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Hey guys I am a 35 yo male from London and arrived home last night from Istanbul so I will talk about my experience at Asmed. I wanted to keep this brief but to hell with it I couldn’t help it. Firstly a big thank you to both Sema and Suzana who were my coordinators. Sema - who helped me over the past year since I contacted Asmed and Suzana who was with me throughout the experience and never left my side. She is very fluent in English and communication and organisation was excellent. In fact everyone at Asmed looked after me very well and never made me feel awkward. Not to forget the anesthetist Dr Umat who is a very interesting individual :). Initially I sent Asmed (Sema - my initial coordinator) my photos 12 months ago and Dr Erdogan recommended 5000 grafts and for me to start finesteride before surgery as without it I may not be happy with the end result because of my type of hairloss. I was a bit weary of finesteride side effects so it took a month for me to decide what to do because for me hair transplants and finesteride go hand in hand. So a couple of months went by (sept - dec 2017) eventually I got on brand name Propecia 1mg by Merck. I started slowly as advised by a hair loss expert we all know - it took me till January until I was using it more or less every day. In this time I was in constant communication with Sema discussing dates etc. And getting my finances sorted. So in January I asked to book the surgery in May however they had very few dates and I could not get the amount of time I wanted from work. I use Toppik hair fibres and Asmed advise patients not to use it for 6 months so I wanted as much time not using it as possible after surgery. So my work allowed me to take 3 months leave (mix of unpaid and paid) - yes a lot of time but only 6 weeks was unpaid. So in February we decided on 3rd and 4th Oct. 2018 (2500 grafts per day) this was actually good because I would have been on Propecia 10 months. You can send from 1000 to 3000 euros - I sent 1000 initially and just before I went I sent another 2000 just after Dr Erdogan looked again at my updated photos (as it was nearly a year since the initial ones)to confirm. I used TransferWise as they take the actual exchange rate on Google and not lower rates like banks provide. I would need to arrive before 14:00 on 2nd Oct for the consultation however there were no flights that arrive before that time on BA from Heathrow Airport. There were other flights from different airlines but I wanted BA as I could get the flight for £75 return and free long stay parking (as I know someone who works there), I was already spending so much on the surgery so I wanted to keep costs down. Sema very kindly allowed me to arrive in the evening of 1st Oct, 2nd Oct - consultation, 3/4 Oct surgery 5th Oct shampoo/clean and departure for home at 1625. This extra night came at no extra cost. Initially I booked the clinic’s own suite but there was a problem with the room so they booked me into the Raddison blue hotel (5 mins from clinic) all days free and breakfast included. This turned out much better because although Asmed can make you breakfast, they close in the evening and the only people there are security and local restaurants are not very close. Just take a yellow taxi (with meter) from the hotel for 10 liras (just over a pound) and ask to go to the Palladium shopping and restaurant complex 5 mins away. If you need to change money into Turkish Lira change it at this complex just ask anyone for "change office" which is in the shopping center. I wanted to see the famous blue mosque and grand bazaar but it is an hour away. Day of Arrival (Mon 1st Oct) Flight arrived at 1630 just a 4 hour flight from London Heathrow Airport. The Asmed driver was there with my name written on an iPad (transfer from airport to hotel and all journeys between hotel and Asmed are free). He gave me his phone as Suzana (my day to day coordinator) spoke on the phone me and welcomed me to Istanbul and said she will be in constant touch with me on whatsapp and in the clinic she will be taking care of me the entire time. The car was a large Mercedes people carrier with beautiful red leather seats and plenty of snacks to enjoy. Because of the time of day it took close to an hour to get to the hotel because of rush hour. The Hotel room was very good and I took a taxi to the Palladium center. You just need to tell the hotel reception to get you a taxi and it comes right away, they have a meter on so you won't be ripped off. Took 5 mins cost me a pound and walked around the shopping center, ate some delicious kebabs and got a taxi which are always there and got back to my room to get some sleep. Day 2 (Consultation) Suzana sent me a whatsapp message saying that the driver will pick me up at 12:45. I got into the car with 2 other people who also were having their consultations. You should know that you won't be the only patient in the day as I will come to later. We were greeted at reception by our respective coordinators and reception staff. The clinic is amazing, clean, modern and very classy at the same time. There a couple of women who are playing the piano and violin in the reception area. So Suzana sat me down and said that she will wait here with me until we are called for the consultation. Dr Erdogan and his team were very busy during this time and surgeries were still going on so we needed to wait an hour before they could see us. However, in this time I was offered some snacks and asked to read through some paper work and sign that I understood all the terms. All of this would have been sent to you when you booked so it is just the same. After that I was taken downstairs for blood tests to test for HIV etc.. All clear. I then went into the photography room and had my photos taken both dry and wet hair shots from all angles. A while later I and my coordinator were called into Dr Erdogan's office. It was like meeting a king and I told him so - I have very been following him for few years and on social media so it was quite a hair raising moment for me. So in the consultation it was Dr Erdogan, another doctor, one of his senior surgical assistants