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83mjs

4938 Grafts FUE - HLC - 5-7 February 2020

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Hi all. I am a 36 year old man from the UK. I want to share with you my hair transplant progress. I had 4938 grafts at HLC in Ankara, Turkey on 5th, 6th and 7th February 2020.

I chose HLC after consulting with various clinics over a 6 month period. HLC fit my criteria: doctor performs the procedure themselves, manual extraction, stick & place technique. I also liked their results, some of which are just insanely good, and found them to be good to deal with. All of my consultations were done over email. I also got talking on Facebook to a Mexican guy who had been to HLC and had nothing but good things to say, and his results were incredible. Being able to talk to a genuine patient sealed the deal for me.

I first became aware of my hair loss at around 19 years of age. Even at that point, I had some thinning on the crown. Since then I have also receded at the front and thinned on top, as you can see from the pictures below. I have been taking finasteride 1mg per day for around 10 years now (I can't remember exactly how long) and I think it has helped me retain a reasonable head of hair. I felt at 36 years of age, after first considering a transplant about 8 years ago, now was a good time and a sensible time to do something.

The experience with HLC was excellent. You stay in an apartment with 4 bedrooms, just over the road from the clinic. I was a bit apprehensive about this communal living arrangement at first, but I really enjoyed the experience and made a couple of friends while I was there. The staff at HLC are superb. All meals are provided.

 

Pre-op photos (for the consultation)

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Surgery plan

 

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1 day after surgery

 

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Graft report

 

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Graft placement

I had 2800 grafts in the frontal third at a density of 50 per sq cm in the hairline; grafts at 20 per sq cm were placed in between native hairs further back

I also had 2000 on the crown at a density of 30 per sq cm (of those on the crown, 711 were beard grafts)

My donor has many singles and doubles, not so many multiples unfortunately. Not much I can do about that. I was aware of this, as when I cut my back & sides very short a lot of scalp was visible. I was briefly concerned I might have DUPA but the surgeon assured me this was not the case. In view of this, the doctor proposed to take 500 or so from the beard (although this ended up being 700) and I happily agreed to this.

 

Edited by 83mjs
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Here is my current status. All of the scabs have fallen off and much to my amazement the surgery is mostly unnoticeable at this point (some minor redness remains on the recipient area). I think to the layman it just looks like I cropped my hair short.

 

16 days post op

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Hi Phil. Thanks for your support!

Re the midscalp - nothing was mentioned, other than I was instructed to continue with finasteride and also to use minoxidil foam twice daily starting approx 1 month after the surgery. I think the doc mentioned this was to retain existing hair, but in fairness I knew the importance of this already and wasn't surprised. I am planning to add .5 mg dutasteride 1x per week as a matter of fact as a little insurance policy.

I have used minox on and off in the past, but not consistently due to laziness and I wasn't sure if I was responding or not. I will follow the doctors orders though and plan to start in a couple of weeks with it.

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Hey curious to know how many more grafts you have left in supply?

The procedure looks like it was a success, wish you luck with the growth! 

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2 hours ago, TorontoMan said:

Hey curious to know how many more grafts you have left in supply?

The procedure looks like it was a success, wish you luck with the growth! 

It’s a good question but unfortunately I neglected to ask for the doctor’s assessment of total donor capacity. I was a bundle of nerves and excitement on the morning of the assessment.

I do remember Dr Özgür saying I had a large area to cover (my head is v big) but that the donor is also big so he had no concerns about it.

Once the hair has grown out a bit I’ll post a pic of the donor, not much to see there at the moment.

One of the clinic’s main selling points is donor management so I should hope they’ve left some in the tank!

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Hey man,

Seems like you’ve done everything properly..,from pre HT stabilizing your hair loss to your research. The work looks nice and clean and glad to see more patient threads from this clinic. Best of luck with your progress!

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6 hours ago, CosmoKramer said:

Hey man,

Seems like you’ve done everything properly..,from pre HT stabilizing your hair loss to your research. The work looks nice and clean and glad to see more patient threads from this clinic. Best of luck with your progress!

Hi Kramer thanks for your support!

Let's see how it grows out, everything is great so far. Excited to see how it turns out although I am mindful I need to wait at least 9-12 months before I can judge the crown at least - the frontal third maybe a little earlier.

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Hi 83mjs.

I hope and wish you good result! 

Have you some problems due finasterid? You took finasterid so long time... 

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8 hours ago, balding80 said:

Hi 83mjs.

I hope and wish you good result! 

Have you some problems due finasterid? You took finasterid so long time... 

No problems. In fact I had a beautiful daughter while on Fina, she is 2.5 years old now and healthy as can be. In reality the proportion of ppl who are affected by sides on Fin are very small (is it about 2%?)

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I am 4 weeks/28 days post op today. The shedding has started, the first 3.5 weeks I had barely any shedding at all and then this week it seems like whenever I touch my head 3 or 4 hairs fall out!

Attaching pics taken today in the harshest light possible (directly under an LED strip light at work) and I have to say it looks bad. I am unconcerned though as everything is on track according to the post-op information from HLC. I think they say after 3-4 weeks the transplanted hair will fall (50%-80%) and it looks about 50% fallen now I think

You can clearly see the transplanted areas on the front...

