Hair Transplant: The Complete Guide From A to Z

Hair transplant in Turkey, the magical experience of golden opportunities. From soft spring rains playing tunes of nostalgia on the surfaces of ancient monuments to busy bazaars stocked with ethnic herbs, spices, and antiques; Turkey gained recognition as the perfect holiday destination for any time of year.

And although millions of people come down annually for sightseeing and to enjoy the rich ottoman culture of this Eurasian country, traditional tourism is not the only sector drawing in the curious minds of wanderers.As one of the fastest-growing industries, Turkey’s medical tourism and particularly hair transplant; has managed to attract thousands of patients from all around the world.

The Turkish medical field of hair transplant surgeries in the last decade escalated rapidly in popularity making it surpass its competitors, in Europe and the US, to claim the number 1 spot as the world’s leading country for hair transplant operations.

The average number of health tourists flooding the country for hair transplant alone verges around 5000 patients per month with a vast majority of those tourists coming from Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, the numbers are projected to exponentially grow in the coming years.

How Turkey Became The Go-to Hair Transplant Destination

Cost-Efficient Procedures

Multiple factors come to play when considering why Turkey’s 1-billion-dollar hair transplant industry appeals to such a grand number of health tourists, but the most prominent of which is lower costs compared to hospitals located in the US or Europe – while maintaining the same level of professionalism. The average hair transplant surgery in Turkey, performed by government-certified surgeons under standard sterilized conditions, would sit anywhere on a scale of $1500 to $2000. The inviting prices to quality ratios are just one of many factors luring in potential hair transplant patients from diverse locations and ethnicities around the globe.

Hair Transplant Centers That Operate In Accordance With Medical Guidelines

Another element contributing to the exponential growth of Turkey’s hair transplant industry is the strict abidance of Turkish medical institutions to international clinical practice guidelines. The ministry of health in Turkey conducts frequent spontaneous inspections on every medical establishment encased within its grounds, to monitor the quality of care being rendered, examine the credibility of doctors, and ensure that the environment and equipment are being decontaminated according to international guidelines of decontamination and sterilization to make the hair transplant practice as safe as any other. [1]

Internationally Accredited Hair Transplant Centers

Not only are hair transplant centers in Turkey accredited by their own government and ministry of health, but a vast majority of those hospitals and centers are certified by multiple international medical associations and hair transplant boards such as the Joint Commission International (JCI) and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). As a matter of fact, Turkey retains the highest number of JCI accredited health care institutions in the world [2]. Instinctively, patients are drawn to legitimate medical practices and strict work ethics displayed by hair transplant centers in Turkey.

Experienced Surgeons

The rapid swelling of the Turkish hair transplant industry and the thousands of clients pouring in from miscellaneous ethnicities subjected the hair transplant surgeons in Turkey to intense incessant training on hair transplant for numerous hair types. The average hair transplant surgeon in Turkey has performed thousands of surgeries, and the result is overqualified and experienced hair transplant surgeons of very high caliber compared to the average surgeon abroad.

Constant Thrive To Develop

As a result of this almost instantaneous growth of Turkey’s hair transplant industry, numerous hair transplant centers have emerged in the past decade to meet the growing demand of thousands of patients pouring into this country on the daily for hair restoration. This myriad number of hair transplant facilities creates a fiercely competitive environment in this domain, which consequently ignites a rivalry between local hair transplant hospitals in Turkey that motivates them to constantly progress and develop to entice more patients. Hair transplant clinics in Turkey are persistently endeavoring to eclipse their counterparts and outshine by aiming to employ cutting-edge technological advancements in the field, staying up to date with modern methods and techniques, and providing the best of what this medical-surgical branch has to offer.

International Patient Services 

Albeit the affordable hair transplant rates and above-board medical practices, hair transplant centers in Turkey offer service packages which, more often than not, include greeting health tourists from the airport, accommodation, transportation, and translation services. These service packages are designed for the sole purpose of facilitating the trip of potential patients and catering to their needs during their stay away from home. The warm welcoming greetings and attentiveness exhibited by hair transplant centers in turkey are determining variables in why thousands of health tourists are seeking this country for hair transplants.

In Conclusion

Separately, the aforementioned points may contribute trivially to attracting health tourists. But when combined together, the result is a booming hair transplant industry where the patients are the biggest winners. Turkey would not have deservingly leaped to the spotlight and maintained its position as the go-to destination in the domain of hair transplant if it weren’t for its dedication and commitment to always offer the best. Affordable prices, high quality, satisfied patients; is a slogan hair transplant centers in Turkey seem to be working by.

Patients are to kindly note that the information provided in this guide is not an alternative to professional medical examinations. The information is solely informative and exclusively limited to hair transplant in Turkey, patients should refer to a professional doctor for an accurate evaluation.

 

What Patients Need To Know Before Embarking On A Trip To Turkey For Hair Transplant

Due to the global rise in the popularity of hair transplant surgeries, particularly in Turkey, it has become very common for health tourists to undervalue the complexity of the surgery and disregard critical precaution measures. Any patient looking to perform a hair transplant surgery in Turkey needs to look out and keep a few points in mind before commencing on a trip to Turkey for hair transplant. The listed tips are put to ensure the safety of patients considering a hair transplant procedure and to guarantee them a rewarding trip.

