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Dr Bicer - 3910 Graft FUE June 2021 - V conservative hairline + Top/Crown

urbanite88

urbanite88

member
Against the odds with all the travel restrictions, I was intent on this mission to end what feels likes years of indecision.

Warning, if this is too long please feel free to skip to pictures if you just wanna see the results. Even if this helps one person get a better glimpse of surgery with Dr Bicer, I will be glad to play my part in sharing. I wrote much of this along the way, which I have a habit of doing ( I used to travel blog )
:)


After a stressful uncertain journey, I arrived in Istanbul the afternoon before and went straight for pre surgery consultation after landing that evening.
(I didn't opt for the clinics "VIP" support package, where they take care of accommodation for 2 nights and transfers for you. I was staying 5 nights. So just booked the Sheraton myself and got a taxi there.)

Consultation day before

When I arrived for the consultation, I was welcomed at the door by Dr Bicer herself. After a quick greeting, we sat down and I was given a whole bunch of forms to sign. There were over 15 pages to sign and it took a while to read through them.

Meanwhile they were just finishing up with the patient that day, a Brazilian guy here for his second HT. I met him afterwards and we had a nice chat and he seemed happy. The first thing he said to me was "you look good you don't need a HT!" All subjective I guess? He talked about his prior experience having a HT in Germany and that he found this much more pleasant. He was kind enough to let me inspect his crown close up, and I was impressed with that I saw.

I was slightly miffed however by the content of the pile of paperwork on my lap. Suggesting certain information was explained/relayed to me, when in fact they were not. Things like the prep leading up to surgery and what to do/not to do etc. Maybe this wasn't sent because there was doubt I would make it? I kept Ozen informed about the UK travel restrictions. I just don't know. Ozen was always available and answered any questions promptly, just perhaps not proactive with certain things. I got the distinct feeling she was juggling a lot of different patients. For any other place, I think this may have been a problem, especially for someone like me with a nervous disposition but I kept reminding myself the reasons I was keen on this clinic and it was all down to the wonderful feedback/results and experiences you guys have all shared on this space. I informed Dr Bicer I just took some painkillers a few days ago after my first covid vaccine, other than that I had a couple of drinks 4 nights before (they advise not to drink the 15 days prior surgery!) Sigh. Then Dr explained this won't be too much of a problem. Blood thinners are the main concern I believe, but that I already knew because I was sent some pre-op instructions by another clinic back in April.

After the Brazilian guy left, we finally sat down and discussed the plan. Dr Bicer had a quick physical assessment of my donor area (note there was no tech or tools like a Trichoscan that some clinics use) she noted my donor area was OK and we could proceed with the 3800 session.
We then discussed how we use that and the density we could aim for. Knowing perhaps she may be used to doing high density hairlines, I suggested I would be happy with a moderate coverage of 45-50 FUcm2 in hairline. In the interest of speed I drew up a planned diagram in the plane to illustrate the split of grafts. She stated we may not have enough to do 1000 grafts in my crown but she would try for around 700. This seemed agreeable as I was happy to have light coverage in crown for the first session. We left it there and I was told to come in around 8.30am-9 in the morning.

I walked back to the hotel comfortable enough to put my trust in Dr Bicer's hands. I had such a positive feeling.

Surgery day

In the morning of the surgery I woke up early and made my way there for 9am . This time I was met by Ozen. There was a shoe bag outside to wrap my feet in while I entered. We discussed the final bits of paperwork including handwriting a statement saying I was making an informed decisions etc etc

Ozen then went through the aftercare package and the instructions for the medications/shampoo/washing etc (again this would have been much more helpful to be sent in writing)

There were quite a hive of activity in the clinic at that point with several members of staff in motion and phones ringing etc. This is the point where some nerves were really started to kick in. I don't know if its because they were all talking in a language you don't understand, but its worth bearing in mind when you go to a foreign country.

We then sorted out the payments and I taken to the photo room to have my before pre-op photos taken.



Pre-op donor area photo.jpgPre-op scalp before hair shave.jpg

Then Dr Bicer came in to do a few measurements and start drawing the hairline. She checked in with me to make sure I was happy. We had a couple of attempts but I was ok with what I was shown. Essentially a very conservative hair line going from where my front tuff already was and building back a little of the sides. There was no real focus on the temples as I suppose I would just not have enough grafts to play with for this session. She spent more than half hour drawing on my head and I can already tell, this isn't just a robotic operation, she loves what she does and wants to make sure the hairline suits my face.

Then it was time to shave off my head and while a blood sample was taken.. at the point I was getting rather tense and requested some sedatives.

