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hi huys i had a terrible experience in the uk with two very poor hairtransplants and am currently in the proccess of making a blog on here to document my journey.
I was very fortunate though to have recently undergone repair surgery at Shapiro Medical Group in minessotta usa and wanted to share my story so that i can hopefully show there is hope for victims of poor shoddy work if you use a world class clinic. Ive decided to post here as i just wanted to share my own personal experience to show people there is hope.

best wishes
bullitnut

Here’s the story of my hair loss repair program with Shapiro medical group in Minnesota



I’m going to go into detail to help all newbie’s and UK patients thinking of going to America

Firstly I live in the UK in West Yorkshire so I booked my flights from Manchester as this was my nearest large airport. I booked my flights with klm airlines who are partners with north west airlines.

Who fly to America regularly from all UK airports.

The flight cost around £450 return (thanks Tubs)and was a one stop connection in Amsterdam before flying to MSP airport at Minneapolis. The flights themselves were very comfortable and even the connection stop at Amsterdam was very easy to do and straight forward. To be honest this was a major worry for me as id only ever flown to Paris, but trust me it was a piece of cake!! The flight to Amsterdam took 50mins then the flight to MSP took 9 and half hrs but this seemed to go pretty quick as there was a great selection of in flight entertainment with TV screens in the head rests.

When I arrived at MSP airport I was picked up by the hotel shuttle bus that JANNA the clinical operations manager at Shapiro Medical Group had very kindly arranged for me as she was aware just how nervous i was of flying and how inexperienced i was, as i'd only ever flown to france before. This was a huge weight off my mind as its terrifying being in a strange country without the added worry of finding your hotel. .

Janna had booked my hotel for me previously in the run up to the surgery as I’m hopeless with anything like that which was very helpful .The hotel she recommended and booked was the country inn and suites at Bloomington and i was very impressed with her recomendation as the hotel was great

When the bus dropped me off at the hotel I simply couldn’t believe it, the place was immaculate and the staff were warm and friendly and ever so helpful (which to be honest was a shock as UK hotels are generally poor). The room came equipped with flat screen TV with loads of channels and on demand movies, it had all the essential amenities e.g. hair dryers, kettle iron etc ,and there was even free wifi internet access in every room which proved cool as I brought my laptop.

There was also free breakfasts which believe me I took advantage of as they were out of this world lol..

Monday morning i got the shuttle bus from the hotel to take me to SMG and I don’t mind admitting I was absolutely terrified after the previous transplants id had. I must of spent most of the night in the lavatory but Janna bless her kept reassuring me as soon as i arrived at smg which was very nice!!.

As soon as i arrived after meeting Janna i was relaxed as she was a wonderful warm caring person and knew just what to say to put me at ease straight away

She then introduced me to Dr Shapiro he greeted me with a handshake and welcomed me to his clinic, straight away all my fears disappeared because the guy was one of the most kind, warm hearted gentleman I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet he really took onboard my hair loss concerns and was extremely passionate about helping me it was obvious right from the get go this guy was going to do his very best to improve my situation.

Firstly he checked out my donor hair, laxity and recipient site. He then took plenty off photos from all sides, he then uploaded these onto a pc screen so I could see my hair loss from all angles. After this he asked what I hated the most and what I hoped to achieve.

We discussed the options and procedure for around an hour. He was extremely thorough and answered all my questions and concerns and really took onboard what I was saying. To me it was blatantly obvious the man had my very best interests at heart, there was absolutely no pressure or rushing to get me into the chair he wanted to get the plan off attack just right before we started.

He then showed me what he thought would be the best plan off attack based on his knowledge and my desires by drawing diagrams on my head and going through the whole process step by step explaining every aspect of the imminent surgery. I was more than happy to go with his suggestions as they were exactly what i was hoping for and matched my goals completely . So we agreed on the approach and I was led into the procedure room where I was introduced to everyone.

