Bertie's - Profile page Day 1: Surgery With Dr Shapiro
I turned up at Shapiro Medical Group on 8th July and was greeted at the desk by a friendly chap. I think he was called Del. Ron Shapiro soon arrived, and we discussed my hair-loss situation and the plan of action. I was thinning at the front and receding at the temples and crown. However, I was still able to create the illusion of a reasonable head of hair by combing my hair downwards, although this illusion was becoming untenable - hence my decision to have a transplant.
Ron advised me to retain my hairline similar to how it was already but to fill in the areas at the temple which were beginning to cut back into my scalp. I looked as though it wouldn't be long before I had a 'widow's peak', which I wanted to avoid. As I had a lot of donor hair and good laxity, I thought that I may be able to bring the temples down more, although Ron said it would look fine as it was when the transplanted hair grew. He drew his suggested hair line on my scalp and I decided to trust his judgement. He also told me about ACell powder and it's 'possible' effectiveness in improving the scar and recovery time, so I decided I'd have this as well, although it was an extra 500 dollars.
I went into the operation room - a nice bright room with a beautiful views overlooking lakes and woodland - and was greeted by lots of friendly techs. Without delay, Ron set about trimming and shaving my hair ready for the op. The only discomfort I felt was from the injections and also from resting my head on a cylindrical cushion, which I felt could have been softer. One cool thing was that they ran a vibrating device up and down my back to distract me from the injections, which was actually very effective. Once I'd been anaesthetised I felt very little, although I felt a slight 'crunch' with each follicle insertion that Ron made. Once he'd made the insertions I had about three techs working on my head at the same time planting the follicles - 3632 of them. I'd only expected 3,000 so was glad of the extra ones. During the op. I snoozed quite a lot. I started to watch a film and then dozed off.
The op. went on to about 6.00 pm and Ron popped in a few times to oversee things and then towards the end did some extra work himself. I was given post op. advice - apply ice paks, graftcyte spray, take the prescribed pills and take care when placing my cap - and then got a taxi back to my hotel - Country Inn and Suites. This was good and only about 5 mins walk away. I stayed in Minneapolis for a few extra days and visited SMG each day for a morning hair wash. They also cut my hair. On the second day post op. I got quite severe swelling around the eyes, which looked a lot worse than it felt. Paul Shapiro took a look at it and told me it was quite normal and that it would go down in a few days, which it did. During my extra two days in Minneapolis I visited a huge shopping mall - 'Mall of America' and went for a few great walks to explore the lakes that I saw from Shapiro's windows, in Normandale Park. I highly recommend that other patients try this walk. The lake and woodland are really beautiful and I enjoyed a bit of bird spotting, contrasting the American birds I saw - Robin, blackbird, Great Egret, some kind of hawk, waxwing, heron - with those of the UK.
Overall, I enjoyed the trip and found SMG very professional.