1- Who Is An Eligible Candidate For Hair Transplant In Turkey

Before contemplating going under the knife for hair transplant in Turkey, it is essential for patients to understand whether they make for a perfect candidate for a hair transplant surgery, to begin with. This will help them build realistic expectations and eliminate any future disappointments from unsuccessful results.

Disclaimer:
This is not to say we do not recommend professional consultation from accredited experienced dermatologists to patients considering hair transplant and hair restoration via surgical or non-surgical methods, on the contrary, we highly recommend that patients discuss their case with doctors of high caliber in the field who are qualified enough to analyze their case. The hair transplant information provided in this guide is solely for educational purposes.

With that being said, becoming familiar with determining factors that influence the decision of a patient’s eligibility for a hair transplant in Turkey, will help bring attention to crucial key points that many patients tend to neglect. Additionally, learning more about the topic will help you construct questions to discuss with your doctor.

Cause Of Hair Loss

  • If the cause of hair loss or baldness in your case stems from trauma (scarring or burns), androgenic alopecia, traction alopecia, or alopecia marginalis, you make for a perfect candidate for hair transplant surgery in Turkey or other countries [3] [4] [5].
  • If you are suffering from hair loss caused by an autoimmune disorder, full androgenic baldness, alopecia universalis, alopecia totalis, or diffuse un-patterned alopecia; you are not eligible for hair transplant in Turkey or other countries [6] [7].

Sufficient Donor Hair Destiny

  • Having abundant donor hair is a critical factor in deciding your hair transplant candidacy.
  • The quality of donor regions can impact the results of a hair transplant.
  • The more adequate donor hair regions a patient has, the more hair the patient will have implanted.
  • To word it differently, the higher the donor density is the better the results.
  • Patients who do not have sufficient donor hair density are not eligible for hair transplant in Turkey or other countries.

Age

  • Age is not a very determining factor when it comes to hair transplant surgeries in Turkey.
  • However, being above 23 years of age makes a patient a more fit candidate for a hair transplant.
  • It is likely that hair loss patterns would stabilize after the age of 23.
  • Undergoing hair transplant surgery before hair loss stabilizes might yield unsatisfying results.

Medical Conditions

  • Patients suffering from metabolic syndromes and homeostatic imbalances such as diabetes or hypertension, need to be under medication for their conditions and in stable state health-wise in order to undergo hair transplant surgery in Turkey. And even then, not all cases are considered eligible.
  • Patients suffering from other chronic disorders or health issues need to consult their doctor and notify their hair transplant surgeon before surgery.
  • Patients suffering from blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, HIV, etc. are not eligible for hair transplant surgery in Turkey. They might be eligible for a hair transplant in other countries.

 

2- Choosing The Right Hair Restoration Treatments

  • Once a consultation session has been completed and it is determined that the patient is indeed eligible for the surgery in Turkey, the second step is picking the right hair restoration method.
  • This at times can be a very puzzling process, given the diverse range of treatment methods currently being employed.
  • In order for patients to receive the best treatment choice, it is important, to begin with understanding the procedure of each separate technique along with its advantages, who are the candidates for each particular treatment, and how it differs from other treatments.
  • For starters, current hair transplant treatments in Turkey could be divided into two categories, surgical and non-surgical treatments.
  • The surgical treatments comprise mainly of follicular unit transplantation (FUT), follicular unit extraction (FUE) and its variants: sapphire FUE, and direct hair implantation (DHI) Choi.
  • Non-surgical hair transplant treatments comprise of Minoxidil, Finasteride, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.

Procedural Overview Of Hair Transplant Techniques 

Regardless of the surgical procedure implemented, all hair transplant surgeries follow a similar series of events that includes 7 basic steps starting with drawing the hairline, followed by shaving, applying local anesthetic, extracting hair follicles, separating follicular units, creating channels, and ending with implanting hair follicles in the incisions [8] [9] [31].

Hairline Drawing 

On the day of the surgery appointment, nurses will escort you to the operation room. The nurses will ask you to change into an operation gown from the hair transplant center. The doctor will then use a marking pen with an alcohol-based ink to draw the borders of the hairline. Once you approve of the drawn-on hairline, the procedure begins.

Shaving During

Shaving is not necessarily crucial in every hair transplant procedure, it depends on the technique the patient opts for. Another influencing factor is the number of grafts you need. In FUT the surgeon will shave the entire donor strip to prepare it for surgical extraction.

In FUE or variants of this technique such as sapphire FUE and DHI Choi FUE, shaving is not always necessary and your surgeon will determine it upon clinical scanning. However, it is advisable for patients to shave the site of the donor region to reduce the risk of infection.

Injecting Local Anaesthetic

Patients undergoing surgical hair transplant treatment will be administered to local Anastasia prior to the start of the procedure. Your surgeon will inject a local anesthetic into the donor regions from where your surgeon will extract hair follicle units. Additionally, local anesthesia application extends to the recipient site where your surgeon will create incisions.

Graft Extraction

Hair will be extracted from either the scalp or body. Depending on the density of the donor regions on the head. The extraction occurs through the use of either a manual punch or a mechanical punch. In FUT hair transplant alone, the donor region is surgically excised from the scalp.

In FUE hair transplant and variants of FUE, a punch is used to isolate the hairs to be extracted. Following their isolation, the grafts will be individually extracted via sterilized medical forceps. The number of hair follicle units to harvest depends entirely on the area of bald regions.