and my coordinator. Dr Erdogan very quickly broke the ice with me and told me how happy he was to see me as when he saw my name he realized I am of Pakistani descent (born UK) and how happy he was about that because he has always liked people from there so that was a nice start. He went over some basic things with me and said that I am a candidate for hair transplantation after looking at the blood tests. He had a screen in front of him with my photos from just earlier and discussed what he can do. He said that my hair loss pattern was more Ludwig patterned rather than the usual norwood cases. He analysed my hair in detail with his apparatus and said that my hair is of very good quality with a total donor of 8500. In general he said that safe zone hair can be effected by DHT as seen by very old people and looking at my age (35) it is possible to lose 10% of safe zone hair in my lifetime and that if I came off finesteride later in life it is possible that my total donor capacity is at 7500 so even though my real donor is 8500 he sees it as 7500. He drew a hairline and asked what I thought. It was probably a tiny bit higher than I would have liked but he said that once transplanted it will look lower but my main concern were no temples drawn because mine are quite faint. He said in a funny way that he really does not like my crown. I have not got a massively receding hairline and that patch on the top really does stick out like a sore thumb. So he drew my temples and it looked great but he said he would need 700 grafts just for that and he can't cover the top properly as well in 1 operation so if want that it would be 700 less grafts in my crown and it still won’t look that good on top. He wanted 2000 grafts just for the crown 2500 for the hairline and just above and the remainder 500 in the mid-scalp as he said it has a lot of and hairs. He said it was up to me but if I leave it to him that is the way he would do it and I can always come back and do the temples after a year or so. I thought about it and knew already that the crown was my priority - it is a different type of hair loss pattern. So I said to him I will go with his instinct and he said I will be very happy with my result. He actually told me later on that he would in fact put 2100 in the crown and 400 just below that instead of the 500 so my crown should have a big difference he said. This was not the final hairline and he would refine it after hair shaving. Consultation lasted about 20 minutes I had a bunch of questions for him but he really is to the point and just gets on with his analysis and what he can do for you. After that Suzana took me to the finance department where I paid the outstanding amount in Pounds Sterling cash. If your home currency is pounds or USD I advise you to pay in that currency to them. It saves you changing into euro where you won’t get a good rate and will have to pay some fees. The rate the clinic gave me was much better than at home and they don’t charge you for them to change it into euros. After this I got my hair shaved off! It actually looked alright! I waited for Dr Erdogan to make his final refined hairline plans. He told me that he will go into the temples a bit so that was good news. Whilst this was going on he has a big team of people watching. These are the techs or surgical assistants (as he calls it) who will work with you for the entire surgery. If you have 2 days surgery like me they don’t have different teams, it’s the same people working on you. I was then taken to the room where they have their latest robot – the K-bot. You sit with your head against a support pad and the camera takes 3d images of your entire head and you can see on the screen your grafts in detail. This helps the doctor further in his analysis. This lasts for 15 minutes but you can be on your phone – I actually took a video of what the K-bot was doing but I don’t think you can post videos here. This all took best part of 4 hours from waiting at the start to the end. Dropped back to the hotel went into town again for a nice kebab (with lines in my head). Yes you have to keep the lines on and not rubbed off because they then have to go through the whole process again. And no wearing hats so I was laughed and smiled at a lot whilst walking through town it was surreal. Day 3 (Surgery 2515 grafts) Asmed advise you to where a buttoned shirt before and after surgery. I woke up at 6 am, 6:30 breakfast buffet – plenty of variety. For 3 days including this day I had to take an antibiotic tablet with breakfast and Xanax to calm me although I only needed that for the first day. It wasn’t till I got down there that I realised how many of us were being operated on. Including me it was 6 guys at breakfast ready to be taken to Asmed. Three of them already had their first day hairline surgery and the rest of us were on our first day. I was slightly taken back by this because I was sure they only did 4 surgeries a day but I guess it can depend on the cases. One guy was just having his hairline refined. All 6 of got into the people carrier and went to Asmed. We were given Asmed buttons shirts and bottoms to wear for surgery and it really is straight into it from that point. My coordinator took me to the surgery room and I met all the people involved with my surgery. I asked who will be doing the extractions and how long they had been working there. One person would be doing the extractions and she has been doing ONLY extractions for 7 years so I felt assured. Suzana showed me the microscope where they dissect single hair grafts as I was querying this lot. So onto the anaesthetics – Dr Umat organises this. He is a very interesting person he looks serious but he is a really cool person and fun to talk to, if he ever reads this I hope you are well and very active! This is the most painful part of the surgery, they have something that vibrates as they inject many times into your scalp which makes it a bit easier. If it is too much, they can give you something through the I.V your arm help ease you. It acts really quick and she starts extracting and you cannot feel a thing. You have a screen in front which tells you how many grafts have been extracted and if they’re