After my head was shaved, the head markings were re-drawn again but I no longer kept track of where that was anymore. Time to go up to the surgery room, it was already past 10.30am! My arm was bleeding a fair bit as I was told to keep pressing into it.

Surgery Room

The surgery room itself is fairly small but adequate. The whole place looked very clean as you would expect. I was introduced to the two technicians and the third assistant, who will mostly be helping the other two. After changing into the gown in a separate changing room/bathroom for the patient. I laid down on the surgery chair noting it to be rather comfortable.

Dr Bicer showed me the micromotor and then the local anaesthetic began. The anaesthetic involved individual pricks (like the ones you do for finger prick blood tests) the two assistants helped with that as there was about at least 25 of that, I lost count. The back of my head became numb quite rapidly, and they checked it was so.

Finally Dr Bicer started the extractions.

After a while the 2 technicians took over with the rest of the extractions. I was periodically checked on to make sure I was ok and with pain etc including having my blood pressure check etc. I even managed to fall asleep for a abit and woke up when Dr bicer was ready for incisions. I then really felt the new local anaesthetic in the recipient area and I must have dozed off again.

The one thing I wasn't quite clear on was why I had a needle plugged into my wrist, which was quite uncomfortable at times. But I don't remember this being explain to me, initially. Later when I asked I got the answer.

The incisions were all finished about about 3.15 pm and then I was had a short break to eat lunch which was ordered and prepared for me in next room. Then suddenly there was celebrations in the kitchen.. it was one of the other assistants birthday and we had a lovely slice of a very velvety cake. This one seems to be a signature treat for all Bicer HTs?
:D


Then back to the surgery room and the implanting began. During the first half of implanting I felt quite relaxed and dosed off a couple more times. Dr Bicer periodically came back to the room asking me if I was OK. Throughout the whole implantation, they sprayed my whole head with lots of what I guess was a saline spray? Later, there were times I could really feel them pushing the grafts in. This one went on for abit.. and then I suddenly starting to feel some pain at the front of the head.. I asked to have more anaesthetic without really being aware of how far along they really were.. as it turned out they were almost finished.

Suddenly everyone was up and moving about... I was done! It was now fully dark out ..it had just turned 9pm. Almost 11 hours in the operating room!

The assistants held me as I got up slowly. And there was Dr Bicer with a smile that radiated right back at me. The first thing she said was how pleased she was. As we slowly walked back to her office she says she reckons I won't even need a second session now.

Those words were like music to my ears! I was over the moon. She asked me how I felt about the whole process and that she would like me to write a review online when I can etc. Dr Bicer advised I could sleep on my side with the travel pillow provided.

At this point everyone seemed to have disappeared from the clinic, and soon we walked out the clinic together.

Surgery Evening

As I got back to the Sheraton next door, I had the biggest smile inside and out. The relief that I'd finally done this and it's gone well.

I called my brother and a friend to tell them all about the day. Then had a quick dinner in the room and settled in for the night. And only then realised they did not take any post op photos?! So I am attaching my own

Post-op night.jpg

Post-op better lighting.jpg




I then noticed some bleeding and promptly messaged Ozen who asked me to call Dr Bicer. She informed that was nothing to worry about.

It took a while for me to calm down after that, as I was worried the blood was gonna drip all over the lovely bed but I eventually managed to get a few hours of sleep.


Day After Surgery

The next morning I woke up feeling totally fine other than a bit of soreness. I contacted Ozen to check what time I should go back to the clinic to have the bandage removed.

Later that afternoon I went back to an almost empty clinic, both Ozen and Dr Bicer were off on holiday and one of the assistants took out my bandage and gave me a head band and a hat to wear. More on this and the aftercare later.


Day after opp, recipient area.jpg

Morning after donar area after bandage removal.jpg

Day after donar area swelling, face was worse!.jpg





Only time will tell how this turn out for me and whether or not this was the best choice, as there were many paths I could have gone with. I am very thankful for Dr Bicer and Ozen, for the care with which they carried out the op, I always felt like I was in good hands, and it was obvious this wasn't just about the money for them.

On a side note, I was a little worried about posting this because I do not want to encourage anyone to travel against their governments advice. My regular travel insurance would not cover this so I had to get special insurance for high risk travel that normally Journalists would get when they report from war zones!
To add to that, my return flight back to UK got cancelled, as no airline is currently allowed to fly passengers directly from Turkey to UK. So I've had quite abit of run-around and still, even when I eventually do fly home, I won't be able to go to my home but rather a government quarantine hotel for 10 days until they deem me to be in the clear from covid. Unless you thrive in those kind of stressful situations or the thought of being locked up in a hotel room for 10 days and paying an extra 2000 pounds for the privilege, this is really not the time to travel.


