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Hey guys I am a 35 yo male from London and arrived home last night from Istanbul so I will talk about my experience at Asmed. I wanted to keep this brief but to hell with it I couldn’t help it. Firstly a big thank you to both Sema and Suzana who were my coordinators. Sema - who helped me over the past year since I contacted Asmed and Suzana who was with me throughout the experience and never left my side. She is very fluent in English and communication and organisation was excellent. In fact everyone at Asmed looked after me very well and never made me feel awkward. Not to forget the anesthetist Dr Umat who is a very interesting individual :).   

Initially I sent Asmed (Sema - my initial coordinator) my photos 12 months ago and Dr Erdogan recommended 5000 grafts and for me to start finesteride before surgery as without it I may not be happy with the end result because of my type of hairloss. I was a bit weary of finesteride side effects so it took a month for me to decide what to do because for me hair transplants and finesteride go hand in hand. So a couple of months went by (sept - dec 2017) eventually I got on brand name Propecia 1mg by Merck. I started slowly as advised by a hair loss expert we all know - it took me till January until I was using it more or less every day. In this time I was in constant communication with Sema discussing dates etc. And getting my finances sorted. So in January I asked to book the surgery in May however they had very few dates and I could not get the amount of time I wanted from work. I use Toppik hair fibres and Asmed advise patients not to use it for 6 months so I wanted as much time not using it as possible after surgery. So my work allowed me to take 3 months leave (mix of unpaid and paid) - yes a lot of time but only 6 weeks was unpaid. 

So in February we decided on 3rd and 4th Oct. 2018 (2500 grafts per day) this was actually good because I would have been on Propecia 10 months. You can send from 1000 to 3000 euros - I sent 1000 initially and just before I went I sent another 2000 just after Dr Erdogan looked again at my updated photos (as it was nearly a year since the initial ones)to confirm. I used TransferWise as they take the actual exchange rate on Google and not lower rates like banks provide.  I would need to arrive before 14:00 on 2nd Oct for the consultation however there were no flights that arrive before that time on BA from Heathrow Airport. There were other flights from different airlines but I wanted BA as I could get the flight for £75 return and free long stay parking (as I know someone who works there), I was already spending so much on the surgery so I wanted to keep costs down. Sema very kindly allowed me to arrive in the evening of 1st Oct, 2nd Oct - consultation, 3/4 Oct surgery 5th Oct shampoo/clean and departure for home at 1625. This extra night came at no extra cost. Initially I booked the clinic’s own suite but there was a problem with the room so they booked me into the Raddison blue hotel (5 mins from clinic) all days free and breakfast included. This turned out much better because although Asmed can make you breakfast, they close in the evening and the only people there are security and local restaurants are not very close. Just take a yellow taxi (with meter) from the hotel for 10 liras (just over a pound) and ask to go to the Palladium shopping and restaurant complex 5 mins away.  If you need to change money into Turkish Lira change it at this complex just ask anyone for "change office" which is in the shopping center. I wanted to see the famous blue mosque and grand bazaar but it is an hour away.

Day of Arrival (Mon 1st Oct)

Flight arrived at 1630 just a 4 hour flight from London Heathrow Airport. The Asmed driver was there with my name written on an iPad (transfer from airport to hotel and all journeys between hotel and Asmed are free). He gave me his phone as Suzana (my day to day coordinator) spoke on the phone me and welcomed me to Istanbul and said she will be in constant touch with me on whatsapp and in the clinic she will be taking care of me the entire time. The car was a large Mercedes people carrier with beautiful red leather seats and plenty of snacks to enjoy. Because of the time of day it took close to an hour to get to the hotel because of rush hour. The Hotel room was very good and I took a taxi to the Palladium center. You just need to tell the hotel reception to get you a taxi and it comes right away, they have a meter on so you won't be ripped off. Took 5 mins cost me a pound and walked around the shopping center, ate some delicious kebabs and got a taxi which are always there and got back to my room to get some sleep.  

