My hair transplant diary: FUT at The Maitland Clinic Jan 2023

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  • MsAnneThrope
    Junior Member
    • Jan 2023
    • 11

    My hair transplant diary: FUT at The Maitland Clinic Jan 2023

    Hi all,

    I thought that I would create an ongoing and regularly updated forum post to share my experiences with The Maitland Clinic (TMC) in Portsmouth for my FUT procedure Ė kind of like a contemporaneous diary so you can see the good, bad, and ugly. My plan is to update this post so it will read from top to bottom as a long all-in-one post, but if that doesnít work then Iíll post separate updates as replies to this (let me know which youíd prefer if youíre wanting to follow the progress).

    My hairloss and me
    So, full disclosure: Iím trans. Iím posting here because my hairloss, although not awful was leaving an impact on how I felt about myself. And, yes I know I know trans people are a hot potato moral panic political football at the minute, so whatever your own thoughts are letís just all suspend nastiness and come together to share experiences and be supportive. Iím 43 and transitioned over 15 years ago, so my hairloss happened prior to that and was in a typical MPB pattern - while hormonal treatment and later surgeries have put halt to the hair loss, the damage was already done so to speak and since the NHS doesnít fund anything related to trans care pretty much (despite what the media would like to suggest) I had to initially save the £20k needed for facial hair removal before even thinking of a hair transplant.

    After that Iíd scrimped and saved up for a deposit for a house but then the Russia-Ukraine sent everything haywire so I thought Iíd use what Iíd saved to fix the hairloss issue. While you can see from the photos itís not awful, it does mean that Iíve had to wear the same style to hide the worst bits and has always made me feel like Iím part of a male trying to be a facsimilie of a woman. In any case, you can probably appreciate the challenging feelings that come with hair loss whatever gender you are (otherwise why are you on this forum).

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    Other things that may be relevant to you reading this: Iím medically trained, so perhaps had an easier time when speaking with surgeons relating to the medical aspects, care, how the procedure works and why certain things are done in certain ways. I also think that perhaps the surgeons may have been able to speak with me in a little more depth because we could understand each other (if that makes sense).

    Clinic choice

    Thereís not a huge amount online about hair transplants in the trans community Ė I donít know if itís a taboo or anything, but looking on Reddit the most often suggested (in the UK at least) was TMC. I asked a couple of acquaintances on Facebook who I knew had previously had transplants and one of them had gone to Turkey and another had used (and recommended) the Hair Growth Centre (HGC) in London where she had paid in the region of £5k for FUE all-in. She mentioned to me (and Iím looking at her Facebook messages here so I can be accurate) that a few of her friends had also used HGC and were happy with the results. She did mention that they tried to sell PRP injections at the end, and gave a pretty morally questionably example (although I cannot confirm or deny this so draw your own conclusions as to its veracity).


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    I also conducted some research on different recommended clinics, and TMC came up together with the Vinci Hair Clinic and the Farjo Clinic. I completely wrote off going abroad Ė my friend who had been to Turkey had a nice head of hair but in my opinion the hairline was SUPER harsh and looked a bit like it had been drawn on. I did not want to risk something so important to me when I was a little bit in unfamiliar waters Ė I know there are some wonderful surgeons abroad, and this is not me saying medical tourism is a bad thing as I donít think it is Ė I had my boobs done in Poland and theyíre fab Ė itís just that with something so personal and consistently on show I wanted to remain with someone in the UK that I could properly chat with and vet accordingly. So, I therefore had assessments with HGC, TMC, and Vinci all in Sep and October 2022 (Iíll explain why I didnít have one with Farjo below).


    1. Hair Growth Centre

    As with a lot of hair transplant places I sent images to a WhatsApp number for their initial thoughts. I sent the exact same pictures Iíve used above to show my hairloss. Someone called Sylvia replied to me and asked to arrange a video consultation with her which I duly did. The consultation with her consisted of her saying something along the lines of ďIíve shown your pictures to the surgeons and they said you can have FUE all-in at a discounted rate of £2000. Shall we get you booked in?Ē

    There was no real consultation and I honestly felt from the beginning it was just a hard sell and I would be part of a conveyor belt of people going through. Their heavily discounted offer also seemed a bit too good to be true. This hair loss is very personal to me and I want it to be dealt with by someone also takes it personally, or at least seriously and not just a quick way to make money. I felt very uncomfortable after this consultation and when I really undertook some research on the internet there were lots of stories that seemed to align with my suspicions. For me the HGC was not an option. Amazing if people have been there and had a great time, but it was not for me.

