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Hi everyone - I've been silently reading this forum for the last few months and it was instrumental in my decision to take the plunge and get a hair transplant.  Here's my experience and journey so far.

Statistics:
Age: 33
NW: High (IV/V, possibly emerging VI but that's my guess)
Caliber: 60 microns
Hair / Graft Ratio: 2.04
Total Grafts Transplanted: 5,621
Estimated Donor Capacity: 8,200

Background:
Like many of you, I’ve suffered from hair loss for most of my adult life, have tried (and abandoned) various hair regrowth treatments and thought becoming bald was my inevitable fate. I only started thinking about hair transplant options over the past 6 months or so when I randomly came across some articles discussing the latest advancements (and horror stories) in the field and the relative inexpensiveness of operations in Turkey and elsewhere.  I began researching the topic seriously and this website was instrumental in my decision to go with Dr. Koray Erdogan.

In selecting Dr. Koray, I focused on three things - results, passion for the craft and price.  Being a high Norwood with a family history afflicted with MPB, I needed someone who had expertise with large HT cases like my own.  I cared about passion for the craft because, I believe, thought-leadership and innovation are indicators of success, and I wanted the best-of-class when it comes to a major cosmetic operation that could either be transformative or a major disappointment.  Finally, it had to fit my budget... now; I wasn't interested in taking years to save up $30-$45,000 that some US doctors were quoting me. 

Before settling on Dr. Koray, I researched and consulted with other hair transplant surgeons.  As a Southern California native, I looked into local doctors (Armani, Rassman, Bisanga and others), some of the other big names in hair transplant I was coming across (Couto, Frietas, H&W, etc.), as well as other Turkish doctors (Karadeniz, Civas, Doganjay and some of the low-cost options too, like Cinik and Maral).  I had a few in person and online consultations with some of these doctors, which was helpful.  Frankly, the North American / European doctors who had impressive results were out of my budget.  Dr. Koray was comparably priced to some of the average doctors I was seeing in the United States but had a stellar track record over the years and lauded as one of the best in the world.  I thought his results put him among the top FUE surgeons in the world.  I also found Dr. Koray’s YouTube videos to be very informative (admittedly much of it was PR, but it worked on me), and I became convinced that manual punch FUE in a mega session with some sort of implanter tool (like the KEEP device that Dr. Koray uses) is what would be best for me.  In fact, I feel I may have ended up with Dr. Koray regardless of price.
 
Pre-Op Treatment:
I reached out to Asmed in early December 2018 and booked for mid-February 2019. At that time I wasn’t under any sort of medication.  After my initial discussions with Sema, I went on 1mg generic fin daily and achieved some actual hair growth in the crown and midline areas.
 
Process / Surgery:
Others on this forum have gone into specifics around the airport pick-up, hotel, and clinic procedures in considerable detail, so I won’t repeat that here.  But what I will mention is this.  The Asmed mothership on the Asian side of Istanbul probably represents the pinnacle of what a modern medical facility should be - impeccably clean, sleek and exceptionally designed to shuttle patients from a pristine operating room, to high-tech hair wash / cut and transplant design areas, to an inviting waiting area (where you are greeted with Turkish hospitality in the form of tea, coffee and pastries and live classical music by a violin-piano duo).  Everything was thoughtfully planned and laid out, and the process struck a balance between being highly individualized (Sema being my dedicated coordinator and never leaving my side) but productive (which I welcomed - I wanted to be one of the many patients they have great results for).   When other people on these forums talk about how Asmed is a world-class facility, it truly is.

When you meet Dr. Koray in person, you soon realize that he is singularly focused on your hairline and achieving optimal results based on a plan that takes into account your donor capacity and anticipated future hair loss.  My interaction with him was otherwise limited, as I had expected to be from reading the forums, but I didn’t mind that – hairlines (and mine in the moment) are his obsession, and Dr. Koray spent a good 20-30 minutes (and consulted 18 others – my wife counted them) to ensure that mine was the very best for my face.

And in Dr. Koray's staff, I felt care, compassion and dedication to implement Dr. Koray’s vision for the optimal hair transplant for me.  Sema, my patient coordinator, was knowledgeable, patient and attentive.  Nabiyeh, the nurse who was assigned to me the entire time I was there, was compassionate and genuinely concerned about my wellbeing.  The surgical assistants had unfailing endurance and nimble, precise hands – in another era, they may well have been expert craftswomen weaving a great Turkish rug but are instead making a masterpiece out of my head and hair follicles.  (I would prefer their hands doing the harvesting and implantations over that of any 50-60 year old man, no matter his years of experiences or the number of degrees he holds). 

Results:
I could go on here… but what will ultimately matter, more than anything else I've written here, are my results, so check this thread 12 months’ time and we can all be the judge. 

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12/13 days post-op.  Most of the scans have fallen off (probably around day 5/6 I’d say).  Developed some sensitivity / rash-like symptoms on my scalp.  Sema, the coordinator, recommended I use the dermovate solution they have us for 10 days.  Donor healing OK.

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26 days post op - major shed.  Feel I lost 80-90% of my hairs.  Almost shed a tear, but I read some posts on the forum to cheer me up.  Ugly-duckling stage is starting.  Will try to stay strong y’all.  In better news, the rash seems to have cleared up after the 10-day application of dermovate but I’m going to take a closer look at my scalp this weekend.

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Thanks CosmoKramer.  Won’t lie if I didn’t say I was slightly apprehensive with the  bit of buzz around low density and Asmed but I’m an optimist and hopeful that my hair characteristics and the procedure will give results I want.  We’ll see I guess.

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Really informative and well-written piece!  I'll definitely be following to see how things go.  Good luck, bud!


 

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Thank you all - I'll provide updates regularly.  And looks like all of you had hair transplants recently (@SprayPaint, looks like you and I had ours days apart) so I'll follow yours as well and am rooting for you guys and your results!

@LordBaldwin - your posts were extremely helpful.  I think you mentioned somewhere that you live in LA?  I'm in the OC, so if you're ever in the area, DM me and I'll buy you a beer.

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19 minutes ago, MrBolo said:

@LordBaldwin - your posts were extremely helpful.  I think you mentioned somewhere that you live in LA?  I'm in the OC, so if you're ever in the area, DM me and I'll buy you a beer.

Hey, glad to hear I was able to help!  I actually live in FL, but my gf lives in LA (and I go there for work sometimes) so I'm there a lot and was there over Christmas.  Next time I'm there, maybe I'll take you up on that.


 

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Slow but steady. I’ve been meaning to post some updates and hopefully will do so soon.  Have been busy with work and life.  How are things on your end?

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For completeness of record, I’m going to post update photos in one month increments.   

Here’s 2 months and 1 week:

 

 

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Interestingly enough, I feel only 2 weeks later at the 4 month mark I started to see the start of noticeable progress:

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This looks like good progress, MrBolo.  Thanks for posting.  Yeah, 4 months is when the magic first begins.

If your growth is anything like mine has been, it'll occur in fits and starts, with weeks of little to no change and then sudden bursts of improvement.  As far as my own case is concerned, I'm pretty happy these days with how things are looking.


 

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very nice. great growth.  

we had the HT at asmed at the same month - looks like you are on the right path.


4329 grafts - ASMED - Dr. Koray - 12-13.3.19
HT thread: 

 

 

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I also took some photos under harsh overhead lighting (at 5 months exactly):

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Edited by MrBolo
Fixed typo

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