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5078 grafts FUE - 9/10th Jan 2020 - ASMED Dr. Koray Erdogan


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Hello,

Now it's finally my turn to give back to this community by sharing my story, experience and progress of my hair transplant surgery which I did with Dr. Koray Erdogan at ASMED Clinic in Istanbul 9-10th Jan 2020.

Background

I'm a 29 year old guy from Sweden and I started experiencing hair loss when I was around 22. I started to lose hair very slowly, it was barely noticeable but as baldness is in my family I kind of knew it would eventually turn into NW 5/6 and wanted to do something about it early. So I booked a consultation with New Hair Clinic which was the top clinic in Sweden at the time, but they suggested me to wait a few years before undergoing surgery. I didn't really feel my situation was that critical so I followed their advice and didn't do anything about it, but I did however get useful knowledge about hair loss and about finasteride, minoxidil and the lasercap even if I didn't start using any medications immediately.

I was a bit skeptical to finasteride due to potential side effects but started using minoxidil 5% at age 24 and after a few months I could already see both regrowth and thicker hair, it felt really nice and all my anxiety about hair loss dropped, situation was handled. I've read about people that tried minoxidil and didn't see any results (or at least not quick enough) so they became skeptical and eventually stopped it. Well it's true that some don't see as much improvements as others, but for me it really worked and I got great results. I learnt (the hard way, I'll come to that) that the important thing is to be very patient and consistent with it, in the beginning I was using it mornings and evenings every day and held on to it during the shedding phase and that was probably key for me.

Unfortunately at age 26 I got a bit overconfident about my hair and got sloppier with the daily minoxidil routine. Mainly it was due to that I had summer vacation and I was travelling a lot so I started skipping days, but then I had also got used to my hair being so full for such a long time and somehow thought that I might have stabilized it and didn't need minoxidil anymore. Which was false obviously... Within a month or so I immediately started seeing my hair fall off again and this time it was getting even thinner and on the crown too. At this time I began researching about hair transplant clinics again and did an online and phone consultation with Dr. Saifi at European Hair Transplant in Poland who I had read some good posts about in a Swedish forum. He quoted me 2200 grafts for the frontal and part of the mid-section area. He had a waiting list of 6 months, but I ended up not booking as I still didn't feel ready and hadn't got the push to actually do it. I started with minoxidil again and was able to recover a lot of hair. This time I applied it only in the evenings as it was messier to apply it in the mornings and I wanted to style my hair without it. I did however apply almost double the dose (maximum daily dose) when applied in the evening. I didn't know if it would still be helpful but I thought to try it out and it actually helped keeping it stable so I continued like that for another 2 years.

Then last year at age 28 I underwent a tough period that got me to seriously consider a hair transplant. I stopped using minoxidil as I didn't prioritize it due to personal circumstances and a lot of change happening in my life (including new job & country). I was well aware that I would probably lose hair again but I accepted it and thought that if it would get really bad I'd just shave bald. It took a month or so and I panicked when I saw the hair loss and realized I actually didn't want to lose my hair, note sure what I was thinking before. So I started with minoxidil again and the shedding phase this time was horrible. My hair never fully recovered again to how it was before the shedding and that's what pushed me into actually going for a hair transplant. After having done research online and reading a lot on this forum and seeing good results I decided to contact Dr. Koray Erdogan for a consultation where he quoted me 5000 grafts for the front, mid and crown areas + recommended finasteride to stop further hair loss. I didn't take finasteride but continued with minoxidil (until 2.5 weeks prior to the surgery), and then it took me a year of consideration until I eventually booked the surgery with ASMED now in Jan 2020.

The consultation

I had my dad with me who is a NW6 and the first thing Dr. Koray did was to go and inspect his hair to see where I'm headed. The bad news was that my dad's hair had become thinner also on the sides and back, and he said that if I would to follow the same pattern then my donor area would not be as strong as it might seem right now. Although I was not happy to hear that I was glad that he noticed this as I will now be careful to not over-harvest my donor in case of future surgeries.

