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Hi Guys

 

I have been a long time reader of this site and have never joined or contributed.

 

I felt now was the time for me to hopefully give something back.

 

After much self debate and research I decided to have a HT with ASMED (Dr Koray Erdogan) In Istanbul.

 

 

It was hard making the decision to get a HT or not. Part of me thought just shave it off and get on with life, the other part wanted that hairline back. I am well aware that over time I will end up with thinner hair coverage and possibly bald areas on my head. Hair transplants aren't going to give me hair like my early twenties for life, and the transplanted hair will thin out a little over the years too. For me the most important part is my hairline as it frames the face. If I had a good hairline and were thinner round the crown it would bother me less than the receding hair line does. It changes your look entirely as I saw immediately after my transplant. My plan is to fix the front with the hair transplant then try to maintain my existing hair without fin. I may opt for another transplant or 2 in the future to blend the front hairline in gradually to the back as and when it thins out. I hope cloning will be about before I run out of donor hair lol. If not I would quite happily shave my head and get Micropigmentation to hide any scars if necessary and fill in the fill in the transplanted hairs to give the illusion of density. I quite like the buzzed look when you can see a good hairline.

 

I told some family, my girl friend and some friends before the HT and some afterwards but not everyone. I worried a lot about telling people but thought I would rather tell them than try to hide it. They were all supprisingly supportive, I am also quite fortunate that I am travelling from day 10 through to 3.5 months so I can go through the ugly duckling phase whilst away.

 

Here are the details of my HT

 

  • I'm 38 and this is my first HT
  • I take Minoxidil (I stopped taking 3 weeks prior to surgery)
  • I used to take Fin (8 years) but stopped 4 years ago due to slight sides and not wanting to be on meds for life
  • I use Lipogaine big 3 and Pura dor shampoo cycled every bottle (Stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery)
  • I use the Hairmax Laser Combe (Stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery)

 

The surgery cost 8000 Euros I had 3260 ish grafts in the end. That included all transfers, hotel for 2 nights, surgery and post opp care package.

 

I will add the graft details later, as I'm now away travelling and don't have the details with me.

 

  • My donor capacity was 8300 approx
  • My hair diameter was 0.63 Microns

 

Here are some pictures pre opp

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2 Days before Surgery

 

I decided to fly out a day early in case there were any issues with flights such as strikes as I flew British airways. I also thought it might give me a chance to site see and get some supplies in. I also decided to stay an extra 2 days after the surgery so I could relax before travelling home. When I arrived I was met by the friendly ASMED driver and one other person having there 2nd transplant, their first was not with ASMED. It was nice as I was able to chat with the guy about the it and this made me feel a little more relaxed about the whole thing.

 

After checking in to the Radisson Blu which is the perfect hotel for this surgery. The only thing worth noting is there are not many English channels to watch. It was ok as I had brought my laptop with me which I was not able to connect with the TV or connect my hard drives to it.

 

The hotel and clinic aren't close to the tourist attractions and they are not so easy to reach by public transport. So I decided to focus on getting to know the local area and pick up supplies for the room. There was a small mall about a 10 minute walk away with a decent size supermarket inside. I brought some food for the room in case I didn't fancy leaving it, there is a restaurant in the hotel and room service. I used both and the food was very good! There are quite a few restaurants about a 5 - 10 minute walk away from local food to Burger King which were cheaper than the hotel.

 

The hotel has a reasonable gym and a spa with sauna steam room and indoor/outdoor pool. I utilised these which were very nice.

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Day before surgery

 