This again was a pleasure as every member off his staff greeted me warmly I felt like a vip and I couldn’t possibly have been more comfortable all the techs were very friendly and happy telling jokes and doing their up most to make me feel comfortable. All in all I have to say that Drs Ron and Paul Shapiro must have had the friendliest work force I’ve eve come across my whole life.

I was then told to put on a medical gown ready for the procedure whilst doing this their consultant Matt Zupan came in and introduced himself to me and again what a nice guy he was, funny and quick witted and very likeable just like the other staff members he asked if I was comfortable and laughed at my forum name bullitnut .

I was placed in a chair rather like a dentists chair and was given my anesthetic using an extraordinary vibrating machine that was placed on my forehead to numb my scalp. This was a great feeling I never felt any pain whatsoever just the odd scratch like feeling now and again but this was normal and was nothing at all to worry about. I can honestly say hand on heart that the anesthetic was no where near as bad as that administered at a dentist, and im a wimp so if it hurt id be the first to complain lol.

I was then placed face down on the chair with my chin on a head rest so Dr Shapiro could remove my strip. This again was completely painless and to be honest I almost fell asleep as I was very comfortable lying there and had foolishly had little sleep the night before due to needless worry. After the strip was removed the techs starting the cutting while I was being sutured up.

Dr Shapiro then told me he had managed to get rid of most of my poor previous scar which was great and I almost started to cry soft sod I am lol. He then started to make the incisions for my new hair with Janna counting everyone out loud so we knew just how many there was. When about 90% of the incisions were made, they used a dye onto my recipient area for them to see the incisions better. They saved around 10% of the grafts to be used for fine tuning at the end. They were also taking estimates of how many grafts were to be expected every half hours or so.

Janna and the other techs then started to plant with Dr Shapiro checking all the time he was very thorough and hardly ever away whilst they were doing this. They planted in a rotation so that each tech didn’t become too tired. It was obvious that they had all been there working together for a lot of years as they were like a well oiled machine working in tune with each other it was very impressive to see.

During the surgery I was given valium to help me relax and offered a choice of DVDs to watch on a flat screen TV in front of me, the whole experience was so relaxing I almost fell asleep on numerous occasions and had to fight to keep my eyes open at times lol.

I can honestly say though that through out the whole procedure I didn’t feel one bit of pain, and I was told that if I did to tell them so they could administer more anesthetic.

The whole thing lasted from 8.00 am until around 5.00pm with a break in the middle for lunch which was a lovely pizza courtesy of NervousNelly,thank you!!.

I was also told that if I ever needed the rest room just to ask and I could go, which I did on a couple of occasions and both times I was escorted by this very caring lovely technician just to make sure I was ok due to the medication ,all in all the level of care shown throughout was simply exceptional. The guys who work at smg should be very proud of themselves as they do a superb job and really know how to make someone feel welcome and look after them.

Throughout the surgery I was offered drinks periodically which was a nice gesture as you can imagine sat in a chair that long you become restless and a nice drink every now and again alleviated that .

When most of the grafts were placed Dr Shapiro and Janna began to fine tune the hairline with the last lot of grafts to fine tune the work and they really took there time over this to ensure it was just right and as planned from the beginning.

After the surgery was finished Tom one off the techs a really cool guy went through all the post operative instructions and gave me a bag with pain killers and some gauze cloths, graftcyte spray and antibiotic cream he was very thorough with the instructions and made sure I understood properly which was good thanks Tom!!.

I was then given something to eat and drink before I said goodbye to everyone and thanked Dr Shapiro for all the work he had done , Janna then asked if I was happy with the results and im not ashamed to admit that even though I’m a man off 34yrs old it brought tears to my eyes when I looked in the mirror.

After the surgery i went back to the hotel on the free shuttle bus which was very handy and the driver was great, the hotel was only minutes away from smg so the ride only took a short while.