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    2. The Vinci Hair Clinic

    I was much happier with the consultation here Ė from the initial email back and forth from their Senior Hair Loss Consultant called Neil McAleese to the quotation I could tell their approach was night and day after the shambles of HGC. He was interested in what I was looking to achieve, wasnít fazed at all about the whole trans thing, and I felt that he was capable, competent and not just out to sell their services to me Ė he really wanted to make sure it was the right thing for me. He sent me various testimonials and information of all the surgeons he recommended (Dr Amanda Wolkowski or Dr Laurentio Tandarica) so I could also research them properly. This instilled confidence and honestly I was impressed. Their quote was between £4200 and £5200 for FUE and I canít see anywhere anything in relation to number of grafts so I assume it was for all-in

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    3. The Maitland Clinic

    The initial emails with TMC were similar in a sense to Vinci, in that David Anderson who was the key contact with me was clearly competent, experienced and passionate about what he did. He offered a free video consultation with him so that he could get a better idea of what I needed, what was important to me, and really took the time to get to know me as a person and if/how what they offered could help. I appreciated this informal and respectful approach, and it felt very professional and slick. He offered a face to face consultation in Portsmouth with Dr Ball for a proper assessment at a cost of £100. I decided to go with it because there was perhaps some anchoring heuristics at play knowing that he had a good reputation from my internet research, but honestly the professionalism and approach by David was excellent and I felt he Ďgot meí. Iíll explain the initial assessment below.

    4. Farjo

    I couldnít get in for a face to face with the Farjo Centre prior to my appointment with TMC, and as I ended up going with them I canít really comment on Farjo, although I did my research and saw that they also have a great reputation.


    Initial assessment with Dr Ball

    So I booked and paid in advance for an in-person assessment with Dr Ball, however a few days beforehand the Queen died and so we were all a bit unsure as to whether the appointment would go ahead as it was scheduled for the same day as her funeral. In the end they decided that since people (like me) had made plans to make the long journey (5 hours for me and with a hotel stay) they wouldnít cancel their appointments. I think this in itself says a lot about their approach to patient care Ė I really appreciated this because Iíd booked time off work, paid for hotels, and made lots of arrangements. It was nice that they recognised that.

    The clinic was in a MASSIVE business park thing, was very clean and everyone was very polite and lovely. I initially went through a few health related questionnaires etc with David and then Dr Ball came through to see me. I found him to be personable, clearly confident in his abilities, and I could feel his passion for what he did. He used a special camera to examine and assess my scalp and the hair follicles for density and suitability Ė he explained everything he was doing, and why he was doing it. After he did this he explained his approach to hairline creation Ė explaining that he does it by hand to create a more natural look and to make it as feminine as possible. We discussed some previous surgical scars and how he could hide them for me, and drew on his proposed hairline. It was a really thorough and comprehensive assessment and I honestly felt that he was the right choice for me. They explained that I would need around 2500 grafts and recommended FUT for me because a) I could hide it better, and b) would lend itself better to me. The total quote was £4 per graft, so around £10,000. This was by far the most expensive quote Iíd had, but I believe is the same as Farjo and I do believe the price is reflective of their expertise. Hereís part of the email I sent to David after the consultation:

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    So in the end I went with TMC and so I am booked for my FUT on 25th January and I will update as I go. I hope this has helped so far Ė please let me know if you have any questions
  • MsAnneThrope
    Junior Member
    • Jan 2023
    • 11

    #2
    One month update
    Hi all

    I did post an update after a week or so, but for some reason it hasn't posted (?been held in mods approval queue) so I'm hoping that this one posts.

    It's been a month today since my FUT so thought I'd drop a quick update. All going well and can definitely see that there's been quite a bit of shedding which is always concerning, even though I know it's expected and normal. The redness is abating and the scar is absolutely fine - still quite itchy but that's a good thing. I'll post again in a couple of months when hopefully I will start to see some growth. I do not like having to be patient to see how successful it's been lol

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    Comment

    • natalie321
      Junior Member
      • Feb 2023
      • 2

      #3
      Can I ask what are some of the common causes of hair loss and what build now gg treatment options are available?

      Comment

      • MsAnneThrope
        Junior Member
        • Jan 2023
        • 11

        #4
        07.07.23 updated photos - six month update

        Hi all,

        Please see 6 month update - apologies for the quality, I'm letting my hair be its natural curly self. Really looks great and couldn't be happier so far.

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