You’ve made the booking, but what’s next? Many people aren’t aware of the hair transplant patient journey. Having an idea about it will not only help you be prepared for what’s to come, but it will also make you feel less stressed. There are three stages of the whole process:
- Before the trip
- During the trip
- After the trip
In recent years, Turkey has enjoyed such an influx of medical tourists that the economic boost has made it easier to travel for a procedure than ever before. The infrastructure has improved, too. So, more and more people choose to travel to Turkey for a hair transplant.
What To Do Before You Travel to Turkey
These are the things that you need to know about before you travel to Turkey for a hair transplant.
Online Consultation & Package Booking
When you first fill in the form on our website or get in touch via a call, our call centre team will set to work on finding you the best time for a consultation. They will ask you to provide images of your hair for your assigned consultant to determine the best course of action for your particular case.
If you do opt to undergo the procedure, you can secure your surgery package and enable us to begin planning your travel.
After agreeing to the procedure, you will be in touch with the Reservations Team who will set to work on putting together a travel package on your behalf.
They will compile your itinerary on your behalf, beginning with finding the best combinations of dates, prices and times for your flight. They will then check these options against your clinics and hotels to determine the best overall plan of action before allowing you to choose which works best for your situation. This ensures that you won’t need to go back and forth organising the travel yourself, taking the stress out of organising your procedure.
Many countries, including Turkey, will require travellers to obtain a visa to visit the country. Our reservations team can help you with the process by sending an invitation letter.
UK citizens and some Europeans travelling for medical tourism do not need one. The citizens of the Republic of Ireland need to apply for an e-visa. The application can be filled out online. The e-visa can be downloaded or printed out after it is approved. A visa is also not a substitute for a passport. Patients should check the Turkish government website well in advance of travelling.
The application will also ensure you have all the correct documentation for travelling to Turkey for a hair transplant. It is vital that those who are dual nationals register the passport they intend to use. If the passport shown does not match the visa, the visa and holder will be rejected.
Pack Up And Jet Off
You’re advised to stay in Turkey for about a week after your procedure, so you’ll need to pack accordingly. Keep an eye on the weather to determine what kind of clothes you need to bring, but typically, Istanbul sees average temperatures of around 20-30 °C in summer (April to October) and below zero to 24°C over winter (December to March). So, pack accordingly.
Also, make sure to keep loose-fitting clothing as you’d need to wear that on the day of the surgery and afterwards. Remember to have all your necessary documents with you like passport, consent forms, etc.
You will also need to follow the following instructions before the surgery takes place:
Smoking – Do not smoke 1 week before surgery and especially not on the day of the procedure because it causes the reduction of blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
Blood-thinners – Avoid the consumption of aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medications for at least a week before the procedure. Also, do not take any kind of medication or supplements (like vitamin B/E) the day before the procedure without consulting the performing surgeon.
Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol should be avoided for at least a week before and after the procedure. This is advised because alcohol thins the blood, which can lead to complications.
Eat As Advised – Preoperative instructions for eating will depend on the type of aesthetic being administered, type of procedure and individual patient case.
Medical conditions – The hair transplant team must be made aware of all medical conditions as early in the process as possible. It can affect a patient’s suitability and the success rate of a hair transplant procedure.
Haircut – You should not shave your head before coming in for your surgery. In fact, let it grow for 2 weeks before that. Your surgeon needs to assess the quality of your hair and distinctly mark the thinning/balding areas while your hair has some length to it.
Clothing – Wide necks and a minimal collar will reduce the risk of the transplant or donor area being harmed. Zip-ups or items with buttons are recommended for maximised patient comfort.
Transportation – The patient should make sure that they have proper transportation after the hair transplant in Turkey is over. If someone is there with the patient who can drive them to the hotel, it would be better. The anaesthesia given to relieve pain and help you relax during the surgery takes time to wear off and probably will not be worn off by the time the procedure is over.
When You Come to Turkey
Once you arrive, you will experience the following:
The day after your arrival, you will be met at the hospital by a patient host, who will act as your central point of call for each appointment throughout your stay in Turkey. The host will also act as a translator as you meet with your surgeon to clarify any unclear points.
First, you need to get registered at the clinic. This is required by the Turkish Ministry of Health. Next, a blood test is compulsory. It is done to check the patient for any infectious diseases. To ensure that it’s safe to perform the surgery on you, your blood pressure will also be checked.
Following that, you’ll have your consultation with the surgeon. Throughout the first meeting with your surgeon, they will examine you to determine if you’re healthy enough for the procedure, and you will be able to discuss your expectations in more detail to ensure that both you and your surgeon understand what you’ll see post-procedure. Here, the surgeon will also draw the hairline to show you how it will look after the surgery.
It’s better if you prepare a list of questions in advance, so you don’t miss out on anything. After that, your hair will get shaved. Before the surgery, you’ll also need to sign the treatment plan forms.
Procedures can take up to eight hours, depending on the size of the transplant area. You will be provided with a meal, and emergency staff will be on hand. Because of the nature of the procedure, your surgeon will advise you to rest a couple of days after the surgery.
As a hair transplant patient, you will only be required to attend two appointments – the initial appointment at the clinic or hospital and then a check-up appointment in the following days.
It is at this point that the surgeon will check over the grafts, make sure that everything is in order and run you through the aftercare instructions, including washing your scalp, and any further medication you may need, including lotions and shampoos to keep the implanted hairs in the best condition.
After Your Hair Transplant In Turkey
Following the procedure, there’s aftercare.
In the 12 months following the procedure, we remain on hand to ensure that the results of your transplant remain optimal as they settle and begin to grow. We can provide advice if there appear to be any issues. On your own, you need to make sure that you follow all the aftercare do’s and don’ts for the best results.
The first time for anything can be a bit nerve-racking. Keep in mind that you have to make bookings for the flight and get the visa on your own. Moreover, pack your things after checking the weather. During the stay, follow the pre-op instructions and make sure to attend all the appointments. Afterwards, do as your surgeon says for successful recovery.
Knowing what to expect before, during and after you travel to Turkey for a hair transplant will help you better prepare for the small and big things. At any stage of the journey, if you need help, you can get in touch with your Patient Relations Specialist.
Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Hassan Soueid.