I was told to return the day after surgery for a shampoo so they could instruct me properly on how to do it. The free bus picked me up again the following day and when i arrived Janna introduced me to one of the techs, who was also a hairdresser called Sue. She said she was going to trim my hair after Janna had washed it for me and she did a great job as it looked lots better when the sides were trimmed to match the new grafted hair.

Afterwards Dr Shapiro took some pictures and video footage of my results he asked me if I was happy and I said ecstatic.

The city itself was great to explore and was beautiful and worlds apart from anything we have here in the UK, I was mesmerised by all the tall buildings and how clean the place was, also the people there were so polite and well mannered it was like something from a dream I really took to the city and its definitely a place id visit again.

I realise this has been a long thread but I feel that after the poor surgeries ive had in the past I owe it to everyone out there who has supported me on the forums to tell them just how pleased and thankful I am. Right now I feel like a kid in a candy store and I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to Dr Shapiro for all his hard work and dedication in making my dreams come true.

You truly are the greatest man I’ve ever met in my entire life you were born with a gift and im just so glad I got the pleasure of you using it on me, in my humble opinion based on all the research I did before you agreed to do the pro bono work and my own experience ive had with you, you are definitely the greatest hair transplant surgeon on the planet today and as well as that you have now become a good friend and id like to wish you all the best for the future.

I would also like to thank Janna who is just an incredible lady who has the patients best interest at heart 100% of the time, you went out of your way every day I was in Minnesota to help me and for that I am and always will be eternally grateful you’re the best J

SMG ROCK!!!!!!!!

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hi guys stage on of my repair with Shapiro Medical group is complete. Stage two is set for april 2010, im thrilled with my progress so far

below is a few pics of my head before i started my repair journey showing the extent of my UK butcherings





remember the above results cost me a staggering £5000 and as you can see they are terrible

the next pics show my results at the end of stage one of my repair with Shapiro Medical, there is a great improvement and i haven't even begun stage two yet!!!







you can read my full story at my none commercial blog at this details my entire journey and shows loads of pictures from both my UK nightmares and my amazing experience with SMG


***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed
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hi guys note to moderators im v sorry i did not realise web addresses were not allowed my bad. :'(

Anyone interested in seeing my story just google bullitnut and you will see my own blog cheers ;-)
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Here's the story of part two of my hair transplant repair with Dr Paul Shapiro of Shapiro Medical Group.

I flew from my local UK airport, which is Leeds and Bradford, my flights were generously payed for by Spencer Kobren(Thanyou).

For other potential UK patients the airline i chose was KLM/DELTA AIRLINES, both because they were the cheapest and also because i used them last time and liked the little tv gizmos they have incorporated into their headrests.

The flight was a one stop flight which connected in Amsterdam, i was dreading customs there and had visions of them asking silly questions.

However the customs at Amsterdam were more interested in looking for things unto wards with their scanning booths, rather than asking questions about why you were going to the states in the first place, so it was over in seconds and nothing at all to worry about.

Once on the plane you have to fill in a little green visa waiver slip, similar to the online ESTA application you have to make prior to visiting the US.(so make sure you take a pen).

The flights went very quickly and i enjoyed the choice of movies and slept for a while too, even the on flight meal was nice (choice of pasta or chicken).

When you arrive in Minnesota you have to go through border control which is also a breeze, they just look at your filled in green slip, take finger prints, and ask a few questions about your visit...no pressure or embarrassing questions which is a piece of cake, and is only for their security.

I stayed in the hotel La Quinta to which there is a free shuttle from the airport, this runs 24hrs on the hour which is handy(Be careful you get on the right one though as there are 2 hotel La Quintas in Bloomington).

The driver was a great guy, although he thought he was a bit of a comedian and told the poorest jokes known to man lol.

Once i arrived at the hotel i was blown away at the sheer size of the thing, as last time i stopped at the Country Inn and Suites, which in itself is a beautiful hotel with great facilities, but imo not as good as La Quinta.