The more area that requires covering, the more of your hair follicles the surgeons will extract.  Immediately following their extraction, hairs will remain in a petri dish containing either a Saline or HypoThermosol solution. Depending on the technique and number of hairs to be extracted the process can last anywhere between 1 to 3 hours maximum.

Separating Follicular Units 

Hair TransplantSeparating follicular units is the process of separating hair grafts depending on the number of hairs within each follicular unit. Coming next is then placing them in a sectioned Petri dish containing Saline or HypoThermosol solution. Grafts that contain 1 or 2 hairs are often implanted in the hairline to achieve an authentic look and need to be separated from other grafts. Grafts containing 3 or more hairs per unit are best for the middle and back regions of the scalp.

Opening Channels 

Using a steel micro-sized scalpel blade or a gauge needle, several punctures on the surface of the scalp are created to open channels for implanting. In DHI Choi however, a pen is used to combine both the incision and implantation steps. This step takes an average of 1 to 3 hours depending on the method of opening channels and the number of incisions required.

Implanting Follicular Units 

Once channels for implantation have been made, the extracted and grafted hair will be carefully inserted in the channels using angular medical forceps.

Surgical Hair Transplant Techniques Offered In Turkey

FUE and FUT are the most commonly known standard methods for hair restoration. Other techniques such as sapphire FUE and DHI Choi are considered to be variants of the standard FUE method.
Hair Transplant Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) 
  • FUE hair transplant in Turkey is an increasingly popular minimally invasive hair restoration surgery.
  • An FUE hair transplant is performed under the use of localized Anastasia.
  • Once the application of anesthetic on the donor and recipient sites is done, comes the second step of hair follicle extraction.
  • The surgeon will begin by extracting individual hair follicles via a punch specifically designed to isolate the hairs. Which will then be extracted via forceps.
  • The micro size of the punch leaves behind trivial scarring on the donor region.
  • Once the hair follicles are extracted, they are placed in a petri dish containing a solution of either Saline or HypoThermosol for separation.
  • The separation of follicular units is done according to the number of hair sets each individual unit contains. Once the separation process is completed, implanting begins.
  • To prepare the recipient area for implanting, a steel micro-sized scalpel blade or gauge needle is used to create several punctures on the surface of the scalp.
  • Once enough punctures have been made, the previously extracted and grafted hair follicles will be inserted in the prepared incisions in the direction of natural hair growth via right-angled forceps [9] [10].
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)  Advantages
  • Trivial microscopic scarring cannot be noticeable with the naked eye.
  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures that are not traumatic on the skin.
  • Permanent natural-looking results.
  • Body hair can be used as donor region if head hair donor density is insufficient.
  • Rapid recovery rates.
  • Negligible pain or discomfort after hair transplant surgery [9] [10].
Who Is Fit For Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) 

Patients:

  • Suffering from small-scale balding areas.
  •  Looking to restore or transplant hair on the eyebrows and beard.
  • Who can’t grow hair due to keloid scars from burns or other injuries.
  • Who have undergone failed FUT hair transplant surgeries and are no longer eligible for FUT hair transplant given the number of scar tissues formed.
  • With low donor density areas.
  • With busy schedules and in need of surgery with rapid healing and recovery rates.
  • looking for minimally invasive surgery to restore lost hair [9] [10].
 Sapphire Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) 
  • Sapphire FUE is a variant of FUE that comprises of the same steps and work chart as a standard FUE hair transplant surgery.
  • Which includes: application of local anesthetics, extraction of hair follicles, separating follicular units, opening channels, and finally implanting.
  • The only difference between the two methods is the material from which the surgical equipment is made of, and the significant impact this minor distinction brings about.
  • Sapphire FUE utilizes scalpel blades made from sapphire gemstones as opposed to the regular steel blades used in the standard FUE method.
  • The characteristics of this gemstone allow for the scalpel blade to be made in such a way that the endpoint is V-shaped compared to the U-shaped steel scalpel utilized in a standard FUE.
  • The scalpel blade is an equipment used to create incisions for implantation on the recipient area when the scalpel is made of sapphire the V-shaped end allows for more specific and immaculate minuscule punctures without inflicting damage on healthy follicles in the vicinity of the recipient area [9] [10].
Sapphire Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant Advantages
  • Permanent natural-looking results.
  • No scarring.
  • No damage inflicted on neighbour follicles.
  • Rapid recovery rates.
  • Negligible pain or discomfort during and after the surgery [9] [10].
Who Is Fit For Sapphire Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant

Patients:

  • With fairly thick hair looking to increase their hair density without damaging neighbour hairs and surrounding tissue.
  • Who suffer advanced hair loss.
  • Who have low donor density areas.
  • With busy schedules and in need of a procedure with rapid healing and recovery rates.
  • Looking for minimally invasive surgery to restore hair transplant [9] [10].
 Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) Hair Transplant
  • Follicular unit transplantation is a surgical hair restoration method that comprises of the basic hair transplant steps. Applying local Anastasia, extracting donor hairs, separating follicular units, creating punctures, and lastly implanting grafted hairs.
  • The procedure is fairly similar to the follicular unit extraction hair transplant method except for one major difference in the process of collecting donor hair.
  • In FUT hair transplant, surgeons do not extract hair individually, rather they excise the donor region or strip entirely from the scalp at a depth of 5-7 mm. The particular depth is to ensure the subcutaneous tissue is within the strip.
  • Surgeons then stitch the scalp. Nurses will dissect the strip under a microscope.
  • The separation of grafts take place under a microscope. Once separation is over, nursed will store the grafts in a petri dish containing a Saline or HypoThermosol medium.
  • Next comes the process of creating incisions on the scalp using steel scalpel blades. Lastly, comes the process of implanting hair follicles in the incisions [10] [11].

