Finally did it! I went to the Maral Clinic. YES...
Finally did it! I went to the Maral Clinic. YES in Istanbul, Turkey. Which is very safe now. I was a bit apprehensive I will not lie. Then when the attacks happened, I was more apprehensive. Then when the military coup occurred, I decided I wasn't going!!
Thank God I went with my gut feeling and ignored that decision.
Everything was calm and peaceful when I arrived. Most of my family and friends thought I was crazy to actually fly in after all the turmoil, but seriously...EVERYTHING was fine and calm during my experience. Mr. Saim picked me up at the airport just as they said he would. Whisked me away to my hotel. He told me I would be getting a phone call within a couple hours to be brought to the clinic. Sure enough within 2 hours the phone in my room rang and I was told the driver is outside ready to bring you to the clinic. I signed some paperwork with Sonnur, made the payment...was treated to a lovely lunch of Turkish meatballs and roasted veggies and very tasty Turkish bread....it was very delicious! Then came time to go upstairs and get prepped and ready for surgery. My head was shaved, markings where made and the surgery began. I was a little concerned because by this time it was late afternoon close to 5 p.m. I suggested that they reschedule me, however they insisted that everything will be okay, and that it's not unusual to have clients start later in the day. The team of professionals are THE TOP IN ALL OF INSTANBUL!!!
They started around 5:30 and did not stop until 1:40 a.m!!!! They did an excellent job and when I finally looked in the mirror to see the work, I seriously became emotional and just could not believe the amount that they accomplished and covered on top of my head. I will post the pictures in my hotel room right after the procedure....then I will update with more recent pictures and I will mention by name the people who worked on me, because they are just beyond talented and devoted and dedicated.
If your thinking or going to the Maral clinic and your from the US and your concerned about safetly....trust me, fear not!!! It is incredibly safe now...more so now since the most recent events that occurred there. Oh and I am going back for another procedure in 10 months!!! Going to have a little plastic surgery, which I will review on that as well.
Any questions feel free to ask, and I will answer as much as I possibly can!
2 UPDATES in one: 7 days post and today 14 days post
First off I want to say the jet lag is a bit brutal coming back to the US....but well worth it! I'm showing 2 pics here. One is at 7 days post op back home. The other was taken today.
I need to stress with IMPORTANCE to follow the protocol for the aftercare that your doctors sets forth.
For me, we where told to wash the hair at 4 days post-op. The most important thing I found, was to keep the area moist to prevent thick scabbing from forming. We where told to apply the lotion and shampoo that was provided from my Dr. EVERY DAY AFTER the 4th day of the hair transplant procedure.
DO NOT apply direct pressure under the shower to rinse off. Get a plastic cup and fill it from the shower and carefully pour water over your head to rinse off.
However, even following this protocol I still formed thick scabbing on my head.
I think this was due to not applying enough pressure when shampooing the hair in the shower after the 4th day.
Personally, I would have left the lotion on top of the head a bit longer as well, before jumping in the shower. I would say at least 20-30 min to soften the scabs
By day 10 I STILL had a lot of scabbing, none of which fell off in the shower.
What I finally did on this 10th day was to apply a lot of lotion on top of my head then I let it sit for 1 hour. Then I jumped in the shower and applied the shampoo. What I SHOULD have done at this point, as I stated earlier, was to apply more pressure when washing the hair in the shower, however I did not do this and many understandably are timid to do so.
When I finished showering, I dried my hair then applied an additional thin layer of lotion, then I carefully with the pads of my finger tips, rubbed the scabs off in a circular motion
I DO NOT recommend this due to many hairs coming off with the scabs while I was rubbing them off.
It's probably best to attempt to remove them while the head is soaked with shampoo in the shower.
I'm still not clear on this issue whether I lost viable hair grafts with my scabs because it has been my understanding that even at 3-4 days post hair transplant those transplanted hairs are solidly anchored in. Also if you lose viable grafts you will have a stream of blood coming out of your scalp. I never had blood lose, because I kept checking with a tissue every time I dry-rubbed the scabs off, but again many transplanted hairs where coming off with scabs.
Again, I will say I think it's best to attempt to remove the scabs while the hair is soaked with shampoo/lotion while in the shower.
Time will tell if I lost viable grafts with the way I attempted to remove the scabs. Hopefully these hairs where just hair shafts that would have normally fell off anyway, and the bulb was still intact under the scalp.
Sorry for that lengthly explanation, but this is such a gray area for many with many different applications out there for aftercare of hair transplants.
One month update.
I believe I'm right on schedule with the hairs starting to shed away. At least compared to others I've seen on here it seems to be around that time. Patience is required and desired when you go through this process. Oh yea, I'm currently taking finasteride 5mg tab ($9 for 30 from wallymart (I break up in 4 pieces with a pill cutter) and take 1 quarter every other day. Also using minoxidil daily and 1 soft gel 10,000 mcg of biotin daily. I have a laser comb which I should probably start using again to at least justify the insane amount of money I spent for it. I was one of the first to buy it. That's about it for now. I will post again at the 3 month mark. I'm still a little worried about the hairs I lost with the scabs when I removed them on the 10th day post op...but I think I did enough blabbering about that already, so I'll be quiet and just let nature takes it course and hope for a superior result.
5 MONTH UPDATE...
Finally showing some growth, however I feel it's pretty sparse at the 5 month mark...(at least I think) but I realize everyone is different so I'm not gonna worry too much. I decided to just buzz my head altogether (at 4 months). I figured it would first, just look better...and also I thought I would have easier access for applying minoxidil to the scalp.
What your seeing here is the result of growth for the past month. As I've stated already, I feel it's fairly sparse, however I'm hoping by the 8th month mark (plus) I will have much more density.
Hey...It's just a waiting game that can really try your patience, but I'm just gonna let it grow out at this point and hope for the best!
Will keep updating more often now that I'm starting to see results. I was thinking it was a total bust at one point there since I started to shed a lot, but this past month I definitely see that things are happening. I just expected, in comparison to others, to see more density.