Start To Finish 4326 Grafts From Dr. Demirsoy In Istanbul, Turkey

TG123

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Introduction & Background:
The purpose of this thread is to document my experience with receiving 4326 grafts FUE from Dr. Demirsoy in in Istanbul, Turkey. I intend to provide as much realistic detail as possible in hopes that it will help inform others exploring the possibility of the procedure for themselves. This will include every dollar spent (and misspent), pro tips on travel and lodging, regrets, successes, the specific medications I was on, the specific hotel I was at, how I communicated with Dr. Demirsoy's office before, during, and after the procedure, etc. I will continue to update this thread through 15 months, which is the time that I was told I can expect to see full results.

About Me:
I am a 29 year old male with light brown/dark blond hair. I live in America. I have been struggling with hair loss for the better part of a decade. I used Rogaine and Propecia on and off for a few years without a ton of luck, but I wasn't good about being consistent with my usage. In the last 6 months I have been taking Propecia, Biotin, and pumpkin seed oil (pills) every day and using Rogaine almost every day (usually only 1x / day, but sometimes 2x /day). I work a ton, mostly from a computer this time of year. In the last 6 months I have been lifting weights every day and have gained 20 lbs of muscle. I am ultimately hoping to gain another 20 in my overall ambition to radically improve my appearance. I am 5'11. I weigh 185. See photos Below.

Why Turkey and Why Dr. Demirsoy:
For the details that lead me to choose Dr. Demirsoy's clinic and all of the background about me, please see my original forum post here: https://www.hairlosstalk.com/intera...orporate-or-turkey.119417/page-2#post-1768245

In a nutshell, I was debating between doing the procedure in America at either a big brand corporate clinic (Bosley), a private practice, or traveling to turkey having the procedure done there (here as I am currently typing this a few days after surgery from my hotel room in Atasehir). I was originally leaning towards Bosley because I trust big brands to have the best talent and technology available, but found so many negative reviews online about Bosley that I just couldn't shake it. It was also extremely expensive and the final results didn't seem concrete. I found it hard to navigate the private practices in America as well. There was large fluctuation in the pricing and many different opinions between doctors. It was hard to know what was objective science and what was marketing jargon.

I ultimately chose Dr. Demirsoy in Turkey because another forum member recommended him. Upon further investigation I found a user who documented his results from Dr. Demirsoy in great detail. He seemed to be happy with using Dr. Demirsoy, so I sent his office an email. It took a couple tries, but I got a response Dr. Demirsoy's assistant Muzaffer. Despite being in very different time zones, Muzaffer was a really excellent communicator. I sent him several questions about the procedure and probably crossed the line between curious potential client to neurotic and annoying patient a few times, but he always did a great job fielding my comments/questions/concerns.

It's very possible that I should have done more research. Identifying a good surgeon in another country blindly is hard to do. Ultimately the before and after photos on Dr. Demirsoy's website (which are remarkable), the positive reviews of Dr. Demirsoy in online forums, and the responsiveness of Dr. Demirsoy's assistant Muzaffer were enough for me to go ahead and submit the 500 euro deposit and schedule the surgery.

Setting up the Surgery and Travel:
I purchased the cheapest ticket I could find during a week that worked for me (February 10th -17th) and after a few emails back and forth w Muzaffer, had my surgery booked for Tuesday, February 12th. Apparently patients normally get the surgery and fly back home the next day, but tickets were between 30-40% cheaper if I stayed for a week, so that's what I bought. The clinic offers to book you a hotel, which includes free breakfast every morning, and transportation from the airport to the hotel and back, back and forth from the clinic, etc. Normally this is 200 Euro, but since I stayed for a whole week instead of 2 days, my cost was 380 euro. I foolishly made the mistake of booking an Air B & B to cover the anticipated gap between my original hotel stay and my flight home, which was basically non refundable.