Day 2 (Consultation)

Suzana sent me a whatsapp message saying that the driver will pick me up at 12:45. I got into the car with 2 other people who also were having their consultations. You should know that you won't be the only patient in the day as I will come to later. We were greeted at reception by our respective coordinators and reception staff. The clinic is amazing, clean, modern and very classy at the same time. There a couple of women who are playing the piano and violin in the reception area. So Suzana sat me down and said that she will wait here with me until we are called for the consultation. Dr Erdogan and his team were very busy during this time and surgeries were still going on so we needed to wait an hour before they could see us. However, in this time I was offered some snacks and asked to read through some paper work and sign that I understood all the terms. All of this would have been sent to you when you booked so it is just the same. After that I was taken downstairs for blood tests to test for HIV etc.. All clear. I then went into the photography room and had my photos taken both dry and wet hair shots from all angles.

A while later I and my coordinator were called into Dr Erdogan's office. It was like meeting a king and I told him so - I have very been following him for few years and on social media so it was quite a hair raising moment for me. So in the consultation it was Dr Erdogan, another doctor, one of his senior surgical assistants and my coordinator. Dr Erdogan very quickly broke the ice with me and told me how happy he was to see me as when he saw my name he realized I am of Pakistani descent (born UK) and how happy he was about that because he has always liked people from there so that was a nice start. He went over some basic things with me and said that I am a candidate for hair transplantation after looking at the blood tests. He had a screen in front of him with my photos from just earlier and discussed what he can do. He said that my hair loss pattern was more Ludwig patterned rather than the usual norwood cases. He analysed my hair in detail with his apparatus and said that my hair is of very good quality with a total donor of 8500. In general he said that safe zone hair can be effected by DHT as seen by very old people and looking at my age (35) it is possible to lose 10% of safe zone hair in my lifetime and that if I came off finesteride later in life it is possible that my total donor capacity is at 7500 so even though my real donor is 8500 he sees it as 7500. 

He drew a hairline and asked what I thought. It was probably a tiny bit higher than I would have liked but he said that once transplanted it will look lower but my main concern were no temples drawn because mine are quite faint. He said in a funny way that he really does not like my crown. I have not got a massively receding hairline and that patch on the top really does stick out like a sore thumb. So he drew my temples and it looked great but he said he would need 700 grafts just for that and he can't cover the top properly as well in 1 operation so if  want that it would be 700 less grafts in my crown and it still won’t look that good on top. He wanted 2000 grafts just for the crown 2500 for the hairline and just above and the remainder 500 in the mid-scalp as he said it has a lot of and hairs. He said it was up to me but if I leave it to him that is the way he would do it and I can always come back and do the temples after a year or so. I thought about it and knew already that the crown was my priority - it is a different type of hair loss pattern. So I said to him I will go with his instinct and he said I will be very happy with my result. He actually told me later on that he would in fact put 2100 in the crown and 400 just below that instead of the 500 so my crown should have a big difference he said. This was not the final hairline and he would refine it after hair shaving. Consultation lasted about 20 minutes I had a bunch of questions for him but he really is to the point and just gets on with his analysis and what he can do for you. 
After that Suzana took me to the finance department where I paid the outstanding amount in Pounds Sterling cash. If your home currency is pounds or USD I advise you to pay in that currency to them. It saves you changing into euro where you won’t get a good rate and will have to pay some fees. The rate the clinic gave me was much better than at home and they don’t charge you for them to change it into euros.

After this I got my hair shaved off! It actually looked alright! I waited for Dr Erdogan to make his final refined hairline plans. He told me that he will go into the temples a bit so that was good news. Whilst this was going on he has a big team of people watching. These are the techs or surgical assistants (as he calls it) who will work with you for the entire surgery. If you have 2 days surgery like me they don’t have different teams, it’s the same people working on you. 
I was then taken to the room where they have their latest robot – the K-bot. You sit with your head against a support pad and the camera takes 3d images of your entire head and you can see on the screen your grafts in detail. This helps the doctor further in his analysis. This lasts for 15 minutes but you can be on your phone – I actually took a video of what the K-bot was doing but I don’t think you can post videos here.

