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JohnnyGJ

My Experience - Dr Koray Erdogan - ASMED

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Hi all,

 

I'm now about 10 days post-op from getting a 3600 graft FUE session with Dr Koray Erdogan of ASMED in Istanbul and thought I'd take the time to post a review of my experience and the lead-up to it for anyone interested.

 

Background:

I'm in Brisbane, Australia. I have (had?) receding front temples that in my opinion made me look much older. This has been most noticeable in the past 5 years or so and I finally made the call to bite the bullet at get an FUE transplant. I used Regaine for a while which, while moderately effective, made my skin itch and dry up so I stopped it about a year before the operation (not intentionally, I just had to stop using it because of the side effects).

 

I did some research on several forums and was tossing up between Dr Konior in Chicago and Dr Erdogan in Turkey.I know there are a lot of others out there but these were the two I narrowed down. Ultimately because the cost was an issue to me, and because of the terrible exchange rate between AUD-USD, I went with Dr Erdogan. Given the vast majority of positive reviews about Dr Erdogdan I was confident I was going to get a good result no matter who I went with.

 

Preliminaries:

My patient coordinator was Sevinc who was great. All of the pre-operative communication was done via email which wasn't an issue. The Turkey e-visa only takes a day or so to process (in my case it was almost instant). It was 9000EUR for the procedure + additional treatments, hotel accommodation etc, which came out to around 9500-10KEUR total - you take this over in cash (quite normal as I understand it). I booked my flights and got a good price through Emirates. I took two weeks off work which was pretty much the perfect amount of time.

 

Arrival:

I left at around 2.30AM on a Monday morning and arrived at about 5.30PM in Istanbul on the same day. After coming through Turkish customs I was confronted by about 100 people holding name signs which was a bit overwhelming. I had to walk back and forth a couple of times before spotting my name with relief - printed out on a proper card with the clinic name instead of the sloppy handwriting on other signs (not a big thing, but it's the little things you notice). The driver was great, can't remember his name unfortunately but he was sharply dressed in a nice fitting suit. He spoke a little english, enough for small talk and to answer any initial questions I had. He called Sevinc straight away to let her know I had arrived safely, she spoke to me on the phone just to confirm my appointment time for the next day and make sure everything was okay which was nice. The trip from the airport to the Radisson Blu hotel (preferred hotel of the clinic), took about 2 hours and involved a ferry crossing which I thought was interesting, knowing nothing about Istanbul as it was my first time here. The transit van was modern, clean and I even noticed the clinic embroidery on the leather headrests - again, the little things. We arrived at the hotel and he made sure I was all checked in and confirmed the time for the appointment the next day. The hotel itself is very modern, the staff speak good english, the food is good, absolutely no complaints about any of the accommodation.

 

First Day:

The next day I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant which was buffet-style and waited for the driver. He turned up promptly on time and we went to the clinic, which is only about a 5-10 minute drive from the hotel. The roads on approach to it are a little rough but this is to be expected and obviously not something the clinic have any control over. The clinic is an amazing building - it is around two years old now but it could have opened a week before and you couldn't tell. It is kept immaculately clean and there is a high hygiene standard. At the entrance are these machines that shrink-wrap your footwear in plastic to prevent you trekking dirt into the building which was pretty cool.

 

Sevinc greeted me at the door so I wasn't kept waiting and made sure everything was okay. We went downstairs to the photo room and took a bunch of shots from all angles of my hair, then went into another room to get a blood test and ECG done - all proper medical practices were followed with gloves, disposable needles, antiseptic wipes etc. I also noticed that the equipment fitout was very new and of high quality, obviously no expense has been spared which is a very good thing. After this, I waited in the hair-washing/cutting room drinking Turkish tea and filling out the standard pre-op forms. I was then taken upstairs to see Dr Erdogan. His english is also very good and he is very friendly and accommodating. He checked my hair and took photos with a magnifier and cut a small sample to check the thickness. He did some calculations to determine my donor capacity and he marked out a preliminary hairline and outlined his reasoning for it based on my facial proportions. I was happy with the shape of it but requested it be brought forward marginally - he was fine with this and we made some minor adjustments here and there to suit. The result of me modifying it from the original design required an additional 600 grafts but I'd brought extra cash to cover this contingency so it wasn't an issue.

