Hair Transplantation in Turkey. A reasoned choice
For several years now, many Italians have been opting for a hair transplant in Turkey. This is a trend that affects not only the Belpaese, but the whole world, so much so that Turkey is the country where the most hair transplants are performed, about 5 thousand every month according to recent estimates.
The number of clinics offering hair transplants in Turkey is constantly increasing, as is the demand from the public. But what are the reasons for this trend? Hair transplantation in Turkey is certainly very attractive from an economic point of view due to the competitive prices offered by the clinics and the low cost of living in the country.
Travel agencies and tour operators offer complete packages for hair transplantation in Turkey, including flights, hotel accommodation and meals, transfers, translation to and from Turkish, blood tests, transplantation, examinations and medical insurance. The prices of course can be very different depending on the clinic you go to. They range from 1,000 € to 15,000 € for mega-sessions. This is referred to as “medical tourism”.
Hair transplantation in Turkey and medical tourism.
For centuries man has been traveling in search of effective solutions to his health problems. Hair transplantation in Turkey, as well as medical tourism, represents the modern version of this phenomenon that has always existed. Every year about 15 million people travel to reach organized and specialized facilities to solve discomforts or imperfections.
Among the main destinations are Thailand, India, Malaysia and Singapore. Among the most accredited countries, which boast the largest number of specialists and experts in the medical field, it is worth mentioning Turkey. This is an extremely developed and innovative market. The country complies with the strictest social and health regulations and in many cases exceeds the quality standards of other European countries in terms of aesthetic performance.
The sectors most affected by the medical tourism phenomenon are as follows:
- Aesthetic surgery;
- Assisted Fertilization;
- Treatments and therapies for cancer care;
The field of hair restoration, along with those of plastic surgery and laser surgery for myopia correction, sees Turkey soaring in quality and expertise.
The question many are asking is: how do I choose the right professional for my hair transplant in Turkey? First and foremost, it is worth understanding what the surgery consists of and how the techniques and equipment used play a central role in the success of the treatment.
How does a hair transplant work?.
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that consists of removing follicular units from the thick scalp area, defined as donor area, and inserting them into hairless or thinning areas of the scalp (recipient area). In Turkey, hair transplantation by FUE method is almost exclusively performed.
The Follicular Units (FUs) consist of small groups of hair. Each UF consists of 1 to 5 hairs. In addition to the hair, the sebaceous glands and the hair erector muscles also make up the UF.
Hair transplantation is nowadays the only surgical solution to a very common condition, called androgenetic alopecia, better known by the term common baldness.
Androgenetic hair loss in men occurs starting in the temporal area and vertex. It progresses gradually, generally sparing a strip of hair present in the occipital and parietal areas of the scalp. It is from here that the UF needed to cover the areas affected by the fall can be taken.
FUE technology, a less invasive follicle extraction ?
The techniques currently offered on the market have their roots in the 1950s. Originally, the results obtained by surgeons were unsatisfactory and resulted in unnatural effects. Over the years, the procedures have been refined and have seen a constant improvement, both from the point of view of a reduction in the width of the harvesting areas and with reference to the result obtained in the receiving area.
The technological advancement that has affected the transplantation techniques and the instruments used, has allowed the development of advanced and increasingly safe procedures such as the FUE hair transplantation technique, today the most used in Turkey.
The FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) extraction technique, also known as Strip, consists of removing a lozenge of skin from the donor area, from which individual follicular units are then extracted.
These will then be cleaned and inserted into incisions previously made in the recipient area.
This method of extraction leaves an elongated scar in the occipital area of the scalp.
Turkey is certainly not recognized for this type of method where surgeons (most) perform hair transplantation with FUE technique.
With the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) extraction technique, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp using a special instrument called punch.
Choosing the correct size of the punch is a crucial step to avoid damaging the donor area.
The following steps of the transplantation are identical to those of the Strip method.
In this case, the extraction results in micro-circles. This feature is considered one of the major advantages of the technique. Usually when talking about hair transplantation in Turkey, reference is made precisely to the FUE technique.
At the same time, it should be pointed out that FUE extracted UFs are generally more fragile given a lower presence of protective tissue around the follicles.