The hotel itself is really nice. The breakfast is great. There are also other hair transplant patients lodging here, so despite feeling super self conscious about my appearance, the staff is very used to seeing surgical patients. It's located on the Asian side of Istanbul and is a little far from where all the touristy stuff in Istanbul is, but Uber is super easy to use here and you can get wherever you want to go very easily. Very few people in the hotel itself actually speak english, which made ordering things kind of complicated

I'm going to come back and edit/add to this post in a little but, but here's a photo of me on the day of procedure itself

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TG123

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Day 4:
The Swelling Continues to Continue, Becomes Lopsided, and Spreads to My Right Eye (will come back and update w more details later)
Note: this is not at all what my eye normally looks like lol
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Maverick91

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I remember this haha, my face returned to normal after solid 7-8 days. Major swelling like yours went down after 6
 

TG123

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Day 5: Swelling Moves from Eyes to Cheeks

On my last full day in Turkey I woke up around 2:00am. Having never really adjusted to the different time zone, I woke up between 12am and 2am most days and just worked from my computer until the free breakfast was ready at 7:00am.

When I woke up my eyes were still very swollen. I was bummed. I had run out of the coffee packets they had, so I made a couple cups of black tea with no cream or sugar and added some Miralax since my GI tract was having trouble moving all the great Turkish food through. I also took some fish oil. Over the course of 5 hours while I working and drinking this tea I could literally feel the pressure in my eyes going down. I don't know if it was coincidental or not, but I was so happy to be able to be able to use both my eyes again.

From this photo my face looks well within the parameters of a normal human face, but my cheeks are very swollen. It was really noticeable if I was walking because my cheeks would violently jiggle up and down with every step I took. It was kind of funny actually.

I took the opportunity to go explore Old Istanbul (European side). I took an Uber over (cost like $20 USD) and power walked 18 miles (according to my iPhone's built in step counter) throughout the day. I had a ton of energy after not moving around for so many days and got the opportunity to see around a dozen major mosques, the Grand Bazaar, the Hagia Sofia (sp?), and a whole bunch of other stuff. I went without a hat and only received minimal stairs. It was chilly, but since I was in motion I was comfortable in just a long sleeve t-shirt. I know we aren't supposed to exercise for the first 10 days, but the sheet said walking was okay. In retrospect, I'm a little nervous that the pace of my walking and overall distance might have been a little too intense for optimal healing. If I went inside somewhere and stopped moving at all I would start sweating a lot, so I just kind of kept myself in motion the whole day thinking that it would be best to avoid having a wet head. I don't know what the exact reasoning behind the exercise restriction is (I think it's related to wanting to keep your blood pressure low?) or the exact mechanism of damage exercise causes to the healing process, but I'm sure I was releasing tons of sweat that was just evaporating in the chilly weather as I was walking. Fingers crossed I didn't mess anything up.

I didn't take the best photo, but here it is from early morning as I was Ubering to Old Istanbul.
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TG123

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Day 6: Cheeks Swollen. Head Feeling Waves of Heat and Chills.
On the 6th day I woke up at 3:00am to pack my bags. My ride to the airport showed up at 3:45am for my 7:00am flight. I only got about 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

I flew from Istanbul to Frankfurt w a 2 hour layover then back to America. Flights were pretty painless, although there are a LOT more searches going from Istanbul to Germany. Oddly enough, despite having my bag checked multiple times, I accidentally brought a full water bottle with me in my backpack on the plane that wasn't discovered until the 3rd or 4th time my bag was searched in Frankfurt going between terminals for my connecting flight.

I didn't sleep at all on either flight (I seriously don't know how people do it). On the way back to America I noticed my head was alternating between feeling warm and cold. I don't know what that means or if that's supposed to happen. Hopefully it's not the result of infection. I continued to take my antibiotic in the morning and the evening as prescribed. When I got home I passed out around 5pm and woke up at 2am (odd timing considering that's when I kept waking up in Istanbul as well, despite an 8 hour time difference). I realize now that I forgot to shower and use the shampoo they told me to use daily. Hopefully This didn't cause any problems. Cheeks still swollen.

