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4600 FUE - Dr Koray Erdogan, Asmed Clinic

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Hello world,

 

I’ve been dwelling on the forums here for about a year and let me first of all thank everyone here! It’s amazing what difference all your contributions make both in researching the topic of hair transplant and finding the best matching doctor for your need. Again, thank you!

 

In the same spirit, I’d like to give something back. Namely my experience with a FUE procedure with Dr Koray Erdogan. I’m writing this two weeks after, so I might forget some details, but I’ll try to be as accurate as I can remember.

 

I’m 34 years old and have had hair loss since my late twenties. To be honest it didn’t bother me so much until one or two years ago, as I (suddenly) realized that the “comb-over” was part of my daily routine, I had to use a lot of hairspray and always be wary of where I’d go out so it’s not too windy. In short, I had become self-aware of the fact that I have some very clear “bald patches” which, in fact, by the time I had the procedure, turned into a uniformly receded hairline. Of course, this process didn’t take a year or two, more like 10, but as I said I came to the point where it was starting to bother me. That’s when I started researching hair transplant (about which I had no clue whatsoever) and found out that a) FUE is a method which yields great results with minimal scarring and b) the results greatly depend on the quality of the surgeon and team performing the procedure.

 

Coincidentally, about the same time, I had a chat with a friend who was already thinking about a hair transplant and he told me he would do it in Turkey. So, I started to “google it” and initially found some websites which promised FUE for 1e per graft with great results (for my self-diagnosed Norwood level) with 2500 grafts or so. It seemed at the time quite reasonable, but thankfully I researched it a bit more and found many reviews and opinions which made me understand that it’s really a shame to waste (limited) donor capacity in the wrong hands and I should look for a more experienced surgeon. That’s how I found this site and forum and after reading many reviews by both patients and clinics I decided on Dr Koray Erdogan, which the online research showed to be one of the top doctors in the world, with some frankly amazing results.

 

I contacted Asmed for the first time about March and got a quote for 4000grafts spread over two days. There would have been a slot in the very immediate future, however after some thought I decided to postpone it to autumn so that I can enjoy the summer sun which would have otherwise been impossible after a FUE. So, I was booked in for 5th of September and the wait began. I must mention that from the start I was in contact with Sema from Asmed, who has been totally awesome. Very responsive to emails, very forthcoming with information and very patient with my endless questions. With such a good initial impression I was feeling reassured already and looking forward to autumn. In the meantime I started wiring money to Asmed as I didn’t want to travel with a bucket of cash :). It’s not possible to wire the whole amount though (well, depends on the number of grafts) so I still had to take a bowlful of cash with me :)

 

Fast forward to September, I flew to Istanbul with my wife as support. (Sidenote: I know it’s not possible for everyone, but for me personally having her there was a godsend and also a point of pride and happiness, more on that later). The timeline was:

- Day 1: fly in around noon, go to clinic, consultation with Dr Koray and hairline design

- Day 2: surgery for frontline

- Day 3: surgery for top

- Day 4: wash, post-op consultation and flight back

 

 

Day 1

 

We got in with some delay, as the airport is very busy, and had to wait in line at passport control for more than one and a half hours. I wasn’t expecting this so be sure to budget it into your timeline. I wrote Sema from the queue just to make sure we’d still have time for the consultation and she kindly informed me that it’s no problem. After finally making it through the control and picking our bags we were met with a very nice driver with an Asmed van. I couldn’t help but notice the headrests were etched with the Asmed logo, a nice touch :)

 

After about an hour’s drive and some very nice sights along the way we arrived at the clinic, which is located on the Asian side of the city, in the posh Atasehir district. There we were very warmly welcomed by several lovely ladies and finally met Sema as well in person. Note: before entering we had our shoes wrapped in plastic by a snazzy machine, so as to keep maximum cleanliness inside the clinic. The clinic itself is impressive from the entrance: very modern and nicely designed, spotlessly clean and very airy, it felt more like a lounge than the entrance to a clinic. The nicest thing for me was however the people: everybody was smiling, very friendly and very helpful, which continued throughout my stay there.