This all took best part of 4 hours from waiting at the start to the end. Dropped back to the hotel went into town again for a nice kebab (with lines in my head). Yes you have to keep the lines on and not rubbed off because they then have to go through the whole process again. And no wearing hats so I was laughed and smiled at a lot whilst walking through town it was surreal.

 Day 3 (Surgery 2515 grafts)  

Asmed advise you to where a buttoned shirt before and after surgery. I woke up at 6 am, 6:30 breakfast buffet – plenty of variety. For 3 days including this day I had to take an antibiotic tablet with breakfast and Xanax to calm me although I only needed that for the first day.  It wasn’t till I got down there that I realised how many of us were being operated on. Including me it was 6 guys at breakfast ready to be taken to Asmed. Three of them already had their first day hairline surgery and the rest of us were on our first day. I was slightly taken back by this because I was sure they only did 4 surgeries a day but I guess it can depend on the cases. One guy was just having his hairline refined. All 6 of got into the people carrier and went to Asmed. 
We were given Asmed buttons shirts and bottoms to wear for surgery and it really is straight into it from that point. My coordinator took me to the surgery room and I met all the people involved with my surgery. I asked who will be doing the extractions and how long they had been working there. One person would be doing the extractions and she has been doing ONLY extractions for 7 years so I felt assured. Suzana showed me the microscope where they dissect single hair grafts as I was querying this lot. So onto the anaesthetics – Dr Umat organises this. He is a very interesting person he looks serious but he is a really cool person and fun to talk to, if he ever reads this I hope you are well and very active! 
This is the most painful part of the surgery, they have something that vibrates as they inject many times into your scalp which makes it a bit easier. If it is too much, they can give you something through the I.V your arm help ease you. It acts really quick and she starts extracting and you cannot feel a thing. You have a screen in front which tells you how many grafts have been extracted and if they’re singles, twos etc…I actually had a fair amount of 4s 5s 6s. Suzana was in the room with me the whole time she was a great help.  She gave me a face rest support where I could also stick my I pad on it to watch stuff on. Sema came in now and I watched a popular bald show (we all know) re run from the previous night just to keep them on their toes and they knew what it was. This whole process takes more than 3 hours (I think) as I just lost track of time I didn’t sleep at all.  They extracted 2515 grafts in total. Dr Erdogan did not come in during this time but his most experienced surgical assistant – Dilek came in at certain points. Dr Erdogan watches all the surgeries on monitor in his office and directs if need be from there which I am not completely happy about but the results are good. 

Next was 30 minute lunch maybe less and back to the operating room where I’m prepped and given anaesthetics for the recipient area before the main man Dr Erdogan comes in and shakes my hand and begins the incisions.  The techs cover my eyes and hold my face in certain positions as the doctor instructs them whilst he pokes away. This takes him 30 – 40 mins and he shakes your hand and moves to the next patient. The same person that did the extractions is now joined by Dilek who both start the implanting stage. This can be prickly and pain a bit so they test certain areas and ask you is it painful or not. If it is they put some liquid type anesthetic so you don’t feel it. In fact at any time you feel pain you must tell them and they will ease it. They put a special blue solution over the recipient area which highlights all the incisions Dr Erdogan made. At some point they realised they covered the required area and had a few more grafts so Dilek made a few extra incisions which is fine as she is possibly the best tech going.   

Implants can take quite a while I cannot remember exactly but it was just a bit less than the extractions so maybe 2 hours. Once it is done I felt very tired walked very slowly as I was trying to get my bearings right. The trauma and anesthetics can make you very tired. So Suzana came with me to another room where they sat me down under a low level red laser for 10 mins to help with healing. After that she gave me ATP spray and said I must put spray my recipient area a few times every 2 hours with it. She also gave me ice cooling gel to help with swelling. Its only till a few days later I realise how big my face got! 