 

After this Sevinc took me back downstairs to have my head shaved. All the staff are very friendly and chatty (and attractive) so it's a pleasant experience. I also met the anaesthesiologist who was a bit more straight-faced at first but is actually a very funny guy with a dry sense of humour. Also an ex-patient which is testament to his experience. After this, Dr Erdogan came back and refined the hairline with a marker more accurately. Had another round of photos after that and then it's back to the hotel. They give you a fisherman-style hat to wear, but honestly there are so many patients in the hotel that if you didn't wear the hat then nobody would bat an eye, it is very common there. Ended up getting back to the hotel around 1.30-2.00PM.

 

Operation Day:

The next day it's an early start at around 7.30AM. When you arrive at the clinic, you change into the operation clothes they provide and your head is shaved once more (to take off the stubble). After that you go into a little anteroom before the operating area, and choose movies from their library to watch during your procedure. I chose three movies but you might want to choose around 4-5 just to be safe. It takes a long time. I should also mention that there is another dividing line with automatic doors here where you have to change your shoes which is a good sign of hygienic practices. There were two other guys there at the same time, one from Sweden who had been once previously and also spoke highly of the clinic and staff. After this I went into the operating room, the anaesthesiologist checked my blood pressure again and they started with the local anaesthetic. It hurts, as there are multiple needle injections required but it isn't too bad. They test the area to make sure you're not feeling anything and it's important to note whether you do or not, as you'll definitely feel it when they extract otherwise. After this they started with the extraction which took a few hours, can't recall how many exactly. Sevinc stays in the room with you in case you need to ask any questions which is nice. Occaisionally a re-injection of anaesthetic is required. After this, they bandage the back of your head and you take a break for lunch.

This is a traditional-style Turkish meal that they prepare for you which was very good, I just hung out here for a while eating and chatting with the staff.

After this you go back into the operating room to start the incisions for the graft locations. This it the part where Dr Erdogan comes in and makes the incisions himself - it took maybe 1-2 hours or so from start to finish. Some people might complain that he doesn't do every step himself but honestly, siting the location of each hair is what is going to affect your appearance the most and his staff are highly competent and very good at what they do, so I had no problem with that.

After that comes the graft insertion. This probably took the longest, maybe 3-4 hours, and it can get painful sometimes and require a few additional anaesthetic shots. I believe they also did the PRP injections at this time as well but it may have been in an earlier step. Generally though it is fine, I watched a couple of movies and just sort of zoned out while it was happening. We finished up around 7-8PM, they bandaged up the back of my head again and I went back to the hotel to sleep it off. The air pillow they provide is a bit hard but necessary to avoid sleeping on your new grafts. After such a long day it was pretty easy to fall asleep, and you get painkillers in case (though I didn't need mine).

 

Last Day:

The final day I was picked up around 9AM and taken back to the clinic for the first post-wash. They show you how to apply the treatments and shampoo and give instructions typed up that are easy to follow. I even got a box of Turkish Delight as a present! Everyone said goodbye (super friendly staff, I must mention once again) and the driver then dropped me back at the hotel around 11AM. My flight wasn't until 7PM that night but a late checkout was no problem when I checked with the desk staff. The driver picked me up right on time again as usual and dropped me at the departure gates with no issues. I had a long transit back to Australia (with a 9hr stopover in Dubai - make sure you bring a coat if you transit this long through this airport as it was freezing cold. Luckily I had one so I could get some sleep. You keep the little bottle of ATP solution with you and spray it on your head occasionally so your grafts don't dry up. They also provide a letter for the airline that allows you to carry more than 200ml of fluids in your carry-on baggage. The only time I encountered an issue with this was leaving Dubai airport where they insisted the liquids couldn't be in carry-on, but they were put into cargo so I could pick them up at the other end without any problem.

 

I didn't get much of an opportunity to use the ice pack on the plane so my face swelled up a fair bit. I recommend you give the gel pack to the flight attendants and ask them to refrigerate it regularly so this doesn't happen to you. Otherwise they can just give you some ice in a towel which also works. The swelling went down about 3 days after I arrived.

 

Now:

It is 12 days after the operation and my head looks pretty well normal. The skin in the graft zone is faintly red but only if you look closely and compare. I'm back at work and nobody can tell I had anything done, it just looks like I had a short haircut. If you want to try and hide it, I suggest growing your hair longer before the op, then when you come back, the most noticeable thing will be the difference between long and short hair, rather than an altered hairline.