 

After a small wait I was taken to a room downstairs for some preliminary tests: EKG, blood pressure, blood tests, performed by some more smiling and friendly ladies which were also super-efficient. The tests being ok, the next step was a photo session in a dedicated photo room. There were quite a few photos taken, from different angles and tilts. Afterwards the next step was the haircut. For this I went to a dedicated room which looked more like a hair salon, with wash basins, reclining chairs and big mirrors. Here some other patients were also waiting for the shave, as myself, or done already. The haircut was again quick and efficient and accompanied with a bit of a shock for myself as it was my first complete haircut ever :) Some more waiting and finally went to see Dr Koray.

 

Now I have to be honest, some patient experiences described Dr Koray as “quirky” so I wasn’t sure what to expect. To my surprise and delight he turned out to be totally cool and awesome! He was, to me, the perfect mix of professionalism and laid-back kind of guy who makes you feel totally at ease. So, although we discussed the technical details (density, donor capacity, hairline, grafts needed etc) we also chit-chatted and laughed quite a bit. As for the technical details, it turned out I had a total donor capacity of 7900 grafts and medium/good thickness. As far as the needed number of grafts went, Dr Koray recommended to do a bit more than originally estimated, to ensure a great result. So, we decided on 4600 grafts to cover the front and top, leaving the vertex (which is still ok, but beginning to thin) for a future procedure. He also made a preliminary hairline design which I was pleasantly surprised to find lower than I had expected and also filled in the temples a bit, so as to bring symmetry to my face. To be honest I hadn’t really expected the temples to be filled as well as I was thinking to “save” the maximum number of grafts I can for the front/top for density, however I was ready to trust Dr Koray’s experience as I told him from the start. Researching this post-factum turned out that actually not a lot of surgeons do it and in fact the great ones do, as it improves a lot the perception of hair loss, youthful appearance and so on (i.e. having a lot of hair just on top with receding temples makes one look older and less “full”). I took this as yet another sign that Dr Koray really is one of the best in the world at what he does!

 

After the initial consultation, if I remember correctly, there was another intermezzo, during which I signed some papers and settled the remaining balance according to the new graft count, which I did back near the lobby. I also met Dr Umut, the anesthesiologist, who at first might seem like an intimidating guy, but don’t let that fool you, he’s a really cool dude once you get to know him a little. He also had a procedure done by Dr Koray and you can see some great live results right there (his story is also documented in the forums). He gave me a Xanax for next morning to help me relax, although in my case he wanted me relaxed not because of fear, but rather because of over-excitement :) I also got another nice lady, Burcin, as my “interpreter”, besides Sema, and they would both be with me at all times during my stay in the clinic. Side note: I was truly impressed at how many languages the staff was speaking. Sema was fluent in English and German, Burcin in English and Italian and I also heard Russian, French, Spanish and few others…very cool!

 

Finally, I met Dr Koray again downstairs in the photo room, together with what seemed the whole team, for the final hairline design and photos. This was accompanied by a great moment for me where he invited my wife into the room half-jokingly asked her why she had chosen to come with me. I was proud and happy when my wife loudly said in front of everybody it was because she loves me and we kissed and hugged on the spot, amid cheers and applause :) After some more banter, Dr Koray proceeded to do the final hairline design which he also measured with some laser apparatus, from various angles and whatnot, checked with myself and the team, tweaked here and there and finally finalized it.

