Since several years, lots of italians decide to undergo an hair transplant in Turkey. It is a trend not only in Italy, but all around the world. In fact, Turkey is the county in which hair transplant surgeries are performed the most, around 5.000 every month, according to recents estimates.

The number of clinics that offer hair transplants in Turkey is constantly rising, just like the number of demands. But which are the reasons of this trend? For sure, hair translpant in Turkey is attractive under the economical point of view. Since the living cost in Turkey is low, the clinics can offer very competitive prices.

Travel agencies and tour operator offer complete packets that include flight, overnight accomodation, food, tranfer, translation from and toward turkish, blood work, transplant, visits and medical insurance. The prices can vary a lot depending on the clinic. The average is from 1.000 euros to 15.000 euros, for the mega sessions. This phenomenon is called “medical tourism”.

  1. Hair transplant in Turkey and medical tourism

For centuries, men have been travelling all over the world looking for efficient solutions for their health issues. Hair transplant in Turkey, such as the medical tourism in general, represent the modern version of this ancient phenomenon. Every year, around 15 millions of people travel to reach specialized structures to solve discomforts and beauty problems.

Some of the principal destinations are Thailand, India, Malaysia and Singapore. In addition to these, there is Turkey. It is an extremely developed and innovative market. Turkey follows the strictest health rules and often overcomes the quality standards of the other european countries, obtaining excellent aesthetic results.

The sectors in which the phenomenon of medical tourism is more spread are:

  • Ophthalmology;
  • Cosmetic surgery;
  • Dentistry;
  • Tricology;
  • Cardiology;
  • IVF;
  • Cures and therapies for the treatment of tumours;

The sector of hair restoration, alongside the one of cosmetic surgery and laser surgery for myopia, sees Turkey as the country with the highest levels of quality and competence.

But how to choose the right professional for an hair transplant in Turkey? First of all it is opportune to understand how surgery takes place and how much the chosen techniques and the instruments matter

  1. How does an hair transplant work?

Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that consists in the removal of follicular units from the bushy area of the scalp, called donor area, and in their insertion into the hairless areas of the scalp, the recipient area. In Turkey the treatment is almost exclusively performed with the FUE technique.

The follicular units (FU) are composed of little  groups of hair. Every FU is composed of 1 to 5 hair, sebaceous glands and erector mucles of the hair.

Nowadays, the transplant is the only surgical solution to a very common condition, called androgenetic alopecia, better know as common baldness.

The androgenetic hair loss in men affects the temporal area and the vertex. From there, it gradually expands. The only area that in the end will not be hairless is a strip of hair in the occipital area and at the sides of the scalp. It is from here that will be possible to extract the FU needed to cover the bald areas.

  1. FUE technology, a less invasive extraction of the follicles

The now available techniques on the market were born during the 1950’s. At the beginning, the results obtained by the surgeons were not very good and did not look natural. Through the years, the prodedures got better and better and improved in reducing the dimensions of the donor area and in achieving better results in the recepient one.

The technological advancement has interested the transplant and the instruments. Thanks to it, it has been possible to develop the FUE technique, the most used one in Turkey by now.

The extraction tecnhique FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), also know as “strip”, consists in the remouval of a lozenge of skin in the donor area. From that portion of skin the single follicular units will be extracted.

After that, the units will be cleaned and grafted into some incisions previuolsy prepared on the scalp.

This method leaves an elongated scar in the occipital area of the scalp.

Turkey is not recognised for this kind of method. Turkish surgeons mostly use the FUE technique.

With the FUE technique the sigle follicular units are extracted from the scalp with a special instrument called punch. The other phases of the transplant are just the same as those with the Strip method.

To choose the right dimension of the punch is a foundamental step in order to avoid damages in the donor area.

In this case the scars will be very small and circular. This feature is considered one of the biggest advantages of the technique. In general, when we talk about hair transplant in Turkey we refer to the FUE.

At the same time, it is opportune to underline that the FU extracted with the FUE method are more fragile since there is less protective tissue around the follicles.

All these elements must be carefully analysed. The choice of the clinic is the first and most important step for those who decide to undergo the surgery.

  1. The importance to choose the right clinic in Turkey

As we were saying, the prices offered by turkish clinics can be much lower than those offered by european or american clinics, such as the renowned clinics in Belgium and Canada.

For sure it is important to remember that an hair transplant represents a real surgery and so it is necessary to count on a well trained equipe in a safe and licensed clinic. Since the demand is high, it may happen that not well structured clinics appear.

However, the consumer has a super powerfull instrument: the internet. Forum and blogs are a rich, easy to access and safe source of information. There, anybody could find the answers to his questions, could see pictures and videos of the transplant, could read reports and get to know the experience of other patients.

