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Old 11-16-2013, 11:13 AM
cloudy's Avatar
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Default Dr. Erkan Demirsoy (Istanbul, Turkey) - 3138 grafts November 2013.

As I promised, a review about procedure of Dr. Erkan Demirsoy and his great team in Istanbul, Turkey.
I'll get to the point right away. 30 years old male, I am having seborrheic dermatitis for at least 7 years now from a lot of stress. Since then, my hair started to shed and probably with combination of genetic hair loss from my mother side grandfather who was completely bald. In last two years it started to shed faster in front and a bit of top - first third of the scalp. Remaining part of scalp is, interesting, same for several years which is good. I always had temple (sides) and never had a straight hairline. My goal was or is to revive this third of the scalp as is was several years ago - not to be like when I was 14 'cause that's chasing ghosts and is totally unrealistic from my point of view.

Everything was arranged over Clemens Weber, Dr. Erkan's man for foreign citizens. I 'tortured' Clemens with many emails and after all I calculated that we changed over 25 emails We made a date for procedure, I have sent him 500EUR deposit which is clinic policy for securing themselves if someone suddenly does not show off. I arrived to Istanbul one day earlier. Clemens arranged drier from airport Ataturk which is on European side to hotel on the Asian side of Istanbul. Next day Dr. assistant came to pick me up at 15:15h, extremely nice man, well spoken English, behavior natural and soft personality, explaining me a lot while driving to the clinic. I immediately saw that this is all well organized without doubt of 'massive cattle production on a track' which results in poor result and communication. Clinic is settled in a luxury building where everything is at it's place - from material finish of underground parking to the aesthetics of the garden. As soon as from entering the door of the clinic, you can't enter more than 6 feet (1.8m) and everybody has to put protective wear for shoes to minimize the contamination of the space. That bought me immediately. Finally I saw in vivo that someone thinks about that and not just 'money money money'. Two doctors girl assistants were welcoming me, offering something to drink while waiting in a big 'receive' room. They gave me few papers to read carefully and sign, in short, that there is always possibility of risk for new hair not to grow in wanted amount, risking of small scars and other small aesthetic complications that can be caused as a result afterwards. (That is normal to be given by every clinic since I have signed once when doing a nose-job even that I take risk of possible death because of total anesthetics.) When signed, I got received at the doctors office. Dr. was very welcoming and smiley without fake smile but also serious when explaining things about procedure. His assistant was continuously with me translating everything. I think that everybody expected same stories how a patient wants a thick, well natural density over half-empty scalp filled more with thinned hair... so he was a bit reserved at start waiting for my wishes. My wishes were simple - don't need mega blasting density with straight hairline but density as I have now in back portion of the scalp since my hair is wavy and even 30-40% of my donor density would be more than enough. Simply explained - I just wanted a small refill first third of the scalp, restore my previous hairline and refill a bit central portion of the scalp a.k.a. top to secure of ongoing losing hair for a little while and no Hollywood style since that would be totally unnatural change for me. Two of them immediately stopped talking for a few seconds, smiled and said 'hmmm, usually people want opposite'. Yes, but I want to save the grafts for the future hair loss since it's not going to be any thicker. And risk of my sebborheic condition is also included a lot so it would be wise to put grafts in totally bald areas because who knows how will they receipt after and in what density. Let's call this a experiment with a big possibility to achieve at least 70% of satisfaction. Doctor said my wishes were very much realistic and it's good for me to accept that. Then he started to draw frontal hairline with my suggestions to follow my current few hairs that remained and not to go out more than 0.5 - 1cm out of that area. He said that my temples will we revealed and yes, I wanted them, they suit me and my personality for many years now
My hairline is a bit more edgy than average and always had a sharp end on my forehead even younger. Never had a nice slight curved hairline. We managed to get the linings of working zone, went to procedure room, shaved and prepared me. We agreed to 3000 grafts.
Around 19:45h first shots of anesthesia came to donor zone. I read many times that people were in pain because of that. To be honest, this was the best part. This was not pain but just a not ordinary feeling. After 15 minutes, doctor came, started extracting grafts. One thing I didn't know was that grafts are not extracting immediately after cutting but waiting to finish a good portion, then his to girl technicians came and started to extract grafts. First was done one side of donor area and then other. I noticed that doctor was doing aprox. 4-6 punches with a motor (0.8mm) and stop, than again punches, which is good - immediate planning and working. My problem was that I have very soft skin and he had to tighten my skin while working to extract grafts properly. People with harder skin will do better. Sound of motor extractor is bit strange since you hear it how it's chewing your skin Again, not everyday feeling but no fear, that's what it must be done. Some anesthetic had to be inserted again since it's amazing that just one millimeter of skin is insensitive and just a millimeter beside is sensitive. I noticed how anesthetics affects me - I started to tremble and shiver fee seconds after I got shots. At first, I thought "damn, I am not scared, whats wrong with me?" and they told me that shots contain a small dosage of adrenaline so I got euphoric a bit not scared

After extracting girl technicians started with separating grafts. I got a small notice that hair in my donor area are OK but some are containing grafts where one hair is OK and second is affected with thinning. That was not a good news but also it was since I now know that and will keep to prevent and slow further thinning with supplements.
Pause for dinner - they asked me what should they order for me, said something traditional and guy with food came very fast. Food was amazing!