 

After all was done we shook hands and said goodbye for the day. At last, we were driven back to the hotel with the Asmed shuttle, the hotel being the Radisson Blu located about 3 minutes away by car. Note: Asmed has a special deal with the hotel whereby you get a discounted rate for the first 5 nights. Alternatively you can stay directly in the clinic. I can’t say much about the rooms in the clinic, a I haven’t seen them, but the hotel was totally great. We had a room on the 7th floor with a beautiful skyline view, there’s a SPA, fitness area, free internet etc. The food was also great, huge breakfast buffet and also lunch buffet with lots of local delicacies, as well as excellent and very affordable room service. Definitely recommended!

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Day 2

 

Rose up early in the morning and had the Xanax (which I didn’t feel did anything :)) and a big breakfast, was then picked up by the Asmed shuttle and taken to the clinic. Here I met again the lovely staff and the omnipresent Sema. After changing into a surgical gown I had a small break on an interior terrace and met some of the other patients undergoing surgery on the same day.

 

At long last, the show got on the road: I was taken to the surgery area, passing some kind of “barrier” (well, a line which indicated you had to change the pair of slippers for “outside” with a clean one for “inside”). The surgery area was made up of several rooms and, of course, everything was spotlessly clean again. I met the team and sat down in a “chair” of sorts. Note: the operating rooms are COLD, I think it was about 20 degrees, so as you’re wearing just the surgical gown it can be pretty chilly. Fortunately you get as many blankets as you want so don’t hesitate to ask.

 

The first part of the day was the extraction of the grafts. First I got the anesthetic injections in the back of the head. They were a bit painful, but not too bad, however there were many of them (maybe 20 or so). The good thing is it’s over pretty quickly (1 min or less) and then it all goes numb. For the extraction part you have to sit up in the chair (i.e. not lying down) and you can either watch tv or movies (there’s a tv hanging from the ceiling) or, as I did, fiddle your phone. The extraction was mostly done by some technician ladies, with Dr Koray stepping in for a while at some point. The ladies were lovely as usual, happily chatting away, laughing, generally being cool, while also being super-effective, I could really feel they’ve been doing it a while. They can also show you some grafts if you want, or how you look “back there”, although it might not be for the faint of heart  As far as pain goes it’s mostly painless. I sometimes felt like someone’s plucking out a hair and rarely felt the punch go in with a sharp pain. In these rare cases I just said so and they applied more anesthetic (which doesn’t hurt as the area’s pretty much numb anyway) or moved a bit away from the anesthetic “border” back into the numbed zone. The most pain I actually had was back pain, as you pretty much have to sit still in the chair (which is padded and nice) for 4 hours or so. At some point during the extraction a nice masseuse lady comes in and gives you a lower leg and foot massage and wraps your feet in hot towels, a definite highlight! Dr Umut also drops in every once in a while to make sure you’re in no pain. For myself, about 3 hours in, I began to have some dull pain due to the cleaning solution applied to the area, which he fixed pronto with a pill.

 

About 12 o’clock the extraction was done and I proceeded to lunch, served right outside the operating theatre. I was joined there by some other patients and Dr Umut and we chatted for a while. The masseuse also came in and I got a very nice shoulder and neck massage.

 

After lunch began part 2, the implantation. First was another round of injections, this time in the front of the scalp. Same as in the morning, they were a bit painful, but over quickly, followed by a weird sensation of what I can only describe as having a “stone head” :) Then Dr Koray came in and after some jokes and banter he started doing the incisions, which were all done by him, as this is, if I understand correctly, the “art” part of the whole procedure, getting the grafts implanted at the right angles so as to achieve a perfectly natural look. The incisions took about half an hour to fourty minutes, after which Dr Koray left and the technicians team started the implantation, which lasted until about 17 o’clock. During this second part I had to lie down, which was a lot more comfortable and I even dozed off from time to time.

