Just over 8 months ago, I had a hair transplant with Dr. Ekrem Civas in Ankara, Turkey. After undertaking some due diligence, I chose Dr. Civas because of his international accreditations, his proven results and the lack of negative comments or complaints about him on various hair loss forums. I was also impressed with the ease of communication with his patient coordinator, Patricia, so the language barrier was not an issue. Turkey is a very mixed bag when it comes to the hair transplant industry. It is a bit like a pyramid. At the bottom and middle you have the factories or mills, who accept multiple patients each day and almost all of the work is carried out by technicians. The reason these places exist and thrive is because of the very low “all you can eat” fixed prices. It goes without saying that results vary wildly in these clinics. At the top of the pyramid there are fewer clinics, all doctor-led, and the best are on a par with the top clinics in Europe and North America. Dr. Civas only takes one patient per day and that patient has his and his team’s exclusive focus. About me: late 30s, Norwood 5, a lot of balding in the preceding 5-6 years but I had been on finasteride for 10 months prior to surgery, so that stabilised and slightly reversed my hairloss. Otherwise, I would have bottomed-out at Norwood 6 in a few years. Surgery was to be 3,700 grafts FUE and the price paid was just under EUR5,000 (a graft based calculation, which also included the cost staying at a nearby hotel and airport collection/drop-off). Flights were separate. My recollection of the surgery itself is quite hazy, due to the Valium I was given and the fact that I probably fell asleep a few times during the day. Time seemed to go by quite quickly though and pain was not an issue. My hairline and the logistics of the surgery were discussed in consultation with Dr. Civas on the afternoon before. On the day of surgery, my head was shaved and Dr. Civas re-drew the hairline and marked the transplant area. He then administered the local anesthetic and began extracting some grafts. Two of his technicians took over the extraction and this took us up to lunch time. Dr. Civas regularly checked in on the extraction and inquired after me. After lunch, Dr. Civas prepared the recipient zone and made the incisions. His techs then took over transplanting the grafts, with Dr. Civas giving direction and checking on me every so often. Surgery was over at around 18.00 and Dr. Civas and I had a de-brief. He then phoned the hotel, ordered my evening meal and ordered a taxi for me back to the hotel (which was only 5 minutes walk from the clinic, but I preferred a taxi. Hello Valium!). I was given a saline spray for the recipient area and various medicines to take as directed or needed. The following afternoon, I went back to the clinic to have my bandages removed and my hair washed etc. I found the staff in the clinic to be very helpful and gentle when doing this. As you will see from the before and after photographs, I think my result is very good for 8 months – and I still have around 4 more months of growth and maturation to go before the 12 month mark - which is the period one usually assesses the “final” transplant result. In the period between the transplant and the 8 months mark, I was in monthly or bi-monthly contact with the clinic, showing them my progress and asking questions etc. – so their patient aftercare is also very good. From month 0 to month 8, everything was more or less textbook in terms of growth and reaching milestones etc. There were no complications. At the recommendation of Dr. Civas, I used minoxidil on the recipient area for the first 6 months in order to jump start growth – and I then stopped minoxidil after 6 months (not really a fan…). I continue to use finasteride and have recently added biotin and MSM (just in case they actually help…). If you are comfortable travelling to Turkey and want a reasonably priced hair transplant with an excellent surgeon and a very strong team, then I think you should give Dr. Civas serious consideration. On a personal level, Dr. Civas is a very down to earth and humble person – he is very easy to talk to and seems interested in hearing about the lives of his patients. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to stay an extra night in Ankara and expected that I would have to pay for the extra hotel and food out of my pocket, but I was surprised and pleased to learn that Dr. Civas had already called the hotel and told them that he would take care of the bill for this too. He didn’t have to do this, as I was no longer a patient and he had been paid already – but he did. If you do have any questions, please ask.