After dinner, doctor started to make small holes for future grafts while technicians were still playing with grafts. I saw that he was very careful with choosing the right angle of the hole so the new hair will grow with natural look.
Many surgeons at this point are making big mistakes but not Dr. Demirsoy. He does that very carefully with a zig-zag pattern and not straight one which is VERY important to get good look of random placed hair and not robotic look. Dr. Demirsoy thinks about it all! He is not just an average good doctor who does his job by standard everyday pattern, he does it with passion where every move is calculated.
After incisions the graft implanting started - new girl technician came and were two of them from each side of the head. It started exactly at midnight and lasted three long hours. While inserting grafts, we all had a good time with small conversations about many topics and all was sincere and honest without standard killing time questions.
So everything was done in about 03:15h and one thing I noticed is that everybody were more awake in this late hours than at the beginning .
Dr. Erkan Demirsoy immediately photographed me and burned photos to a CD, he insisted to burn them right away even if I didn't need them that day. He once again proved himself to be more than a professional because he likes job done right away, nothing should wait for tomorrow! He said he could do another session like this, he was not tired at all
His good assistant drove me back to hotel where I 'spent a night on needles' afraid not to touch it, sleep accidentally on recipient area and destroy transplanted grafts. My forehead got swollen from anestetics so I looked like an alien That is normal and it has to be compromised. That day I didn't geot out from the hotel, just chilling, watching episodes over laptop and resting.

Next day his assistant once again come to pick me up for first washing of scalp and explaining me aftercare procedure with special shampoos, cremes, lotions and supplements. They asked me if I have bring a cap with me and I told them that I didn't since I understood that I cannot wear hat because implanted grafts can be easily get out if stuck to a hat when taking it off. His assistant immediately went out and brought me a Kappa baseball cap and a Nike tennis band. I asked him how much do I owe him and he said it was on doctors! I just couldn't take that offer, that was too much for my lack of attention for not bringing a cap (even If I could have bought one on Turkish market for cheap money...). They insisted and said not to worry. I was amazed... and a bit shamed since I didn't deserve that kind of attention.
They gave me cremes, lotions, medicaments, anti-histamine pills and shampoo all for free which is a practice in most clinics but not all! Many of them charge even that!
When I was paying to doctor, he said that we agreed to 3000 grafts (EUR) and he has done 3138 grafts so these extra grafts were not charged and he also said I have a discount of 100EUR because of our common interest in photography. WOW, that was enough!! I was stunned!

I am aware I will need one or even more procedure in next 10-15 years, who knows, it all depends of genetics. It's a shame since I am not even a smoker, nor drinker, I am a more than a recreational sportsman, don't eat meet for 5 years (yeah, it's not B12 deficiency, I started losing hair way before started not eating meat) and then, seeing many people who don't care about themselves they have thick hair - I ask myself, is this fair?

I flew away from Istanbul with amazing experience. Nobody will bother you bcause of cap, I saw few guys like me, customs are used to this, just asking to lift the cap a bit to see and it's all good. First, It's a huuuge city, no city in Europe is big as that. If Paris is big, this one is like 3 Paris or more, 16 million people. People are more than polite, everything is in order, clean streets, neat architecture, clean air, beautiful sea no aggressive individuals like in many European or world cities, no ghettos. Of course keep your things beside you and you'll have positive experience!

My total expenses:
Airplane ticket - 185EUR Turkish airlines
Deposit 500EUR + 40 taxes over Western Union = 540EUR
Hotel 3 nights, 4 days - breakfast and WiFi (6Mbs) - 105EUR
Driving taxes - 140EUR
Some additional expenses during 4 days and food around 50EUR
HT procedure of 3138 grafts with discount - 2900EU (-500EUR deposit).
Total 3420EUR aprox.

Just before procedure

Just after procedure

Day after procedure - I like the randomness of taken grafts!
Head was swollen.

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Old 11-16-2013, 02:00 PM
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Hi Cloudy,

Congratulations! The work looks very refined. I hope you'll keep us updated!
"Doc" Blake Bloxham - formerly "Future_HT_Doc"

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

All opinions are my own and my advice does not constitute as medical advice. All medical questions and concerns should be addressed by a personal physician.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for posting this. Great write up. Keep us updated please. Good luck with your growth.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:58 AM
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Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:34 AM
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Great write up, the work looks very neat. Can you explain what the issue was with your donor? I take it it wasn't a major issue.
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:54 AM
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Default 10 days report

Thank you all!
Yiddo - I can't say it was a problem, just a different type of skin. I have soft skin so when a extraction motor has to penetrate, my skin is like a trampoline a bit. So Dr. Demirsoy had to tighten the skin to be more firm and that's about all.

It's been exactly 10 days since the procedure. At 7 day I removed all the scabs extremely gently with a small paint-brush after applying Bepanthol lotion several times a day to moisten and soften the scabs. You should never remove scabs when they are dry! Never leave them on the head more than 14 days because new hair cannot penetrate through skin - also, no air cannot come through skin to feed vulnerable transplanted roots.

These are taken today - donor area and sides - donor area is itching and hurting a bit but that's normal because everything is healing:

Front line (Redness is going down day by day - I have some red flaking in center of scalp and you can see some pinkish red flakes in back portion of the scalp which had no transplant) from seborrheic dermatitis - it's more obvious when having short hair and in winter when air is cold outside:

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Old 11-24-2013, 04:47 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to share your experience in great detail. The work looks excellent. Please continue to keep us updated on your progress.
David - Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant

I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and my advice should not constitute as medical advice.

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Old 11-24-2013, 08:18 PM
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hello mate could you give me contact details for dr erkan please
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:30 AM
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TomGM182, you have PM with details
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:35 PM
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Hi Cloudy,

nice write-up and great photos.
Your donor area looks very well healed already and the hairline fits you amazingly. Nice design.

Wish you all the best for the upcoming months and lots of growth
Health Travels - Hair Transplants Turkey
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demirsoy, erkan demirsoy, istanbul, weber

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