 

In the end, after the implantation was done, the donor area was bandaged up, while the recipient was left open, as it’s not allowed to move or touch the grafts in any way so soon. I got to see myself in the mirror and was quite surprised at how good the recipient area looked, there was no blood, bruising or scarring to speak of, just redness and…hairs :) The last part of the day was getting a 10 minutes laser therapy, which involved sitting under a laser emitting lamp with the eyes covered. After getting an inflatable neck pillow to sleep on, some painkillers in case I needed them, and an ATP spray to use on the recipient area every hour, I said goodbye and went back to the hotel to my wife. The rest of the evening was uneventful, I had no pain and just had to be careful to use the ATP spray every hour as instructed, until I went to bed. Note: there’s mixed research on it but the ATP spray might actually be very important during the first days to ensure that the follicles get the nutrients they need until they “take root” and begin to get them from the body’s blood supply. So, with the help of my lovely wife, I used it religiously on the hour. I went to bed quite late and had a relatively rough night getting used to sleeping on the pillow. Also, in my case at least, resting the donor area on the pillow for a long time cause it to sweat and also brought some pain, so I had to wake up every few hours or so and take my head off the pillow for a while.

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Day 3

 

Day 3 proceeded much in the same manner as Day 2, with a big breakfast and drive back to the clinic, where I met the other patients, Sema and Dr Umut and started the procedure anew. The procedure went exactly the same, with the extraction of more grafts in the morning, lunch and implantation in the afternoon. One thing to mention was that the anesthetic injections were a lot more painful this time around, from what the team told me because the areas were already sensitive/inflamed. I even got a second round of injections in the front late in the afternoon during the implantation which hurt like hell…luckily the team found my swearing pretty funny and we all had a good laugh afterwards  Overall the second day of the procedure was tougher mentally as it just seemed to go a lot slower, so needless to say I was very happy when all was done at around 16 o’clock in the afternoon. The tech team was not the same as the day before, but they were equally if not more jolly throughout, while being once again perfectly effective, professional and caring. This second day of the procedure I also had some blood drawn which was then centrifuged and prepared for the PRP therapy which I got as injections towards the end. I also got the lovely foot and neck massages as well as took some great team photos with the tech team and Dr Koray :)

 

At the end I was again surprised at how good and “clean” the recipient area looked as well as happy to see more hair than before :) Another session of laser therapy followed. Before leaving Dr Koray came around to take a look at the results and, as usual by now, exchanged some banter and had some laughs.

 

I then went back to the hotel for more hourly ATP spray and another rough night...

 

 

Day 4

Got to the clinic a bit later for the first post-op wash. This was done in the “hair-salon” room, where they took off the bandages and applied some antibiotic cream to the recipient area, then proceeded to mousse and wash the recipient area. I was a bit stressed because I was super-protective of the grafts and was expecting a super-gentle wash, but to my surprise it was a bit stronger, though I’m sure they knew what they were doing and probably my over-heightened perception was skewed. Afterwards Sema explained to me once again all the post-op care and handed me a nice dossier with a bunch of graphs from the two surgery days as well as a USB stick with all the photos done during my stay, all measured data, analysis and so on. Finally Dr Koray came for the final consultation, gave his seal of approval and we said our farewells. I also bid farewell to everyone else and, with what I must admit was a feeling of nostalgia, left for the hotel and flight home.

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Aftermath

 

Needless to say, I was super-protective of the recipient area during the trip back. I was always conscious who I’m around (can they drop something on my head?), where I sit (e.g. window seat on the plane) and what I wear (just shirts, no t-shirts). Even so, I still managed to bump my head on the train late on the 4th day, luckily for me it was exactly on the vertex, neither on the recipient or donor areas.

 

At home I continued with the ATP spray until it ran out and performed daily washes with the Asmed provided mousse and shampoo. I was extremely gentle with the washes, going even so far as to totally avoid the recommended circular motions when washing, and going for straight line motions in the direction of the hairs (back to front for the top, up to down for the temples). Some days out scabs began to form, which I finally got rid of about 2 weeks post-op. About 1 week post-op Sema, with which I was in daily contact, recommended me to use Bepanthol lotion instead of the mousse, as it might be better on softening some bigger scabs. In the very end, to get rid of some stubborn scabs I used both, mousse 15 minutes, then Bepanthol 20 minutes, then shampooing twice and finally used a q-tip which I very gently rolled over and over on the scabs, painstakingly slowly taking off pieces until they all came off. I might have overdone it on the gentleness side, but I thought it better to err on the side of caution and have peace of mind I’m not disturbing the grafts.