He then also inspected my hair and did a calculation of my donor capacity which was estimated to 8300 grafts. He said that I had to start with finasteride as I didn't have enough donor capacity to cover my full head if I were to loose all existing hair in the future (estimated to 8700 grafts). Was not very happy to hear this either, as I had already during the online consultation expressed that I preferred not to take finasteride but that I was fine with continuing with minoxidil as I had seen good results from it. They had then said that they respected this, so I ended up having a small argument with the doctor as he tried convincing me to take it, and that if I didn't he would rather not want to do the crown area right now but use the 5000 grafts on the front and mid-section and then do the crown next time. I didn't like this option as I wanted to prioritize the front and crown as I already have some hair in the mid-section which I hope to keep for a couple of years with the use of minoxidil, and instead consider a second surgery in the future if I would need it. Anyway, as the doctor convinced me that the risk of side effects is very little and that taking it would help against shock loss and improve growth during the first year, I decided to try it out and he supplied me with Proscar for 4-5 months (1.25 mg daily).

He drew a hair line which was a bit more conservative than what I had aimed for, but given that I had limited donor capacity and after seeing the pre-consultation photos that were taken by the clinic I realized that my hair loss was much worse than I had perceived it and accepted his suggestion.

The pre-surgery care, clinic & surgery days

As many other members have already described these parts I will not go into much detail. But what I can say is that everything from the contact with my patient coordinator Andreea, to the pickup from the airport, to the greeting at the clinic and the surgery itself was very professional.

I stayed at the clinic for 5 nights and the service was exceptional. All of the staff were very nice and the food was great. Before going I was hesitant whether I should stay at the clinic or book a room at Radisson Blu hotel, but now afterwards I don't regret it at all. It was very comfortable not having to leave the facility, having breakfast, lunch and dinner just outside your room and get to meet other patients that were also staying there in the spare time. They had live music in the evenings, big screen TV, pool table and the basement had a high quality gym and basketball area. What I also appreciated was that for patients staying over the weekend, ASMED arrange a free city tour of Istanbul with a private guide where we got to visit the famous bazaar, the blue mosque and the city center.

 

Hair situation and medication

- Androgenic alopecia: NW5/6

- Finasteride: Proscar (1.25 mg) started with the procedure.

- 5% minoxidil (topical): Been using it daily for 5 years (Stopped it 2.5 weeks before the surgery but will start using Minoxidil foam in a few weeks)

- Daily hair-loss shampoo: Nisim NewHair Biofactors Shampoo (Normal to dry)

 

Graft distribution

- Total donor capacity: 8300

- Total transplanted grafts: 5078

- Hair thickness: 61 microns

- Ratio: 2.03 hair/graft

- Single: 1190

- Double: 2658

- Triple: 1103

- Quadruple: 125

- Quintuple: 2

 

I think I've covered most of it now and will keep uploading photos of the progress here.

Feel free to ask me anything if you have any questions.

/KM90

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2 months post-op Shedding phase still in progress 😔 Have had a lot of pimples on my donor area but it has decreased now with the use of Terramycin cream.  Still using minoxidil foam, fi

Post-surgery photos After the surgery when Dr. Koray came to see me at my room to do a post-surgery inspection, he told me something about that my scalp had felt very tight during the incisions.

Progress is looking good thus far at this stage, which is really the beginning of the new growth.

Posted Images

Post-surgery photos

After the surgery when Dr. Koray came to see me at my room to do a post-surgery inspection, he told me something about that my scalp had felt very tight during the incisions. I am not sure what exactly he meant. What I noticed is that the grafts don't seem to have been placed as deep as I have normally seen on post-surgery photos, as I noticed (if you look closer) that the transplanted hairs are sticking out much longer from the incisions. Could this have anything to do with it what he was saying? If that's the case, does anyone know if there any risks with this, like cobblestoning/ridging?

