33 Year Old - 3500 Graft 6000 Hair FUE

As a 33 year old guy I felt extremely...

As a 33 year old guy I felt extremely self-conscious about my badly receding hair line and balding crown – I had no idea what options there were to treat this until a customer of mine underwent an FUE hair transplant and then took the time to discuss it with me. This was the first step towards me starting to investigate getting the procedure done.
Naturally, I began doing as much research as I could over a period of 3 months – even though FUE is deemed to be a minor surgical procedure it is still surgery with plenty of room for error and there are still plenty of cow boys out there trying to make a quick buck out of hair transplantation.
Being a Londoner and running my own business having the procedure done locally would have been my first choice, however, upon seeing the prices I immediately knew that this option was out of my league. There are various reasons the London clinics are a lot more costly than those abroad but the long and the short of it is that it is all down to commercial viability and the cost of overheads etc.
My next step was to start investigating reputable Doctors abroad who specialised in hair restoration (this is key). There were a few names that continued to come up during my research and a lot of the “experts” or industry “leaders” seemed to be based in Turkey. The packages these doctors offered coupled to their experience and academic achievements seemed to be extremely good value for money versus what was on offer in the UK – there was a clear 65% to be saved by going abroad.
In the end I narrowed my choices down to 2 companies – The first company required me to visit their “satellite” office in Harley Street (London) for a consultation. Upon arrival I was impressed by what appeared to be a professionally run organisation however was immediately put off when my consultation was done by a very attractive yet pushy “sales” women. She was happy to tell me that she had no medical or hair restoration qualifications and was just there to take pictures – all she could tell me in the end as that my forehead was too big! I’ve know this for 10 years and hence I was there! Anyway, on the upside this made my decision easy.
The 2nd company I made contact with was called GetHair and their chief Doctor is Tayfun Oguzoglu. I contacted them via their web-site and received a swift and concise response from a gentleman called Kaan who represents the business in the UK. At this stage I still had many doubts and questions which over a 3 week period Kaan managed to put to bed for me. I must emphasise that he is extremely well informed, patient and was at no stage pushy. Once I agreed to go ahead a small deposit was taken from me and a patient assessment form was filled out – this was accompanied by a few carefully taken photos. I was offered the option to meet Kaan in person however due to time constraint on my side I opted not to.
A few days later I received an extremely detailed patient consultation report (compiled by Dr Tayfun) which highlighted exactly what I required and how the work would be done – I found this reassuring as nothing was being left to chance and an action plan was clear – I have attached the report and diagram for your interest.
3 Months passed very quickly and before I knew it was time to fly to Turkey. I arrived in Istanbul just 2 days after the attempted coup and I am happy to say it was business as usual with nothing seeming to be out of place – this was a relief because after all the recent political strife there I was worried.
Most people now tend to go on about how delightful their driver was and how comfy the hotel was – yes, all of this was fine however I think it would be far more helpful if I got on telling you about the nitty gritty of having an FUE hair transplant. After all that is why you are here!
The day I arrived at the hospital (19th July) everyone appeared fresh and ready to go – I was the first patient of the week which I was happy about. I had a very brief consultation with the patient co-ordinator Cigdem who is lovely (but has a limited command of the English language) and after sorting out payment it was straight through to Dr Tayfuns office. It was at this point that he designed my new hair line and drew the outline on my forehead accordingly. This all happened very quickly and it was clearly a very routine and straight forward procedure for him. It has to be said that Dr Tayfun is very pleasant however not a man of many words! I felt a little concerned that things were happening so quickly but then reassured myself with the fact that he has seen over 8000 cases so this must be pretty run of the mill stuff by now.
The next step would take place in the wash room where my head was completely shaved and then washed with pure Betadine in order to insure the utmost hygiene. My shirt was removed and I was handed a “gown” of sorts – it was at this stage my nerves started to kick in! With my clean shaved head I was lead off to the theatre where much to my surprise a cannula was inserted into my right hand. When I asked what the reason for this was the nurse (with 20 years’ experience) explained to me that it was there in case of a medical emergency and also to help take a blood sample. Insertion of the cannula was uncomfortable but nothing to complain about. Next came along the obligatory Valium tablet which is supposed calm your nerves before things kick off and then it was time for the hardest part of the whole procedure – numbing the back of your head to get the donor area ready for extraction. The gentleman who undertook this procedure was strangely an English doctor who was an understudy of Dr Tayfun – he was extremely kind and compassionate and I know he tried to be as gentle as possible however no matter what anyone could have done this has to have been the most horrendous experience I have ever endured. Either I have the pain threshold of a 3 year old girl or this process is genuinely excruciating. It seemed to go on forever and eventually I started to feel faint. Hats to off to everyone involved because the minute they picked up that there was a problem they went into full scale emergency mode – the injections were stopped immediately and before I knew they had hooked me up to a glucose drip and various monitoring equipment – the 2 senior nurses did not leave my side until they were satisfied I was ok. Within 15 minutes after the drip had got into my system I started to feel better however it was at this point the numbing had to continue! I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists and let them get on with it – It is a catch 22 because numbing you hurts and if you aren’t numb enough you will hurt too – it’s a necessary evil but all I’d like to say is that this part of the job is not tea in the park!
It was now time for Dr Tayfun to start harvesting the grafts – I required 3500 to be extracted in order to place about 6000 hairs. This was uncomfortable and a slightly strange sensation but nothing more – you are aware that someone is working on your scalp and the noise of the machine doing its job is quite prevalent. This is a time consuming process and by the end of it you are ready for a break. Lunch seems to come along just in time – I’m not sure I could have gone on any longer without a rest.
Once lunch is finished you head off back to the theatre where your recipient area is prepared to start receiving the slits for the grafts. These incisions are made by Dr Tayfun himself and it is once again a time consuming and very important part of the process. This will ultimately decide how your hair will look once (if?) the grafts take successfully. This procedure once again is uncomfortable but not unbearable – be ready as it takes time! You will also face more injections to the forehead which is once again bloody painful but necessary.
Lastly once the incisions have been correctly placed it is time for the nurses to start placing the grafts – I found this uncomfortable and pretty unpleasant towards the end as I started to feel pain. I also think I just had enough and was ready to go home. It took in the region of about 2.5 hours but was over relatively quickly. Once the last graft was inserted I was bandaged up and it was time to head back to the hotel.
Needless to say that evening I got very little sleep – my head was in agony and I felt generally uncomfortable. I finally fell asleep at about 3am once the very strong pain killers had kicked in but was soon to wake up in pain – normal I am told!
The following day the final part of the process was to have my hair washed and instructions/medication issued in order to insure that everything runs smoothly once you get back home and most importantly that you give your new grafts a fighting chance to survive. The medication “happy pack” consists of some industrial spec pain killers, anti-biotics and an obscene amount of cortisone tablets – these apparently help deal with the swelling which believe me you will have…Cigdem the patient co-ordinator was helpful and quite clear on what I needed to do to look after my new hair correctly.
I stayed one more night in Istanbul and flew back to London the following morning. I arrived on Thursday the 21st.
To date it hasn’t been plain sailing – On Friday morning I woke up and noticed some irregularity on the recipient area in the form some yellow “pustules” – I made contact with Cigdem and she advised that I get hold of some Betadine and Fucicort cream – the issue is that neither of these are available over the counter so I had no choice but to wait it out. Today my head appears to be better but in the meantime I have had to order this medication on-line. This problem is something to think about and perhaps highlights an issue with regard to proper aftercare once having had a medical procedure carried out abroad. In fairness to the team at GetHair they did what they could for me but there was still a shortfall evident in the aftercare that I required. Fortunately this mild infection seems to have cleared up but if it hadn’t it could have jeopardised my health and donor grafts! And rest assured, I will never ever be going through this procedure again – once was enough.
All I am contending with now is a serious lack of sleep and extreme pain (which doesn’t seem to want to go) on the back of my head where I received the Novocaine injections for the anaesthesia. I do feel slightly anxious because nobody else has mentioned this and I hope I am not experiencing some form of complication. I feel a constant tightness and severe burning sensation at the back of my head – almost a muscle pain? I am worried because this has actually got worse since the procedure. What is worse is that putting your head on a pillow aggravates it! I am going to monitor this and let you know what happens.
Before I go and whilst this ordeal is fresh in my mind I just want to let anyone know who is considering getting FUE done that it is not a minor procedure and you need to be prepared to take a few days off work and grit your teeth with a certain amount of pain and discomfort. I feel like nobodies reviews here or anywhere else on-line prepared me adequately for what I went through so I really hope by reading my accounts of what went on this will help you! In meantime I will keep you updated and let you know what happens.