 

I continued to use the neck pillow after the operation and got used to it so that I’m still using it now, 2.5 weeks post op. It’s most likely overkill, but the recipient area on the temples is still a little sensitive, so I thought I’d give it the best chance of recovery. As far as the donor is concerned, it started becoming painful about 5 days post-op and continued until 7-8 days post-op, during which time I took 1-2 painkillers per day (paracetamol/panadol). Now at 2.5 weeks out it’s still a bit sore when washing/touching it, but there is no pain to speak of. The recipient area was painless the whole time, with one exception of a scab on what I suspect was the anesthetic line, which felt a bit tender to the touch. So far I’ve had no shedding, though I’m sure that will soon come. I also don’t see any noticeable shock loss, don’t know if that happens early or later. Overall I’m very happy with the progress and I’m looking forward to seeing some growth in some months from now. On the medication side I’m not using Finasteride, I’m still debating whether I should, maybe by the time I decide it will be too late to have any effect anyway :)

 

All in all I must say the experience with Dr Koray and the Asmed team has been nothing short of fantastic! After reading the reviews I was expecting a top Doctor and a nice clinic, but the reality blew me away. From Dr Koray to and every single person there they managed to strike the perfect balance between being totally professional and also awesome human beings. I truly felt that everyone was really enjoying what they do and are happy to be there doing it. It’s amazing how good and welcome this made me (and the other patients I spoke to as well) feel and how relaxed and confident I went into what is potentially a life-changing procedure. I want to take this occasion to congratulate Dr Koray and his team once again on making this happen and I can wholeheartedly recommend them as an outstanding option for anyone looking into FUE!

 

Finally, if you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope the information I presented helps you. Feel free to ask me stuff, ideally on the thread so others can benefit as well, or via PM. I’ll try to keep this thread updated with progress every once in a while and wish everyone good luck on their journey!

 

 

 

Some hard data

 

Note: the coverage value is calculated by an algorithm Dr Koray invented and presented at some conferences, which is now used also by other surgeons.

Hair diameter: 55 micron

Front left side: density = 59 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 1.72, 5.5 coverage value

Front right side: density = 57 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 1.78, 5.5 coverage value

Back left side: density = 84 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 2.10, 9.7 coverage value

Back right side: density = 85 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 2.05, 9.5 coverage value

Back: density = 89 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 2.37, 11.6 coverage value

Front area operation stats (day1): 2207 grafts, ratio 1.82 hair/graft, 696 single, 1216 double, 283 triple, 12 quadruple

Top area operation stats (day2): 2404 grafts, ratio 2.14 hair / graft, 368 single, 1377 double, 626 triple, 32 quadruple, 1 quintuple

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Renaissance, awesome post! Loving the detailed day-by-day posts. Can't wait to see your updates over the coming weeks and months.

 

I am booked in with Dr Koray on Tue 11th Oct (2 weeks Tuesday) and the nerves are starting to kick in so reading another glowing review for ASMED really helps convince me I'm doing the right thing.:cool:

 

So few questions...

 

  1. On arrival you mentioned delays going through passport/arrivals, was that Ataturk (IST) or Sabiha gokcen (SAW) and were the lots of delays checking in/clearing security when you fly back out of Istanbul?
  2. When flying home, how many hours before the flight did you arrive?
  3. What did you wear during the surgery? I was thinking of buying a pair of pajamas?
  4. During the surgery did you sleep or feel drowsy at all due to the meds?
  5. What kind of food do you get offered at lunch?
  6. Did you have much swelling? I'm stressing about the swelling especially as I have the surgery on the Tues and fly back early Friday morning so swelling could be at its peak and made worse by flight (tho its only 4 hrs). When did yours peak and how long did it last?
  7. Do they give you a head band to stop the swelling from travelling down?
  8. 2 1/2 weeks on, recipient area seems quite red still (unless its just the pics) are you putting anything on it?