singles, twos etc…I actually had a fair amount of 4s 5s 6s. Suzana was in the room with me the whole time she was a great help. She gave me a face rest support where I could also stick my I pad on it to watch stuff on. Sema came in now and I watched a popular bald show (we all know) re run from the previous night just to keep them on their toes and they knew what it was. This whole process takes more than 3 hours (I think) as I just lost track of time I didn’t sleep at all. They extracted 2515 grafts in total. Dr Erdogan did not come in during this time but his most experienced surgical assistant – Dilek came in at certain points. Dr Erdogan watches all the surgeries on monitor in his office and directs if need be from there which I am not completely happy about but the results are good. Next was 30 minute lunch maybe less and back to the operating room where I’m prepped and given anaesthetics for the recipient area before the main man Dr Erdogan comes in and shakes my hand and begins the incisions. The techs cover my eyes and hold my face in certain positions as the doctor instructs them whilst he pokes away. This takes him 30 – 40 mins and he shakes your hand and moves to the next patient. The same person that did the extractions is now joined by Dilek who both start the implanting stage. This can be prickly and pain a bit so they test certain areas and ask you is it painful or not. If it is they put some liquid type anesthetic so you don’t feel it. In fact at any time you feel pain you must tell them and they will ease it. They put a special blue solution over the recipient area which highlights all the incisions Dr Erdogan made. At some point they realised they covered the required area and had a few more grafts so Dilek made a few extra incisions which is fine as she is possibly the best tech going. Implants can take quite a while I cannot remember exactly but it was just a bit less than the extractions so maybe 2 hours. Once it is done I felt very tired walked very slowly as I was trying to get my bearings right. The trauma and anesthetics can make you very tired. So Suzana came with me to another room where they sat me down under a low level red laser for 10 mins to help with healing. After that she gave me ATP spray and said I must put spray my recipient area a few times every 2 hours with it. She also gave me ice cooling gel to help with swelling. Its only till a few days later I realise how big my face got! I went back to the hotel, my forehead looked bigger because of the swelling had something to eat in the hotel restaurant – felt like crap but hotel staff are used to Asmed patients so I mixed in well. I went back upstairs for a very awkward night. Didn’t sleep much, Suzana gave me neck pillow and for the first 10 days you need to sleep with this on your back facing up (no rolling about) do not let your recipient area rub anything as this is a very sensitive time for your scalp. I wasn’t in much pain but I just felt completely shattered and sleepy but I kept waking up in the night but I got through it somehow. Day 4 – (Surgery 2505 grafts) Exactly the same as day 3. Note that grafts it is not exactly 5000 grafts (5020) they do not tell you to pay for these extra few. So that is it, surgery complete and Dr Erdogan came and said he is happy with the way it looks and is just the way he wanted it and said he will see me tomorrow. In terms of reactions to the surgery at the time I had swelling but by the time I wrote this my face was huge I look like sloth from the goonies – google it if you don’t know. But this is all part of it. Some people have more sensitive bodies than others. Just have to keep applying ice packs. Day 5 – (Wash and go) Another awkward night but managed to have breakfast and be picked up at 9:50 am. Suzana was at reception and took me down for the shampoo and washing. This is what you have to do on your own for 10 days post op so pay attention when they tell you. They took the bandages off washed me and I felt fresh again and went in for the final post op photos. They gave me some Turkish delight sweets as a gift and a power pack. As well as this as they knew I was on Proscar (I changed to proscar a month earlier – cost effective and same brand Merck) they gave me 1 year supply of Proscar (£200 worth) for free and a pill cuter! They gave me a USB stick with all my surgical details and photos as well as various papers of post op instructions. All the post op shampoos and creams are free. Suzana bid me farewell she was really good to me the entire time and I told her I’ll be back in a year for results photographs only downside Dr Erdogan didn’t meet me I left but I guess he is busy with all the other patients. Dropped to the hotel at 12 and was told the driver will be back at 14:00 for airport drop of. So that’s it I hope I didn’t bore you with the details there is more I could write but those details may come up in the future in the meantime I have posted photographs taken at Asmed below. Surgery Details : 1148 Single 2589 Double 1158 Triple 119 Quadruple 6 Quintuple Total Grafts: 5020 Avg hair: 2.05 per graft Hair thickness: 61 microns Medication: Proscar 1.25 per day since January 2018 Pre-Op Plans: Post OP
I've seen really good results by Dr Baubac from Beverley hills (part of Alvi Armani). He does all the work himself - extraction , incisions and remains there for implementation with his techs. His results are amazing but charges alot per graft which you would expect being based in Beverley hills. I'm nearly 8 months post OP from dr Erdogan with the result looking ok-ish but definitely will need refinement. I'm looking at baubac because he really does have natural and dense hairlines he also does body hair transplantation which I may talk to him about to beef up the top. But I cant seem to find any baubac patients on this forum and do not just want to base my decision on what they post on their website or on other forums. Patient reviews give a much more accurate indication of what most of a clinic's results are like. Can anyone give me a reason why there are no reviews on here ? I know hes not a member of this coalition organisation but so aren't many doctors who are reviewed here.