Dr. Ekrem Civas Experience. 3,000 grafts to crown via FUE

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I am writing to share my Hair Transplant experience this past week with Dr. Ekrem Civas, based in Ankara, Turkey. 

A few stats to start:

• 42 years old
• Live in the United States – Northern Midwest
• Baldi

29 Answers

Thank you for the detailed write up and sharing your experience with our forum members. Please keep us updated and no doubt you will be happy, Dr Civas produces great work.

Dr Civas seems like a top bloke, the work looks clean and nice.

Are you taking meds? 

I will follow your case with interest. The work looks nice and clean and i am looking into Dr Civas in the future.

Cant wait to see this grown out. How is your donor looking mate?

I am writing to share my Hair Transplant experience this past week with Dr. Ekrem Civas, based in Ankara, Turkey. 

A few stats to start:

• 42 years old
• Live in the United States – Northern Midwest
• Balding past 10-years in the crown area – will post photos at a later date.
• Procedure: 3,000 grafts to crown & top of head 
• FUE Method

After consulting with several clinics in the US, I was disheartened by the astronomical costs I was quoted that ranged from $18K - $24K for 3,000 grafts via the FUE method. I decided on FUE because I like to wear my hair short - especially during the summer. Continuing my research brought me to investigate going to Turkey where many people had shared positive experiences and results from going there. Obviously it will take some time to see the final results of my procedure… but as I benefited from others sharing their experiences, I will pay it forward and share mine.

After deciding Turkey would be my only option, I began to research different facilities and I quickly decided on Dr. Ekrem Civas for several reasons. They were:

• Plenty of information and details on his website.
• Education and background – Dr. Civas has years of experience, is certified with reputable hair restoration organizations and is the ONLY doctor in Turkey recognized by the ISHRS. 
• He has written books, articles and has given speeches and lectures at International conferences – most recently the ISHRS Scientific meeting in Chicago, IL this past fall. 
• The information, answers to my questions and overall correspondence with his staff was always very thorough and prompt. 
• Found all positive feedback and experiences from people around the world on hair-loss forums who went to Dr. Civas.

I will say after my experience last week that my research and decision proved to be spot on. 

My Experience:

Flew out from Chicago O’Hare to Istanbul and later to Ankara, Turkey. Long trip but my experience with Turkish Airlines was excellent. Upon arriving in Ankara I was greeted by a driver holding a card with my name and drove ~30 min to a hotel located within a 5-minute walk of the clinic. Hotel was very nice - English speaking staff, Wi-Fi, good food and nice accommodations. Went to sleep that night and walked to the clinic at 8am the next morning and was greeted by Dr. Civas and his very friendly staff. He and I sat down in his office and discussed my goals, the procedure, expectations and what was about to happen. His staff buzzed my head, took pictures and I was brought into the procedure room for several hours of extraction from the back and sides of my head. Dr. Civas began by injecting local anesthetic into the donor areas they were about to work on. He kept asking if I felt pain and eventually I could not feel anything. He began the extraction (using a machine) himself of several hundred hairs to get a sense of density and what my donor area would provide (happy to report I have a very good donor area and dense hair). After a short time he handed the extraction job over to his staff of three technicians who have been working with him for 10+ years. They were very friendly and spoke little English… but enough words to ask me if I was comfortable, did I feel pain, to please move my head as needed, etc. They worked on me for maybe 3 hours or so – my body lying on one side, moved to facing down and finishing facing the other side. Dr. Civas kept coming in to check on things and asking me how I was feeling, asking if I needed anything, did I need to use the bathroom, etc. After the extraction they put a bandage around my head. He led me into a kitchen where lunch was waiting (very good food) and I ate for about 20 mins or so. 

Following lunch I was brought back in for the second part of placing the removed hair into my crown/top of head. More anesthesia followed. Dr. Civas then did what I can only describe as “designing” and creating holes where the new grafts would go. With the crown especially, the “design” portion is very important to make sure it flows naturally from your swirl and flows correctly (there is plenty of info online about this). This took him a bit and he seemed to be really working hard to make sure it was done correctly. The technicians then returned and began the graft insertion portion of the procedure. For this I was on my back with my head propped up in something similar to one of those pillows people wear around their neck on airplanes. Two of the technicians worked on my head the entire time (third was in the background – not sure what she was doing). I actually fell asleep for a good portion of this and again – Dr. Civas coming in periodically to inspect, consult with the techs and ask how I was doing. After about 4-hours we were getting close to the end and I started to feel some pain in a particular area she was working and let her know that. Within 30 seconds Dr. Civas was in the room and began injecting additional anesthesia into that area. All was fine again. A little while later they had finished and sat me up, cut off the original donor bandage and put on a fresh one. Afterwards I went in and sat with Dr. Civas for about 30 mins to discuss how the procedure went, what to expect and more importantly – exactly what I needed to do post care. They called me a cab to bring me back to the hotel and had ordered dinner that was delivered to my room.