 

Already I love the result and can tell it is going to be exactly what I hoped for (though I know it will get worse again before I see the final result). The shape and positioning of the hairline is spot-on and this is I attribute to Dr Erdogan's expertise and accurate assessment of which hairlines suit which kind of faces.

 

The staff, the facilities, the attention, punctuality and professionalism were all outstanding and I wouldn't hesitate to go straight back there if I needed any future work done. Cannot recommend ASMED enough! :)

 

Photos:

Sorry for the low quality, these are from my phone and I haven't transferred the professional quality ones across yet!

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Edited by JohnnyGJ

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Hey Johnny great write up. I'm from AUS as well and i have just arrived today at the radisson blu Asia to have 3000 FUE with Dr Erdogan on Wednesday. Will do a write up like yours with pics on thursday. Looking forward to seeing your results!

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Johnny, 3600 grafts for 7.5k euros? Are you sure that is right? My caluations show for 7.5k euros you get 3000 grafts?

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Sorry, that was the original price for 3000 grafts - the additional 600 grafts brought it up to 9000EUR. I've fixed it in the post now. Cheers

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No worries Johnny! I figured if he is getting 3600 grafts for 7.5k euros then that aint fair! Lol. As I am heading back for my second pass of 3000 grafts with Dr Koray again in April. I be following your thread. It will be an awesome result buddy

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Great write up and best of luck with your results Johnny. I'm flying out from Sydney to Asmed next Saturday for my procedure Tues 8 December, so will be not too far behind you.

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Great information you posted, I am considering on going to Asmed Clinic myself. I've been trying to email them but they haven't got back to me. I hoping the get back soon, it's been over a week.

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Hey Johnny any updates? has your transplanted hairs fallen out yet or are they still holding?

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Sorry about the lack of updates! I would say around half of the transplanted hairs have fallen out - I noticed it when I would shampoo and see the hairs on my hands. This is at around the 4 week mark. It doesn't look too bad but I'm thinking of cutting the hair on the back and sides again so the difference between the normal and transplanted hair isn't quite so obvious.

I'm still happy enough with it at the moment and hopefully this phase doesn't last too long!

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Any recent pictures? I'd like to know what to expect as I'll be at your stage of the game soon and I went to the same doc. Please update man! Thanks

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Sorry for the late update!

I tried to take pictures but because my phone camera isn't the greatest and my hair is cut very short, it's difficult to make out the progress.

 

All of the transplanted hair fell out around a month ago, and there has been slow but steady growth since then. Not all of the hairs are growing at the same rate (nor should I expect them to?), as they were taken from different sites and all of those sites would have been at different stages at the time of extraction - I assume I'm correct in assuming this is normal!

 

I would say around 30% of the transplanted hairs had regrown about 2 weeks after they had all fallen out. At first, they were very fine and light in colour but have gradually become darker and thicker. Around 4 weeks after they have all fallen out, I would say around 50-60% of the hairs have regrown. I am hoping that in another month or two I will see around 80-90% regrowth, given the current trends.

 

There is still slight redness in the front areas but it's less than it was at the start. I was concerned that all the grafts hadn't survived but as time goes on, more and more hairs are appearing. I hope I keep making progress! Promise I'll post an update photo as soon as possible :)

 

Cheers

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Thanks for the update Johnny. I'm from Sydney and had my Asmed procedure just 3 weeks after you. I don't think I've seen any regrowth yet, so I was very interested to read you had a total shed then had heaps of early regrowth so soon after. Congrats on your progress!

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Hey Johnny great write up. I'm from AUS as well and i have just arrived today at the radisson blu Asia to have 3000 FUE with Dr Erdogan on Wednesday. Will do a write up like yours with pics on thursday. Looking forward to seeing your results!

 

Hi how was your exp now with Dr Erdogan?

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Hey James, Yes I'm very happy with my outcome. If you click on my profile you should find my thread with my experience including photos. I had a similar hairline to you. Good luck mate Erdogan is the best in my opinion but I did not know he was working out of London now?

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Hello there. No I think Turkey as what the site tells me. I am in Sydney now where I live. I have emailed the company to request more info and pricing. My hair is not too bad but because I do TV Acting I am always aware and well why not hey? So many different ppl out there offering different things. Very confusing indeed so well I heard about him and lucky I found this posting and you replied. Anything I need to be worried about at all?

