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Hello all, Felt it would be useful for me to recount my hair restoration experience, given that I have just returned from a FUE transplant in Turkey. Preamble Things are a little confused by the fact that (a) I've been using pharmaceutical methods to try and mend my hair and (b) I'm trans and on meds that also affect hair growth. If you just want to see photos of before and after the operation, then just skip to the next post. I've also put 3570-4070 grafts in the title, because the the number of total grafts done (4070) doesn't match up if you add all the singles/doubles/multiples. I suspect this is just a typo and hopefully will be able to correct it at some point. History Since 2016, when I finally decided to do something about the trans thing as it was becoming hideous, I've been on quite a few meds. First up hormone inhibitors - Finasteride 1mg OD from late 2016 to mid 2017, then Dutasteride 0.5mg OD from mid 2017 to date. I also used Spironolactone 50mg OD for about 5 months in the middle of 2018 and Ketoconazole 2% Shampoo from late 2016 to date. Supplements - I've taken a multivitamin/mineral everyday since late 2016 to date, Biotin 10mg OD since late 2016 to date and an Omega Fish Oil supplement since mid 2017 to date. I also tried Taurine 0.5g OD for about 6months in 2017 (don't ask why..and no it doesn't do anything). I've been on Minoxidil 5% since Jan 2017 to date and have been on and off Dermarolling with a 1.5mm needle since mid-late 2017. I'm really irregular with the dermarolling - partly because I worry that it may cause problems WRT scarring, but mainly because it just bloody hurts. Lastly I used Estradiol (varying doses) from late 2017 to mid 2018 and again from December 2018 to date. Although I'm obviously using Estradiol because I'm trans and it makes me better, there is some research that suggests that it does help with hair loss (increasing anagen time IRRC). It also works against Testosterone. Yes, I rattle when I walk now. PSA: It goes without saying that Spironolactone and Estradiol are both serious HRT medications. Unless you have issues relating to your gender (or you're a woman and under medical supervision), men should not be taking these. Very few men really appreciate growing boobs, female fat redistribution, reduced body hair etc etc. Spiro may give you this and Estradiol will definitely do so. Dutasteride is also pretty heavy and pretty much wipes out all the DHT in your body. Although DHT may be the enemy of scalp hair, it's does have its uses! Thanks to all this From late 2016 to now, I went from pretty much a Norwood 6 to somewhere nearer a Norwood 5 variant. I'm not one for keeping photos of myself (go figure) but you can see the change here. I presumably will get the pre-photos from the clinic at some point, but I was pretty much at the first picture when went to get the hair transplant. It goes without saying that unless your hairloss is relatively recent, pills and potions will only do so much and sometimes it's a case of getting as much back as possible before you take a surgical route. Surgery I was initially going to have a hair transplant in early-mid 2018, but thanks to various issues, I had to put it off. I quite early on chose Dr Resul Yaman in Istanbul, Turkey. It was tempting to go with cheaper options (as Turkey is easy to get to and seems to be the best value when it comes to hair transplant surgery), but I was quite impressed by various videos and timelines and the price, whilst not the cheapest was manageable with my means. I also found that they were very easy to communicate with compared to other clinics - this is mostly due to the fact that a guy called Fikret handles communication with English-speaking clients and he is very friendly and helpful. As I am very lazy, I also appreciated the fact that they sorted out pretty much everything on the trip apart from the flight. I arrived in Istanbul late on the 17th Feb and they picked me up from the airport and took me to the hotel - a nice, businessy type hotel, but with a number of people there staying who clearly had been having surgeons prodding at their scalps. The surrounding area is obviously in heavy development, but that was very much of an aside as you're expected to be (a) not there for long and (b) not exerting yourself at all. The I'm not sure if I got it mixed up, but I was expecting to have the assessment on the 18th then to have the operation on the 19th, but as it turned out, everything was done on the 18th - met up with Fikret at the clinic (who turned out not to be the wizened old grey-haired guy I'd imagined him to be) and he pretty much lead the whole thing and I was taken for bloods, then for assessment with Dr Yaman in quick succession. The clinic looked clean and modern and people seemed friendly, though it was difficult to be sure as my Turkish is non-existent. Fikret did all the interpreting and generally managed to look extremely busy whilst making sure you were attended to. I started to realise that things weren't going how I thought they would when I was taken to get my hair buzzed off and a short while after I was taken to a room where Dr Yaman jabbed my scalp so that the grafts could be placed. Dr Yaman obviously speaks little English, but he seemed pretty friendly during the assessment and seemed to get things done efficiently. The extraction and implantation was done by a few technicians. My memory is pretty fuzzy as I was off my tits on painkillers / anaesthetics, but I definitely remember at one point three people going for it on my head at once. The operation went on for somewhere around eight hours, though I wasn't really tracking time. Weirdly for me, I was in a right mood at the end, which I imagine was due to coming off all the delicious medications that they gave at the start. The blurb they gave me said: 4070 FUs had been transplanted Single 524 Double 2261 Multiple 785 This obviously doesn't add up. Generally, I was pretty impressed with the experience - Fikret's management seemed to go pretty smoothly, the assessment / operation was super-efficiently done, accommodation was nice, all the taxi-ing around was provided for and staff were friendly. The only major problem was one of my own doing and which Fikret was very sensible about. I am already planning to go back in November to get the crown done and my hairline made into something a bit more resembling a female hairline. Now for pictures..