The next day I was to return at 4pm – so I took a cab in the morning to a local mall to walk around and do some shopping. Later I came back to the hotel, walked around a little bit to take in the local happenings and experience a little of the culture. Note – wish I would have booked a few days before or after to visit museums… but I couldn’t with my schedule back home. I arrived back at the clinic at 4pm, they took off my bandage washed my head and again reviewed post-op care. I sat with Dr. Civas again for a while and talked about several different subjects (his medical practice, what I did for work, children, current political events). Again they ordered me room service at the hotel. At 7am the next morning I was driven back to Ankara airport – flight to Istanbul followed by the flight back to Chicago. 

A few things to summarize:

• I felt no real pain at all the entire time. Anesthesia needles pinched a bit at first. Donor area up until day 5 was a little uncomfortable … more of a stinging sensation. Especially when I wore a hat on the plane and at home that rubbed against that area. 
• Total grafts were 3,000 that broke down into approximately: 2,000 3 & 4 hairs, 700 double hairs and 300 singles. 
• This was my first time in Turkey and felt 100% safe at all times. I was also completely comfortable at the hotel and especially with Dr. Civas and his staff.
• Dr. Civas is a true professional that takes pride in his work and goes out of his way to explain, make sure I was comfortable and to ensure my procedure went well.

Hope this summary has helped if you are considering a HT. The cost (on his website) was a fraction of what it would have been in the US and I believe his FUE technique is as good as anyone. Only time will tell. I will post pictures in the future – right now I look like everyone else – holes in the donor area and scabs in the recipient area. Everything is healing nicely though. I look forward to posting results in the future and will answer questions if anyone has any. Again, my thanks to Dr. Civas and his staff for a great experience. 


Updated pictures exactly one month after procedure.

Donor area has healed nicely and no longer noticeable. Aloe Vera seemed to work well to aid in comfort and reduce redness.

Recipient area is mostly bald with stubble to the touch. Right now it just looks like my original bald spot is much bigger. :)  Using Minoxidil 2x per day along with Coconut oil after I shower.

Pics attached... will update again in a month.

To answer a couple of questions above:

- No, I am not taking any medication other than Minoxidil and Biotin.  I tried Propecia years ago and although it works to stop hairloss... other, much more important things STOP working (if you know what I mean...).  Wasn't worth it. 

- Donor area wasn't too bad although it did give me some occassional discomfort for probably 3-weeks after the procedure.  Redness and irritation were helped with Aloe Vera. 

Matt thank you for keeping the forum updated, you seem on track and nice to hear the donor area as healed well. Keep the updates coming and happy growing :)

Donor area looks great pal. I look forward to watching this case grow.

To say you travelled from the US to Turkey, you must of researched well. What made you pick this clinic in the end? 

Alot of coverage to cover, i look forward to watching this case. Shame about the propecia.

Looks on track bro, how is the donor looking? What made you pick this clinic?

Crown usually takes the longest to grow in (the black hole) Keep us updated mate, im interested in this clinic. Good luck!

Thank you for keeping the forum updated, things are starting to take shape and the full should begin :) Please keep us updated and happy growing.

Well - just short of three months - but hair continuing to grow back in in areas I had it before.  Bald spot definitely seeing some start-up hairs coming in. Still using Rogaine daily and Coconut oil to minimize irritation.  Some in-grown hairs and pimples spring up on occasion but medicine clears them out very quickly. Cautiously optimistic!  

Hello all... posting my 4-month post op update.  Starting to see growth!  I know the crown takes a while and supposedly I'm seeing 20-30% at this point.  

The growth has started mate :)

Thank you for keeping the forum updated. Growth in the crown at 4 months is a great start. I look forward to following your progress.

Big hole to fill, looks like the growth has started.

Well... 6-months in. Very happy with the growth on top and still some more to go on the back of the crown. 

A lot of people are starting to comment. This is the longest I've had my hair in YEARS!

VERY HAPPY with my decision to do this with Dr. Civas. Will continue to update!

Thank you for the update, looking great for 6 months. Please keep the forum updated.

Mate, this is looking great for 6 months.

You should be happy, its looking great and you are only half way there!

Apologize for taking so long to post... to be honest, I rarely think about my hair anymore!!! 

Dr. Civas did a fantastic job and I couldn't be happier! Check out the picks below! Months 6-9 really showed thickening and additional hairs coming in. 

Haven't had my hair this long in over 10 years. If you're thinking about doing it... go do it! Everything happened just as Dr. Civas said it would. Very glad I chose him and his clinic!

Thank you for the update, the growth looks fantastic.

It is great to be here you can get plenty of useful information about hair loss treatment by qualified and specialized sugeon ..