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Hi to everyone

I thought Id share my story with you all. Im 56 years old, it was now or never!

I started losing my hair around 20 years ago. At first i didn’t do too much about it, which I realised now was a big mistake. After 10 years of being in denial, I kept seeing adverts on TV about the Belgravia centre in London. Im sure many of you will have heard of them. Funny how we dont see any adverts from them on the TV anymore. I remember I booked an appointment with them, and at the time, they seemed to know what they were talking about. They sold me a years supply of Propecia and Minoxidil and that was the next step in my journey. The first year i did see quite a good improvement. My crown started to fill in and my hairline seemed to begin to thicken up quite a bit too.

After the first year I never really noticed any further improvement but continued to use them hoping that I would. I continued with this for around 7 years. But then I discovered the forums and started to watch a lot of videos on youtube and realised I was wasting a lot of money. At one point they even changed from brand name Propecia to generic finasteride without any communication or change in price. I decided to stop using them and found much cheaper alternatives.

I then began using Proscar which was to my surprise much cheaper. I supplemented that with minoxidil which contained 0.1% finasteride from the USA which was great, but actually turned out very expensive as I was getting charged shipping tax on top of the cost of the product.

I eventually decided to switch to minoxidil 5% twice per day. I did get a big shed initially, especially to my hairline which never really recovered. That was when I began to use hair fibres to cover my loss. Applying minoxidil twice per day and spending a good amount of time each and every morning applying fibres, it go too much. I finally decided to take the plunge and get a hair transplant.

I didn’t really consider Turkey as I had heard many bad stories on the forums, although it would have obviously been a lot cheaper. As I was in a fortunate position, I decided that I would take a career break of 6-12 months and move to Cyprus. My initial thinking was that as I would be in Cyprus would make sense to have my hair transplant in either Cyprus or Greece. I went on holiday to Cyprus to visit my parents last September and visited HDC clinic. They had some very good results on the forums, but for some reason they just didn’t seem to feel quite right for me.

I also spoke with DHI in Athens and Dr Anastasakis, but again it just didn’t feel right for me.

At this point, I also got in touch with BHR in Athens and spoke to their consultant Ian. I found him very helpful and he took a lot of time to explain things and over several months we spoke a lot. I would often keep him on the phone for a long time with various questions. He never at any point pressured me into going with BHR. He was very pleasant and polite at all times and had a lot of patience. He arranged for me to have a consultation with Dr Bisanga in London in December of last year. I went along and Dr Bisanga explained that I would need approximately 3500 grafts. 2500 grafts in the front and 1000 grafts into the crown. To be honest after meeting him, my mind was made up. I really wanted to have the procedure done in February, but Dr Bisanga was not available in Athens until March. This gave me three months to get everything organised after my consultation. That included leaving my job, finding my accommodation in Cyprus which wasn’t too difficult to be honest as my parents are living there.

I moved to Cyprus on 12th March, booked my flights and accommodation to Athens from Paphos which was convenient as it was only one and a half hours flight. Surgery was scheduled on March 25th and 26th. But then arrived the coronavirus!!!

On the 18th, I received a dreaded call from my accommodation in Athens, explaining that they had to cancel my stay with them as they were forced to close down. So I tried to find alternative accommodation but the very next day my flights were also cancelled and after speaking with Ian, he explained that BHR Athens had to temporary close due to government restrictions in Greece and the closing of all private clinics due to the virus.

It was terrible news for me, but Dr Bisanga kindly offered that if I could get to Brussels for March 23rd, he would perform surgery in Brussels whilst honouring the same price that we agreed in Athens. Myself and Ian found travel options to fly into Brussels via Germany. The day that we initially found them. they were priced at €200 return. The following day when we checked again, prices had gone up to almost €2000.

So I immediately called my travel agent whom I always use, as personally I dont like booking flights online. I much prefer to speak directly with a person. My travel agent managed to get me a flight from Cyprus to Heathrow on March 20th, and then found a seat on the Eurostar to Brussels on the 21st. I then booked myself into travel lodge for one night in London and took the Eurostar to Brussels the following day. All this for a hair transplant!!! But as I said, it was now or never for me.

I finally arrived in Brussels and was collected by a driver arranged by Dr Bisanga. He dropped my at my accommodation which was only 200 metres away fro the clinic, which i booked on booking.com and it was a very nice place and the hosts were great.

I met with the Doctor on the Sunday so that we could get things moving and to not waste any further time on Monday morning, the day of surgery. The original plan was to receive 3500 grafts over two days, but due to the risk of the clinic being closed due to Coronavirus and government restrictions at any day, Dr Bisanga decided it best to complete surgery in one day.

I arrived on Monday at 7am. Dr Bisanga shaved my head straight away. I received the injections and we began immediately with the procedure. His team of technicians were fantastic with so much experience. One of the girls had been with him for over 11 years and another for over 4 years. There were 3 girls in the team. All who were very nice and friendly. We didn’t finish until almost 8pm.

I stayed in Brussels until 29th so that I could have a rest and try and relax after all of the stress of getting there. When I look back, I dont know how I didn’t just throw in the towel.

I am so happy and relieved that I saw it through and would like to personally thank Dr Bisanga for offering me the opportunity for having surgery performed in Brussels.

I ending up receiving 3501 grafts with the following graft breakdown.

