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My Hair Transplant Experience

 

Transplant Date – July 30th,31st, and Aug 2nd 2013

Surgeon - Dr. Hakan Doganay

 

Tools Used - Choi Hair Transplanter / Implanter Pen Technique

 

Graph Break Down

 

Day 1

Singles - 473

Doubles - 562

Triples - 729

Total - 1764

 

Day 2

Singles - 520

Doubles - 495

Triples - 733

Total - 1748

 

Day 3 - Temple Triangle Touch-up

Singles - 80

Doubles - 0

Triples - 30

Total - 110

 

Total Graphs Used - 3622

 

My History

In the words of Mr. Burns to a newly once again bald Homer Simpson, “I too know the sting of male pattern baldness”. I’ve been slowly but steadily losing my hair since high school. I’m one of the guys that never had great hair and the high forehead look became the norm. I started wearing my hair medium length in my mid twenties to help cover my receding hairline the best I could and 4-5 years back, at the age of 28 or so, I began thinking about the possibility of receiving a HT. Money was the main obstacle and I look back at this as a blessing because I would likely of made the mistake of going with someone local and as cheap as possible. In 2010 I found the Hair Restoration Network and started to get informed.

 

Why Dr. Hakan?

Like many others who first start to consider receiving a HT I made the mistake of looking for a Doctor like I would a closeout sale at the mall. I was too concerned with price and it played too large a role in who I was considering. Ironically this mindset is what brought me to the Hair Restoration Network and I quickly began to realize this “penny saved is a penny earned” mindset is very dangerous when considering a medical procedure. The reality is I didn’t have the money for a HT by a top US doctor, so I began to look for doctors who were more affordable but still VERY good. I looked into most of the highly regarded doctors recommended by members of this forum and the Network itself. I decided I would get a second job, save the money, and do it right. But I will admit that price still played a role in my choice, although greatly lessened and not to a detriment. I was considering a number of doctors when I came across Dr. Hakan’s results and I was instantly very impressed.

 

HTN Recommended – Being recommended on this site went a long way to helping me feel comfortable using Dr. Hakan and gave me confidence that he could be trusted and was whole the package. However, I know that there are a lot of very good surgeons who are not recommended for one small reason or another and I wouldn't rule out a surgeon because he is not recommended. In short, I trust this community, and I wasn't able to find negatives on here.

Natural Looking Hairlines - What stood out to me was the natural look of his hairlines, something I had only seen in a handful of the best FUE doctors. I really liked the stray wispy hairs, angles, and softness or his hairlines. He has the ability to do this and still achieve the density that looks full. In short I saw his work and it had the look of what I was going for. You can have a very good surgeon and not have that artistic feel and I felt Dr. Hakan had both.

 

Communication – Some of the Doctors and clinics I contacted had poor communication levels. Most were prompt and professional but some of the doctors I had on the short list just took so long to get back to me and didn’t always answer my questions that it put me on edge, and in the end this was a negative factor that made me look elsewhere. I feel communication is crucial, both in knowing what a client wants and putting them at ease with a very big decision. If communication is not at a professional level then it makes me start to wonder about other things too.¬¬

I found Dr. Hakans assistants to be very helpful, informed and prompted. One of my concerns was being treated like a number, and I didn’t feel this way. This comes down to taking the TIME to do it right, and I feel they did.

 

Goals and Concerns - Like most, the first and foremost goal was to have natural looking reasonably full head of hair. After doing research it seems I have some issues that made that a challenge. My hair is of a fine/normal type and I know getting the coverage can be a challenge. Another challenge is that I had almost no temple triangle points. I have a pretty small face structure and I felt that not doing temple point work would leave a Tom Hanks/ Nick Cage like wide unnatural looking forehead. Plus my temple areas are more blond and finer than the hair towards the back of my head. So the main concern was how much temple triangle to have done and can they look natural both in the color/coarseness and the angle the hair lays. Some Doctors weren’t too excited about doing the temple points, but Dr. Hakan seemed confident he could and said my goals were realistic.

 

Day 1 - Arriving in Antalya

10:30am - Arrive from Istanbul and meet at the airport

10:45am – Met at terminal by and driven to Hotel by Tugrul and was impressed with his friendliness and accessibility. He was very interested to know what it was that had convinced me to come all the way from the States.