Okay, I think thats probably more than enough questions for now. :D

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Great write up and glad to know people are still willing and able to go to Turkey safely. It has been a concern and made me almost willing to find a US Doctor instead (so far my only choice here would be Dr. Vories) but at the end of the day, Dr. E's work and facility seem to make it a no-brainer. FYI if you fly Turkish Airlines Business Class (expensive but once you factor in the savings of the FUE worth it) you get expedited security check-through at the Airport. I'm sure you'll grown in well, the density seems great. I'm glad you mentioned the temples, I wouldn't dream of doing an HT with a Doctor that was not both good at it and cognizant of it's importance to the final results.

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Hi JustJax, thanks!

 

If there's one thing I can tell you about the procedure is this: don't worry! I've had other surgeries in very nice hospitals, with very nice doctors, but Asmed is different. It feels more like a day at the spa than at the hospital. For me at least the recovery period is the one I'm more worried about, i.e. not hitting my head, not getting infections, getting a good growth and...waiting it out.

 

Now to your questions:

 

  1. On arrival you mentioned delays going through passport/arrivals, was that Ataturk (IST) or Sabiha gokcen (SAW) and were the lots of delays checking in/clearing security when you fly back out of Istanbul?
    We flew to/from Ataturk. When flying back it was pretty standard, with the exception that there were 2 security checkpoints instead of the usual one: first when entering the terminal, then the normal one.
  2. When flying home, how many hours before the flight did you arrive?
    About 2.5, which was totally unnecessary as the checkin opened 2 hours before.
  3. What did you wear during the surgery? I was thinking of buying a pair of pajamas?
    They give you a nice hospital gown...well, more like pijamas, it's trousers + jacket. Of course you can still wear more stuff underneath, I didn't (well, except for underwear)
  4. During the surgery did you sleep or feel drowsy at all due to the meds?
    I had the feeling the meds (Xanax) didn't work on me. Dr Umut told me they'd make me calm, but tbh I felt pretty much myself the whole time, however they do work on most people. In any case, just tell Dr Umut what you'd like, he is very helpful as he's a believer in medicating instead of suffering. I dozed off at times myself, but that was in the afternoon just due to being tired.
  5. What kind of food do you get offered at lunch?
    Warm 3-course meal: soup, main course and some dessert, with local food specialties.
  6. Did you have much swelling? I'm stressing about the swelling especially as I have the surgery on the Tues and fly back early Friday morning so swelling could be at its peak and made worse by flight (tho its only 4 hrs). When did yours peak and how long did it last?
    Ah, forgot to mention the swelling. I had the same schedule, Tue-Wed surgery and Friday flight back. I had quite a bit of swelling around the temples, made me look like an alien :D The other patients I met also had some swelling, but not too bad.
  7. Do they give you a head band to stop the swelling from travelling down?
    They gave me a gel pack to put in the fridge and apply to reduce swelling. I used it very little. Dr Umut told me the swelling is worse at the 3rd day and by the 5th day it's completely gone and, in my case, that was precisely right.
  8. 2 1/2 weeks on, recipient area seems quite red still (unless its just the pics) are you putting anything on it?
    I'm not. It's still red, which it will probably be for a while, but it IS way better than 1 week ago. Dr Koray told me I have very sensitive skin, so it might be just me.

Okay, I think thats probably more than enough questions for now. :D

 

Cheers!

