Dr. Maral Let Down. - Istanbul, TR

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I recently visited Dr. Maral and I must say it...

I recently visited Dr. Maral and I must say it didn’t go as smoothly as it should have. This is going to be lengthy as there is a lot to cover. The short version is that Dr. Maral team seems very fast, efficient and well trained but are not well organized, fail to communicate times, over promise on results, don’t keep you informed of what is going on. They treat you like you’re on an assembly line rather than as a patient.

I started losing my hair at an early age. When I was 31 I had a FUT surgery with a local doctor who promised 2500-3000 grafts. After the surgery I had a lot of pain and swelling and ended up with only 400-500 grafts. After this experience I started wearing a hair system to cover the transplant. When I first contacted Dr. Maral I provided him a full history and pictures of me without the system. The feedback I received was that I was a grade 7 hair loss and that I was an excellent candidate for the surgery. I was told that I had excellent donor area and that I would need 2 sessions to achieve full coverage. He explained that he should be able to get 4000-5000 grafts in the first surgery as I have excellent donor area. I was very skeptical about the number of grafts as many other clinics were saying I would get around 3000-4000 but after reading patient reviews who have similar hair loss to myself I decided to go with Dr. Maral. Dr. Maral was one of the more expensive clinics in Turkey that I contacted but he promised more grafts.

When scheduling my surgery I asked if there was better days that I should aim for as I was very flexible and could travel anytime and I also provided some dates that I was looking at. I was told the only day to avoid was Sunday as the clinic was closed and that the dates that I provided were fine as they had openings. I booked my flight and provided them with all the information. They confirmed the transfers and the date for the surgery (a Monday).

I flew in with my wife on the Sunday and was greeted by our driver. He was very friendly and we had a great conversation to the hotel. He provided some information about the area and some places to explore that evening. He wasn’t able to provide any information on what time I would be picked up the next day for surgery but said the hotel would be contacted in the morning. When booking into the hotel they had no information about my wife being with me and had booked me into a single room. They were able to correct this and provide a double room.

Up until this point things were running smoothly. Things started to fall apart and on the Monday. I wasn’t contacted by anyone from the clinic even after sending an email at 9:30 asking for timing. At 11am I called the clinic and was told that there were just about to call and that I would be picked up at 3pm. This made me very uncomfortable. I was already on pins and needles about the surgery because of my last experience and now I will have to wait until the afternoon. They had no answer as to why they couldn’t have communicated times before 11am except to say they were busy. They said the driver would pick me up at 3pm. At 1:30pm I was called in my room that the driver was downstairs for me.

The clinic was a short drive away. When I arrived in the clinic I was greeted Sonnur and was asked to pay for the surgery. I thought I would have had a consult with Dr. Maral first to review and make sure that everything was acceptable. I paid the fee and was then brought to see Dr. Maral.

He started the consult by apologizing for the delay. He explained that he had two patients miss their planes on Saturday and he was accommodating them today. I had some strong concerns about the people performing the surgeries working for that many hours on so many patients in one day. Would they be rushed and/or tired? Would I get the same results today as another day? He assured me that his technicians would be fine and that they do this many surgeries all the time. He then explained that a couple of the patients were only getting small amounts of grafts 2000 and they would be done quickly. He said mine was only 3000 and wouldn’t be that long. When I mentioned that he said he should be able to do 4000-5000 he said that my donor area wasn’t that good and that I had limitations. This is an exact opposite of what he said in emails. I pushed the point and he said he would have to see what he could do as I had short hair and it was hard to tell. He told me not to worry about it was I would need two surgeries anyways. The next topic was about hairline. He traced the standard hairline I had seen in most of his patients. I asked if it would not make more sense to narrow the hairline coming forward so we could provide thicker density and more coverage in the rear. I was told it would just make it look like I was losing my hair and that I shouldn’t worry about it as I would need a second session anyways. Dr. Maral seemed very rushed and didn’t seem interested in answering any of my questions other than to say this is how he does it. I was moved to another room where I was asked to remove my shirts and to put on a gown. The gown was very small on me (I take a large shirt) and I asked if they had something larger and was told that they didn’t. I was then instructed empty all my pockets into a bag. This was very troubling to me as there didn’t seem to be any reason for this. The people who were asking didn’t seem to understand me. They also focused in on my cell phone insisting that it must be given over. I refused this as my wife was having surgery of her own and I needed to keep in touch with her. Once I spoke to Dr. Maral he agreed to let me keep it as long as I didn’t use it during the donor extraction period. They next provided some drugs for me to take. I asked what they were for and again there was a language barrier. A lady had to be called into to explain what they were for. They then shaved my head and we moved to another room to see Dr. Maral. He looked at my head and had a long conversation and with one of the ladies who was pointing to the scar from my pervious surgery. When I asked what the story was or if there was any concerns, Dr. Maral said he was just consulting with her. I asked what about and I was told nothing to worry about. As the patient I felt very much like I was a meat market just being moved from one room to another. I had no feedback to my questions and I felt like it was just along for the ride.