I went back to the hotel, my forehead looked bigger because of the swelling had something to eat in the hotel restaurant – felt like crap but hotel staff are used to Asmed patients so I mixed in well. I went back upstairs for a very awkward night. Didn’t sleep much, Suzana gave me neck pillow and for the first 10 days you need to sleep with this on your back facing up (no rolling about) do not let your recipient  area rub anything as this is a very sensitive time for your scalp. I wasn’t in much pain but I just felt completely shattered and sleepy but I kept waking up in the night but I got through it somehow. 
Day 4 – (Surgery 2505 grafts)
Exactly the same as day 3. Note that grafts it is not exactly 5000 grafts (5020) they do not tell you to pay for these extra few. So that is it, surgery complete and Dr Erdogan came and said he is happy with the way it looks and is just the way he wanted it and said he will see me tomorrow. In terms of reactions to the surgery at the time I had swelling but by the time I wrote this my face was huge I look like sloth from the goonies – google it if you don’t know. But this is all part of it. Some people have more sensitive bodies than others. Just have to keep applying ice packs. 

Day 5 – (Wash and go)
Another awkward night but managed to have breakfast and be picked up at 9:50 am. Suzana was at reception and took me down for the shampoo and washing. This is what you have to do on your own for 10 days post op so pay attention when they tell you. They took the bandages off washed me and I felt fresh again and went in for the final post op photos. 
They gave me some Turkish delight sweets as a gift and a power pack. As well as this as they knew I was on Proscar (I changed to proscar a month earlier – cost effective and same brand  Merck) they gave me 1 year supply of Proscar (£200 worth) for free and a pill cuter! They gave me a USB stick with all my surgical details and photos as well as various papers of post op instructions. All the post op shampoos and creams are free. Suzana bid me farewell she was really good to me the entire time and I told her I’ll be back in a year for results photographs only downside Dr Erdogan didn’t meet me I left but I guess he is busy with all the other patients. Dropped to the hotel at 12 and was told the driver will be back at 14:00 for airport drop of.
So that’s it I hope I didn’t bore you with the details there is more I could write but those details may come up in the future in the meantime I have posted photographs taken at Asmed below. 

Surgery Details :

1148 Single
2589 Double
1158 Triple
119 Quadruple
6 Quintuple

Total Grafts: 5020
Avg hair: 2.05 per graft

Hair thickness: 61 microns

Medication: Proscar 1.25 per day since January 2018


Pre-Op
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 Plans:

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Post OP

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Edited by FarsanUk
photoo

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3 hours ago, Kraistoff said:

Farsan

 

this is gointo look brilliant . You already have hair in the hairline and on top 

 

Thanks. Yes I'm hoping the native and transplanted hairs mix well along with proscar so fingers crossed the overall result will be good. I'm 4 days post op and face has swelled up so much. How forceful were you when doing the shampo..I'm too worried about pressing down hard.

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I literally only touched from left to right very gently , sometime I let the water do the work for the first week

 

for me, after a week I slowly got more confident as the feeling came back. I basically tried to follow the post op instructions as much as possible but being a little bit more gentle that they do in the video ! 


 

 

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Very well written! Procedure(s) outcome from the post-op photos looks clean and great!

Happy Growing!

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Looks great. Looking forward to your results. One thing that I experienced during washing is that more water you use more scabs will fall off .