11:15am - Checked in to hotel, an all inclusive small resort named “Sea Life” hotel just across the street from the beach. Pretty nice with perks that include meals, tennis courts, etc. Everyone mistook me for Russian since about 75% hotel guests were Russians.

12:00pm – I mentioned to Tugrul that I would like to have a consultation with Dr. Hakan before it was time to go under the knife the next day. I was worried things would be a bit to hurried I wanted to have a chance to ask my questions etc. Tugrul told me Dr. Hakan would come meet with me after work.

1:00pm - Went to beach and swam for a couple hours.

5:00pm - Met Dr. Hakan and his assistant/translator Tugrul at the Starbucks across the street to discuss the next day’s procedure. Dr. Hakan was friendly, a bit jovial, and didn’t seem to be in a hurry which impressed me since no one likes to be doing work after hours. I had a list of goals, questions and concerns and we went through them one by one and Dr. Hakan answered them clearly and directly. I felt a bit was lost in translation, which unfortunately is often the case. Overall I was very happy to have had this meeting and it helped ease my concerns. He told me my hair was quite fine, but not as fine as many others with lighter hair so that made me feel better. I showed him photos of a drawn in hairline and he said this is very close to what he would have chosen, and expressed that I didn’t feel it would be a problem to achieve natural looking temple points. This was a big relief and I wondered if it could really be so easy, but I trusted his expertise and we were ready to go. He also mentioned he would implant about 60 graphs per cm2 because much more than that and the follicles would not get enough oxygen. He even mentioned that at one point he experimented with a friend and they did 120 graphs cm2 but that in the end half of the graphs died.

 

Day 2 – Consultation and Hair Transplant Part 1

11:00 - Pickup from Hotel – Nothing to add here.

11:30 - Arrive at Hospital - The clinic is located at on the bottom floor of a hospital in Antalya. It consists of a few simple rooms: an office, general sitting room, and the operation room. My understanding is they were promised by the hospital larger wing to remodel and work and that has not panned out. So depending on if/when they move to Istanbul they should be in a new clinic in the near future. The space will seem a little humble to people who are used to fancy newly remodeled care center in the US, but it was clean and I didn’t think it anything seemed suspect or questionable.

11:45 - Met Nurses, Hair shaved and washed - I found the nurses to be very nice and friendly and felt it a shame I didn’t speak Turkish, or they any English. They were always professional.

12:00 - Graph Extraction begins – Two nurses commenced to remove give me surprisingly painful shots to the scalp and quickly deadened the pain of the following shots. Once numb, the extraction began and I could hear and slight feel the electronic punch going to work. There was rarely any pain and it was very minor. After completion my head was bandaged and I was feeling fine.

1:30pm – Lunch/Follicle Separation – As the nurses worked at separation and dividing up the follicles for the implantation I was fed a good lunch and I realized it was the moment I was most nervous about: drawing the hairline. I had been thinking about this for weeks and I was afraid I would be rushed or make a mistake in drawing the look I had carefully thought-out and practiced before drawing before numerous times before.

Dr. Hakan arrived and drew the basic design in from memory of the image I had showed him the day before, and I studied it in the mirror. I felt it was a little more aggressive than I had planned so I made some slight adjustments. With multiple marker and lines it got a little muddy looking and I began to get concerned. To be honest I wish I had said, “ok, I’m going to go to the bathroom and I’ll be back in 30 min.” That way I could take my time drawing it, photograph it, and review the images to make sure I was happy. It just felt too rushed. I feel like if you are going to have a hairline for the next 50 years then take the extra 30 min to get it perfect and feel very comfortable. I feel that if I had had a better feel for how it looked I would have adjusted it to be a bit more conservative.

12:30pm – Transplant Begins – The needles came out and it was a go. The pain of the first 3-4 shots is not fun but after that the other shots were less noticeable. I watched Turkish music videos on the screen as they worked and there was nowaiting time. What struck me was the speed the procedure progressed. Dr. Hakan uses individual needles to implant the hair and the two nurses worked quickly to load them. The needles are marked as singles, doubles, or triples and are laid on a small table for Dr. Hakans easy reach. It was all the nurses could do to keep up with Dr. Hakans implanting and I have to admit I was surprised at the pace. It seemed rushed to me, but I always imagined it would be slow careful implantation of each follicle. So saying it was rushed probably isn’t fair. 1700 graphs were implanted in roughly 2 1/2hours. I remember reading from Dr. Lorenzo that he felt one of the biggest factors of success is to keep the graphs out of the body as little amount of time as possible. This put me more at ease about the speed things were progressing.

