End of first year
So with the first year done (photos attached) I was more than happy with the results that my first transplant had given me, I always knew that I wouldn’t be 100% satisfied with the first and would go back for the second but to get the results that I did I was happy. The first year probably wasn’t as bad as I first thought, after the initial first month went past it was a case of waiting for results to begin to show, around the four month mark was when I probably starred to see progress and for others to notice also considering I was completely bald prior.
On the 14th December I travelled again to Istanbul to get my 2nd transplant done, this time rather than going through Qunomedical I dealt with Dr Cinik’s surgery direct with the booking done through WhatsApp, however I decided to go a day earlier so that I could take family and we could experience a little of what Istanbul has to offer as a tourist, we arrived on the Saturday afternoon at the new Istanbul airport and were given directions to a hire car company who would take us to our hotel, as was the case the first time there were no issues, our driver was waiting for us and took us the hours drive into the centre of Istanbul and to our hotel. Arriving at the hotel I was expecting to pay for the additional nights stay, 3 nights instead of 2, and breakfast for my wife and daughter, however this had all been taken care of by Dr Cinik and there was no charge.
Sunday 15th we decided to visit some of the sites in Istanbul and spent the day away from the hotel, arriving back around 5pm I received a text from Dr Cinik’s surgery asking if I could attend at 6pm tonight to give bloods and meet with Dr Cinik as this would save time the next day, after agreeing I met the driver at the front door along with 5 other gents coming from Australia, Israel, England and Spain. Once arriving at the clinic I was amazed to see that since last year Dr Cinik has moved premises and is now in his own property a five minute drive from the hotel, now last year when I had my first transplant I was so impressed with the cleanliness of the hospital but I must say the cleanliness in Cinik’s new premises was even better than the hospital, the reception area is gleaming, the staff were all dressed in blue suits with Cinik’s name on them, and there was drinks available should you wish along with free WiFi, also I need to add that I also took my wife and daughter along with me and the staff could not have been nicer to them both. First off it was time to give bloods, once these were taken I was then taken upstairs were Dr Cinik was waiting to see me, as it was Sunday night I will forgive him being dressed in tracksuit trousers and T-shirt but as last year he was as charming as ever and was quick to compliment his work from the first transplant 🤣, after a conversation about his new premises, my results from HT1 he reviewed my Donor area and advised what the plan was this time, he would go for the maximum grafts possible and start at the crown, add a little density to the front and then finish in the mid section of my head, payment then made and we were taken back to the hotel and advised I’d receive a text within the hour advising time of surgery the next day,
I along with my five new friends we were picked up at our hotel at 7:30am, a quick drive to the surgery and we were allocated to our translator who was there to help from the second we meet, after she explained what was going to happen we were then taken into the barber shop and the moment had arrived that I was dreading, my head would be shaved, after all those years of having nothing, then having hair again it was time to lose it all, as disappointing as that was I was eager to get underway. After a quick call to family I was then taken into a room were a massage type table awaited me, two techs and my translator, I was then given the “relax” tablet as they call it and was told to lie on the bed. As was the case the first time I opted for the needless injections and was glad I did, after about 20 it became a little painful however we continued with the tech ensuring I was comfortable at all stages. Then it was time for the grafts to be taken and this process lasted approx 2 hours, no pain and the time passed quickly. Once this stage was complete it was time for a quick toilet break and then the channels were done, at this stage I asked if I could wear my AirPods which was allowed and I listened to music for the remainder of the surgery. In total the whole process took 7 hours and I received 3500 grafts, towards the end it was becoming painful as the anesthesia began to wear off, however after advising of this I was given another injection. Approx 30 minutes later and we were done. After a quick check to ensure I was feeling ok I was taken back to the hotel, within an hour of returning to the hotel it was on with the hat you are provided and then out for dinner with my family, although I wasn’t to hungry I did eat. First night I slept 2 hours seated on a chair with a travel pillow round my neck, (invest in a good travel pillow as you are only provided with a blow up one which is rubbish)
Day 2 - We were picked up from the hotel at 10am after breakfast, driven to the surgery where I was checked over by the doc and given the all clear to head home, we were then driven to the airport along with a gent from Ireland and my friend from Spain. As the procedure is so common in Turkey you will see a number of individuals in the same situation as yourself and the airport staff do not bat an eyelid, on our flight back to London there was 3 other guys with a transplant done and one girl with a nose job.
Since returning home
The first week has been quite tiring, I think due to the fact that I was aware of how it would pan out from my experience of the first transplant I have been very impatient for the week to pass, sleep as usual has been difficult and it’s ranged from around 2 to 4 hours per night sleeping on the sofa with my head raised over the arm of the chair, then nightly I have been having to use the repair foam and leaving it for half hour, however the first 9 days are now done and I am sleeping back in my bed and now able to take showers, I would say that around the donor area has been quite sore this time around but I think this is just bruising from needles. The scabs are beginning to fall off and I noticed in the shower this morning a couple of them had hairs attached which is completely normal yet scary as you still panic, so now it’s a bit of a waiting game as I go about the shedding stage but thankfully as I wait for the new hair to grow I have hair from the first transplant so this baldness stage should not last long!