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And that cream is important too Farsan. It will make the skin softer for you to wash it as you let it soak in 

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7 days Post-op photos. Most of my swelling has gone. Using the thermo gel from the freezer for remaining swelling. Still have some sharpish pain on the back of the head so i'm taking ibuprofen occasionally and that tends to do the job.  Still sleeping upwards with a neck pillow and even sitting up but sleeping is just too uncomfortable right now. Cannot wait till after 10 days to stop sleeping like a mummy!  Some scabs have come off too. Donor area is healing nicely, virtually no redness anywhere. This is my 5th day using the lotion and shampoo Asmed provided I'm not trying to wash too firmly at the moment just letting the water do the job and fingers at more stubborn areas. Still feel they could have gone a very tiny amount lower in the corner of the hairline but Dr Erdogan said it will look lower once grown..anyone agree? Anyway I will post once a week or 2 so if you want any more specific photos or questions just ask here.

On 10/7/2018 at 12:02 AM, FarsanUk said:

 

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Edited by FarsanUk

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Should have a good result on your hands. Do find those of south asian descent generally have hair characteristics that are more often than not conducive to a providing a satisfactory result at the end. 

I'm looking to pull the trigger on a HT myself and strongly leaning towards Asmed

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Thanks. Yes it is usually because of diffused thinning luckily for me my crown was quite bare so that shouldn't be an issue and he told me has a lot of south Asian patients and he expects a significant improvement in my case. In fact Dr Erdogan wrote a book on Asian hair restoration so he certainly knows how to approach these hair patterns. 

Edited by FarsanUk

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I'm also of south asian descent so interesting to hear he has written a book on asian hair restoration. Wasn't aware you could pay in sterling (maybe something to do with the economic climate in Turkey at the moment?) as I'm also in the UK. 

Been considering a HT for a year and half but at that stage where I want to pull the trigger on it but only thing that puts me off is I am one of the unlucky ones that is sensitive to finasteride and as you mentioned a HT should really be coupled with medication  Leaning towards Asmed so will be watching how you progress with interest.

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Dr Erdogan advised me and most of his patients to start finesteride. I slowly got onto it a couple of times a week then 3 , 4 ,5 then after 3 months i was on it every day and had no sides, it is a good way to get on to it otherwise if you shock your body with it you will get some sides. It is better to be on the drug close to a year before surgery to see what hair you can regain and hair to make strong. Take your time there don't rush anything. And yes you can pay in sterling its so much easier than changing your money here and get charged fees etc...

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Yep agree with not rushing. Being in my late 30s, just something I think will take a few years off me lol. I did send in pictures to Asmed previously and Dr Erdogan also advised that I should start on finasteride but suggested that if I didn't give it another go, judging by my pictures, I should have enough donor hair to cover further loss of native hair with another procedure further down the line. 

Regarding the sides, I'm no Doctor but maybe something in my family, as my father was prescribed some medication for mild BPH which I assume lowered DHT  and he also had sides so had to come off.

Anyway, look forward to your updates!

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10 days post op  update. Photos below. Most of the scabs have fallen off. As a result of scabs falling off, the scalp is more visible in fact the days after a transplant is the most dense it will will ever look because between each hair there are scabs and redness which give it the appearance of a denser look.- not many people realise this and freak when comparing the final results to how dense it was post op. The native hairs on the outside of the transplanted zone are growing more and therefore accentuating the disparity. Redness has long gone. In terms of shedding I've seen 1 or 2 hairs fall out nothing major but I have tended to close my eyes when washing so who knows although I get the feeling that i might shed earlier than most. 

2100 grafts went into the crown, 2500 into hairline and first 3rd, 400 grafts mid-scalp.

 

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Edited by FarsanUk

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3 weeks Post-Op

Below are photos of 3 weeks post-op. Scabs are well and truly all gone. They pretty much came out at 2 weeks. I have shed a few more hairs and I am certain some more hairs had shed with the scabs which is as expected. I should at anytime between now the next 2-3 weeks start that dread shed which I am kind of looking forward to as I just want this whole process to get started. Hairline shape seems fine not too high not too low either - its probably exactly how it should be with my face shape. The middle of the hair line is exactly 5 cm to the midpoint in between the eyebrows which is just right for my ethnicity. My co coordinator has said as all the scabs are gone to stop using the lotion supplied as that is only required to help take the scabs off. She asked me for my photos and I just sent them to her and she said everything looks to be as expected. 