Here's a photo of my at the airport in Istanbul waiting for my flight and the shampoo they gave me in case anyone was interested. Note: the instructions for the shampooing are:as follows:​
Apply to the whole head.
When applying to the donor area, apply in all directions.
When applying to the recipient area, only apply in a forward moving direction (from the crown towards the forehead).
Only use lukewarm water with as little pressure as possible when rinsing.
Dry immediately using a towel in all directions on the donor area and using a very gentle dapping motion on the recipient area.
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Here's a photo of the medication I was given. The one on the left is the antibiotic, which I am to take every day in the morning and in the evening. The one on the right is the painkiller, which I am supposed to take as needed. I'm pretty sure the painkiller is just Naproxen Sodium, which is the same thing as over the counter Aleve in America. Naproxen is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug) just like Advil (Ibuprofen), except it last a little bit longer and I think it might be a little easier on your stomach (I don't know if that's true though). The only difference between what I was given and Aleve (as far as I can tell) is Aleve is 220mg per tablet and Apranax is 275mg per tablet.
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TG123

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Day 7:
First Day Back In the Real World
It's 5am on day 7. The swelling in my cheeks is going down, but definitely still present. I go back to work/school today. I will be wearing a hat, even though I was told that I'm not supposed to wear one until the scabs fall off. As you can see, it's very obvious that I had the procedure still. I am normally very neurotic about following instructions, but considering that the physical instructions I was given say that I can wear a hat and I was only told that I shouldn't, I am hoping that there is some wiggle room here. Fortunately, I only have to go in public for about 5 hours, outside of which I will not be wearing the hat.

I apologize that my photos aren't more detailed. I have a really old phone and this is the best I can do w the back facing camera. The selfy camera resolution is much worse than this. Note: the photo of the backside of my is from kind of far away and doesn't due the very distinct red pattern where the procedure took place justice.

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Vinc2097

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Thank you! I am very anxious to see the final result. Fingers crossed it grows in well. I am 29 years old.

Man, this is a very well detailled post ! I think 7500 $ grand total for more than 4000 k grafts with a reputed surgeon is a good price !

with meds i think you will have great results, congrats !

And your 29 and have been losing your hair for a decade so since 19-20 years old if im right ? Your balding process must be pretty slow ! Cause about what i see of the before pics, you still had a not so bad head of hair after 10 years of hair loss !

Took fina for the past 9-10 years of only couple of years ago ?

Thnaks
 

TG123

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Man, this is a very well detailled post ! I think 7500 $ grand total for more than 4000 k grafts with a reputed surgeon is a good price !

with meds i think you will have great results, congrats !

And your 29 and have been losing your hair for a decade so since 19-20 years old if im right ? Your balding process must be pretty slow ! Cause about what i see of the before pics, you still had a not so bad head of hair after 10 years of hair loss !

Took fina for the past 9-10 years of only couple of years ago ?

Thnaks
I just hope it pans out well. I'm pretty nervous to see how it will grow out. Not looking forward to the part where it all falls out + the shock loss.

Yeah, so I first noticed having hair loss around 7 or 8 years ago. It became very noticeable to everyone else around 5 or 6 years ago. The loss has been slow, but steady - though I feel that it has stabilized a bit since I started taking Propecia regularly. I first filled a prescription for Propecia a few years ago, but did not take it regularly. I just had a hard time working it into my routine. Over the last 6 months I've been taking it every day (mines the week I was told to go off it in anticipation for surgery). Historically I never noticed any sexual side effects, but in the last 4 months I've experienced them pretty substantially. I guess that tells me that it's actually in my system now.
 

Vinc2097

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I just hope it pans out well. I'm pretty nervous to see how it will grow out. Not looking forward to the part where it all falls out + the shock loss.

Yeah, so I first noticed having hair loss around 7 or 8 years ago. It became very noticeable to everyone else around 5 or 6 years ago. The loss has been slow, but steady - though I feel that it has stabilized a bit since I started taking Propecia regularly. I first filled a prescription for Propecia a few years ago, but did not take it regularly. I just had a hard time working it into my routine. Over the last 6 months I've been taking it every day (mines the week I was told to go off it in anticipation for surgery). Historically I never noticed any sexual side effects, but in the last 4 months I've experienced them pretty substantially. I guess that tells me that it's actually in my system now.

damm its sad that it is giving you sides since its also stabilizing your hair loss.. good luck !
 