I was picked up from the hotel somewhere around midday. I met Sevinc (my coordinator) who was very nice she had been a real help to me before the surgery answering all my queries and a couple of phone calls too. The clinic is very impressive and very clean. All the staff are really nice and you feel very welcome and looked after. After the initial check up with blood tests I went in to the room to get before photos, then in to get my head shaved. Up to this point I had been reasonably relaxed about the whole thing. Once I'd had my head shaved which I haven't had done for many many years I did think I looked good with the shaved head, even the other guy who was going through the same process commented on it. I started to worry if I had made the right choice, would I have been better of just having a no. 0 all over and saving myself a lot of money! Then the guys came in who had just finished surgery, their results looked amazing and I remembered I really wanted this done to recreate a good hair line to frame my face. After this I was called in to see Dr Erdogan, he was friendly and welcoming and had a calm demeanour about him. After a brief chat he recommended that I go on to Finasteride even if it was just for the 1 year after surgery. I have taken it in the past and noticed my libido was lower whilst on it even after years on it. I had decided my libido was more important than my hair and explained this to him. He understood but was still keen for me to take it. He then looked at my hair, he said I had thicker strands of hair and better density than he had expected from the photos. He wanted to do more work in the temporal area than he thought but because of my denser thicker hair he reduced his grafts required from 3200 to 3000. He drew the new hairline and asked me what I thought. I was expecting him to draw it lower than I wanted based on others comments, he had drawn it spot on for me. My only concern was the sharp corners rather than rounded ones. He reassured me this would look natural and be the best shape for my face. I said I trusted him as he knows what he's doing and I picked him based on his results. I had more photos done and Dr Erdogan spent some time perfecting the new hairline again and showing it to me. He is definitely a perfectionist.

 

After this I was taken back to the hotel where I made use of the facilities again. In the evening I ate in the hotel with a few of the guys also visiting ASMED, this was good as it took my mind off how I felt. Once in my room I was starting to feel nervous about the next day. I managed to sleep well though thankfully as the next day would be a long one and I expected to not sleep well for quite a few days after that.

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Surgery Day! (26 Jul 2017)

 

7:10am pick so after a quick breakfast I was in the minivan and off to the clinic, I was still pretty nervous. Again the staff at the clinic were amazing, it wasn't long until I was led to the surgery room. The anaesthetist was reassuring and there whilst they made the injections. The technicians and my translator were all really nice, one of the technicians spoke some English too. The injections were quite stingy but not so bad, it didn't take long for the anaesthetic to kick in making the rest of the injections less painful. Surgery began fairly swiftly, I was shown the grafts and the tools by the technician. I watched a movie as the extractions were made. It was a strange sensation hearing and feeling (without pain) the extraction process. All the others that day were having 2 day surgery's, I was having the largest number of grafts that day. Dr Erdogan wanted to do the incisions before the extractions were complete. The injections in the front of the scalp were more painful but still bearable, once they had taken effect Dr Erdogan came in to make the incisions. I was asked to keep quiet whilst this was done which is fair enough I didn't want to break his concentration. I was able to feel some of the incisions which a bit which stung a little, I was told this may happen. Near the end of the incisions he recommended that I have the extra 200 grafts he had originally recommended. He said the results on the day of surgery were better that he had expected based on yesterdays analysis. My density was higher than he had predicted. He said that he wanted to go slightly further back with the grafts as my hair was a little thinner than he thought and he also thought it would be better as I didn't want to take Fin. I agreed as I trusted his opinion. After the incisions were made the technicians continued and finished the extractions.

 

After a short lunch break a few more injections were made to the recipient area then the grafts were put in place, again I was shown the grafts and the keep safe tool. I was given a Xanax at lunch time to help me relax during the graft placement. I was fairly dozy during this apart from when I had to stop for the toilet halfway through. I defiantly felt a little light headed by this point!. Near the end the technician asked if she could take another 30 or so grafts to improve the density. I agreed, she numbed the donor again and began extractions I lost count after 30 - 40 extractions I guess she took another 50 - 60 grafts, she then made the necessary incisions and placed the extra grafts. I finished in surgery about 16:20 they then cleaned me up and bandaged me up. I was given a neck pillow and told use it for 10 - 12 days until the scabs had gone on my temples. I was then taken to the hotel where I relaxed for a bit. I then met the same guys for some dinner. It was nice to not be eating alone in the restaurant all bandaged up, it was also nice to share experiences. After dinner I noticed that I had begun to swell a bit so I headed to bed as I was told laying at 45 degrees was best to help stop the swelling from the anaesthetic going in to my face and eyes. I didn't feel like I was in much pain but I took a couple of paracetamols anyway in case it came on in the night. I actually slept reasonably well!

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Edited by Rwethereyet

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One thing I would recommend to others is to bring your own neck pillow mind deflated every hour or so meaning I had to blow it up a lot in the night. All the other guys had the same issue. As time went on I switched to a rolled up towel but this was a little to hard and caused me some neck pain. Once I got home and used a new purchased neck pillow life was better.