1330422715_day28front.thumb.jpg.5fab4ce6bc6e2bf75ce40af0995540b1.jpg

 

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Same story on the crown it's shed city...I can still see the outline of redness on the scalp too

 

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The donor doesn't look great either 😬 as I explained in the OP, my donor area has always (even before the HT) been a bit patchy looking when cut short, so the fact it looks this way now is not a surprise to me. Hopefully when it grows out, and with time, it will improve!

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Hi folks. Hope everyone is coping as well as can be in the current circumstances. I've just taken some pictures to document my 2 month mark. My wife is always telling me that I am a terrible photographer, having to do these "hair selfies" (helfies?) I am starting to see what she means 😂

I reckon I shed about 80% or 90% of the transplanted hairs between weeks 4 and 6 roughly.

The situation now is that I haven't cut the hair at all (can't do it now even if I wanted to) so it's just grown since the HT into the state you see today. I think it's all healed pretty well and I am looking on track I think. There's not much to say other than I am fully in the middle of the dreaded "ugly duckling" phase.

Donor seems to have healed well which is nice, I would say it looks identical now to pre op.

 

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2 months top.jpg

2 months donor.jpg

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6 hours ago, 83mjs said:

My wife is always telling me that I am a terrible photographer, having to do these "hair selfies" (helfies?) 

LOL. I probably found this more of a struggle than the ugly duckling stage - It just feels so unnatural trying to take photos of the top of your head. 

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looking on track. How do they decide which of the 3-4 doctors do the extraction and implantation? How does the design process work? I've heard they have a team input approach to the design.

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10 hours ago, LonelyGraft said:

looking on track. How do they decide which of the 3-4 doctors do the extraction and implantation? How does the design process work? I've heard they have a team input approach to the design.

Hi @LonelyGraft thanks for your comment

First Ozgur looks at your hair "as is" - pre haircut - he examines the donor, looks at the growth pattern and talks about what you want

Then the hair is cut to about 1 cm all over and he looks at it again

Then the hair is cut again to about 1mm and this is when the pens come out and he starts drawing a hair line. One of the things that really impressed me about HLC was the experience was exactly "as advertised" so this photo (taken from Instagram) shows exactly how it works during your consultation - you're in the room you see here, and the docs are all in front of you looking at the hairline and offering input. Docs wear the navy blue shirts. Techs wear pink.

Once it's designed you look in the mirror and have the opportunity to change it if you want to.

Once the hairline is finalised they take a tracing of your head onto some kind of perspex which is marked out in 1cm squares - by doing this they can calculate the graft requirement exactly according to the density in the balding areas. He gives you options and discusses it with you so you can think about your budget and expectations etc.

We agreed on

Frontal hairline 42 cm square @ 50 = 2100 grafts

Behind hairline (frontal third) 25 cm square @ 20 = 700 grafts

Crown 70 cm square @ 30 = 2100 grafts

Re doctor allocation - no idea how this is decided. They talk to you in English of course, but talk among themselves in Turkish. Maybe they look at hair characteristics or something? It was Dr Elif who did all the extractions and implantation - a huge effort on her part, it was 3 full days of surgery done exclusively by her. Most other people I speak to seem to have a combination of doctors doing extractions and implantation. Techs assist in sorting grafts into singles, doubles and multiples, and storage of the grafts. The only person who touches your head is the doctor.

 

 

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Could you share an image of your donor before the procedure but when you had short hair is possible. That way we could compare the changes of how much patching has happened.

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Hey @Min12

I mean there is a picture in the OP of my hair pre surgery that was taken about a week after a haircut. I don't generally buzz it v short at the sides. I found a pic from 2017 when I was experimenting with an "undercut" style it's pretty blurry though!

1504941145_preht_censored.thumb.jpg.8eaf8e1bdf93c6335504a4f8b566b974.jpg

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Hello. Please, where did you find results of HLC? I found just a few... Thanks

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2 hours ago, miko said:

Hello. Please, where did you find results of HLC? I found just a few... Thanks

Hi @miko well I think between the German, Italian and French forums there are probably over 100+ patient reviews

A member from here @Mane_man2019 has posted monthly updates on instagram and his result at 6 months is looking A+

There is a guy on YouTube "Jonhello" who posted monthly updates

I also got talking to a former patient on a private Facebook group and being able to talk to him was very helpful to me

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Everything is looking good, happy growing 😀

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I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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15 hours ago, RonBurgundy said:

could you tell about which  forums you are talking  ?

Hi @RonBurgundy I don’t think we’re supposed to link them. They are pretty easy to find on google. BelliCapelli, Alopezie and International Hairloss Forum are the names. Are you considering HLC?

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24 minutes ago, 83mjs said:

Hi @RonBurgundy I don’t think we’re supposed to link them. They are pretty easy to find on google. BelliCapelli, Alopezie and International Hairloss Forum are the names. Are you considering HLC?

Thank you! Yes I am. This forum helped me a lot to narrow down number to two top clinics in Europe, now I am trying to choose from - HLC or  Dr. Keser. Unfortunately there is  only few cases from these clinics here.

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29 minutes ago, 83mjs said:

Hi @RonBurgundy I don’t think we’re supposed to link them. They are pretty easy to find on google. BelliCapelli, Alopezie and International Hairloss Forum are the names. Are you considering HLC?

I am considering HLC. It is really hard to find more results of this clinic, but a lot of user recommend it. I found some results on BelliCapelli forum and Hairloss forum. But on Alopezia.de is not easy to find something 

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