Day 1 Pics

Day 2 Pics

Day 3

Day 4

All healing well but the donor area is still extremely painful at the injection sites.

Day 5

Feeling much better and everything seems to be healing well.

The pain I was suffering from yesterday was apparently part of the recovery process after the anaesthetic.

Contact from Dr Tayfun

Just received an e-mail from Dr Tayfun reassuring me that everything I was feeling is normal and that he has closely checked all my pictures and was happy. We have agreed to talk in 2/3 days time. I appreciated the contact from him and it has made me feel a bit more relaxed.

Day 6 - Healing well!

Already day 6 and things are looking healthy. Still struggling with a bit of pain at the donor area however I believe this is par for the course. Apparently in rare cases certain nerves can be disturbed during extraction thus causing this sensation. It is not permanent which is the good news.

Day 8

So far so good. Burning at the back of my head is driving me crazy and needs to stop!

The scabbing is apparently a good sign that all is healing well.

Day 9

Happy so far! Looking cleaner without the scabbing.

Pain!

Still having pain at the sites where I was injected at the back of my head - WTF!?

Day 13

Pain is finally subsiding and I feel all round better.

Grafts have taken well!

Day 16

Happy and just about ready for a haircut! Lol ????

Day 26

I'm happy with what I see so far and appeared to have suffered very little shock loss. Would love to shave my head again but I've been told I'm not allowed to do anything until at least 6 months in. No more pain to talk of which is a massive relief.

Day 37

Happy so far but really want to cut my hair right now so it looks even. Have been told not to touch for at least 3 months.

Month 2

Not much happening so far - holding thumbs that it's going to start taking shape with time to come.
Turkey Hair Restoration Surgeon

Nice guy but not a man of many words. Seems very experienced.

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