The hotel shuttle is also willing to take you to the clinic, but on a nice day i would advise a nice stroll over as its only a 4min walk if that from SMG. The hotel is also situated very close to an arrray of food establishments and a nice sports bar called Majors.

The room was very comfortable and had all the amenities you would expect from a good hotel, it was extremely clean and the staff were very friendly, polite and didn't ask any questions at all regarding ht's.

The hotel also had a nice breakfast area that was open at reasonable times and served a great breakfast, it also had a wifi, a fitness suite and swimming pool...not that i used them as i'm exercise phobic lol.

Another great feature of the hotel was that the room service was all delivered and served by a local pizza takeaway firm called American Pie, which was both very tasty, efficient and reasonably priced.

The tv in the room was large and had a great choice of channels and the bed was very comfortable.I had a coffee machine, a fridge and microwave. The room was impeccable ,and had plenty of vending machines on most floors with snacks and cold beverages.

The day before my surgery i got the free shuttle up to SMG (which to be honest was a little lazy as its only a few minute walk) where i met Janna again.

I remember thinking she hadn't changed at all and was still as friendly and charming as the last time i met. We had a chat then took some photos of my hair in her office, which included some of my donor closure.

She then invited Matt Zupan to come in and have a look, i had a chat with him and he too was a very nice guy, extremely easygoing and great to talk to just as i had remembered.

He also wanted to take a few pictures, so i went into his office and had a nice chat about how i felt about my result from stage one, and the procedure i was going to have..the guy is a fountain of knowledge regarding HT'S.

I was then offered a drink and invited to talk to Dr Ron about my situation,we spoke about how i felt about the results from stage one. I explained to him that i was delighted and felt that the initial goal of creating a natural look had been more than accomplished.

He asked me what my main concerns were this time and what exactly i hoped to achieve from the next surgery. He also examined my hair and was pleased with the outcome, he really is a lovely, warm caring, compassionate and easy to talk to guy.

We had a chat about my goals and i said my primary objective was to strengthen the hairline a little, and to add a little density to the mid core.

I also said i was not too worried about the crown area. He was fine about this and he said he only wanted to do what was best for me so that i could be happy, and what would make me the most comfortable.

That night i went back to the hotel i had a lengthy look in the mirror, i thought long and hard about what i wanted, and about what i had said to Dr Ron.

After staring at my my reflection in the mirror i thought ,that my crown showed quite a bit more than i liked, and as i am a repair case then maybe i could regret not having hair at the crown later.

I decided that if i could get a light coverage at the crown(vertex)..just enough for some concealer like Nanogen, Toppix or Demmatch to work with i would be much happier. And in the future if did have a little donor left i could maybe address the hairline a little then.

Not that there is anything wrong with the hairline..its totally natural i just wanted to maybe lower it a very small amount.

I want to stress its very important to know your exact goals before your surgery, providing they are realistic of course and even though i changed my mind late in the day im glad i did.

The morning of the surgery i arrived at 8am and was greeted by Janna and Dr Paul who i had only met breifly on my last visit.

He invited me into his office and showed me the pictures that were taken the previous day...i was shocked and in awe. It's not until you see the before and after pictures side by side in front of you that you realise just how far you have come, as growth kind of just creeps upon you without you realising it after a while.

Dr Paul examined my head but noticed that unfortunately my laxity wasn't as great as we would have liked. He put this down to the fact that i had had 3 previous surgeries. He then explained to me he would probably be able to get around 1000-1500 grafts, as apposed to the 2000 we had initially hoped for.

I wasn't phased by this, as i knew he was right my laxity wasn't great i could feel it was tight from doing the scalp exercises in the build up to the surgery, so in all fairness i was kind of expecting this kind of figure anyway, and was more than happy with the amount estimated.

He also said he could remove the small part of my Norton Scar that was left over from the first pass.