 

Day 1

 

I felt pretty good today but I had quite a bit of swelling on the top and sides of my head in the recipient area but not on my face fortunately. I felt a little dazed and like I needed to be careful. I didn't really have any pain in the recipient or donor areas either. I was picked up after breakfast and taken to the clinic for my first wash. I was told everything looked fine and my swelling was normal. I was told it would probably go in to my face in a day or 2. More pictures were taken then I was given more instructions. I then went back to the hotel. I was glad I was not travelling today, just from being upright in the clinic I could see the swelling moving towards my face. I felt like I would have been ok to travel but I feel that if I had the swelling would have moved to my face and looked a lot worse. I spent the rest of the day in the room laying back and relaxing bar dinner time, this definitely help with the swelling. As soon as I was upright for dinner the swelling moved towards my face again. By the evening I was starting to feel a bit of pain in two spots in the donor area high on the back one on each side. I took paracetamol before bed again, which helped until halfway through the night.

 

Day 2

 

I didn't sleep so well last night, due to the pain in the second half of the night and I struggled to get comfortable in the 45 deg position. My swelling was starting ease off a little, it had spread round a little making it a little less noticeable if you didn't know what I normally look like. It was going behind my ears and in front a little. I felt a little better today and I could sit upright and walk about without the swelling moving to my face. I went to the clinic and they washed my hair again, I figured I was in town and I might as well let the experts do it. I put the ASMED hat on and went out the hotel for a short walk and to eat some lunch. In the afternoon I sat upright at my laptop doing paperwork. I had to take paracetamol in the afternoon and evening today for the donor pain. I had no pain in the recipient area apart from it was sensitive to touch when washing.

 

Day 4

 

I slept better than the night before I rolled a towel up instead of using the neck pillow. I didn't go to sleep till midnight and woke up about 5am with the same donor pain. I was up at 6am for my airport transfer, The hotel kindly gave me a breakfast box to take away as the restaurant was shut this early. I decided that I would look silly with the ASMED hat on and that I didn't know anyone on the journey home so I just travelled without a hat on as I figured it would be better for the transplant. I did get a few looks but didn't care as I didn't know them. The swelling had moved a little in to the bridge and sides of my nose, it was starting to make its way towards my left eye. It got worse at the airport and so did the donor pain, it felt like someone had been pressing really hard in to the donor area with there thumbs on each side of the back of my head all night. I was also getting waves of sharp or electric like pain there too. I believe this is the injured nerves beginning to repair and sending false signals? I was hoping my eyes wouldn't swell up too much as I have to drive home once I landed. I looked in the mirror once I'd landed and the swelling hadn't changed much. I washed my hair for the first time, I noticed the whole recipient area was numb still, it was a little stingy to wash and I could see some hairs in the bath as well as some scabs starting to come off. I relaxed for a bit then went to see my girlfriend, she was really caring and looked after me. I took a new neck pillow as well as extra pillows to hers. I got some cocodamol on route as well. I just took paracetamol a couple of times in the day and cocodamol in the night. I slept much better with the new neck pillow and the cocodamol, it kept the pain away till the morning.

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Day 4

 

The swelling had eased off quiet a bit now and that area was starting to bruise a little, I was still suffering with the donor pain. Washing resulted in more hairs lost and scabs coming off. I saw some family today who knew about the transplant, they were impressed. I also saw some friends later who didn't know, they could tell something was up and one asked if I'd had a transplant. I told them all and they were supportive and impressed by the work.

 

Day 8

 

By now the donor pain has begun to ease of a fair bit and I have stopped taking pain killers. My sleep is much better now. I resumed being intimate with my girlfriend on day 5 and we were both careful during, there were no issues. Almost all my donor and recipient scabs have gone now. I am not really loosing much hair either and there is still plenty of the new hairs in the recipient area. I can see that the skin in the recipient area is red, its almost not noticeable from the back that I have had any surgery. I went out for food and my first couple of beers since the transplant with some friends, a few knew I'd had it done and were very impressed with the results. A few others had no idea and thought I had just shaved my head, it wasn't till I told them that they could see the signs that I'd had a transplant. The signs of the transplant had calmed a lot over the last couple of days there had been a noticeable change in appearance each day since about day 4. Mostly due to scabs coming off I'd guess softening the appearance or the recipient area.