All elements considered should be carefully analyzed. The choice of the facility one decides to go to represents the first and most important step for those who decide to undergo the surgery.
The importance of choosing the right hair transplant clinic in Turkey.
As already mentioned, the prices offered by many clinics in Turkey can be considerably lower than those charged by many centers in Europe and around the world. Think, for example, of the renowned hair transplant clinics based in Canada or Belgium.
Of course, it is essential to remember that a hair transplant is a surgery in its own right and it is necessary to rely on a properly trained team in safe and accredited facilities. The saturation of the offer also entails the risk of the emergence of clinics that are not well structured and that use inadequate personnel.
The tool available to the user, and potential patient, is the web. Forums and blogs represent a rich, easily accessible and safe source to get answers to your questions and doubts, to watch photos and videos of hair transplants, to read reports and learn about the experience of other patients, etc.
How to choose the right clinic in Turkey?.
Elements to consider when choosing the right clinic to trust for your hair transplant include:
- The structure: it is essential that the chosen clinic respects the strictest hygiene and sanitary standards, respecting the patient’s health and with an eye to the success of the operation. It is essential to go to accredited facilities and centers, where a trained team is able to conduct the operation without putting the patient at risk.
- The technologies used: the world of hair restoration is constantly evolving. It is advisable to seek out up-to-date specialists who use the latest technology with the aim of maximizing results.
- Photo documentation: the results of the clinic must be available to the patient. Up-to-date and truthful reports represent an essential tool for the choice of the professional to be entrusted.
- Price: as already mentioned, the price of a transplant can change considerably not only in different states but also in clinics in the same country. A wide-ranging research allows the patient to choose the clinic based on a fair price-quality ratio.
Bellicapelli Forum. The reference point for hair transplantation
Among the platforms most recognized by users and some of the best hair transplant surgeons in Turkey and around the world is Bellicapelli Forum.
Founded by BOLA, who himself underwent several botched hair transplants and finally “solved” with a repair operation, the forum is a tool to guide and help a new user in choosing the right clinic and specialist.
The forum is linked to the bellicapelliforum.com platform, a rich database of surgical procedures and a constantly updated source of the major discoveries in the scientific field.
Turkish surgeons on Bellicapelli
Some of the leading exponents of hair restoration based in Turkey are active on the Bellicapelli forum. User reports, photographs, videos provide a constant and up-to-date overview of the surgeries they perform and are available to the user.
- Dr. Koray Erdogan – Istanbul
- Dr. Serkan Aygin – Istanbul
- Dr. Tayfun Oguzoglu – Istanbul
- Dr. Emrah Cinik – Istanbul
- Hairline Clinic Ankara – Ankara
- Dr. Levant Acar – Istanbul
- Dr. Resul Yaman – Istanbul
- Dr. Kaan Pekiner – Ankara
- Dr. Zekerya Kul – Istanbul
- Dr. Yetkin Bayer – Istanbul
- Below is a brief description of the surgeons and their practice.1. Dr. Koray Erdogan – Istanbul
- Graduated in medicine from Ankara University and specialized in thoracic surgery from Isanbul University, Dr. Koray has approached thoracic surgery with a passion for the field. Dr. Koray approached baldness surgery in 2001 and, after an initial phase in which he offered Strip and FUE transplants, he specialized in Follicular Unit Extraction and became one of the most experienced and renowned surgeons in performing this technique, until he developed his own extraction method, called “DES”, in which incision and extraction of follicular units take place in a very fast sequence. The goal is to reduce the risk of transection, i.e. damage to the follicular units.Dr. Koray is present on the Forum Bellicapelli since 2005 and is recognized worldwide for his megasessions.For more information about Dr. Erdogan Koray in Turkey: https://bit.ly/2Hcwnt1
- After graduating from medical school and specializing in pharmacology and dermatology, Dr. Serkan Aygin approached the world of hair transplantation by focusing on the FUE extraction method. The clinic performs more than 15 transplants every day using an instrument called Trillix, which allows to speed up the extraction phase and the permanence of the follicular units away from the body.Dr. Aygin also performs transplants using body hair, the so-called BHT (Body Hair Transplant).In 2015 Dr. Aygin’s clinic was the subject of a report of the television program Le Iene. The same year marked the beginning of the collaboration with Bellicapelli Forum.For more information about Dr. Serkan Aygin in Turkey: https://bit.ly/2JANgvW
- Dr. Oguzoglu is a member of ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and ABHRS (American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery) and his clinic, established in 1996 represents one of the first specialized hair transplant centers in Turkey.Dr. Oguzoglu’s 20 years of experience has allowed him to become a trainer worldwide. The techniques used allow him to perform mega sessions with optimal results.