  1. How to choose the right turkish clinic?

Some of the elements to take into account in order to choose the right clinic are:

  • The clinic: it is essential that the chosen clinic follows the strictest health and hygiene rules in order to respect the health of the patient and to obtain a good looking result. It is essential to turn to accredited clinics, where a prepared team could carry the operation without damaging the patient;
  • The technologies employed: the world of hair restoration keeps on developing. It is opportune to turn to always updated specialists who use the newest technologies available.
  • Photographic records: the results of the clinic have to be available to the clients. Updated reports are an essential instrument for the patient to choose well.
  • Price: the price of an hair transplant surgery can vary a lot from country to country and also inside the same country. A wide-ranging resource allows the patient to choose the clinic who offers the best price performance.
  1. Bellicapelli Forum, a benchmark for hair transplant

Among the best known platforms, recognised by the users and by surgeons from Turkey and from all over the world, we remember here Bellicapelli Forum.

Founded by BOLA, who had undergone several failed hair transplantations and then a reapir operation that took care of the problem, the forum represents a tool for guidance for the new customer who has to choose the right clinic and the right doctor.

The forum is linked to the bellicapelliforum.com database, where a lot of cases of hair transplant surgery are collected and that keeps on getting updated.

  1. Turkish surgeons on Bellicapelli

Some of the greatest members of the hair restoration world based in Turkey are active on Bellicapelli forum. Report of the customers, photos and videos provide an always updated overview of their surgeries.

We remember:

  • Koray Erdogan – Instanbul
  • Serkan Aygin – Istanbul
  • Tayfun Oguzoglu – Istanbul
  • Emrah Cinik – Istanbul
  • Hairline Clinic Ankara – Ankara
  • Levant Acar – Istanbul
  • Resul Yaman – Istanbul
  • Kaan Pekiner – Ankara
  • Zekerya Kul – Istanbul

Here below a brief description of the surgeons and of their activities.

Dr. Koray Erdogan – Istanbul

Graduated in medicine at the university of Ankara and specialised in thoracic surgery at the university of Instanbul, dr. Koray approached baldeness surgery in 2001 and, after an initial phase in which he offered strip surgeries, he specialized in Follicular Unit Extraction and become one of the most experienced and renowned doctors in the field. He also developed his own extraction method, called “DES”, in which the incision and the extraction of the follicular units take place in a very fast sequence. The aim is to reduce the risk of transection (the damage of the follicular units). Dr. Koray is on Bellicapelli Forum since 2005 and is worldwide recognised for his megasessions. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2Hcwnt1

Dr. Serkan Aygin – Istanbul

After the gradutation in medicine and the specialization in pharmacology and dermatology, dr. Serkan Aygin approached the world of hair transplantation focusing on the FUE method. His clinic performs more than 15 transplants every day employing a tool called Trillix, that allows to speed up the extraction phase and the phase of distance of the cells from the body. Dr. Aygin performs BHT (Body Hair Transplant) too. In 2015 his clinic has been the lead of a television service shot by “Le Iene”. During the same year he started to collaborate with Bellicapelli Forum. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2JANgvW

Dr. Tayfun Oguzoglu – Istanbul

Dr. Oguzoglu is a member of the ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and of the ABHRS (American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery). His clinic, founded in 1996, represents one of the first specialised in hair surgery centres in Turkey. The 20-years experience of the dr. Oguzoglu allowed him to become a trainer on a global level. Thanks to his techniques he is able to perform megasessions with excellent results. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2GKSZS1

Dr. Emrah Cinik – Istanbul

Specialised in cosmetic surgery, dr. Cinik has more than 11 years of experience in the field. He has been a member of the ISHRS since 2015 and of the ECAM (European College of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery). Between 2008 and 2011 he has directed the department of aesthetical medicine at the Medical Park International of Istanbul. His clinic follows the strictest quality and efficiency rules. Among the offered techniques we remember: FUE, BHT, eyebrows and beard transplant etc. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2Jv3arr

Hairline Clinic Ankara – Ankara

Founded by Dr. Ozgur Oztan, Hairline Clinic is specialised in FUE and BHT transplants. All the phases of the surgery are performed by specialised surgeons. BHT for sure represents the characteristic line of the clinic, that boast a collaboration with dr. John Cole. For futher information about Hairline Clinic Ankara: https://bit.ly/2IDEj3G

Dr. Levant Acar – Istanbul

Dr. Acar founded his specialised clinic, Clinica Cosmedica, in 2007. He is specialised in the FUE extraction technique and obtained, by the JCI (Joint Commission International), the “gold medal” for his high levels of health assistance. In 2011 he began his collaboration with the italo-spanish society Microfue. Clinica Cosmedica is recognised at a global level because of its surgical standards. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2GMfINx