So after talking with Dr Paul i decided the plan of attack was to mainly address the crown area as priority, and to put a small amount in the hairline just to add a small extra amount of density.

Dr Paul then drew his work areas on my scalp and showed me with the mirror what he was planning to do and asked if this is what i meant and we agreed on a plan.


His concern right from the word go was to make sure i was 100% happy and comfortable with what was going to be done, he spent quite a lengthy time explaining his intentions, he was a good listener and i think my plan was a good one.

I was happy i had changed my mind about the crown area, but i felt kind of bad, as just the day before i told Dr Ron i was going to leave the crown alone, and concentrate on the frontal third....there was no pressure to have work done in these areas it was simply my choice but as i looked at myself that night i knew i was making a mistake.

Lots of guys are happy with no crown and density up front, but because i have no hair in the crown except for some unsightly plugs,i couldn't even conceal it with a little Nanogen or Toppik.

So a light coverage would help in that department, and as i said earlier i could always add a little more to the hairline down the line in the future donor permitting.

After the plan was arranged Dr Paul took me into his procedure room, which was impeccably clean and very modern looking with the most amazing view out of the window of a lake.

All the staff said hi and i remembered them from last year, they were all so friendly and well mannered and straight away any nerves i did have just vanished right out the door.

Del was there telling his usual jokes( nice guy) and they all seemed in a fantastic mood....a very happy workforce Tom came by and said hello too even though he was working on another patient.

Dr Paul started by giving me some med's for pain and to help me relax, he explained he had experience in pain management and at no time did he want me to feel pain.

If i did he wanted me to let him know straight away, he then gave me what i believe was called a nerve block injection along the donor scar area, which wasn't painful at all just a little uncomfortable, but no worse than the dentist.

After that he moved around to the front and used the vibrating tool, i remembered this from last time, it was used to administer the anaesthetic.

This really is a cool device as the feeling of the vibration totally overides the feeling of the injections going in at the same time, which is in my mind ingenious.

When my head was numb he turned me over, and i laid face down on the chair with my head in a kind of groove, a bit like a travel cushion.

He began to remove the strip and was asking all the time making sure i couldn't feel anything. This was a very cool part of the procedure as you could here what they were doing but you just couldn't feel anything and i nearly fell asleep a few times i was so relaxed.

Dr Paul confirmed again at this point my laxity was very tight and he gave me the strip sizes (to which i can't recall i'm sure Janna will remember for me). He used sutures rather than staples for the closure.

After the strip was removed i was sat back up and asked if i was comfortable, so he could make incisions.

He began doing this, it was pain free and all the time i could hear a crunch when he made an incision and i also could hear him counting as he went along.

All the time he was working on me he was explaining every step in detail, he was always asking if i could feel any pain.

He was very attentive and caring and knew just how to make you feel at ease( must be a family trait as Dr Ron was great like that too last year).

Around midday we broke for lunch and i was escorted to the bathroom by a tech called DEL, who i might add has a wicked sense of humour which is great. He waited for me outside to make sure i was ok then i went for lunch.

It was chinese....let me tell you folks if your from the UK and like chinese food then you will love US chinese food it was simply awesome!!

After lunch Dr Paul checked my scalp to see if i could still feel anything just to make sure the numbness was still there.

Just around the front i could slightly feel where it had worn off,so he injected some more numbing med's before we began again, he made all the incisions himself and left around 200 spare for tweaking afterwoods.

I believe the totall graft count was around 1350 or close to that amount,(will get the exact amount of Janna) with the majority going in the crown.

Doctor Paul then told his experienced techs which grafts to place, and in which areas of my scalp and they began placing in pairs, with the The doc returning very frequently to keep an eye on me...again i want to stress he was very attentive.

When most of the grafts were placed it was decided that the remaining 200 or so would be placed near the hairline.