- Specializing in cosmetic surgery, Dr. Cinik has over 11 years of experience in this field. He has been a member of the ISHRS since 2015 and the ECAM (European College of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery). Between 2008 and 2011, he directed the department of aesthetic medicine and hair restoration at Medical Park International in Istanbul.Hosted by one of the most innovative hospitals in Turkey, the clinic meets all the strictest standards in terms of quality and efficiency.Techniques offered include FUE method extraction, BHT, eyebrow and beard transplantation, etc.For more information about Dr. Emrah Cinik in Turkey: https://www.emrahcinik.com/it/
- Founded by Dot. Ozgur Oztan, Hairline Clinic specializes in FUE and BHT transplantation techniques. All stages of surgery are personally performed by skilled surgeons.Body hair transplantation is definitely the hallmark of the facility, which boasts a collaboration with Dr. John Cole.For more information about Hairline Clinic Ankara in Turkey: https://bit.ly/2IDEj3G
- Dr. Acar founded his specialized hair transplant clinic, Cosmedica Clinic, in 2007. He specialized in the extraction technique using the FUE method and was awarded the “gold medal” for levels of health care offered by the JCI (Joint Commission International). 2011 marked the beginning of his collaboration with the Italian-Spanish company Microfue. Clinica Cosmedica is recognized worldwide for its surgical standards.For more information about Dr. Levant Acar in Turkey: https://bit.ly/2GMfINx
- During his medical degree at Istanbul University, Dr. Yaman begins to suffer from baldness and approaches the world of hair restoration.He uses a micro-device to perform extractions with FUE technique making sure that the follicular units remain as little time as possible away from the body.For more information about Dr. Resul Yaman in Turkey: https://bit.ly/2IHXaKC
- Building on his experience with the manual FUE extraction technique gained during his years of training and working with Hairline Clinic, Dr. Pekiner opened his own clinic in 2017.He is a member of ISHRS and conducted a conference on manual FUE at the society’s international congress in 2016. The technique used is stick and place. Immediately after making the incision, the graft is inserted into the skin. Bleeding is minimized and the recipient site does not have time to shrink.For more information about Dr. Kaan Pekiner in Turkey: https://bit.ly/2JAy1To
- Aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Kul has collaborated with the best specialists in France, Germany, Korea and the United States and performs hair transplant operations in Istanbul and Dubai in his specialized centers.Dr. Kul uses manual and motorized punches defining after an analysis which is the best method in each case.For more information about Dr. Kaan Pekiner in Turkey: https://bellicapelli.forumfree.it/?t=73846025
- “Dr. Yetkin Bayer was born in Istanbul in 1966 and received his medical degree from Trakya University in 1991. He moved to California in 1994 and specialized in Cosmetic Medicine, continuing his training by performing hair transplants and attending medical conferences and seminars in both California and Texas. In 2003, Dr. Bayer established his own clinic in Istanbul. Dr. Bayer is among the most respected hair transplant surgeons in Turkey and around the world. With more than 20,000 transplants performed and 24 years of experience, Dr. Bayer and his team have had the opportunity to meet patients from all over the world. In each operation, the canal opening phase is performed by one of the three doctors in the clinic. FUE, Sapphire FUE, OSL and DHI operations are performed. Dr. Bayer is a member of ISHRS.” For more information on Dr. Yetkin Bayer: https://bellicapelli.forumfree.it/?t=76525888
The guide on hair transplantation in Turkey has been expanded thanks to the on-the-ground knowledge of FirstDuty, co-editor of Blogcavizie. FirstDuty underwent a hair transplant in Turkey with Dr. Keser, will soon perform a touch-up with Dr. Kaan of which he is also a consultant on the well-known forum Bellicapelli.