Follicular Unit Transportation (FUT) Hair Transplant Advantages

  • Surgeons can extract significantly more hair follicles per session in comparison to FUE hair transplant.
  • Surgeons can extract and transplant fewer follicles tha FUE hair transplant or its variants.
  • Permanent natural-looking hair.
  • Fairly lower in price in comparisom to other hair transplant methods [10] [11].
Who Is A Fit Candidate For Follicular Unit Transportation (FUT) Hair Transplant

Patients:

  • Who do not mind having a linear scar as a result of the invasive nature of this surgery.
  • With low donor hair regions.
  • Who are comfortable with relatively longer recovery rates compared to other treatments [10] [11].

Direct Hair Implant (DHI) Choi Pen Hair Transplant

  • Direct hair transplant using Choi pens is a relatively modern hair transplant technique similar to FUE.
  • Every hair transplant procedure follows the same basic steps.
  • Applying Anastasia, extracting donor hairs, separating follicular units, opening channels, and finally implantation.
  • As a matter of fact, DHI follows the same procedure as the standard FUE up until the incision and implantation steps.
  • The difference, however, relies on the equipment used.
  • DHI hair transplant employs a pen-like hollow needle referred to as Choi implantation pen.
  • When utilizing the Choi pen two of the aforementioned steps can be combined in one step.
  • The Choi pen is firstly loaded with individual extracted grafted hairs at a time, the pen will then simultaneously open channels and implant the hair follicles by loading them in as the incisions are being made [32].
Direct Hair Implant (DHI) Choi Pen Advantages Hair Transplant
  • Permanent natural-looking results.
  • Trivial scarring that can not be seen with the naked eye.
  • A minimally invasive surgical procedure that is not traumatic on the skin.
  • No damage inflicted on neighbor follicles.
  • Rapid recovery rates.
  • Negligible pain or discomfort during and after the surgery [32].
Who Is Fit For Direct Hair Implant (DHI) Choi Pen Hair Transplant?

Patients:

  • Who can afford it. Seeing as DHI Choi hair transplant is a state-of-the-art technique, it costs more than other methods of hair restoration.
  • With busy schedules and in need of a procedure with rapid healing and recovery rates.
  • Who do not mind a slightly longer procedure.
  • Looking for minimally invasive surgery to restore hair transplant [32].

Non-surgical alternative solutions to hair transplant treatments

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil is one of two treatments the FDA approves for hair loss in both men and women. This treatment comes in liquid form. You should rub the solution on the scalp daily for a minimum period of 6 months for hair loss to halt and regrowth to appear. This treatment is long term, and you and need to continuously apply it to maintain hair growth [12].

Finasteride (Propecia)

The second non-surgical FDA approved treatment for men only is Finasteride. Patients typically take Finasteride orally in the form of a pill every day to notice a diminish in hair loss, and possibly new growth. This treatment is long term and needs to be continuously consumed to maintain hair growth [12].

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

The FDA has not approved PRP therapy for hair loss. However, it has gained popularity in recent years as both a separate treatment for hair loss and complementary treatment to a hair transplant.

This treatment collects platelet-rich plasma from the patient’s blood by centrifuging it. The plasma extract, which contains growth factors, is the solution surgeons inject into the scalp. Growth factors trigger growth in the scalp. We recommend multiple monthly sessions over a period of 6 months to a year to observe progress. [13].

3- Choosing The Right Hospital And Doctors For Hair Transplant In Turkey

The results of a hair transplant treatment depend on the skill and experience of the surgeon just as much as the method of hair transplant treatment implemented. Choosing the right hair transplant treatment alone will not yield the best of results.

Even though Turkey practices regulations and spontaneous inspections, taking the right measurements to check the credibility of the hospitals is still a precaution that patients should practice.

The following tips will highlight the important key points patients should consider when looking for hair transplant clinics and surgeons in Turkey.

Tips To Help You Choose the Right Hospital For Hair Transplant

  • Check for accreditation from international medical associations such as JCI or ISHRS. This will be a telling sign of how well a hair transplant clinic follows surgical and medical guidelines.
  • Make sure the chair transplant center offers a free consultation session to diagnose and evaluate the underlying cause of hair loss.
  • The cause of hair loss will help you choose the appropriate hair transplant technique accordingly.
  • Check if the surgeons are government certified and have ample experience in the field of hair transplant.
  • Before and after pictures are the most accurate indicators of the skill and caliber of the hair transplant surgeons.
  • It’s crucial to check the catalog of before and after pictures prior to entrusting a hair transplant center.
  • Check the reputation of the hair transplant center by reading reviews from previous patients on google.
  • Google star ratings can be a measure of the true quality of the hair transplant center of choice.
  • Since hair transplant surgery results are not instantaneous, the hair transplant center of choice should provide follow up services to track the recovery of its patients until the end.
  • It is safer to operate in hair transplant centers that charge costs within the average, often very low prices indicate low standards and unqualified surgeons.
  • Make sure that only qualified surgeons perform hair transplant surgeries and not hair transplant technicians.
  • Finally, ensure the hair transplant procedure will take place in an operation theatre.