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Hey James, I researched for around 2 years before I jumped in and got a HT. Dr Koray Erdogan is in the top 3 surgeons in the world in my opinion so I was happy to pay for the best work. I had 3200 FUEs and it cost me around $12000 Australian with airfares but it was worth every cent. He has a Hospital that rivals the best of any Australian Hospital when it comes to cleanliness and professionalism.

The only thing I would warn you about, because you do television is the redness of the scalp after you have a HT. It eventually goes away, but it took over 5 months for the redness to subside on my scalp, I would just tell people it was sunburn or wear a cap. Everything else regarding my experience went smoothly. It takes at least 5 months for the regrowth to begin to really kick in so you will go through an ugly ducking phase. Just make sure you do your research and check out my experience and photos through my thread.

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/181776-asmed-dr-koray-erdogan-3200-fue-november-25th-2015-a.html

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Hi guys, thanks for all the comments here, these are so helpful - i'm 26 and researching hair transplant FUE options. Very eager to get one done asap. I live in Australia. 

Does anyone know whether DHI Australia are any good? They claim to do a 'direct hair implantation'' process, which they say is neither FUT or FUE

Recently got a quote from DHI Melbourne for 2000 grafts for about $16k AUD......I was hoping to spend closer to the $10k AUD mark (or lower if possible) and am now seriously looking at Dr Koray Erdogan in Turkey (hence I find myself reading these forums!). From what I've read, it looks like he can do a lot more grafts, for much cheaper and better quality, compared to any Australian clinics.....would you agree? Whilst i'm not looking for the cheapest option (the quality is most important), budget of course will play a big factor. It just seems Dr Erdogan stacks up on all these fronts.... 

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16 hours ago, OzzyBoy said:

Hi guys, thanks for all the comments here, these are so helpful - i'm 26 and researching hair transplant FUE options. Very eager to get one done asap. I live in Australia. 

Does anyone know whether DHI Australia are any good? They claim to do a 'direct hair implantation'' process, which they say is neither FUT or FUE

Recently got a quote from DHI Melbourne for 2000 grafts for about $16k AUD......I was hoping to spend closer to the $10k AUD mark (or lower if possible) and am now seriously looking at Dr Koray Erdogan in Turkey (hence I find myself reading these forums!). From what I've read, it looks like he can do a lot more grafts, for much cheaper and better quality, compared to any Australian clinics.....would you agree? Whilst i'm not looking for the cheapest option (the quality is most important), budget of course will play a big factor. It just seems Dr Erdogan stacks up on all these fronts.... 

I'm from Aus and went with Erdogan, the travel isn't much of an ordeal when return flights were $1100 with an airport in-between that had a hotel to chill at on the way back and for post-op care etc.

There isn't a single clinic that is remotely reputable in Australia regarding state of the art results, 95% are just plain butchers. Any chain clinic like DHI should be avoided, a quick look at their site and they're already making up bullshit terms (DHI) for their extraction technique and making false claims like that no incisions are being made. Also like you say the prices are absurd. If cost is an issue there aren't any better options at that price range than Koray.

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1 hour ago, JeanLDD said:

I'm from Aus and went with Erdogan, the travel isn't much of an ordeal when return flights were $1100 with an airport in-between that had a hotel to chill at on the way back and for post-op care etc.

There isn't a single clinic that is remotely reputable in Australia regarding state of the art results, 95% are just plain butchers. Any chain clinic like DHI should be avoided, a quick look at their site and they're already making up bullshit terms (DHI) for their extraction technique and making false claims like that no incisions are being made. Also like you say the prices are absurd. If cost is an issue there aren't any better options at that price range than Koray.

Thanks for your feedback....couple of questions:

1) I assume you are happy with your transplant results with Dr Erdogan?

2) Interestingly, DHI Delhi in India have quoted me the exact same grafts (2000 grafts) and it is turning out to be $10k AUD cheaper than my original dhi Australia quote I.e $6k instead of $16k....i can't believe it's that much cheaper in Delhi (which by the way seems to have positive reviews online, perhaps it is more reputable in India compared to Aus?)....though they definitely don't have surgeons there as renowned as Erdogan. What do you think about this?

 

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