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Consultation and operation


Albion71

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Consultation


I travelled to Istanbul four days before the operation (Sunday 30 May), as I wanted to combine the HT with a look round a city I'd always been keen to visit. I highly recommend it, particularly a hammam the day before to help provide a relaxed, restful sleep.


I was picked up from the airport by a very friendly driver from Transmed, who would also ferry me to and from my hotel for the consultation and operation, as well as dropping me back at the airport for my return flight.


Two days before D-Day, I had my consultation with Dr Melike Kulahci. There was some initial confusion as to whether I was having FUT or FUE. Although the door did appear open for me to have FUE, I had evaluated all the pros and cons of both before arrival and decided to stick with FUT.


Dr Melike had suggested dealing with mainly the frontal area, also adding a few grafts to the crown/vertex area, but I was anxious that the top was not left out, as I could imagine a gap opening there with my current pattern of hairloss. So we agreed on a procedure involving around 2,900 grafts, of which 2,000 would be concentrated in the front, the remainder spread over the top and vertex.


Operation


I was picked up at 8am on Thursday 3 May, and after a few final checks, we were underway. The anaesthetic is administered using what feels like a hairbrush, with a slightly sharp needle in the middle of it. Dr Melike then began removing the grafts from the donor area, which you feel as a slight scratching sensation, before closing it up with staples.


Then, as far as I could work out, Dr Melike marked out the areas where the grafts were to be transplanted into on the front and top of my head, while her team of helpers – or 'angels' as she calls them – diced and sliced the strip from the back of my head.


The actual insertions of the grafts was carried out by the angels, with Dr Melike checking in once or twice. I was able to read and watch TV during the process, which took about five hours in total. The pain was very minimal, and at any hint that the anaesthetic was wearing off, I merely said the word and a 'top up' was provided.


When it was over, I was given a de-briefing from Dr Melike on how the operation had gone – well, she assured me. I was also provided with also the necessary pills, lotions and shampoos, plus a sun hat to cover up the treated area. And then I was back at the hotel by 4pm.


Initial photos - three hours after


alt


Close up, also showing the headband you have to wear to keep swelling down


alt


Recovery


I was a bit surprised at how well I felt after the operation. I had lined up plenty of water and food in my hotel room and was expecting to just collapse there that evening. In the event, I felt well enough to go out for a short walk and even have something to eat.


I had been given a headband and some ice compresses to use on my forehead and temples to keep the swelling down, though despite this, my left temple would became very swollen (though not uncomfortably so). (Incidentally, my hotel room did not have a fridge/freezer, so I had to ask the reception to refreeze the compresses, which they were happy to do.)


The next day, I was whisked back to the hotel to be washed (my hair that is!), and instructed on how to look after my HT over the coming weeks and months. This included things like: avoiding touching the HT to minimise infection risk; not sweating excessively; best sleeping position; when to see a doctor about getting the staples removed; etc.


And that was that. I returned to the airport on Saturday 5 June – and apart from having to pay an extra 20 Euros to check in my bag as the shampoo exceeded the 50ml size stipulated for liquids in hand luggage – the journey back passed pretty uneventfully.


Now the recovery process begins. So far, I've not felt much by way of pain, just a little bit of soreness around a couple of the staples at the back. The painkillers seem to be keeping it all under control. There's a bit of tingling from the recipient areas, which is hopefully a sign that the grafts are 'bedding in'.


Reflections


When I told a few close friends I was having a HT in Turkey, they were generally horrified, assuming that such operations were only performed in places like Beverley Hills or Harley Street. If you have similar preconceptions, I can say that, based on my experience, the Transmed clinic is professional and sophisticated, and the service was first class.


Looking at my 'new' hair now, in comparison to other photo diaries on here, I am broadly happy. I would maybe have liked the frontal hairline to be a couple of millimetres lower, but that might be something I address with FUE at a later date.


One thing I would have done differently is get a shorter hair cut beforehand, probably a 'grade 4' all over. As only the recipient area was cut short before the operation, my hair looks pretty strange at present. I don't want to risk a visit to the barber until all the grafts have dropped out in about four weeks, so I'm probably going to have wear a hat throughout that time. Luckily, I'm freelance, so will work from home during that period. If you have to go into an office, it might be something to consider.

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Right on Albion! Your surgical photos look good. I expect you'll have a very natural looking result and thicker head of hair over the next year :-).

 

Best wishes,

 

Bill Seemiller (Falceros)

Managing Publisher of this Community

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