 

4:45pm – I was bandaged up, informed on what to do and not to do, and it was back to my hotel. The pain was manageable but sleeping was a bit of a challenge since I was still bleeding a bit and had to stay flat on my back.

 

Day 3 – Transplant Part 2

 

9:00 am - Picked up from Hotel

9:30 am - Extraction begins by two nurses - Once again two nurses commence the extraction which begins with shots to numb the scalp. After the shots the extraction is essentially pain free.

11:30 am - Lunch Break as Nurses clean and divide graphs

1:45 pm - Transplant Resumes with Dr. Hakan – Transplant resumes with three nurses helping, two of them loading needle graph inserters with the follicles and one cleaning scalp as Dr. Hakan implants. It is quite the assembly line. Dr. Hakan doesn’t waste any time. As long as the result is good that is all that matters.

Tugrul was on hand to ask Dr. Hakan any questions I might have (which were many) and Dr. Hakan was more than happy to explain things and answer questions as he worked.

As the hair progressed he made some slight adjustments to the match the other side and I will say I wish he might have taken a bit more time to get it as close as possible. Again, in the end when the hair is grown this probably won’t matter much or even at all. But unfortunately I am such a visual perfectionist I asked him to make some alterations on a few occasions. He didn’t seem bothered and it appeared he was perhaps planning on them anyways. However, I think this may of caused the hairline to become a little more aggressive then I had planned or drawn as when things were made more symmetrical the hairline seems drop and get closer.

5:00 pm - Transplant Completed

It felt good to have the transplant done. Now begins the “DO NOT TOUCH your head out of fear of damaging graphs” stage. Pain was fine and I never felt like I couldn’t function pretty much normally.

Later that night, while looking closely at the hairline, I felt it was not quite as symmetrical as I would like to be. Wearing a bandage when drawing in the second half of the hairline made it difficult to establish were the temple are would tie into the sideburn and the result was this area was not very even. One was about 1/8 to ? inch higher which bothered me. I decided to talk to Dr. Hakan about it the next day.

 

Day 4 – Hair washed, stressed over hairline

 

Tugrul picked my up and we headed to the hospital to have the nurse’s show me how to wash my hair properly and to get care advice from Dr. Hakan. All I kept thinking was please don’t accidently pull any graphs, out but the washing went well enough. Next up was an overview of the medication I will need to be taking over the next days and weeks. Simple enough.

It was than time to pay and I was VERY pleased when Tugrul explained that they’re policy is to not charge for graphs that exceeded the consultation estimation. So I ended paying for 3000 graphs when I had received about 3500! I have to say this was some great and very unexpected news. Who doesn’t like to save $1300??? I feel this is above and beyond and very generous. Charging me for the 3500 would have been perfectly fair and I was planning to pay it without any regrets or complaints.

Time to ask Dr. Hakan about my hairline and my desire to have it touched up a bit to make it more symmetrical. He looked it over and said he thought it looked fine and that most hairlines are not symmetrical and it won’t be noticeable once it grows in. I was afraid he would say this and I got a little anxious. Tugrul knew that wasn’t what I wanted to hear and he said when we come back to wash again tomorrow he will talk to him about it again. We then drove to the mall and picked up the meds, and cream I needed. As we headed back to my hotel I expressed to Tugrul how I know that it is pretty minuscule but that it really did matter to me and I would like him to try and convey that to Dr. Hakan. He said he will talk to him again and it should be fine, and that the main goal was that I was happy. This eased my concerns.

While eating dinner stress from the idea leaving Turkey not be completely happy with my hairline was really getting to me. I texted this to Tugrul and he responded that Dr. Hakans assistant Dr. Ayhan would be doing the minor touch ups around lunch time the next day. This was a great relief and I didn’t mind having Dr. Ayhan do it because I knew Dr. Hakan had another transplant and it was such a minor amount I wasn’t worried about the quality.

