What happens at a hair transplant consultation?
7th November 2018
So you have made the decision to discuss your hair loss and have booked into see us. What happens next? Have you ever wondered what happens at a hair transplant consultation?
On arrival at either our Hampshire clinic, just outside of Portsmouth, or Harley Street clinic, in central London, you will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire. This will take around 5-10 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is completely confidential and provides us with essential information about your health and any medication that might affect your suitability for a surgical procedure. An online version of this form may be emailed to you in advance of the day.
Questions that we will wish to discuss in advance are:
- When did you first notice your hair loss?
- Where are the areas of concern?
- Do you have a family history of hair loss?
- What medication or treatments you are using now or have used in the past?
- Have you had a previous hair transplant? If so, when and how many grafts were used?
- What are your expectations?
Meeting with the team
Having completed the health questionnaire you will then meet with David Anderson (Senior Patient Advisor). David will talk through the questionnaire to gather further relevant information and gain an understanding of your knowledge of hair transplants, the techniques FUE and FUT and non surgical options for treating hair loss.
We see a range of patients. Some patients have a wealth of knowledge, having been researching hair transplants for many years and possibly having had a previous procedure. We also see patients who have only recently considered hair transplant surgery and are looking to gain as much information as possible.
There is no such thing as a silly question and David is happy to answer all of your questions. David has had a number of hair restoration procedures himself including FUT, FUE and beard hair transplants. He has also been using Propecia (finasteride) for over 12 years and also had PRP treatments. You can read about David’s most recent treatment at The Maitland Clinic in his blog.
David is well versed in explaining the differences between the two main hair restoration techniques and the benefits of the non-surgical options to retain and possibly thicken your existing hair. We wish to find the best solution for you as an individual.
At The Maitland Clinic, we don’t recommend hair transplant surgery to those that would benefit from non-surgical options in the first instance and often patients will leave having been told that surgery is not yet the best option for them.
With a limited donor supply, and in most cases progressive hair loss, it is much better to stop further loss than have many surgeries to chase your loss. It is important to know that a hair transplant is not a treatment for ongoing hair loss; your existing hair will still continue to thin so most of our patients who undergo hair transplant surgery will do so in combination with either Propecia (finasteride), Regaine (minoxidil) or PRP (platelet rich plasma).
A very common point of discussion is the recovery period after surgery and how soon will someone be able to return to work. Most patients can return to work 10-14 days after surgery if they wish no one to know that anything has taken place as these photos demonstrate.
Patient pre-op and 14 days post op
Patient’s donor area immediately post-op and after 10 days
It is important to know about timelines for growth and when the shedding of the newly transplanted hairs will take place. All patients will experience shedding of most of the new hairs around 1-4 weeks post op and it is months before the new growth is seen.
These patient blogs provide excellent documentation of the journey and timeline involved from day one of surgery to full growth 12 months later. These patients all had their hair transplants at The Maitland Clinic and you can view learn all about their experiences in their YouTube video diaries.
FUE Vlog 1895 grafts
Sig G FUT Vlog 4000 grafts
ZayJay K FUT Vlog 3439 grafts
During your consultation, we will discuss aftercare and the importance of following the post-op instructions for the first few days after surgery. Our specialist team will go through your post-op instructions in person before you leave the clinic. You will also have personal contact details for The Maitland Clinic team so that you can have all your questions answered during your recovery. We have produced clear written instructions for you to take home and a video which you can access on The Maitland Clinic YouTube channel.
To shave or not to shave?
Whether or not we will need to shave your hair for your procedure is best discussed during your initial consultation. Many patients are concerned about the appearance of a fully shaved head on returning to work. Some patients opt to shave their head before surgery so people can get used to this new look. A charity head shave is an idea if wanting to provide a viable excuse for this and raise money for a good cause. Shaving is not always required and will depend on your particular hair loss pattern and the surgical technique used.
Some patients undergoing hairline work require minimal shaving, just in the area where grafts are to be placed. This can allow patients to keep their hair longer behind the treated area and wear it forwards to conceal where the treatment has been carried out.
Detailed assessment of your hair and scalp
Scalp health, hair density, follicular groupings, hair calibre and characteristics.
Your areas of hair loss will also be assessed under high magnification in order to establish a diagnosis. Following this assessment a treatment recommendation will be provided and, if surgery is considered appropriate, the number of grafts, technique, coverage, hairline position and cost will be discussed.
Any other questions
At this stage, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions with David or Dr Edward Ball and then, with your permission, confidential photos will be taken to record the design and coverage of the proposed transplant area. These photos are also very helpful for patients moving forward with non-surgical options for a period of time so they can be referred to in the future to determine the response to these treatments.
After the consultation
You will receive an email from David to summarise the discussion and provide the relevant details. This email will be received 1-3 working days after your consultation. David is available by phone or email to answer any follow further questions that you may have.