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@KM90 Nice u want to share ur journey. Thank man. 
 

i domt know about the graft u mention. In my mind the lengths of them looks like mine did at my two surgerys right after surgery. 
 

i know that you would look dope if u at Some point decides to have your hair buzz Cut. 
 

regards,

mikael

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47 minutes ago, Jijypuru said:

@KM90 Nice u want to share ur journey. Thank man. 
 

i domt know about the graft u mention. In my mind the lengths of them looks like mine did at my two surgerys right after surgery. 
 

i know that you would look dope if u at Some point decides to have your hair buzz Cut. 
 

regards,

mikael

Thanks man!

Here is a closer photo which shows the length of the grafts, I don't know maybe it's normal.

Yeah I was surprised of how I looked in a buzz cut, it actually didn't look that bad :) 

Day 0 (1st and 2nd surgery day)

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Day 5 post-op

Started to see some crusts in the front and getting a bit concerned about the thinning gap in the crown. I'm not sure why the doctor didn't place grafts in that area, maybe he expects that it willl not be so visible by the surrounding hair or that the finasteride will play it's part and thicken that hair to minimize the gap.

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5 minutes ago, duchaine said:

It is like your grafts are half inside and half outside the skin.
I'm not a doc, but I suppose it is not a big issue if you have long FU.

Yeah, it looks a bit weird right. They shaved my head as short as all other patients, so it must be that the grafts weren't placed very deep. Anyway the scalp doesn't look bad when looking at it now at day 10, but will have to see when it sheds if there are any visible scarring or cobblestoning... I hope not.

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22 hours ago, AlexEfim said:

Hi! 

Congratulations on the surgery)

Do you plan to take pills for the rest of your life or a year?

Hi AlexEfim, 

Thanks. My plan is to take it for one year to start with to increase growth, then I'll see if I will continue or just stick with minoxidil. But I will evaluate how I feel in 4-5 months when I finish the Proscar supply that I was given before ordering any new.

Edited by KM90
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/2/2020 at 6:46 PM, dokke said:

How did the return to work go? any reactions?

Just got reactions on my short hair cut but I don't think anyone noticed 😅 I think it will show more now when the shedding has started...

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On 2/6/2020 at 10:39 AM, BjornBorg said:

Tjenare mannen!

Hope to see you stay active. Thank you for a detailed report so far. :) Looking good.

Tja man! Tack :) 

Today is the 4 week mark so will try to post at least once a month from now on.

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4 weeks post-op

Shedding has started now :( 

Have also started shaving my sides on 4mm and cutting my pre-existing hair on the top with scissors slightly to even it out.

Will start with Minoxidil 5% foam in a few days.

20200207_141205.thumb.jpg.abd2e405598da83b7a81354e1caa7233.jpg20200207_141324.jpg.289609f0153d3a47d7341e3055bc1d59.jpg20200207_141227.thumb.jpg.1974e95973b4964174821f9f73c00f37.jpg20200207_141243.thumb.jpg.d1630814c7c0ea6e7fc5448c8c5ba820.jpg20200207_141300.thumb.jpg.483cd8257f728b85e3186afba7101a48.jpg

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Does anyone in here have any suggestions on biotin tablets?

My local pharmacy recommended 100 ug daily dose but online I read about daily doses of 10 000 ug... Have you guys got any doctor's advice on this?I have asked ASMED about it but awaiting response.

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7 hours ago, KM90 said:

4 weeks post-op

Shedding has started now :( 

Have also started shaving my sides on 4mm and cutting my pre-existing hair on the top with scissors slightly to even it out.

Will start with Minoxidil 5% foam in a few days.

20200207_141205.thumb.jpg.abd2e405598da83b7a81354e1caa7233.jpg20200207_141324.jpg.289609f0153d3a47d7341e3055bc1d59.jpg20200207_141227.thumb.jpg.1974e95973b4964174821f9f73c00f37.jpg20200207_141243.thumb.jpg.d1630814c7c0ea6e7fc5448c8c5ba820.jpg20200207_141300.thumb.jpg.483cd8257f728b85e3186afba7101a48.jpg

I wasn't sure if it was ok to use clippers on the donor after 4 weeks? I was told it was after 3 months on donor and 6 months on recipient area for clippers, but everywhere else is fine with scissors. Is it ok to use clippers on donor area after 4 weeks? 

Edited by LDN21
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