About My Hair Transplant - personal experience- DHI - the latest technique
I recently did a Hair transplant after living for many years with a big baldness area on my head and I want to share with you my experience, how much I paid and where (as country). I will not mention the name of the clinic and this because I don't want to do any publicity and to give the impression that I am promoting this clinic.
When my baldness appeared
When I was young I had a lot of hair on the head but after the age of 27 I started to lose most if it from front/top/ and top-back of my head. This is considered as inherited Alopecia (even if my father is not bald and grandfather was not either) and by the age of 37 I felt that my baldness riched the maturity and probably no more hair felt from my head in the previous years. For some unknown reason the top of my head was a bit icy for many years from the moment when the hair started to fall.
First steps towards a Hair transplant
I have been investigating for a long time what a Hair transplant procedure means, becoming more and more interested in one in the last years but for some reason I was always holding back.
Until recently, about 2-3 weeks ago, when talking with a friend I found out that he is preparing for a second hair transplant (about 10 years after the first one).
As with me, he thought that all the hair that had to fall, felt already and this is a good moment to do it again, to fill the empty areas.
Talking with him I got a strong impulse to actually do this step towards a hair transplant.
My friend was already booked for the operation in 2 weeks from the moment we have been talking.
In the same day, I immediately started to look for a clinic where I can do my hair transplant, trying to understand what the new technique (Robotic DHI) that my friend told me about, is.
We both live in UK and the clinic he choose was in Turkey. A lot of people know already that Turkey clinics specialised a lot in the last years on Hair transplant procedures and people from around the world go there knowing that they will get good services and results for good money.
In my research I found a few clinics. I got in contact with a few of them over the next 2 days trying to find what is the number of graphs I will need and how much I will have to pay.
About the price I have been told over WhatsApp
While talking with them I find out that is not only about how many graphs I was needing to cover my baldness. It was very important that the hair to be transplanted had to be extracted from a donor area and, after sending picture to the clinics I was talking with, I got twice the same response from different clinics: they can harvest around 3000-3500 graphs for a price of 3500 USD. Some clinics work with Euro some with USD (at the time of witting this article these two currencies are very close). For me it was unclear how much 3500 graphs can cover, but in the end, any coverage was better than being completely bald.
From the moment I understood how much it will cost I started to look at the clinic websites to choose one.
Choosing the clinic for Hair transplant
It is difficult to choose a clinic when is no recommendation so I decided to go with the same clinic where my friend is going. I was able to book flights and to confirm with the clinic my hair transplant operation to happen just 2 weeks later, which was 2 days later after my friend's one.
The package I choose was All inclusive: hotel at 4 or 5 stars for 2 nights (with breakfast included), transport included from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the clinic when needed and the cost of it was 3500 Euro.
Time went fast and the time for the surgery came.
I got the plane and 4 hours later I was in Instanbul where the driver picked me up and took me to the hotel. He told me to go to the reception, because everything is already arranged, and he left.
At the reception, the receptionist asked for my passport and he also told me that I will have to pay 100 euros for the deposit.
This was something new for me. No one told me that I will have to pay anything to the hotel, being already paid. I asked my friend by WhatsApp if he paid anything to the hotel and he said that he didn't.
So, I sent a message to the clinic to solve the problem and they did.
My advice here is to be careful that people might want to benefit from you in every possible way especially when you are a foreigner. To pay a deposit when I was not told about it and to chase it after the check-out from a different country, in case it was not returned to me for some reason that I couldn't prove, it was something that I didn't want to do.
All good in the end and minutes later I was in my room resting and getting prepared for the next day.
In the second day, the driver picked me up at 7:50 AM.
I was at the clinic about 8:20 AM.
The price of the hair transplant went up
I meet someone who made me an introduction to what is planned for that day and I was asked to pay the difference. The deposit of 500£ was paid already when I did the appointment. Even if the initial price confirmed by the clinic was 3050£ (I have been told the price in GBP too), at the clinic I was asked to pay 2650£ more - not 2550. I asked why and I have been told something but I didn't understand anything because they were trying to invent something. It was obvious that the intention was to get more money for no clear reason. I was there, the process was started already, so I couldn't do anything than pay the difference. Initial cost in the end 3150 GBP.
While we discussed more about the procedure itself I have been told that if I am interested, some more 1000 grafts can be extracted from my beard and the cost added will be of 1000 Euro.
I said Yes immediately because I knew that more grafts will cover more of my baldness and more density will be created.
Cost at that moment was of approximatively 4500 euro without the airplane and other transportation to the airport in UK.
Ai have been also asked if I want a vaccine that will help my hair to get ticker over time (the cost of it was 1500 euro) but even if a few days ago my friend accepted it, I said no (for me, the price was already bigger than expected).
After all the agreements have been done and I eft my signature on a few papers, we moved to the consultation with the doctor that was owning the clinic. With a team of a few people they marked on my head some lines and the approximate number of grafts for each area defined, to be followed when the hair will be transplanted.
It was around 11 when they finish the planning and all was thinking was "I hope they will do a good job and they will have enough grafts to properly cover my baldness".