I've got slight swelling in the front just behind the hairline which is not visible but just feels stiff but I have been told that is normal and some people even have that for a few months! Other than that no pain, just a bit of redness in donor area for which I will start using pure Aloe Vera gel as the clinic advised. As 3 weeks have gone I do not need to use the shampoo they gave anymore (SebaMed) but I will continue it until its finished and start using a baby shampoo or buy SebaMed my self. I am glad to stop sleeping like a mummy, I was doing that for 2 weeks and I have slowly gone to normal positions as the clinic advised after 2 weeks. 

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6 Weeks Post-Op Update

Hey guys it's been 6 weeks since my visit to Asmed ( Dr Erdogan ) so check out the photos below. I've shed about 95% of the transplanted hairs and I am into that ugly ducking stage. I am really happy with how the donor area is healing - in the photo it is probably the equivalent of a number 4 at the back. I am also using 99% Pure Aloe Vera gel for the donor area. Occasionally it gets really itchy on the crown so I use the Zertek drug the clinic gave me and massage a tiny bit of Aloe Vera onto the itchy area. There has not been any pain for weeks and very little redness. It's far too early to say weather it will be a natural well angled hairline but cannot stop looking at every  small detail, I know this is normal and no matter how much you know before hand once you get that transplant you just cant help it! 

 

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6 - 8 weeks was the worst stage for me in terms of my appearance. From there on things got better every week! 


First Transplant: 5000 FUE grafts with Dr Koray Erdogan ASMED, December 2016

 

First Hair Transplant link: http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/185564-5000-grafts-fue-13th-14th-december-asmed-dr-erdogan.html

 

 

Hair loss regime

 

Propecia 1mg daily

Saw Palmetto 450mg daily

Biotin 1000ug daily

MSM 1500mg daily

Pumpkin Seed Oil 1000mg daily

1% Nizoral shampoo weekly

Lasercomb x 3 weekly

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On 10/15/2018 at 7:48 PM, Kingbilla said:

 

 

8 minutes ago, Michael8 said:

Hey Farsan,

 

What was the total cost of your procedure?  

 

Mike

2.5 euro per graft x 5k grafts = 12500 euro. Transport to and from airport/clinic/hotel included as well as shampoos and other meds and proscar 1 year supply all included.

Edited by FarsanUk

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1 hour ago, DEB1982 said:

6 - 8 weeks was the worst stage for me in terms of my appearance. From there on things got better every week! 

Yeh I'm going through that rough stage now. I have alot of native hair mixed in too so it looks patchy. My hairline has shed doesn't look as sharp as it did few weeks ago. When did you notice that looking sharp again? I want to get my temples done too as I want it to frame my face as it probably looks wide my forhead. 

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18 hours ago, FarsanUk said:

Yeh I'm going through that rough stage now. I have alot of native hair mixed in too so it looks patchy. My hairline has shed doesn't look as sharp as it did few weeks ago. When did you notice that looking sharp again? I want to get my temples done too as I want it to frame my face as it probably looks wide my forhead. 

 

In terms of when it was to a stage where it wasn't noticeable was around 6 months for me. But 3/4 months mark is where I looked relatively normal. The crown area took about 9 months to come through properly. 


First Transplant: 5000 FUE grafts with Dr Koray Erdogan ASMED, December 2016

 

First Hair Transplant link: http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/185564-5000-grafts-fue-13th-14th-december-asmed-dr-erdogan.html

 

 

Hair loss regime

 

Propecia 1mg daily

Saw Palmetto 450mg daily

Biotin 1000ug daily

MSM 1500mg daily

Pumpkin Seed Oil 1000mg daily

1% Nizoral shampoo weekly

Lasercomb x 3 weekly

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