Good morning everyone and welcome back, here we are with the second part of the docu-testimony of my hair transplant.
A little useful anecdote about the trip to Turkey
To inaugurate the second chapter, I start by telling a little anecdote that can also serve as “travel tip”.
The outbound flight from Bologna, with a stopover in Istanbul and connecting flight to Ankara, landed late at the Sabiha Gocken airport in Istanbul; obviously the connecting flight does not wait for late arrivals so I was forced to make a few runs and skip a couple of lines otherwise I risked missing the connecting flight to Ankara.
There was a long line at the control for the entrance to the country, like 300 people filtered by two listless employees. I felt at home as if I were in Italy. Luckily I saw some Turks jumping the queue saying “sorry, late” etc. so I copied them, otherwise I was in real danger of missing my connection.
Finally the day of the transplant
Arriving at the hotel after the outward journey, I go to bed waiting for the big day, which is not even 12 hours away.
Actually here I have to insert another little anecdote (by now you are used to it):
The first of what was supposed to be the three days of surgery turned out to be a “tourist” day for me. In fact, due to a family problem of Dr. Keser’s, the first day of surgery was postponed from Monday to Tuesday. Luckily I had planned to stay one day longer than necessary, so the postponement didn’t cause any inconvenience with my flights. So Monday instead of finding myself under the knife, I went around Ankara with the interpreter who accompanied me in the city center, took me to a store to buy the adapter for the laptop plug (eye that the three-connector plugs here are unusable, the hole of the ground does not exist https://www.blogcalvizie.it/trapianto-di-capelli-in-turchia/Spina electric Turkey ) and finally we went to the castle on top of the city, more miscellaneous and eventual in perfect style tourist by chance.
Meeting with the doctor. The pre-operative planning, the hairline design and a little digression
Here we are finally at the day of the surgery at Dr. Keser’s clinic in Ankara. On the morning of the first day, out of the total three planned, I arrive at the clinic and meet the doctor for the pre-operative planning.
After the usual pleasantries, we proceed to the facts. Leaving aside the technical details of the visit, where the doctor examines the scalp, the characteristics of the hair and the general state of the hair and skin, I want to talk about what for me is the fundamental moment, especially for those who, like me, do not have severe baldness but simply need to correct receding hairline: I am talking about the fateful drawing of the hairline.
The hairline design, tips on how to behave
My main advice is to be as clear as possible about your ideas and possibly even try to impose your requests, within the limits of reason and common sense, on the hairline design. You will notice that the surgeon will always tend to make a fairly classic and conservative design, U-shaped, without lowering too much the connection between hairline and parietal. Even temple points are rarely redrawn. If you like a classic design of this type then there is no problem. On the contrary, if you like a more aggressive hairline, low on the sides, with accentuated temple points or other peculiarities, make it clear, especially if you think you can “afford” at the donor level. Also try to be very clear about your requests. It is easy to misunderstand each other, even if you speak the same language. In the case of people whose native language is not common, or who use an interpreter to communicate, the chances of misunderstanding increase. Also use drawings, either with non-toxic marker directly on your head, or draw what you mean on a piece of paper, if you notice that the doctor doesn’t seem to grasp your ideas.
At the end of the day we are the ones who will have to spend our whole lives with a given hairline or distribution of hair on the head; therefore, in my humble opinion, our aesthetic taste counts much more than what the doctor considers suitable for a series of standardized aesthetic and clinical parameters. Obviously, requests should be made according to common sense, so it is also logical that the doctor refuses to satisfy absurd, illogical or impractical demands. To summarize in a few words, do not be afraid to force your requests regarding the design of the hairline and parietals.
I’m telling you this because in my case I ended up with a hairline slightly too high on the left side, where I wear my parting; this aspect, combined with the fact that I had some lack of regrowth always on the left side, led me to schedule a small touch up with Dr. Pekiner, two years after the first transplant that I’m telling you about here.
A fundamental point to keep in mind is that the doctor may have a different conception of what is aesthetically pleasing about certain details of the hairline, parietal hairline, temple points, sideburns etc. etc. than we do. Therefore it is fundamental to make the surgeon understand which refinements or finishes we have in mind and which we consider pleasant. Let me give you an example to better understand: we might like a small v-shaped point in the center of the hairline (technically called widow’s peak) while the doctor would see a straight line, or we might want a hairline with a linear design while the doctor has in mind for us a jagged line.
All this is particularly true for those who, like me, are defining a new hairline for purely aesthetic reasons, while in cases of more advanced baldness, where larger areas of the hair are to be reconstructed, it is best to rely more on the “conservative” instincts of doctors, given that in these cases it must be carefully considered that the reserve of grafts in donor is not infinite and that a too aggressive design could be to the detriment of density.
After so much preamble we finally graft the hair
With the chapter on hairline design closed, let’s finally get back to the day of my surgery.
Once the hairline was established, Dr. Keser told me that it would be roughly between 1400 and 1500 grafts; the exact number would be established on the last day since we had finally decided to strengthen the temple points where possible. I reiterate that during the planning phase I always suggest to try to “impose yourself” on the doctor, even risking to annoy him a bit.
Once the decision-making phase is over, we move on to action; Keser himself shaves my hair while an assistant, immediately after, proceeds with the pre-operative disinfectant shampoo.
The hairline design and surgery strategy are reiterated with him after shaving and shampooing as the doctor draws lines on the head.
On the actual surgery, I don’t have much to add compared to all the other reports you find around the net. The pain of the anesthesia is bearable but annoying, especially because of the multitude of them, both in donor and recipient. Specifically about Dr. Keser I can say that he is calm and meticulous, he performs extractions, incisions and grafts as if he were an FUE craftsman. The assistants pick up the extracted uf’s by putting them in the container and perform other minor tasks like rinsing the head with a squirt of saline every so often and other such things. Typically the doctor performs about 250 extractions first, then 250 grafts, then you get to the lunch break. In the afternoon we repeat the same procedure thus arriving at about 500 grafts transplanted per day. Obviously grafts are at high density.
Below you can find more photos with the first part of the intervention (first day, about 500 grafts) and finally of the complete work (1400 grafts total).
And with these images we can consider concluded also this second part of the story. Stay tuned to these frequencies for the third and final chapter of my story! And also expect one more surprise…because my adventure with hair transplants will not end so easily!