This is my HT journey.
I flew from Newcastle airport on Saturday morning to Amsterdam with KLM which took one hour. Then it was a direct flight to Minneapolis with NWA which took eight hours.
Arrived at the airport at 3.30pm, went through customs and got the hotel shuttle (mini bus) to the hotel which took about 20 minutes. The hotel was the Country Inn and Suites. This is a nice hotel and is five minutes from Shapiro Medical Group. One extra bonus the hotel had was free use of computers with internet access. It cost me £637 all in with flight and accommodations for three nights.
There are quite a few sports bars and restaurants a few minutes walk from the hotel and a downtown area which has loads of bars, restaurants, shops etc.
I also visited the Mall of America which is a huge shopping centre full of everything you need. It’s one of the biggest malls in the world. The hotel shuttle will take you to and from the airport, Mall of America and to SMG as a free service. The hotel is used to SMG patients and the shuttle bus drivers too. They were all very friendly. The hotel gives discounts to SMG patients. The discount rate is $99 per night.
Met Janna on Sunday for lunch and she showed me around the downtown areas. There are two downtowns. One is Minneapolis and the other is St. Paul. The two cities are close within 15 minutes drive of each other. The center of the 2 downtown has skyways – walkways from building to building above the streets so you don’t have to go outside in bad weather. They were both beautiful clean cities.
Monday morning Janna picked me up and took me to SMG. I met Dr Shapiro and we talked about my expectations and he examined my hair. Then I was in the chair. Got my anesthetic needles in my scalp which I never felt a thing as they use a vibrating tool. Dr Shapiro removed my strip and then the techs starting the cutting while I was being sutured up and then Dr Shapiro made the incisions for my new hair. When about 90% of the incisions were made, they used a dye onto my recipient area for them to see the incisions better. They save the other 10% to be used for fine tuning at the end. They were also taking estimates of how many grafts were to be expect every half hours or so.
Janna and the other techs then started to plant with Dr Shapiro checking all the time as my crown planting was not straight forward due to my previous poor work which left plugs in there growing in the wrong directions. My crown work went great and then they proceeded to plant in the middle of my hairline. Janna planted every single graft in the hairline. Then towards the end, Dr. Shapiro and Janna did the stick/plant method to fine tune the hairline. This is where Dr. Shapiro makes the incision and Janna plants straight away after each incision is made. They said once the incisions are filled with grafts, you can see spaces in between, so Dr. Shapiro always asks for single hairs to be saved for this part.
Photos were taken at every opportunity by Janna and Dr Shapiro.
Once finished I was shown the work and asked if I was happy which I was.
Went back to the hotel and logged on the net and chilled out for the night. I took two Vicodin for pain before I went to bed, woke up fine and didn’t need any more pain relief meds. I took two though just before my plane journey home to be safe.
Next day Tuesday, checked out of hotel and went to SMG for a hair wash and haircut. They took more photos and a video of the work.
Janna and Dr Shapiro chatted with me again to confirm I was happy. I then hung around and was invited to watch a live surgery of planting and cutting grafts which was very interesting. They were very professional and great at what they were doing.
I would without any doubt say that if you choose to have a HT with SMG that you will have a great experience and receive a world class result.
I flew home at 7.30 pm on Tuesday. I took some valium on the plane and slept most of the way back to Amsterdam. Then the short one hour flight back to Newcastle.
Now sitting at home happy as can be thanks to SMG.
Will sort photos soon.