 

Day 10

 

Today I begin a 3.5 months trip travelling, a good way to hide from those at home whilst I'm in the ugly duckling phase. I had no issues carrying my backpacks round, I was slightly worried as I really haven't lifted much at all since surgery. I have no scabs left in either the donor or recipient areas. I haven't brought the neck pillow with me and I slept on a train just using the pillow provided. I slept well and it was great to be able to sleep back on my side at 90 degrees again as I normally do. The pain I was experiencing in the donor area has almost gone now. I have noticed some shock loss on the left side of my head where the extra grafts were taken near the end of my surgery, I also think I have a little round the back in the donor area but its not that noticeable. I'm very much liking my new hairline and most of the transplanted hair is still in place and growing. I am secretly hoping like most that I am one of the lucky ones that won't shed my new hair!

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Day 21

 

Well unfortunately I'm not one of the lucky ones, Not long after day 10 I started noticing 10 - 20 hairs on my hands when washing. By now a lot of the new hairs have gone, I'm now not looking as good as before. The redness of my recipient scalp stands out more and my hair is sparse in the recipient area. I feel like I want to cover my hair up more now where as before I was happy to have it on show. No one really looked at it before but now I can see some people looking like there trying to figure out what's going on there. The numbness in the recipient area is subsiding slowly, the feeling is coming back from the sides very front and back. So the centre is still totally numb. I have had a few pimples in the donor area which have been slightly sore. I accidently scratched one and caused a little bit of blood, hopefully it will heel ok. I started using my hairmax comb 1 week ago, I will use it without the comb attachment until week 4. I will use it every other day as recommended by Hairmax. I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence but since I've been using I've noticed the redness is slowly getting better. Today I started using Rogaine again but only in the non transplanted area and donor area. I will start in the recipient area in 1 week. I read that using it in the donor area for a while after a transplant can help speed up hair regrowth from shock loss. Not sure if it will or not but I don't see the harm in trying it. I also did my first fitness workout today which was fine and I went easy too.

 

Month 1 (26 Aug 2017)

 

Not much has changed since Day 21, I am still getting a few pimples in the donor area. I have now noticed a couple in the recipient area too. The redness hasn't subsided anymore either. I am going to try warm compresses and aloe vera for the pimples. The numbness has subsided a little more again. I will start Rogaine in the recipient area and start using Lipogaine big 3, 3 times a week from today on wards. I have freaked out a little about the pimples but ASMED assure me its normal. I'm also unsure on using Lipogaine big 3 shampoo as it contains Ketoconazole 1%. I have read some negative reviews on it after transplant. I do feel quite a few of those were people using the 2% stuff and over using it. I also feel like those who had shedding freaked out and stopped using it before letting the hair grow back.

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Thanks very much for your great report! The work looks clean and dense and your donor looks great. Dr. Erdogan seems to be able to take many grafts from the donor and it always seems to be unnoticable very quickly. Please keep us updated. Enjoy your travels and Happy Growing!

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Hi Rwethereyet, just found your thread, really good day by day diary. I found these sorts of posts really helpful when I was pre-surgery. I know you have shed now, but it looks like you'll have a great hairline once it grows back. It's amazing how it frames your face so differently isn't it. BTW, I also had Sevinc as my interpreter, she's lovely, as are all the staff. Good luck with your growth and I'll be watching your thread for updates!

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I'm glad you posted a full account of your visit to ASMED. We've been having dinner every night (along with other patients) at the hotel as our surgeries were on the same day :)

 

Heal and grow well.

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Could any of you guys who stayed at the hotel tell me if the Wifi is decent in the rooms? I'm staying for an extra week to relax and recover and might have to take a few extra books if Netflix isn't an option.

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WiFi was good enough as I could watch movies online. I also used WiFi for facetime with my wife back in US.

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Could any of you guys who stayed at the hotel tell me if the Wifi is decent in the rooms? I'm staying for an extra week to relax and recover and might have to take a few extra books if Netflix isn't an option.

It wasn't great when I was there. Fine for day to day Internet but it struggled streaming Netflix. That was Oct year, might have improved I guess. In my experience hotel wifi is never great.