4- Preparing For Hair Transplant Surgery

Precautions And Instructions To Follow 1-2 Weeks Before A Hair Transplant Surgery

  • Abandon the use of blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs a fortnight before the surgery.
  • Do not consume vitamin supplements 14 days before surgery.
  • Cease smoking and alcohol consumption a week before surgery as they can alter healing time.
  • We recommend massaging the scalp for 10-30 minutes per day to improve blood circulation in the area a week prior to the surgery  [14] [15].

Precautions To Consider 24 Hours Before A Hair transplant Surgery

  • Wash hair thoroughly using regular hair shampoo.
  • Patients are not to go for a haircut.
  • Resting before the surgery and getting adequate sleep is advisable [14] [15].

Preparations To Take On The Day Of The Hair Transplant Surgery

  • Have a light breakfast.
  • Avoid consumption of coffee or caffeinated beverages as they can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Do not apply hair products. Thoroughly clean the scalp.
  • Wear clothing items with wide collars to easily put them on before and after surgery to avoid irritating the scalp [14] [15].

5- Instructions For A Smooth Recovery From A Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair Transplant

 Instructions For The First Week After Hair Transplant Surgery

Immediately after a hair transplant surgery, patients will first notice the newly defined shape of their hairline. The area on the scalp might not look very appealing post hair transplant due to some Scabbing around the follicles and swelling.

But as a result of the micro size of the incisions, both the swelling and scabbing will heal rapidly. And diminish within a week after hair transplant surgery.

The Vera Clinic will provide you with aftercare instructions, which if you abide by; will reduce pain and swelling to a zero in the first week of a hair transplant procedure and ensure a smooth recovery. We expect patients to be competent and able to resume normal daily activity right after a hair transplant surgery [16] [17] [18].

Post Hair Transplant Instructions:
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, consuming caffeinated beverages, or using anti-inflammatory medicines for the first 7 days after a hair transplant surgery.
  • To reduce the risk of swelling after hair transplant, we recommend patients to sleep at an inclined angle of 45 degrees for a week after surgery.
  • Patients are to abstain from showering during the first 2 days after a hair transplant.
  • Keep showering to a minimum after the first 2 days of hair transplant. However, while showering; we advise patients to avoid applying pressure or using fingernails while washing the scalp.
  • Do not apply water directly to the scalp with force.
  • We recommend patients recovering from a hair transplant to gently pour water from a cup on the scalp to prevent damaging the implanted follicles.
  • Patients should request sterile saline spray to apply daily on the scalp using gauze for around 3-4 days after a hair transplant.
  • Cease the use of a blow drier or application of heat on the scalp.
  • Avoid direct sun rays for a week after hair transplant, we advise you to protect the scalp with a cap or a light cloth against the sun.

Instructions For The Second and Fourth Weeks After Hair Transplant Surgery

During the first two to four weeks after a hair transplant, hair shedding becomes noticeable. However, it should not be a cause for alarm to patients. This is, in fact, part of the hair transplant recovery. Patients need to remember that what is shedding is just the hair and not the unit. The unit is still entrenched in the scalp and thus viable to regenerate new hair [19].

  • During this period patients must continue protecting their scalp from direct sun rays.
  • It is safe for patients to have their hair trimmed or cut during this period [19].

6- Hair Growth Timeline And Results Of Hair Transplant

One – Three Months After Hair Transplant

As time progresses significant changes will be noticeable. Following a hair transplant surgery by 3 months, the scalp might become ridden with acne.

However, this should not be a cause for worry. The appearance of acne is most likely due to folliculitis as the hairs are growing in through the scalp than it is a symptom of inflammation.

This can be treated with oral or serum antibiotics or ointments that contain Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid. It is also preferable to run warm showers on the scalp during this period. Significant improvements should be noticed within a few days’ time [20] [21].

Four – Five Months After Hair Transplant

During the 4 to 5-month mark, patients will be able to judge the pattern of hair growth and predict the final results. Hair at this point might be growing out to be brittle or light in color. But as time progresses, the hairs will gradually start growing stronger and darker. By the 8th – 10th month, the hair will have reached their growth threshold.

After crossing the 12-month timeline, major transformations will come to a halt. Pattern and density of hair growth will have settled and the patient will be left with the final result.

Had the patient wisely picked an accredited clinic to operate at and followed their surgeon’s post-surgery instructions, the final appearance should be very natural; both appearance and behavior-wise. The transplanted hair can be treated fully like natural hair: washed, combed, trimmed or even dyed.

Recommended Complementary Treatments For Optimal Results

To achieve the full potential of the surgery, patients should strictly follow any instructions given to them by their surgeons. Aside from that, there are complementary treatments to hair transplant surgery offered in Turkey that accentuate the final results.

  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss as a complementary treatment can further stimulate and activate growth factors in the implanted grafts [13]
  • Shampoos or lotions containing Minoxidil can strengthen the implanted hairs [12].
  • Hair supplements are essential for the overall hair strength; deficiencies in vitamins that constitute building blocks for hair proteins will result in brittle damaged hair. Hair vitamin supplements are recommended to strengthen the hairs [22].