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Great write up and glad to know people are still willing and able to go to Turkey safely. It has been a concern and made me almost willing to find a US Doctor instead (so far my only choice here would be Dr. Vories) but at the end of the day, Dr. E's work and facility seem to make it a no-brainer. FYI if you fly Turkish Airlines Business Class (expensive but once you factor in the savings of the FUE worth it) you get expedited security check-through at the Airport. I'm sure you'll grown in well, the density seems great. I'm glad you mentioned the temples, I wouldn't dream of doing an HT with a Doctor that was not both good at it and cognizant of it's importance to the final results.

 

I had some doubts about this as well. I even asked Sema how the situation is. What I can tell you is that it was absolutely fine. Except the increased security presence at the airport I felt that the city was totally normal (well, the parts we saw, we didn't visit much). I saw zero police in Atasehir in the area we were and also zero police on/from the highway, everybody was very relaxed, going about their business. I was expecting there to be a tense atmosphere, but I felt none of that.

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Did you receive any form of compensation, including a discount, to post this very detailed experience online?


I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

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I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious.

 

In any case, I wanted to give something back to the community without whose help my experience wouldn't have been possible or might've been a lot worse (as mentioned, I did initially find FUE in Turkey for a fraction of Dr Koray's price...but then I read the results here).

 

Also, I wanted to write about my experience in the way that I would've liked to read about someone else's and possibly encourage others to do so as well in the future. In the end a community is only as strong as the effort people are willing to put into it and I considered dedicating the better part of a Sunday to starting this thread worth my while :)

 

But to be clear: no, I did not receive any form of compensation for posting my detailed story and I'm not affiliated with Asmed in any way. In fact, I guess that they don't even know about my thread unless someone from them checks these boards. I'm just a very happy patient so far.

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Hi JustJax, thanks!

 

If there's one thing I can tell you about the procedure is this: don't worry! I've had other surgeries in very nice hospitals, with very nice doctors, but Asmed is different. It feels more like a day at the spa than at the hospital. For me at least the recovery period is the one I'm more worried about, i.e. not hitting my head, not getting infections, getting a good growth and...waiting it out.

 

Now to your questions:

 

  1. On arrival you mentioned delays going through passport/arrivals, was that Ataturk (IST) or Sabiha gokcen (SAW) and were the lots of delays checking in/clearing security when you fly back out of Istanbul?
    We flew to/from Ataturk. When flying back it was pretty standard, with the exception that there were 2 security checkpoints instead of the usual one: first when entering the terminal, then the normal one.
  2. When flying home, how many hours before the flight did you arrive?
    About 2.5, which was totally unnecessary as the checkin opened 2 hours before.
  3. What did you wear during the surgery? I was thinking of buying a pair of pajamas?
    They give you a nice hospital gown...well, more like pijamas, it's trousers + jacket. Of course you can still wear more stuff underneath, I didn't (well, except for underwear)
  4. During the surgery did you sleep or feel drowsy at all due to the meds?
    I had the feeling the meds (Xanax) didn't work on me. Dr Umut told me they'd make me calm, but tbh I felt pretty much myself the whole time, however they do work on most people. In any case, just tell Dr Umut what you'd like, he is very helpful as he's a believer in medicating instead of suffering. I dozed off at times myself, but that was in the afternoon just due to being tired.
  5. What kind of food do you get offered at lunch?
    Warm 3-course meal: soup, main course and some dessert, with local food specialties.
  6. Did you have much swelling? I'm stressing about the swelling especially as I have the surgery on the Tues and fly back early Friday morning so swelling could be at its peak and made worse by flight (tho its only 4 hrs). When did yours peak and how long did it last?
    Ah, forgot to mention the swelling. I had the same schedule, Tue-Wed surgery and Friday flight back. I had quite a bit of swelling around the temples, made me look like an alien :D The other patients I met also had some swelling, but not too bad.
  7. Do they give you a head band to stop the swelling from travelling down?
    They gave me a gel pack to put in the fridge and apply to reduce swelling. I used it very little. Dr Umut told me the swelling is worse at the 3rd day and by the 5th day it's completely gone and, in my case, that was precisely right.
  8. 2 1/2 weeks on, recipient area seems quite red still (unless its just the pics) are you putting anything on it?
    I'm not. It's still red, which it will probably be for a while, but it IS way better than 1 week ago. Dr Koray told me I have very sensitive skin, so it might be just me.