Dr. Resul Yaman – Istanbul

During his degree course in medicine at the university of Istanbul, Dr. Yaman has begun to suffer of baldness and approached the world of hair restoration. He uses a micro-tool to perform FUE extraction. This way, the follicular units will stay the shortest time possible away from the body. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2IHXaKC

Dr. Kaan Pekiner – Ankara

Thanks to his long experience with the FUE technique, gained with his collaboration with the Hairline Clinic, Dr. Pekiner opened his own clinic in 2017. He is a member of the ISHRS and, during 2016, at the international congress of the society, he leaded a conference about the manual FUE. His technique is called “stick and place”. Right after making the incisions, the graft is grafted into the skin. This way, bleeding is reduced and the recipient area does to have time to shrink. For futher information about him: https://bit.ly/2JAy1To

Dr. Zekerya Kul – Istanbul

Plastic and reconstructive aesthetic surgeon, Dr. Kul collaborated with tha major specialists in France, Germany, Korea and USA. He performs hair tranplants in Instanbul and in Dubai in his specialised centres. Dr. Kul uses manual and motorised punches depending on the single case. For futher information about him: https://bellicapelli.forumfree.it/?t=73846025

  1. The virtual quotation and the booking of the surgery

After deciding the specialist to rely on, it is necessary to contact the italian representative or consultant of the clinic. He should answer to you in some days, asking for information and pictures in order to make a virtual quotation.

Normally, that is what you are going to be asked: age, history and familiarity with baldness, the related medical disgnosis and any underwent cure, availability to undergo cures in the future, expectations, priorities, allergies, illnesses, previous surgeries etc.

In addition to this, for a virtual consultation a main role is played by the pictures to send to the clinic. With the right pictures, taken with the right light, with an high definition and that frame different angles of the recipient and of the donor areas, the doctor will be albe to provide a pretty precise quotation, based on the number of hair (or, better, of grafts/bulbs) necessary for that specific situation. Of course, since it is a remote consultation, the number of grafts/bulbs expected will not be super precise, but it will be reasonably close to the final one.

Once found an agreement on the technical aspects, the consultant will indicate the possible dates on the calendar of the clinic and the booking will be concluded. Usually, in order to book, clinics require a down payment bank tranfer, the amount of which will depend on the politics of the clinic. For some doctors it is enough to see the booking of the plane, that in some cases is included in the surgery packet.

  1. The outward journey, advices and curiosities

Finally, we got to the highlight. About analysis and pre-surgery indications (such as the suspension of cenrtain drugs) you will obviously be properly instructed by the clinic. For the journey, our advice is to bring anything you may need for a short holiday. We also recommend to bring some snacks from home, since once underwent the surgery you will be hungry but you will not be strong enough or you will not want to go out and buy something. To say nothing of the prices of the minibars in the hotels! Another advice is to bring an adapter for the plugs with three poles. Even if the voltage and the type of plugs are perfeclty compatible, in Turkey the electrical outlets do not have the third hole in the middle (the so called “grounding”) that in Italy is present everywhere. So, some chargers and power cords for laptops may be impossible to charge without and adapter.

 

NOT usable plug in Turkey:

 

Usable plug:

 

 

Turkish electrical outlet:

 

 

The adaptor has to present a triple entrance and has to end with a double:

 

 

One last usefull advice, if the clinic does not supply them, is to bring an hat and a pillow in a U shape, to cover and protect the recipient area and to sleep without leaning on the donor area during the return journey.

The hat has to be 100% cotton, wide and comfortable on the head. The U pillow is the typical travel pillow that supports the neck under the nape.

  1. The surgery and the return journey

Once in Turkey, you will be in the hands of the clinic staff, so there are no particular advices or indications for this period, since you will be guided and accompanied in everything. Moreover, every doctor has his own specific protocol, pre and post surgery, so you will have to stick to it.

Remember that, while you will be in the clinic, you will have to remain for a long time in the same position, so do not choose uncomfortable postures for the fear to make the work of the doctor and of the equipe harder. For them nothing changes, but you could spare cramps and soreness.

During the phase of the grafting and of the incision, if you have a low pain threshold, ask for a lot of anesthesia. Remember that the anesthesia done in the recipient and in the frontal areas will come down on the nose and on the eyes in the days after the surgery, so you will look like boxer. It is a simple trade-off: the more you ask for anesthesia, the more swollen you will be in the following days.

During the return journey, pay attention to the hits in the head. We know that everybody thinks that this is a easly avoidable possibility, but still it is important to be carefull, expecially when you are in an extraneous enviroment (hotel) or in crowded places (airport, station, plane). It is easy to lose balance and hit the overhead locker on the plane. Our advice is to always wear an hat with a rigid visor (remember that it has to be 100% cotton and wide) in order to protect your head from any unplanned hit.