 

Day 5 – Hairline Adjustment

Dr. Ayhan picked me up at 11:30 and we headed to the hospital once more and Dr. Ayhan and I carefully measured the hairline and we drew in the small adjustments. We waited until Dr. Hakan was finished up on a fellow transplante, who I enjoyed meeting a few times over the last couple days, and after my hair had been washed one of the nurses and the room was cleaned and things were ready work began.

I wasn’t too excited for more shots but I asked for it so it didn’t complain. The same experienced nurse did the extraction of about 100 singles follicles from the upper neck area, and Dr. Ayhan then implanted them. In about an hour it was done. I made sure to confirm he would be implanting them at the lower 10 degree angle since that was the angle Dr. Hakan said he used on temple work. Things looked pretty good and I was relieved to officially be done with the HT.

 

Day 6 – Final

Dr. Ayhan picked me up at 11:30 and we headed to the hospital once more and both Doctors looked over my scalp and seemed pleased. Dr, Hakan asked if I had any more questions and wanted to make sure I was happy. I said I was and we laughed when I told him I looked forward to seeing him again only me with Elvis-like hair. 

 

Summery

Overall I feel pretty good about the results and my experience. Everyone was kind to me and you can tell they are working to build a good reputation for westerners. I’m not sure how I would of done this without Tugrul. We became friends and he was fantastic to work with. Dr. Ayhan was very nice, helpful and informative. I think we will be hearing more of him in his own right in the future. Dr. Hakan is a good guy and I can’t complain about anything. I wish he was able to speak English because I would of liked to hear exactly what his thoughts were in his own words and I feel some things got lost in translation.

Overall, it was more stressful than I had thought, but this is probably die to me being a perfectionist and wanting the hairline adjustment. To be honest I wonder if I have had realistic expectations. I’ve always been a bit of a risk taker and I’m afraid that the temples triangles might be a risk that comes back to bite me. I fear I may have gone with too aggressive of a hairline and that it may not look natural, which was my first and foremost goal. If I could change things I may of played it a bit more conservative with the temples triangles.

But then again who knows how it will look when it’s all grown in and it may not look so extreme 9-12 months from now, plus my lighter hair my help in this area. I think managing expectations and being able to put what you need over what you want must be the propriety for any potential HT patient, and I’m not sure I was able to do that. Also, so much trust goes into the Doctor you choose. In end you are pretty much at their mercy when you sit in that operating chair and that can be scary. I hope Dr. Hakan is as good as I have heard both on this and other forums. Let the wait begin.

 

I’m including photos or my original hairline, the hairline I had decided on, and then photos from the day of the HT operation and images from 1 week later.

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Your gonna have a super result and I dont think youve gone too aggressive at all - Im with Dr Doganay in October if youve any tips would you PM me? Thanks

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Your gonna have a super result and I dont think youve gone too aggressive at all - Im with Dr Doganay in October if youve any tips would you PM me? Thanks

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I'm a huge Doganay fan. Excited to see the progression of this.


My Hair Loss Website

 

Surgical Treatments:

 

Hair transplant 5-22-2013 with Dr. Paul Shapiro at Shapiro Medical Group

Total grafts transplanted: 3222

*536 singles *1651 doubles * 961 triples,

*74 quadruples.

Total hairs transplanted: 7017

 

 

Non-Surgical Treatments:

 

*1.25 mg finasteride daily

*Generic minoxidil foam 2x daily

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Isn't 60 grafts per sq cm high? From what I have read and researched - anything above 50 is risky business.....correct me if I am wrong.

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Congratulations, and thank you for sharing that excellent presentation!


"Doc" Blake Bloxham - formerly "Future_HT_Doc"

 

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

 

All opinions are my own and my advice does not constitute as medical advice. All medical questions and concerns should be addressed by a personal physician.

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I'm not sure about the 50 per cm2 verses the 60 per cm2. He told me 60 was as many as he felt I could support. I don't know if this has to do with my hair being finer average or not. Maybe he or another surgeon can weigh in on this.

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Great write up!! Excellent dr, don't stress mate you will have a fantastic result!! I think your hairline looks really nice, it is aggressive but that doesn't mean it will look unnatural, although I'm sure your change will be huge, so I wouldn't be surprised if people comment as it grows in, not that it's a ht just that it looks alot lower and denser which ate both nice compliments!! Did dr doghany say how many more grafts you. Had remaining for future work if ever you reqd it??

