A Five Star Experience - Istanbul, Turkey
Dr. Maral's clinic consists of honest,...
Second procedure, 3000 grafts
Coming to Dr. Maral's Clinic this time felt like visiting old friends. The surgery team is still the same after two years (another sign of the quality of the clinic), the atmosphere at the clinic still professional but relaxed and welcoming, and the doctor as friendly and endearing as always. He has excellent medical credentials from leading schools in Turkey and abroad and a lot of international experience.
Anyway, this time I have decided to shut up and let the doctor take the decisions regarding my procedure. I had to lower the hairline (because of my fears the first time, I insisted to have it very high, despite Dr. Maral's best advice--arrgh) which took me 2000 grafts, and the rest went to the crown. Dr. Maral even said I will still have grafts for a third procedure. It seems that I am really lucky with my donor.
Since the procedure was smaller this time (3000 vs. 4800 grafts) and because I already knew what to expect, the whole experience was a breeze. It took only about six hours and I was even able to do some work I had to take with me, immediately after the operation! The team still works like super league, with mind boggling speed and dexterity, changing shifts inconspicuously and chatting in good spirits. The postop care was updated with a new, very useful pillow aid and somewhat modified medication and shampoo.
I stayed in the same hotel and this time I decided to take it easy and not visit the city (which is a pity, because Istanbul is an exceptionally beautiful place). I suggest trying out hotel restaurant, which has some pretty decent Turkish food and world cuisine, and everyone speaks English.
My return was easy and I am now mostly resting, but very much capable for light activities like going out, minor chores around the house, etc. I had very little sleep in Istanbul for some reason so I am also making up for that. The recovery seems to be going much faster and easier than the first time. I will be posting updates here regularly.
The clinic is as busy as always (on average four patients a day, from what I reckon), and I wish that they continue to prosper and expand because they are doing great and honest work.
Dr. Maral, Yeshim, Ahmet, Duygu, Melek, and Shakir--if you read this, I want you to know how grateful I am for everything you did for me.
2.5 months after the 2nd procedure
My procedure lasted one whole day, from morning until evening. The driver picked me up from the hotel, after a good breakfast, and took me to the clinic. There I first had a consultation with Dr. Maral to make a hair reconstruction plan, and then I went to the administrator for payment. After that they prepared me for the operation. Dr. Maral made an exam, set up the procedure, draw the hairline, gave instructions and overlooked the process closely (there were more patients in the clinic undergoing surgery at the same time). I should add that I insisted to raise the hairline this much, in fear of not having enough grafts to cover the top. Dr. Maral wanted to draw the hairline somewhat lower. That is the only thing I regret now; listen to your doctor! But let me go back to the procedure. First they administered medication and anaesthetics, and then they started collecting and sorting the grafts. I was very lucky to yield 4800 grafts, which was beyond my wildest expectations. With that, they were able to reconstruct hairline and top, and even some crown. Then Yesim came to make incisions (a very important part), and then the grafts were implanted, at a very fast pace. Midway through the procedure I was given a simple but delicious lunch. At the end I was given detailed instructions on how to sleep, and the medical necessities (pillow, antihistaminics, etc.). I was also given a famus "Maral hat", a fedora that does a great job protecting the transplanted grafts. I found out that the best way to sleep was on a rolled and tied towel, which was hard and gave good support so as not to hurt the grafts. The next day, the driver took me to the clinic again to change the bandages and clean the donor area. I was also given shampoo and other supplies. My recovery was exactly how Dr. Maral told it would be. I had a minor swelling but nothing too serious. The recovery takes about a week of rest, and another week of reduced activity. After that, you are free to go back to your routine, relaxing and waiting those endless 4 months expecting your hair to grow. (But it does :) ) Lastly, I should add that Istanbul is a fascinating, vibrant city with many places to see in things to do, so plan your trip accordingly.