TG123

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Day 11: time to remove the scabs

Immediately prior to scab removal:
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applying lotion to the head. Coated my entire scalp every 45 minutes for several hours.
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During the scab removal:
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Scabs removed. During the scrubbing, I noticed a handful of times where I some grafts came out. Less than 10x total, but felt like a punch in the stomach each time. I can't tell if it was me or maybe they just weren't in very deep. I also noticed a bunch of hairs breaking (no bulb attached) during this process, but I read that that is to be expected.


After removing the visible scabbing, I still felt like there was a crust on my head. If I touched my head I couldn't feel my finger, so using my soft bristled toothbrush, I scrubbed softly (and probably got a bit aggressive at times) to exfoliate the crust layer. No hairs came out during this process. I was told that it's important for the scalp to be able to breath, so I went around the whole head until the top layer felt soft / I had sensation in the skin again. It's very red now lol.
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I was told that if the scabs weren't gone by Sunday it could be a problem, so I figured I should just knock it all out in one go. It looks like I have less hair all the sudden, but I think it's mostly because the scabs were brown and looked like hair from a distance.
 

TG123

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Day 17 (2 weeks): Feels fine. Still red.
Been super caught up with work. Head has been a little itchy. You can still see the red pattern, so I'm still wearing a hat everywhere. I'm waiting for the part where everything that was transplanted falls out, which from what I've read is going to happen in around 5 days. I've gone to the gym once. I was told I could only do light cardio and only use the lower body. I ended up biking 10 miles and just got in the zone and went a little harder than I think I should have. I struggle with moderation, so I've been trying to avoid the gym for the most part until week three when I can return to lifting weights and going at whatever intensity I want. I feel very out of shape and it's making me depressed, but it's also February so everyone is depressed. I'm still using the shampoo everyday. Still taking fish oil, biotin, and Propecia daily as well.

I saw a friend from high school and told him about the surgery. He looked at my head and said if I didn't know I would just have just thought you were having a bad hair day. I think that's mostly cause the haircut is a buzzed one, but it's starting to grow out a bit and looks sloppy. I can't tell how noticeable the redness is under normal lighting to a random person.

I got some liquid vitamin E that I was thinking about applying to my head to help with scaring. Anyone had any experience or thoughts on this?

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Maverick91

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Day 17 (2 weeks): Feels fine. Still red.
Been super caught up with work. Head has been a little itchy. You can still see the red pattern, so I'm still wearing a hat everywhere. I'm waiting for the part where everything that was transplanted falls out, which from what I've read is going to happen in around 5 days. I've gone to the gym once. I was told I could only do light cardio and only use the lower body. I ended up biking 10 miles and just got in the zone and went a little harder than I think I should have. I struggle with moderation, so I've been trying to avoid the gym for the most part until week three when I can return to lifting weights and going at whatever intensity I want. I feel very out of shape and it's making me depressed, but it's also February so everyone is depressed. I'm still using the shampoo everyday. Still taking fish oil, biotin, and Propecia daily as well.

I saw a friend from high school and told him about the surgery. He looked at my head and said if I didn't know I would just have just thought you were having a bad hair day. I think that's mostly cause the haircut is a buzzed one, but it's starting to grow out a bit and looks sloppy. I can't tell how noticeable the redness is under normal lighting to a random person.

I got some liquid vitamin E that I was thinking about applying to my head to help with scaring. Anyone had any experience or thoughts on this?

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It's looking great, exciting times! You are due the heavy shed anytime soon.
Re liquid vitamin e, sounds like a good idea but not something I've personally tested.

I have used pure aloe Vera gel which had vitamin e inside it everyday, that must have helped with my redness as it kept my head cool. Keep your head cool as possible, avoid inflammation.
 

TG123

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Day 23 (3 weeks): The shedding has begun. Itchiness is real. A few zits too.
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RegenWaiting

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Hello man,

First of all, thank you for documenting your progress.

Do you have zits in both the donor and recipient, or just one of those areas?

Actually, I too had a transplant with Dr Demirsoy the day after
yourself. I was there with my girlfriend :)

I too have gotten a few zits, very small ones, in both areas,
now 24 days after surgery...
Also, I have already shed most of the transplanted hairs.


Wish you happy growing!

Cheers
 
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