Janna began placing these too along with another lovely female tech they all make you feel totally at ease. Tom hairtech also came in again to say hi, even though he was working on another patient which was cool as hes a great guy.

In fact they all are, the whole SMG team are not only like a well oiled machine like ive said before, but they are like a large extended family and i feel like ive made some great friends.

All the time the procedure was happening i was offered drinks on a regular basis, and i even got to watch one of my favourite movies which was cool. They have an extensive collection of movies or you can listen to music to make your whole procedure more comfortable.

During my lunch break i remember mentioning to Del one of the techs that everyone was so nice and friendly, he replied "yeah they are all great i love them all like my family"...i thought wow! that's one happy workforce.

After a few hours in the chair it starts to get uncomfortable on the old behind lo,l and i was brought a pillow to sit on by a female tech which was great, and thoroughly appreciated...

Imo apart from the obvious skill and technique's involved, the little things set a good clinic apart from a Great one too.

Towards the end of the procedure i got to watch a post operative instructions video, which was different as i didn't see that last year, this was both very professional and helped a lot.

They included a copy in my post op instructions bag along with detailed instruction's too.

All in all a very relaxing day, at times i was so relaxed i could have fallen asleep. I am ecstatic and over the moon with the outcome, both Dr Paul and Dr Ron are sensational doctors, they are both very highly skilled and i am just so happy i got the chance and the privilege to have them both work on me.

That night i slept great, they give you pillow protectors and pain meds along with graftcyte spray in you aftercare kit. And i had a pain free nights sleep.

The following day i went back to SMG for a shampoo, they again showed me how to do this properly which was cool. They also went through the emergency contact numbers with me and asked if i had any questions.

They reassured me that if i had any questions or problems no matter how minor i thought they were, to get in touch...this shows true compassion for the patients welfare and i was impressed by this.

Whilst in Minnesota it would be a real shame if you didn't get to visit some of the attractions and tourist destinations.

The food there is fantastic and the Mall Of America is simply mind blowing, with loads of things to do. There is a large funfair type world in the centre called Nickelodeon universe, and its great to eat lunch in their food courts watching the loop the loop rollercoasters whizz by.

To sum up ive loved my experiences at SMG, i adore the staff and am equally happy with both the surgeries i have received from both Doctors.

The support staff like Janna and Tom are simply amazing and the techs are both delightful, skilled, lighthearted and very professional.

If you live in the UK and are worried about going to the US for surgery the simple answer is don't be its a breeze.

everything is so straight forward right from the flights, customs, directions to the actual surgery itself.

The only one problem i encountered the whole time i was there was that living in Yorkshire in the UK lol, i must have sounded like an alien to some of the US folk, as i kept getting asked to repeat myself by people.

but hey people here in the UK don't understand us Yorkshire puddings most of the time anyway.

I will off course keep you all updated with my results as they grow in like before, and look forward to sharing my experience with you great forum guys.
One last note whilst i was a SMG i got to meet former patients who were coming in for updated photos, and i was amazed to say the least as their results were incredible.

Warm wishes as ever bullitnut.



pictures from after stage one of my repair with Dr Ron Shapiro of Shapiro Medical Group












pictures from 1 day post op stage two of my repair this time with Dr Paul Shapiro of Shapiro Medical Group











before any repair was carried out these are the results of my UK transplants costing £5000+







i will keep you all updated as things start to grow from stage two with regular updates

warm wishes as ever bullitnut :D
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You have described this very well. I hope that you will keep us updated on your condition.

All the best.
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thankyou very much for the kind words, i will make an extra effort to update on a regular basis for the good forum readers.

warm wishes bullitnut :-D
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Well when someone finds your story it will be much easier for him to understand the whole process. You have described it here with much details.
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I noticed you have quite a few you tube videos (many of them professionally done) advertising the Shapiro Medical Group. What is your relationship with the doctor? I am interested in learning more about the process and the doctor, but want to make sure I'm getting reviews and stories that aren't bias..
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