Okay, I think thats probably more than enough questions for now. :D

 

Thanks for this, thats really helped. I'm sure it will all be fine, but now that its barely two weeks away, the nerves really are kicking in and I'm starting to worrying about all sorts of silly stuff. Anyway .. given that you have some obvious redness, what are you doing in terms of telling people/work? Have you been open about it?

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Yes, I've been pretty open. I'm not advertising it, but I have been straight with people who asked directly. To be honest I don't see it as a point of shame, after all not many people do it, so I consider myself lucky to have been able to.

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Haha awesome writeup! Swear my nerves kicked in whilst reading this, felt like I was actually there! Erdogan is top on my list, if no alla akbas happen by the end of the year I'm flying first thing there !

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Aftermath

 

...

 

Note: the coverage value is calculated by an algorithm Dr Koray invented and presented at some conferences, which is now used also by other surgeons.

Hair diameter: 55 micron

Front left side: density = 59 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 1.72, 5.5 coverage value

Front right side: density = 57 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 1.78, 5.5 coverage value

Back left side: density = 84 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 2.10, 9.7 coverage value

Back right side: density = 85 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 2.05, 9.5 coverage value

Back: density = 89 FU/cm2, hairs/FU: 2.37, 11.6 coverage value

Front area operation stats (day1): 2207 grafts, ratio 1.82 hair/graft, 696 single, 1216 double, 283 triple, 12 quadruple

Top area operation stats (day2): 2404 grafts, ratio 2.14 hair / graft, 368 single, 1377 double, 626 triple, 32 quadruple, 1 quintuple

 

Great stats thank you. I'm assuming the coverage values was on measured existing hair? If so did Dr. E provide the coverage value of the recipient area post transplant?

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To be perfectly honest, I don't know, but I think they are from existing hair. I got the stats from the nice USB stick they gave me after the procedure, where they're overlaid on pictures (of me with existing hair).

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hi there, great story really helped me alot with my nerves for my procedue with dr koray in three weeks, just a few questions...

 

 

  • ive wired some money across, how did you go about withdrawing and converting the balance to take over?
  • on the return flight home was your procedure on view for everyone to see?

 

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Glad it helped you Scotty!

 

I took the rest of the money in cash with me, plus some extra in case it's needed. I wasn't entirely comfortable with having such a large sum of cash on my person, but what can you do.

 

On the return flight my procedure was in full view :D While there were some people who stared, it didn't bother me too much. Also, I could spot several other people in the airport who were fresh out of a procedure, one was even in the same flight as me :D None of them had anything to cover the recipient, though some had bandages over the donor. Theoretically you could wear a hat they give you, but it's not recommended. Also, in my case, since I had the temples done it would've been tough to take it off as it rested on the temples and would go against the hair from the newly implanted grafts.

 

If you are super self-conscious there's also the option to stay a week or so more in Istanbul until you may wear a hat without problems.

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Thanks for the quick reply, I'm assuming your from the uk, if so how did you go about changing such large amounts of cash into euros?

 

And yeah I think I'm just going to have to grin and bare the stares, i suppose it's only for a day and just have to have the thought process of I'm never going to see these people again,

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Ah sorry, no there's not restrictions as such, it's just because of the whole brexit situation the pound is very weak at the minute and the procedure is going to cost more than what it did before brexit happened as the pound to euro conversion is weak atm, I'm just trying to find the best place to convert such a large amount of cash to euros, my bad thought you was from uk for some reason haha

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I go to holidaycomparemoney and pick the best, they will also deliver the money to your place

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