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Happy growing!

 

You have(had) the same receeded temples as me. I am also going for a surgery, and I am planning similar temple Points as you.

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srdonjuan,

 

Thanks for sharing your detailed experience with Dr. Hakan! The work looks excellent and I like your hairline design. Can't wait to see this grow in. Please keep us posted.


David - Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant

 

I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and my advice should not constitute as medical advice.

 

View my Hair Loss Website

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Hairline looks awesome! It's not aggressive, very natural looking, you'll be a girls dream :)

ALL best and keep us informed with photos!

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Hey guys, Sorry I've been MIA. After the whole HT and trip to Turkey I've been playing a lot of catch-up at work. Anyways so here are the 2 week photos, actually 13 days from the second day of the HT. Let me know what you think and if things are looking normal. I think I have a bit of shockloss on the left back, or at least more than other side. Its become more noticeable in the last few days so it will be interesting to see how it looks at 1 and 2 months. I wonder how much of the current transplanted graphs will still be there in a month or two, but it does seem to be growing. Anyways thanks for all your support and the positive feedback on the hairline. I do feel better about it than I did. :)

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Edited by srdonjuan
grammar errors

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Cool man, Dr. Hakan seems to know what's he doing and the whole team also. Guy is great, you'll be awesome in a few months. Please keep us informed!

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Sorry for the long delay on the updates guys. I also have my 2 month pics ready and I will get them posted as well.

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What happens if your sides continue to receed? Will you be left with two strips at the front?

 

This is something im concerned about when i get my HT. Might be better not to touch the sides in some cases

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Wow, looks amazing for just 2 months. Your donor area have no scarring or signs of thinning. I can't wait for just more than a month to have my HT.

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All looks as expected mate. You're only a few weeks ahead of me, so we'll be going through this ugly duck at the same time! :)

 

You also look to have similar characteristics to me (hair calibre, skin tone etc)......on top of taking your pics against a very similar wall to my own! Ha. Will be interesting to see how we both develop.

 

I see you had a bit of shockloss in the donor. Has this been an issue for you? How is it now?


2,200 FUE + PRP with Dr Bisanga - BHR Clinic, 22-23 August 2013 - http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/171950-my-fue-2-200-prp-dr-bisanga-bhr-clinic.html

 

Current Regimen:

- Rogaine 5% Foam 2x daily

- Jasons Restorative Biotin Shampoo 2x daily / Nizoral 2% 2x weekly

- Nettle Root 500mg, MSM 1500mg, Biotin 5mg, Multi Vit, Omega 3

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Hey imnothere, I monitored my hair loss for about 7-8 years and it stay pretty stable, very slow receding on the sides. It was consistent with lose in my family, which usually stabilizes about age 30. Dr. Hakan transplanted quite a ways into the thinning area, both on top and on the sides and so it would take a lot of lose to get the "island look" going. I'm more concerned with the side areas looking and laying naturally. I would ask a variety of doctors to get their opinion.

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All looks as expected mate. You're only a few weeks ahead of me, so we'll be going through this ugly duck at the same time! :)

 

You also look to have similar characteristics to me (hair calibre, skin tone etc)......on top of taking your pics against a very similar wall to my own! Ha. Will be interesting to see how we both develop.

 

I see you had a bit of shockloss in the donor. Has this been an issue for you? How is it now?

 

I'll have to check my back porch periodically to make sure you aren't taking advantage of my dull, neutral stucco wall that is finally being put to good use.

 

Concerning the shockloss, I was a bit concerned but its started to fill in pretty well and now its pretty hard to see..of course having the hair getting longer doesn't hurt. Hopefully it wont look thin when all is said and done but like I said my main concern is with hairline...like most guys.

 

Yeah it will be cool to see our results and the progression from ugly ducking to thick, beautiful locks!...fingers crossed. Bring one month 3 and the start of some actual growth!

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Very nice work. Seems you are between Norwood 3 and 4 wouldnt you say? Maybe a NW3 would be a better description. Looks very nice though indeed.

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I just saw this great written up. Thanks for all information you gave us.. Pictures seems pretty promising please keep update us..

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hey srdonjuan, How is it looking now any updates.? I'm thinking myself about getting a HT with Dr. Hakan sometime in the next six months his work looks phenomenal.

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