7- Risk Of Infections After Hair Transplant Surgery

Once a cut breaks the skin, due to surgical purposes or accidents, infections become a possibility. Risk of infections and open wounds, regardless of size, are mutually inclusive; where one exists the other will tail it. With that, hair transplant surgeries include extraction of follicles and opening channels on the scalp. Both of these provide a pathway for germs leaving the scalp susceptible to contamination.

According to statistics, only 1% of hair transplant patients suffer serious infection [33]. Although the risk is very small, infections patients should not regard the risks as insignificant for they can have serious effects on the results of surgery as well as the general health of the patient. Thereby, it is important to know how to eliminate this risk, learn its symptoms, and learn how to handle it.

Symptoms Of Infection After Hair Transplant Surgery

Patients often confuse symptoms of infections with healing signs after a hair transplant surgery. The best way to differentiate between the two is to understand that if healing signs do not alleviate within a week, and actually get worse, patients might be dealing with an infection.

Look out for bleeding, itching, swelling, redness, discomfort, or burning sensation in the scalp that persists and/or aggravates, in which case patients should seek professional help.

Instructions To Avoid Infections After Hair Transplant Surgery 

  • We advise patients to abstain from touching or scratching the donor regions and recipient site post hair transplant.
  • This reduces the risk of spreading contaminants to the wounds.
  • You should not pick on the scabs around the healing follicles.
  • We recommend that patients use the prescribed or recommended shampoo and lotion for the first 14 days after hair transplant.
  • Patients should strictly adhere to hair transplant aftercare instructions.
  • Practice hygiene regimens after hair transplant.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during the first week after a hair transplant. Smoking and alcohol slow down healing after hair transplant.

Wound Care After Hair Transplant

  • To care for your scalp after hair transplant, spray the saline solution on gauze and gently tap it around the scalp.
  • Repeat twice a day for 30 minutes during the first 3 days of hair transplant.
  • For the donor regions apply antibiotic ointments such as Polysporin, Bacitracin or Aquaphor twice per day to prevent infection.
  • You may also use the ointments above to reduce drying and crusting [35].

8- How To Alleviate Hair Transplant Recovery Symptoms

Bleeding In Hair Transplant

Spotting and mild bleeding can occur during the first few days after a hair transplant. The symptoms will progressively diminish within days as the wounds heal. You can attend to the bleeding by lightly applying pressure using sterile gauze on the bleeding area. It is important to note that vigorous rubbing of the scalp is harmful as it could dislocate hair roots [17]. If bleeding does not diminish within a week, kindly seek professional help.

Itching In Hair Transplant

Itching occurs when wounds are healing from a hair transplant. it is best to refrain from scratching the areas as there could be a possibility of dislocating grafts. Promoting wound healing by following aftercare instructions can eliminate itching sooner. Gentle washing of donor regions and recipient site after a hair transplant will hasten the process of shedding crusts. Patients can request antibacterial serums from their surgeons if the itching becomes unbearable [17].

Pain in Hair Transplant 

Your doctor will prescribe pain killers for you after a hair transplant surgery. Take the medications as your surgeon instructs. The medication alone should be sufficient in keeping discomfort and pain under control as you heal from a hair transplant[17].

9- Services For International Hair Transplant Patients In Turkey

Hair transplant clinics in Turkey are one of the most considerate toward international hair transplant patients in regard to their comfort. Most hair transplant hospitals provide an array of services that cater to the needs of international hair transplant patients. These often include warm greetings from the airport, accommodation in 5-star hotels, transportation to and from the clinic, all day long translation services, and occasionally a complimentary PRP therapy.

 

Planning A Hair Transplant Medical Tourism Trip To Turkey

Once a patient has made up their mind and decided to undergo a hair transplant surgery, next comes planning for the

Step 1: Free Hair Transplant Consultation

After wisely choosing a hair transplant center in Turkey, your next step should be to contact them. Schedule a free hair transplant consultation session with them. During this session, you will have to send recent pictures of your scalp, hair loss regions, and donor regions.

Hair transplant doctors and surgeons will evaluate the pictures to determine if you are eligible for a hair transplant. The decision relies heavily on whether your donor region can cover the balding scalp. You will also have to send a copy of a recent hair loss diagnosis test. Additionally, you will submit a report of a recent routine blood test. Please refer to the list of factors determining candidacy for hair transplant.

If you haven’t had a hair diagnostic test, request one from your local dermatologist. Even though international patients have the option of choosing to run hair loss diagnostic tests at the clinic of choice in Turkey, we do not recommend that.

For if the results deny the eligibility of the patient, none of the service fees will be covered. During this session, patients are to share their medical history and inform their doctor of any illnesses they suffer from.

Diagnosing Hair Loss Before Hair Transplant

A hair transplant does not treat all cases of alopecia. It is crucial for patients considering a hair transplant to identify the underlying cause of their hair loss.

Hair loss diagnosing methods
  1. Blood tests: Blood tests are important to determine if the cause of balding stems from an autoimmune disorder. Lupus or an overactive thyroid, irregular hormone levels, or vitamin deficiencies.
  2. Hair analysis: A dermatologist will examine a sample of your hair under a microscope. Hair analysis is important to assess the rate of hair loss, look for the presence of lice or fungus, and evaluate structural damage.
  3. Densitometry: Utilizes the use of a densitometer (a magnification device) to check for the occurrence of shrinking in hair follicles
  4. Scalp biopsy: A scalp biopsy works by removing a small tissue from the scalp using a micro sized punch. Your doctor then sends tissue to a lab for testing. This test is only necessary in very rare situations [34].