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Hi guys, thanks for the support and feedback. So I'll put up another update at month 2 unless there is something worth talking about before then. HairDew great to hear from you, it was great to be able to share the experience with you and the other guys in the Radisson. It made the process much less lonely and daunting

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Thanks for such a great report, I'm heading off to ASMED end of October so it's good to read about the experience you had in such detail.

 

Your new hairline is looking great, it's going to come out amazing. Hopefully, cloning will work not just off of head hair but body too!

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Thanks for such a great report, I'm heading off to ASMED end of October so it's good to read about the experience you had in such detail.

 

Your new hairline is looking great, it's going to come out amazing. Hopefully, cloning will work not just off of head hair but body too!

 

 

From my experience so far and my experience you have made a great choice. If you want to know anything that I haven't mentioned feel free to ask.

 

Thanks I'm will be very happy if it turns out well, I am very happy with the new hairline. Fingers crossed for cloning in the next 10 years!

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Hi guys, have booked in for ASMED in December. Just got an email from them re: the deposit payable within 10 days. Is that normal; I guess that is something they ask from all patients. Would be good to PM with someone who has paid it perhaps to double check the IBAN details. Thanks.

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Hi Prefertoremainanonymous,

Asmed ask for a deposit of between 1000 and 3000 Euros. I paid €1000 via my bank and was charged 25 pound. Asmed took over a week to confirm they had received it, and when it did land it was only €985 Euros. Don't ask me why it was short, just relieved it landed. Suggest you have a look around at other money transfer options. The deposit request is quite normal and nothing to worry about. Use the IBAN details supplied and keep your receipt.

Good luck!

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Thanks for such a great report, I'm heading off to ASMED end of October so it's good to read about the experience you had in such detail.

 

Your new hairline is looking great, it's going to come out amazing. Hopefully, cloning will work not just off of head hair but body too!

 

Hi PatientX,

What dates have you booked? 'm booked in for 25th & 26th October. How many grafts were you quoted?

 

Regards

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@ HG1 - 31st and 1st, no better time for an HT than Halloween! I've been recommended to go for 5000, I'm a norwood 2 with a lot of diffusing hair so it makes sense. Wish you luck with your transplant!

 

@prefertoremainanonymous - Yeah 10 days is normal, check out OFX, they should be cheaper than your bank as they don't charge a fee.

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I made my transfer via my bank (first direct) I had no issues. I asked for it to be transferred in euros and asmed received exactly the 1000 euros they asked for. Probably took over a week to get confirmation. In case you guys don't know you need to pay in cash at asmed, this may cause you concern. All I can say is Asmed were great with everything in that regard, I was collected at the airport, had a safe in my room, so I felt safe having to carry that much cash. When I settled the bill they kept to their word to the last penny. The only thing I'd say is be prepared that the number of grafts you end up having may differ slightly once Dr Erdogan has seen you in person. So you may actually get more of less than quoted. So there is a chance you may need more cash than you originally thought. I trust that they have your best interests at heart so I wasn't to bothered by this, also he bases his original estimates on photos so I guess it's hard to give an exact quote based on photos alone.

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Good luck with your operations guys, I look forward to seeing the results if you plan on posting them. Feel free to ask if there's anything you want to know

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@ HG1 - 31st and 1st, no better time for an HT than Halloween! I've been recommended to go for 5000, I'm a norwood 2 with a lot of diffusing hair so it makes sense. Wish you luck with your transplant!

 

@prefertoremainanonymous - Yeah 10 days is normal, check out OFX, they should be cheaper than your bank as they don't charge a fee.

 

Yes I've been estimated 5000 also. I can't wait to meet the team. Best wishes guys on your procedures and I hope you get the results you want.

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@ HG1 - 31st and 1st, no better time for an HT than Halloween! I've been recommended to go for 5000, I'm a norwood 2 with a lot of diffusing hair so it makes sense. Wish you luck with your transplant!

 

@prefertoremainanonymous - Yeah 10 days is normal, check out OFX, they should be cheaper than your bank as they don't charge a fee.

 

Hey I'm flying out from the UK on the 1st November for surgery with ASMED on 2nd November, be great if you can meet up with me in the radisson blu after your surgery on the 1st! :D

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