I will follow up with my day 2-10 progress shortly.
 
Kevboy

Kevboy

Valued member
How lucky was that finding Dr Bicer and managing to get a surgery book and go there. Good for you mate.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Urbanite, good to hear you made it across and got your HT.
The 45-50 grafts per cm2 should provide a natural looking hairline. Everything sounds like the surgery went well.
How is the healing as you’ll be around 7 days post op now? Are you back in the UK quarantining?
 
urbanite88

urbanite88

member
Hi Urbanite, good to hear you made it across and got your HT.
The 45-50 grafts per cm2 should provide a natural looking hairline. Everything sounds like the surgery went well.
How is the healing as you’ll be around 7 days post op now? Are you back in the UK quarantining?
Think the healing has been going ok so far. Just posting an update now. Yes I had to quarantine on my return to London :/
 
urbanite88

urbanite88

member
First 12 days update

Day 2-4 I swelled up all over face and even the back of my head. Not a great sight! Thankfully it eased quickly after.

Day 3.jpg


Donor area was looking okay I think?

Day 5 right donar.jpg


Day 5 right side donar.jpg


Had abit of running around, due to travel plans up in the air. Was initially meant to be in Istanbul for 5 nights. Since I could only return home via a third country, I was exploring leaving IST sooner.

Running around a hot and traffic congested city was not fun. I was stuck in a 50 min taxi ride on route to hospital to get a PCR test (Ozen helped me arrange that in the Asian side of the city, they charged me 250 lira). I was sweating like crazy in the taxi which had no aircon. Even walking on the hunt for a restaurant got me all sweaty. I was worried what effect that would have on my HT. Especially because I wasn't due to my first wash until the 3rd day (4th because HT day is day 0?)

Right after the HT Dr Bicer stated Ozen would send me a video instruction when it was time for my first wash. Day 4 came and went by. When it dawned on me on day 5, I reached out to Ozen to get the video instructions. I will reserve any judgement for now.

First wash was very strange, almost like trying to clean a doormat with your finger tips! Despite the video, I had no idea how much pressure to apply. Scared I could dislodge grafts, I pretty much just ended up gently patting the shampoo provided and rinsing with super low pressure in shower head. This is what it looked like after the second wash...

Day 6 after second wash.jpg



Day 5 was also the day when I really started to feel donor area pain. It was interesting that it also coincided with some of the medications provided being finished that day? I wondering if one of the medication I was also a painkiller?

I slept worst in day 5-8 due to donor area pain. I would sporadically get this weird sensation of needles in my head. Think my nerves were springing back to life? Also it just all felt so tight, which probably made it all the much worse.

I would dread to think what an FUT would feel like for me.

I got in touch with Dr Bicer during this, and asked for me to send more photo updates and then advised me to start massaging the scalp. Again I was never really clear on how best to massage my donar. It was still tender and painful to touch. But then I found a YouTube video which really helped me, on how to actually massage. By day 10, it seemed much more manageable and I was able to sleep through most the night without waking up finally.

Though the scabs were falling off gradually (some hairs were also coming off with them) they were still stubborn. On 12 day, I was about 90% scab free.


Day 12 recepient area.jpg
Day 12 left donar region.jpg


Donar day 11.jpg


Can't seem to correct this last image of donar area..
 

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FutureModel

member
I'm at day 9 of surgery. When should I start massaging my scalp?
 
urbanite88

urbanite88

member
I'm at day 9 of surgery. When should I start massaging my scalp?
You should check with your surgeon. I only started massaging my donor area after day 5. Recipient area I've tried to minimize touching at all.. its sometimes itchy but I've been taking antihistamine which helps a little
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
It was unfortunate you never received the post op wash instructions on time. It can be a worry but you seemed to have managed. Your healing looks to be on track. The donor looks like you might have some shock loss.
Are you using Finasteride?
 
urbanite88

urbanite88

member
It was unfortunate you never received the post op wash instructions on time. It can be a worry but you seemed to have managed. Your healing looks to be on track. The donor looks like you might have some shock loss.
Are you using Finasteride?

I was thinking about that, hopefully if that is the case it recovers fast. Yes I have been taking finasteride for a number of years now. I have now ordered topical finasteride/minoxidil combined (new product I believe?) Will see if that helps regrowth
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
Interesting write up thanks for sharing with us on here dude. I completely understand your determination to get this done and end the hairloss hell we have to deal with prior to our HT's......good for you dude!

Please keep us in the loop.
 
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