I was left to use the bathroom for the last time and a few moments later I was on the operation bed with about 5-6 people around me, each one doing its bit.
They started by doing the anaesthesia. For that I have been told with a day before to stop eating and drinking anything with 8 hours before coming to the clinic, which I did partially. I fasted from 10PM on the previous day, but I forgot and somehow ignored that I must also do not drink any liquids including water but I had about 200 ml in that morning after I went to the hotel gym for 30 minutes. I did that because I have Spondylitis Ankylosing and Rheumatoid Arthritis and I knew that I will have to stay still for many hours later on the day which will give me some sort of pain and discomfort on the back.
The anaesthesia was the most painful part of the operation. Some needles were introduces under the skin of my head. With the anaesthetic, some sort of solution was also inserted to lift the skin on the head to allow an easy insertion of the extracted hair.
Only a first few injections were more painful, the next ones being done on a skin already partially numb from the previous ones.
Sort after that 2 people started to extract hair from the donor area. They started from the beard and moved to the sides of my head and the back. The extraction took a long time (5-6 hours) and it was an easy process to go over. I felt asleep twice and I even had some nice dreams. From time to time someone came and asked how do I feel (and a few time they had to insist with the question to wake me up first).
I also had a toilet brake in this time and a lunch time when I was server with a nice meal, water/juice and a tea.
It was around 5-6 when they finish collecting the hair they could collect.
I was wandering how many other hours will the operation last if it was already late and they only collected the grafts, but I was ready to stay there as much I had too.
I got one more toilet brake and they started to insert the grafts.
A special machine was used for the DHI technique.
Around 4 people behind it inserting the extracted grafts into some pens and adding the pens to the machine which, from what I saw, it was only pushing the ready to use pens to the people (I suppose doctors) that were doing the insertion or the grafts into the skin of my head.
They were moving quite fast and I felt that they knew it was already late. About 2 hours later they only had around 2000 grafts inserted into the front top of my head.
I have been told that I will have a nice surprise because they been able to extract more grafts than they been expected.
In all this time I was able to watch my head throughout a monitor that had a video camera filming my head.
I had the feeling that the operation will still take many hours and it was already 8PM and only about 2500 grafts inserted.
The process was rushed in my point of view only because it was getting late.
The doctors introduced a very large amount of grafts (like 4000) only on the top front of my head. I was a bit nervous knowing that if they had 5000 extracted, the number of grafts left for the top and the back will be too small for a good density.
In the last 2 hours they inserted the grafts left and they reached the number of 5800 grafts, which means 1800 for the top and the back of my head. I was not happy with that but I couldn't do anything about it. They already added more grafts than they expected (for the same money), when the expected number was 4000.
Their plan was to do a good density in the front to be satisfied when I will watch into the mirror.
I couldn't say it is not a good plan but I also didn't like it fully and the result was rushed because it was getting late (they finished at 10PM).
I had the feeling that they took the decision of hair distribution based on marketing strategies.
If they were doing me the same density (from what it was possible) across all my bald area I might never want to return for a second round over 1 year, being satisfied only with that.
The problem is that even if you tell something to the team before they start, they can get around with what they do based on other factors so in the end the result will still be closer to what they want.
Apart of that, the job was done anyway and I was thankful to the team that had so much patience to extract and insert 5800 grafts. Around 5 people working hard for around 12 hours and some other people around them doing other things. Somehow I ha the feeling that the big amount of money I paid for the operation is was making sense.
Before being took to the hotel I got a kebab and a drink.
All the people from the clinic were great.
In that night It was very important to sleep inclined with a few pillows bellow my head and to use a neck pillow that I received from the clinic to avoid touching with my head anything.
It was difficult to sleep but I managed to do it for a few hours.
On the next day, the driver took me back to the clinic at around 1PM where I got the last consultation and I received the treatment that I had to use in the next days. Later on that day I had my return flight to the UK.
Other people experiences
While at the airport in Istanbul, I got in touch with people that were curious about my operation and people that had a similar operation. I found that other clinics were cheaper.
One guy had a bit over 4000 grafts and he paid 2800 euros on a different clinic. He also had the hotel and transport included and the result was similar with mine, so maybe next time I will go to the same clinic where he been :)
The problem with these clinics is that before you are going to do it you don't know which one too choose and you tend to choose a more expensive one thinking that the risk will be smaller and the services will be better, but some of these clinics are overpriced in my point of view and they will try to clean the dust from you only to get more money.
Also, even if the clinic I used was owned by a doctor that made me go there, in the operation time, that doctor barely came to do something and as I said above I couldn't know if the people that actually did the hair insertion were doctors (but the clinic was mentioning that the operation is done by medics only).
The ones that were introducing the hair in the DHI pens I didn't expect to be doctors as it was not a complicated job (only tedious).
A few days after the hair transplant
Once returned home I still had to sleep inclined for a few more night and to follow some treatments (antibiotic and something for swelling)
6 days later my scalp was looking like into the next images
The strip that is about 1cm wide in the front was made by FUE technique for some reason and the initial plan was to include about 700 grafts.