Patrick Shaw, 38, is the first man in the UK and Europe to undergo a ‘hair transplant by robot’. The married father of two was born in Liverpool but now lives in Malaga, Spain. He came back to England for the procedure, which took place at a clinic in west London
As a young boy I had a full head of thick hair. Through my teenage years and into adulthood I wasn’t one for styling my hair into the latest trend or using products such as gel.
It was only after I got married that I slowly started noticing a receding hairline. Please note, I consider my subsequent hair loss a coincidence! This was nine years ago and the receding hairline has been progressive and slowly going further and further back.
I want to go back to the day I was born. Upon discovering my birth weight and being told I weighed 9.5lbs, my mother asked the midwife if “that was just my head”. Whilst I have never been obsessed or paranoid I am aware that my head has always been “larger than normal”.
So why did this matter? I once had a very short haircut and I hated they way I looked. The short hair totally changed the shape of my face, making my head and face look even bigger. I also felt it made me look “hard”. I couldn’t wait for it to grow. I felt I was getting an insight into my appearance if I was to lose my hair. I didn’t like that idea and I was beginning to think about my options.
I always hoped I would be one of the lucky guys who’d age with a full head of hair. I like having hair and my view is that if you had a choice of being bald or having hair, every person on the planet would choose to have hair. What you do with it when you have it is up to you, but at least you have the hair to make that choice!
Once I investigated what treatments were available it was just a matter of researching more and deciding which technique to go for. I was leaning towards the FUT until I was made aware of the Robot. My wife and I positively discussed the idea of having the FUE Robotic procedure. Having seen the results of patients who had successful FUE and FUT surgery I was excited to be going ahead with the most advanced, state-of-the-art hair transplant available.
After all, the worst that could happen was that I would have more hair than I had before and that will do for me. I arrived at the clinic feeling relaxed. I chatted to my surgeon, who completed the remaining medical check formalities and took some final “before” photos before showing me what could be expected in terms of results from my procedure.
I was given my necessary injections of local anaesthetic and my surgeon began the process of making the tiny incisions for the recipient sites. I was sat comfortably and was naturally asked by members of the team if I was okay. My instinctive response was to say that it was “easier than going to the dentist”. We all know what a trip to the dentist is like when we need some work doing. A quick check-up and clean is fine, however, anything more serious and your mouth is wide open while there needles are being poked in, drilling and air blowing in through a pipe. This was nothing of the sort, yet it is a surgical procedure.
My surgeon completed the incisions in a couple of hours whilst we listened to some background music and chatted socially. I was then introduced to the robot. “Pleased to meet you” I said and was duly shown to my seat. I was once again assisted by the medical team to ensure I was comfortable in the required position.
As with other parts of the procedure I seemed to find I was taking this in my stride. All I could feel was the gentle tapping sound against my head as the follicles were extracted. Again, no pain or discomfort. With my head down and eyes closed I took this opportunity to enjoy some quiet time!
Once I had been harvested to the max I was looking forward to the final stage of my procedure. I was starting to get excited at the prospect of having had incisions made in my scalp and then follicles of hair extracted from the back to start to feel them being placed into my new hairline. Enough of the taking, I thought to myself, now it’s time to put some back in!
So began the last leg of my journey. The treatment chair to begin the third and final part of this work of art. Precise, carefully made incisions, man and robot and now to the artistry of placing the grafts. I kind of knew the hard work (for me anyway) was over. Sit and watch a movie and in a few hours – I’ll be a new man.
We reached the end of the procedure, the end of a great day. Well looked after by all, watered and fed regularly. It’s hard to describe the emotion of the whole process. The build up and anticipation in the days and weeks leading up to the day right through to the day itself. I always wanted to enjoy it and I can say now that I did.