 

Step 2: Flight Arrangements

If it is clear that you’re eligible for a hair transplant, you’ll book an appointment for surgery. The date of hair transplant surgery will be in accordance with your schedule. Hair transplant centers in Turkey do not cover flight fees. Upon arrival,  a representative of the clinic and a driver will greet you from the airport. The accommodation and transportation (to and from the clinic) fees for 2 or 3 days will be on the hair transplant center of choice in most cases.

 

Step 3: In-Person Consultation (Day 1)

Upon their arrival in Turkey, a representative from the hair transplant center will greet you from the airport. In a luxurious car, a personal driver will take you to the hotel or directly to a hospital.  During the consultation session, the doctor will request to run blood screening tests and medically scan the scalp condition and donor hair density to confirm the patient’s candidacy. You will go through a method of treatment and the number of grafts you will need for this session.

Step 4: The Surgery (Day 1 or Day 2)

If you arrive in Turkey in the morning, you can directly begin surgery after the consultation session. If you arrive late, a consultation session may or may not be able to make it to consultation, but you will schedule the day after.

Step 5: Washing (Day 2 or Day 3)

The day after surgery, patients should visit the clinic for scalp washing. Nurses will begin by gently rinsing the scalp with warm water. Followed by applying a special solution to dilute blood clots to ease the process of rinsing the clots off. The nurses practice a protocol that does not inflict damage on the recipient site.

Recovery And Tourism In Turkey

Hair Transplant

Following the treatment, patients are free to either travel back home or spend a few days in one of the most beautiful countries. There is a range of activities that can you can do, monuments to visit, and food to try in Turkey. For that reason, it is fortunate that hair transplant surgeries have rapid recovery times and do not require hospitalization.

The following is a list of activities and places to visit in Turkey that we recommend to medical tourists recovering from hair transplant surgery:

Patients are not to forget to keep their scalps covered and remain hydrated.
  • Have a Bosphorus cruise: Having a cruise on the strait that divides Asia and Europe is a phenomenal experience that should not be missed.
  • Visit the Hagia Sophia: Famous for its beautiful architecture, the Hagia Sophia, originally built as a church and later turned to a mosque; is one of the biggest tourist attraction spots in Istanbul.
  • Visit Topkapi Palace: An ancient palace where sultans of the Ottoman empire used to reside
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts: with over 40,000 items on exhibition, this museum captures the essence of life during the 8th century to the 19th.
  • Grand Bazaar: Built 500 years ago, the grand bazaar consists of 5000 shops dispersed over 60 streets, all stocked with ethnic spices, Turkish delights, and antiques.
  • Galata Tower: This tower is ideal for enjoying a panoramic view of Istanbul.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Transplant

What Is The Duration Of A Hair Transplant Surgery?

Hair transplant surgery is a multi-step procedure with a total duration of 6-8 hours. The time range depends on the technique you opt for and the number of grafts you need. The longest steps are extraction and channel opening.

Both of which have a timeline of anywhere between 1-3 hours. The time varies depending on the number of follicular units. You will have a break in-between steps, where you can have a light meal and rest a bit.

The surgery takes one day. Next comes washing; this process occurs the day after. In general, the entire process takes 2 days.

Are Results Of A Hair Transplant Surgery Permanent?

Yes, the results of hair transplant surgery are permanent. The grafts come from safe donor regions that are genetically resistant to DHT. DHT is an androgen that triggers hair loss and destruction of the follicles causing baldness [23]. Hairs in regions of hair loss are not resistant to DHT and hence why they fall out. When transplanting DHT resistant follicular units from safe donor regions to bald regions, the follicular units do not lose their DHT-resistant properties and remain viable to re-generate hair growth [23] [24].

Does The Transplanted Hair Fall Out?

Around 3 weeks after surgery hair will begin to shed out. However, patients should note that it’s specifically the hair falling out and not the follicular unit. Meaning the unit responsible for regenerating hair growth is still intact. With that being said, hair loss during this period should not be a cause for concern, the follicular unit is still intact and will continue to grow hair [24].

How Many Grafts Do I Need?

The graft number needed depends entirely on the degree of baldness a patient is suffering from. The final word regarding the number of grafts needed belongs to the surgeons. However, the following table includes several classes of hair loss and the approximate graft number needed for every case.

Hair TransplantOver grafting will not yield natural-looking results, as the average hair density per cm square is between 60-85 follicular units [25].

Are The Scars After A Hair Transplant? 

Scarring is only visible if the patient opts for a FUT instead of an FUE hair transplant [26]. That is because, in FUT, the entire donor region is surgeons who have to surgically excise the skin and stitch the area. Whereas, in FUE, the follicular unit’s surgeons extract grafts individually using micro-sized punches. Later, the surgeon implants the grafts in incisions on the recipient site. The scarring in FUE is trivial and cannot be visible to the naked eye. However, if the patient is looking to fully eliminate scarring for an immaculate end result, sapphire FUE is the way to go.

Will I Feel Pain During And After A Hair Transplant Surgery?