The Surgery went well. The injections weren’t painful and the gentleman he who preforming them was very good at his job. The extraction team and the implant team (two different teams) were good at their job. Dr. Maral came near the end of the extractions saying that he was heading to the hospital as he had a surgery to perform and that there wasn’t any issues I was in good hands.

Another concern I had is the lack of privacy. The room I was in was off the main reception area and the door was always wide open. At one point I noticed that my driver was in the room looking over the results. During the surgery I was bored. They wouldn’t let me listen to my phone. They had a TV in the room but it was on nature station in Turkish (I’m assuming). I was provided any way to change the channel and the angle they kept my chair in prevent me from seeing the TV.

The end finally came. I was brought out to the reception area where one of the staff provided me with some medication. One pill for swelling, one for pain and one antibiotic. I was told I should take 1 of each three times a day and that I would be picked up the next day to have the dressing removed. I was told it would be around 11-12.

I didn’t sleep much that night because of the position I was told to stay in. I wasn’t in pain or any discomfort.

The next day at breakfast I ran into several other patients. At 9:30am I was called to say the driver was there for me. I came down and there was 5 of us there. The driver brought us to a midsize car and wanted us all to get in. The driver noticed that it was going to be very tight and said he would be right back for me. I went back into the hotel and ran into another patient who was late getting down. Not sure how the driver planned to fit 6 grown men into a 5 seat midsize car. The driver was back and we were taken back to the clinic. All six of us were gathered in the reception area and this is where they took the dressings of us. We were then all huddled up to Dr. Maral’s office as a group and he provided instructions for post care. Several questions were asked of him and he quickly dismissed them with the statement “he hasn’t seen any need for it and that it was a waste of time”. Again it felt like we were just meat being processed instead of patients.

I asked about the timing for the transfer to the airport and I was told to speak with the driver as he would arrange everything. I spoke with him and he said I would be going with another gentleman as our flights were an hour apart. He was also traveling with his wife and I raised a concern about fitting 4 people plus driver and all their luggage into a midsize vehicle. I was told not to worry about it that it would all fit. I tried to explain that my wife and I had larger size baggage as we were going on to another destination from there. The other gentleman said his wife and him were in the same situation. We were told not to worry about it that it would all be taken care of. I did call the clinic back at the hotel and was told that I needed to send an email. I sent an email explaining my concern. Dr. Maral responded and told me he would arrange separate transfers for us and then went on to say “but please do me a favor and prefer another clinic if you go more sessions? or your price will be 1000000 euro”.

That night I spoke with several of the other patients and they all were promised more grafts then they received and were very unhappy with the communication. One of the gentleman said he was supposed to have his surgery on Saturday but they rescheduled it to Monday and they need to give their staff some time off. Of the 4 other patients I spoke with, all were promised above the 4000 and all received around 3000.

I’m not sure of the end results yet but I’m hoping for the best. I will be looking at a second session in the fall but I can guarantee I will be going with another clinic.

Maybe this was the perfect storm for the clinic and they were overwhelmed but I suspect this was not the case.


Here are the photos.

Fails to keep you informed, dismissive of your questions, Clinic is not well organized.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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