 9:00am is when the main event started. Scalp anesthetised, and I lie on my front whilst the doc extracts the follicles from the donor. This lasted around 2.5 hrs. Then followed the incision stage where the doc made the openings for the extracted follicles to be transplanted and this was fairly quick, maybe an hour or just over.

The final stage was the placings, which was done by two technicians and lasted for around 2.5 -3 hours.

The whole process was finished by 5:30pm, and I then joined the doctor for a chat, Q-and-A and a well-deserved baguette.

My experience

Pain – this was the ONE thing which had prevented me from taking action for 3 years cos someone ones said to me “Oh, my brother-in-law had a transplant, and he said it’s really painful”. Well, I had the complete opposite experience - practically no pain at all. The only tiny bit was when the injections were used to numb the scalp, and on a scale of 0-10 where 0 is “No pain”, I would measure mine at 2. It’s like having an injection when a blood sample of taken from the arm – there is a little prick that lasts a few seconds.

I am a real whoos when it comes to pain, so if you are like me, and have been holding back, then let me reassure you – if you pick the right doctor/clinic, then the pain is minimal. In fact, numerous times, during the day I fell asleep – at one point, both the technicians were laughing as my snoring became so loud that it even woke me up.

That night I was expecting throbbing of the head, but nope, nothing. The most painful part is having to sleep at 45% angle at night – I liken it to being on a long-haul flight in an economy seat, ie. inconvenient and fidgety, but not painful.

The next day, I was given a 1000mg paracetamol to take, but I didn’t need to take it as there was literally no discomfort at all.


I’m trying to not make this sound like a sales pitch, but here goes :

Wonderful. All three. The doctor is really relaxed and chilled and that calmed my nerves. We even shared a few laughs while he was drilling around my head, and I tried to impress him with my 10 word knowledge of the Swahili language. The facilities are very modern and well-equipped. The technicians are friendly, and one invited me to look through the microscope while he was separating my follicles. During the 2.5 hours of the placings stage, I was free to pick my favourite Netflix shows to watch while the technicians quietly did their job.


Pre-booking : All the comms are via Scott, the client liaison chappie. He’s very responsive and provided me all the info I needed. All the forms, payments etc were done online very efficiently, and within two days  of me saying ‘Yes’, we had everything finalised.

During the day : the doctor is very open to discussion, didn’t rush at all, and answered all the questions I had in a rational manner. The support staff too are very polite, respectful, and helpful. I was of course, the only person being operated on during that day, and this was important to me.

Post-op : I asked if I could come back the next day so someone could show me how to wash my hair, and of course, they were very happy to do so. In fact, I would say, whichever clinic you use, make sure you go back the next day, so they can clean you up properly, and show you good maintenance techniques. The staff even offered to video me having my hair washed for my personal use when I return home.

I will keep in contact with the doctor and have 3 and 6 monthly face-to-face consults when he visits London.

I feel great right now. Just want the ugly-duckling stage to pass quickly, and I look forward to seeing the results.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.














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The work looks impeccable, very clean. I’ve always been impressed by Dr. Lupunzula, look forward to your updates.

I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

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