No, there are two methods of injecting anesthesia. The first is via the traditional needle technique. In this case, you will only experience the initial sting before numbness spreads. The second technique is Needle-free injection (NFI). The NFI eliminates the pain factor completely. Directly after the surgery, and before the anesthetics wear off, you’ll take painkillers. Pain depends on the patient’s threshold, but generally, it is bearable. Your surgeon will also prescribe pain killers and instruct you on how to take them during the recovery.

When Can I Get Back To Work?

Patients can resume regular activity almost instantly after the surgery. We, however, recommend patients rest a few days before going back to work.

What Do I Need To Consider Before Getting A Hair Transplant In Turkey?

Do your research about the topic, knowledge is power, the more you know the less the risk of disappointment is. Choose clinics accredited by international medical associations and check the surgeon’s credibility. Read reviews of previous patients and always ask for before and after pictures.

Will Another Hair Transplant Surgery Be Necessary For The Future?

Unless you had your first surgery in a non-professional clinic by unskillful surgeons, you won’t need a second session. Patients should wait 12 months for optimal results to appear before considering a second surgery.

Another case where another hair transplant surgery might be needed is when a patient undergoes a hair transplant before the hair loss has stabilized. In cases like that, the transplanted hair does remain of course, but the original natural hair might continue to fall out creating bald regions that might need to be covered with another hair transplant surgery. It is for that reason we recommend that patients should wait for hair loss to halt.

Can Women Undergo Hair Transplant Surgery In Turkey?

Women can perform hair transplants using the same hair restoration techniques practiced for men. For women to be eligible for the surgery hair loss needs to not stem from an autoimmune disorder. A condition where the immune system is constantly attacking hair follicles. Women suffering from full androgenic baldness, alopecia universalis, alopecia totalis, and diffuse un-patterned alopecia are not eligible for hair transplant [5].

Can Patients Suffer From Hepatitis A Or Hepatitis E Undergo Hair Transplant Surgery In Turkey?

Seeing as both viruses don’t belong to the category of blood-borne pathogens, there is no problem performing the surgery [27] [28].

Is There An Age Limit On Who Can Undergo A Hair Transplant Surgery In Turkey?

Age is not a deciding factor in determining candidacy. It mostly depends on whether the pattern of baldness has stabilized and receding of hair has halted. It is advisable to wait until 23 years before considering a hair transplant surgery.

What Is The Difference Between The Number Of Grafts, Follicular Units, And Number Of Hairs? 

The medical definition of graft is any living tissue on the body that has been removed from its original place and translocated to another region on the body to substitute a damaged tissue [29]. In a hair transplant, surgeons extract follicular units from their original place in the donor region. Later, surgeons transplant the follicular units to areas of hair loss. Hence the terms follicular units and grafts are interchangeable. The number of follicular units often varies from the number of hairs, that is because a follicular unit can contain anywhere from 1 to 5 hairs [30].

 

 


 

References

 

1- https://dosyamerkez.saglik.gov.tr/Eklenti/3699,sashastaneingilizcesonbaskirevizepdf.pdf?0 

2- http://www.medicaltourisminturkey.org/docs/Day1S2RusenYildirim.pdf 

3- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5965333/ 

4- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5469375/ 

5- https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/women-hair-restoration 

6- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573125/ 

7- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4569105/ 

8- https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007205.htm 

9- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825128/ 

10- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956961/ 

11- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271754/ 

12- https://www.dermmatch.com/hair-loss-drugs 

13- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622412/ 

14- http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/hair-loss/hair-transplant/preparing.html 

15- https://www.dummies.com/health/dos-and-donts-before-hair-transplant-surgery/ 

16-  https://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-a-Hair-Transplant 

17- https://depts.washington.edu/skinsurg/documents/HairTransplantPostOp.pdf 

18- https://www.lybrate.com/topic/hair-transplant-do-s-don-ts-you-must-be-aware-of/fd2378cfdc632385fd5bf9d153af2139 

19- https://www.iahrs.org/q-a/is-it-possible-to-keep-a-shaved-head-military-cut-after-a-hair-transplant  

20- https://www.livestrong.com/article/314233-scalp-pimples-after-hair-transplant/ 

21- https://www.livestrong.com/article/72275-normal-hair-growth-rate/ 

22- https://www.docdroid.net/pML8iT6/supplements-to-promote-hair-growth-after-hair-transplant.pdf#page=2 

23- https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68082.php 

24- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278957/ 

25- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10417585 

26- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24470718 

27- http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-e 

28- http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-a 

29- https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3627 

30 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634176/ 

31- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825128/ 

32- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764754/ 

33- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212293/ 

34- https://www.health24.com/Medical/Hair-loss/Overview/hair-loss-diagnostics-and-tests-20160130

35 – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68082.php

5 Comments
  1. Mohamed Rabti says

    Utterly fabulous article

  2. Sara says

    This is interesting

  3. Ellise says

    How do I know if my mother is a suitable candidate for hair transplant.
    The top of he head is completely bald, and shiny ?

    1. chirality says

      Dear Elisse, please visit the following link: https://www.veraclinic.net/en/contact-us/ to book a free online consultation with a medical specialist, who will address your concerns and evaluate your mother’s scalp and eligibility.

  4. Tiegno Desoz says

    Who is performing hair transplant? Doctors or trichologist? Is a trichologist medically qualified to do a hair transplant operation?

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