I have recently had hair transplant in Instanbul (8th March 2013). I live in the UK and it was big decision for me to go overseas and get this done.
First of all a little about me, i've just turned 32 and currently work for the NHS. I've been losing my hair since i was 18 onwards. Over the years i've had always had an issue with my hair by concealing it in various ways, i started to use Regaine and then Nanogen to hide thinning areas. However this has given me comfort but it still is on my mind that someone at work may know that concealing my thinning area around the crown, temples and on the top.
I have been working in the NHS for over 11 years and quite familiar with what kind of care is provided. I did look at UK clinics where they offered hair transplant but the price was significantly higher in comparison to overseas. So what made me decide to go overseas? Well it was this website ans some of the individuals who have gone abroad to do this. It wasn't a light decision however the key areas i looked at when deciding to choose Hair transplant clinic was the Quality of the work , also the price and other peoples experience. I decided that i want to do this in Turkey in particular to one individual who had in depth photos and his diary which gave me the confidence to go ahead.
I contacted the same clinic as this individual and two weeks post op i have not regretted this!
8th March 2013
I flew from Manchester Airport to Istanbul, acompanied by my beautiful wife who supported me on this. When we arrived to Istanbul i met the managing director of the hair transplant clinic who also has other businesses in the UK and provide other cosmetic surgeries in Turkey. My flight, transfers and hotel costs were all included in the final price and all arranged by this helpful gentleman. The managing director saw me and my wife and picked us up with his driver and we went straight to the hotel. During that evening we were taken out for a meal by the managing director and his daughter. We had a good evening and i picked out that this individual is very passionate about his company and services his team provides. He reminds me oft me! that if you are going to do a job then you give it over 110% and i like that quality. At this stage i wasn't very nervous and were felt at ease understanding how their company works and i could pull out if i wanted to .
9th March 2013 - Day of Operation
I wasn't nervous and had a good breakfast at the hotel, signed couple of forms.Me and wife were picked up from hotel and were taken to the hospital. My first thoughts of the hospital were very nice. Glass windows and very clean internally and externally. We took the lift and went to the 5th floor which is where they had there operating theatre. From first glance it looked like sealed door out of military base where you use your knee to push this button to open the door which slides open. This is good as they take hygene and cleansiness in consideration. You do not realise how easily it is to pick up CDiff, MRSA or other forms of infection from hospitals, in particular outside clincal areas.
The surgeon came and he looked at my hairline and used his blue marker to work out where the grafts would be placed etc. Then some photos were taken and finally the clinical team changed my over garment and put their version of srubs on. Its point worth mentioning that its good idea to wear shirts as you will have to take your top off before and after the procedure. It was mentioned pre-op instructions to wear loose garments with buttons as this would minimise any disloge of grafts post procedure over your head... hence shirt!
I was then taken to a room where my head was clippered to 0 grading. i never had skin head since 2003 and asked my wife before the operation started what she thinks. In her words she called me an "egg head", which is why i need good set of hair in 6 months time . I then went to the operating room and placed on this reclining chair where the interepreter was there most of the time to explain what was going to happen next. Just to let you know the operating room looked very sterile and the room ambience was good in terms of lighting and plasma tv in front of me.
The Operation commenced around 11am
On the back of my head is where they started working on first. They had put injections on back of my head into my nerves and numb the area before they started to extract the grafts. In terms of the injections felt like sharp shooting pain but very briefly for second or two, on a scale 1 to 10, pain was around 6-7ish. Some people have high thresh hold of pain and i believe i amongst those individuals. I didn't require any injection to relax me. At this point i did become slight nervous but the interpretator started talking about bollywood movies which is equivalent to indian version of hollywood movies. She played key role in constantly checking whether i was ok.
The surgeon and the clinical team started to work on me where i was lying flat on my stomach. He used his motorised tool and it sounded like a dentist tool sound when you are about to get your teeth polished. Apart from that they start to punch the holes back of my head and work through this. I don't think i mentioned this but they were going to take 4000 grafts. I didn't have much donor area at the back and they spread this around the sides as well.
At 1pm break time
After 1pm they had made all the punches at the back of my head and sides, well majorit of them. I then were give some bread, some nice soup and took a break for 30 minutes in the waiting area. I made sure i ate everything including the desert which was hybrid of jelly and rice pudding with nicer smoother texture. Then we went back in the operating room and the clinical team started to extract and pull the grafts from back of the head. Some were disecting the grafts and another two were extracting the grafts. Its like a well oiled supply chain where you have different jobs based on each section. The clinical team were working as a operational factor with each had their specific roles.
The surgeon had made some 1000's of incision on top of my head in line with where the grafts were going to go in. I can say each incision felt like or sounded like cutting or nipping a apple but on my head. I had no pain as they had anaethetised the area on top with those dreadful injections again. To be fair they were not as painful as the ones on the back of the head.
The clincal team had then started to place the grafts into the incisions made on top of my head. They said i has supple skin and the grafts were placed very easily. I also noticed every 1-2 hours new clincal team will come over and start inserting the grafts. As you are aware its very hard to provide the same quality of work for the next 4-5 hours. So the clinical team changed over, I can see why they did this in order to main quality and also maintain efficiency. The clincal team were absoutely fantastic and i had over 3 people working on me.
Finally at 5.30pm Opertation was complete and they started to clean my scalp and spray this with saline water. As it did look like very bloody. On the back of my head the place this cream which would assist in healing and at the same time avoid any infections. This was then bandaged, i sat up on the reclining chair and after 5 minutes with careful observation they said i'm ok to go the waiting area. I was give a glass of water and i changed back to my shirt.
I stayed in the waiting area for 15-20 minutes before being given some medication and how to take them. I had antiflammatory tablets, some parecetomol, some steroids tablets for fighting any infection. Its good thing that my wife is pharmacist and she took care of any after care, however the hair transplant clinic also provided extremly helpful instructions.
I was then taken back to the hotel. I stayed there where the managing director made sure i had something to eat and went to grab some food for me and wifey! I did feel very light headed and to a point i had lie down. As i recognised that i may have had low blood pressure due to significant procedure that was taken over several hours. I felt light headed, everything going dark so i made sure i layed down and got wifey to grab me some chocolate to raise my blood sugar level. The managing director and brought the food at this time and even though i didn't feel like eating i made sure i had some of the KFC. The food is excellent ingredient to assit the body in healing as it provides the necessary nutirients and aids in recovery.
During that night i didn't sleep more than two hours, not because i was in pain i was too concious of ruining the grafts. I was provided with those cushions that you use in aeroplanes and that assisted enormously.