Once you have made the decision to determine that it is the right time to undergo a hair transplant, what are the steps you need to take to reach your goal?
The virtual quote and booking of surgery
After choosing a specialist, you should contact the Italian representative or consultant of the clinic, who usually responds within a few days, requesting the necessary information and images for a virtual estimate.
Normally, the following information is requested: age, history and family history of baldness, medical diagnosis and any treatment followed, willingness to follow treatment in the future, expectations and any priority of certain areas to be treated, presence of allergies, diseases, previous interventions etc.
In addition to information, for a virtual consultation play a key role in the photos to be sent to the clinic. With images taken with the right light, in high definition, and with various shots of the recipient and donor areas, the doctor will be able to provide a fairly accurate cost estimate, based on the number of hairs (or better grafts/bulbs) needed for your specific case. Obviously, since this is a remote consultation, the numerical estimate of grafts/bulbs can never be very precise, but it will be within a reasonable maximum-minimum range and not too wide.
Once these technical aspects have been agreed upon, the consultant will indicate the available dates on the clinic’s calendar and we can then move on to the actual booking. Normally the surgery is booked through a transfer of deposit in favor of the clinic, the amount varies depending on the policy of the clinic itself. For some doctors it is also sufficient to book the air travel, which in some cases is included in the package of the surgery.
The outward journey, tips and curiosities
We have finally arrived at the highlight. With regard to any analysis and pre-operative indications (such as the suspension of certain medications etc..) will obviously be instructed by the clinic in an appropriate manner. For the trip we suggest to bring everything you need for a short vacation. On a personal note, I recommend bringing snacks and quick snacks from home, since once you’ve had surgery you may feel a little peckish, but sometimes you don’t have the will or the strength to go out and buy anything after being under the knife, and I don’t need to tell you the prices of snacks in the minibars in hotel rooms! Another piece of advice I would give, since I have run into this problem, is to bring an adapter for 3-pin electrical plugs. Even though the voltage and the type of sockets are perfectly compatible (the 2-pole Europlug is the standard), in Turkey wall sockets don’t have the third hole in the middle (the so called “grounding”) which in Italy, on the contrary, is common everywhere; therefore some laptop chargers and power cables might not physically fit into Turkish sockets if they are equipped with a 3-pole plug.
Example of a plug that can NOT be used in Turkey:
Example of usable plug:
The important thing is that the adapter provides a triple inlet and ends with a double:
The last useful tip, in case the clinic does not provide them, is to equip yourself with a cap and a U-shaped pillow, so you can cover and protect the recipient and rest without leaning on the donor during the return trip.
As for the cap, it is important that it is 100% cotton and that it does not tighten, that is, that it remains loose and comfortable on the head, without fitting. The U-shaped pillow, on the other hand, is the classic pillow also called “travel pillow” that supports the neck below the nape of the neck.
Surgery and the return trip
Once you arrive in Turkey, you will be in the hands of the clinic staff, so there is no particular advice or guidance for this period, also because you will be guided and accompanied in everything. In addition, each doctor has his own specific operating and post-operative protocol that you will be required to follow.
Remember that in the clinic you will have to stay in the same position for a long time, so do not stay in uncomfortable postures for fear of making the work of the doctor and the surgical team difficult. Nothing will change for them, but you may be spared cramps and soreness.
During the phase of grafting and incision, if you are particularly lagnose and ask for a lot of anesthesia, remember that the anesthesia made in the recipient, especially in the frontal area, in the following days will fall all over the eyes and nose, making you look like a boxer or the monster of Goonies if you prefer. In the end it is a simple trade-off: the more anesthesia you require in the recipient, the more swollen you will be in the following days.
On the return trip be very careful of head banging. Even if we all think that it is not so inevitable and that it is easy to be careful, when you are in a foreign environment (hotel) and especially in crowded areas full of people in a hurry (airport, train stations, airplane) it is very easy to lose your balance, get off balance, and end up crashing into the overhead luggage rack in the airplane corridor, for example, which with its opening doors is the main threat to the poor newly transplanted pumpkins. For this reason, I always recommend bringing a cap with a hard visor (remember it must be 100% cotton and fit very loosely) in order to protect the recipient from any unexpected bumps and knocks.