1 - 401

2 - 1649

3 - 1247

4 - 204

Total hairs 8256

Average hair count per follicular unit 2,358

Ian kindly offered to add photos from my surgery day, so he will post them below.

Thank you

 
 
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Patient Advisor for BHR Clinic Athens - Greece

ian@drchristianbisanga.com  -  WhatsApp - + 34 642 37 03 83 

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

My Hair Loss Website

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@Welwyn

Great write up. We all appreciate you taking the time to do so.  Your story doesn't even begin to explain the lengths that you went to, to ensure that you made it to Brussels. I know how motivated you were to do so, and nobody deserves it more than you.

Thanks for your kind words.  Im looking forward to the next several months and Im very pleased for you. 

Stay patient and grow well!


Patient Advisor for BHR Clinic Athens - Greece

ian@drchristianbisanga.com  -  WhatsApp - + 34 642 37 03 83 

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

My Hair Loss Website

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Thanks for sharing and doing such a comprehensive write up. Nice and clean work and so good to see FUE extractions spread out as in your case as opposed to crammed into the  rear. This is important both for donor reservation and also in order to get the finer single haired grafts that seem to elude many clinics and are harder to harvest well .  Really nice and clean with good extraction pattern and look forward to the updates. 


I represent Dr. Bisanga.

 

Dr. Christian Bisanga is recommended on the Hair Transplant Network

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Posted (edited)

I didn’t think you can do 3500 grafts FUE In one day ?

Edited by Cahustler

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Not sure I will ask and let you know but only 2 weeks after surgery and it looks as if nothing was done

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Thanks for the interest and further questions.

@Cahustler Regarding Welwyn receiving 3501 grafts in one day. It was a very comfortable day. Welwyn was Dr Bisangas only patient for the day and as he mentioned, with 3 extremely proficient and experienced placing technicians who have worked as part of Dr Bisangas team for several years.

Each patient brings a completely unique set of circumstances, not only in terms of their hair characteristics and loss, but also in regards to in surgery factors such as any excessive bleeding, popping of grafts when placing, undue movements from the patient, toughness of skin when punching and making recipients sites, administering further anaesthetic etc.... All of these factors naturally play their part in how long a surgery day lasts, and how many grafts can be reached in one surgery day. In Welwyns case, there were no complications.

@LonelyGraft Welwyn had good density for curly hair. His density was measured at an average of 85 follicular units per cm2 and as he detailed in his write up, with each follicle on average containing 2.36 hairs. He brought nice characteristics to the table. Considering the medium coarse and curly nature of Welwyns hair, a punch of 0.8mm was used.

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Patient Advisor for BHR Clinic Athens - Greece

ian@drchristianbisanga.com  -  WhatsApp - + 34 642 37 03 83 

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

My Hair Loss Website

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Hi everyone hope you are all good I woke up this morning and Donor area is very itchy. Trying best not to rub it. Any advice would be much appreciated 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Welwyn

I hope itchiness is not causing you too much frustration or discomfort today.

Regarding any itchiness in your donor area, further details and information covering all post op factors including itchiness were covered in the post op email "post surgery tips".

Just to reiterate  regarding itchiness in your donor -

This is normal as the donor heals and sheds skin in the early phases, but this sensation can also remain due to the scalp being somewhat dry, but will improve in the ensuing months post surgery. Follow post op instructions, and after the first week, you can massage the donor area well to shed any dead skin and can apply aloe vera or similar moisturiser, vitamin E etc.

Ill contact you privately and see how you are getting on.

Edited by Raphael84

Patient Advisor for BHR Clinic Athens - Greece

ian@drchristianbisanga.com  -  WhatsApp - + 34 642 37 03 83 

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

My Hair Loss Website

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My 3 week update all opinions much appreciated I'm still getting itching donor area only but not as bad as before shedding has started oh well was expected 

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My four week update was getting quite a bit of itching but with good advice used alone vera has made a great difference shedding has continued  but I think in the last two days has got a lot less so fingers crossed it has know stopped I will post photos soonn

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Looks great, you have amazing hair characteristics. Thick, coarse hair.


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.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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Your donor looks fantastic for only 3 weeks out! Congrats on the transplant. I’m looking forward to this!

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Nice and encouraging compliments @Welwyn
We are all looking forward to follow your progress.


Patient Advisor for BHR Clinic Athens - Greece

ian@drchristianbisanga.com  -  WhatsApp - + 34 642 37 03 83 

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

My Hair Loss Website

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Yeh thanks to all for your encouraging words I will keep updating i will be cutting my donor area with clippers for the first time since my transplant hopefully on Sunday I will post photos thanks again 

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On 4/25/2020 at 2:34 PM, Welwyn said:

Yeh thanks to all for your encouraging words I will keep updating i will be cutting my donor area with clippers for the first time since my transplant hopefully on Sunday I will post photos thanks again 

what size clippers will you use? I am quite curious as I have had a similar number of FUE grafts with similar hair characteristics. Looking forward to your update

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I cut it yesterday I used a 1.5 seems to feel better know 

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No change from last photos still early but thought I'd post my 8 week update for anyone whose interested straight after haircut number 2

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Still super early but I’m sure you will have a great result.

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Keep us posted on your progress. 6 and then 12 months are always the best markers.

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Especially interested in your mid scalp result. Bisanga seems to pack in a lot of grafts at the hair line, but it would be interesting to see mid scalp density as well.

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