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Nataly's Feedback on Hair Transplant in Talizi – 3000 Grafts

I try not to look into the mirror. All magazines and telecasts eagerly din into your head that hair loss is an absolutely normal phenomenon which testifies that you are healthy; it makes you more courageous, more attractive, etc. Articles and telecasts are plentifully flavored with photos of Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Zidane, Gosha Kutsenko and others. Everything is wonderful … if you are a man.

The female problem of hair loss isn’t seen as a problem at all. "Women can't lose hair genetically," people claim. So, that's that! The mirror, however, doesn't want to listen to any genetic arguments.

So, what do psychosomatics tells us? Problems with hair loss mean that you are engaged in man's work, most likely; you wear men's clothes, and you try to control several affairs at the same time … LOL! Show me a woman who doesn't accomplish several things simultaneously! There are 24 hours in day, and you are mother, wife, cook, driver, dishwasher, supplier of food from a supermarket, cleaner, presser, and money maker, certainly.

We have to put aside shampoos and lotions; they help only those women who look good without them. Liquid nitrogen and D'Arsonval stopped my hair loss for a time.

AMD-laboratory: What could I do without it? Having paid a decent amount, I expected great results. It is necessary to visit them three times a week for a two-hour procedure each time. After a very long monologue, nevertheless, I understood the essence of the treatment: two thousand dollars a year for life and without any guarantee. In half a year, I might be allowed to conduct procedures at home with their patented drugs, but I would save time with visits, they claimed. They advised me that a plastic surgery to correct my issue would be a very expensive affair - about 10 thousand dollars, or even more.

The quantity of my hairs is catastrophically small. Little graces of life like a hairdressing salon are forbidden for me. I am the owner of the whole family of hair brushes with tails, hairpins, mirrors, clips, fashionable kerchiefs on elastic bands and rims – on a commercial scale – and, as you can guess, if something breaks, I can’t go out. Styling my hair dressings takes 40 minutes, and I have a fear of the rain, which would reveal my thinning hair. Life brings new surprises every day, I had never imagined the quantity of situations in which I would feel so helpless. I would love to take a family trip to an Aqua Park, – to sweep from a hill and fall heavily into the pool –  but it would not work out well for me. Day and night in a train with others in the same compartment, occupying a public toilet for 40 minutes for a hair combing, and have forbid that a child would see my head without "make-up").

Friends and strangers pretend that they don't notice anything, but I continually catch their sights on me, which localize above my forehead.

I console myself with the thought that it could be worse, especially because my problem has a treatment! There are so many diseases in the world which can’t be cured!

I started to search for hair transplant experts in my hometown. Cosmetic clinics in eager rivalry offered their services. All these visits had a similar ending: "You have to visit an expert. We can’t help you." Only one doctor advised, "–Your best choice is to go to Georgia. They have one of the best clinics in the world." Having thanked him for the recommendation, I left. A visit to Georgia was under a lot of scrutiny. Mass media so strenuously pushed forward the thought of the irreconcilable hostility of our two states that the trip seemed to be ill-advised.

My search on the Internet, however, persistently returned me to Talizi. Sometimes, it seems to me that I should have won a prize for “Person Who Visits Talizi's Website Most Often.” Russian-speaking forums of Lithuania and Belarus were also full of comments about the Georgian clinic. At this point, I would like to say a separate thanks to my friends. Without them, I might never have had the transplantation procedure performed.  Once, during a telephone conversation in which I told my friend that I was thinking of buying a new car, my friend straightened me out. "First,” he suggested, “invest in the plastic surgery for yourself, and then start thinking about a car."

Having once again surveyed myself in a mirror, I took the camera and snapped pictures of myself from different angles. On film, everything looked even worse, and this gave me the final push that I needed to begin searching for the right transplant clinic.

I spent long time thinking about the RTH clinic. Don't take it as adverse publicity, but something was scraped and scribbled in my soul. Maybe their website was poorly designed, or maybe it was something else, but my feelings were similar to those which I had during a sad experience with an expensive stylist whose results did not match what was promised.  Generally, however, when I closed the browser tab, the unpleasant feelings disappeared.

Other Moscow clinics were absolutely out of trust for me from the very beginning.

So, I visited www.talizi.ru. What can I say? I was given the impression that experts of the highest level worked at this clinic, and there was new of continuous improvement of specialized techniques through research and educational courses carried out in the clinic. The doctors at this clinic seemed to love their work to such an extent that they were ready to share their knowledge with the whole world. Moreover, I noticed the looks of pride and sincere pleasure on the faces of the transplantation recipients.  Have you seen the eyes of the people in the photos? They TRUST the Talizi doctors. Do you know that feeling when you can tell that someone puts his heart and soul into what he does? Based on Talizi's website, I felt this about the doctors and staff at this clinic.

The last straw was the trip description: Talizi staff will meet the guest (not the patient, but the guest!) at the airport, take him/her to the already reserved hotel, and on the morning of the second day, the Talizi staff will take the guest to the clinic for a consultation; on the same day, the surgery will take place. In an unfamiliar city and country, it is nice to know that someone will be your guide; it means so much! If you think that this is an unimportant aspect of the transplantation experience, you must have never travelled anywhere.

I filled in the questionnaire on the site very quickly, and with the feeling of a child on New Year's Eve, I went to sleep. My good mood rolled over into the morning. It wasn't spoiled even by the vile sound of my alarm clock, alerting me that Monday morning had begun. When I checked my email that morning, I saw that I had several new messages to read, and I was over-joyed to see that one of them was from Talizi! The sending time was marked at two o'clock in the morning! Somebody had responded to me at two o'clock in the morning? I was surprised at the rapid reply!

I printed out all four pages of the letter, and it was all there: – The description of the stage of my hair loss problem, the quantity of grafts which would be required for the transplantation, the approximate duration of the surgery, and the conditions of my stay (the cost of the surgery included hotel fees); separately, there was an order of the foreigner arrival process (citizens of Russia don’t need a visa). Everything was written in the correct Russian grammar, with even the punctuation being correct. They had also included a Skype name and a request to contact me, as they need more photos of my donor zone.

Fortunately, the following Tuesday was a holiday, which granted me a three-day weekend.

After that working day, I contacted Talizi. I specified how to take money with me, - on a card or cash – whether it would be possible to take someone with me, and when to the earliest arrival date would be offered. I was answered very clearly and accurately by Zaza. Soon, call of the scheduling details were resolved.

My next step was finding someone who could accompany me on my trip. Eventually, my friend (the same friend who had advised me to stop thinking about the purchase of car in favor of hair transplant surgery) agreed to go with me. By that Thursday, our tickets were ready. The flight was scheduled for the following Monday night, so by Tuesday, we were in Tbilisi. The surgery was appointed for June 12, with our arrival at 3:50 AM.

To say that I was nervous is a huge understatement. I was terrified!

From the height of the descending plane, we caught glimpses of the Tbilisi night. We passed through customs very quickly and made our way to the escalator. Below us, we could see a crowd of people, many with tablets, waiting to meet their arriving guests.  I turn around and around, looking for familiar letters.  Suddenly, I noticed a blue tablet with the word "Talizi"– spelled out in English. I waved with my hand, and the representative headed toward us. He picked up our bags, warmly greeted us, and led us to the parking area. Zaza met us outside and congratulated us on our arrival. We got into the car and drove to the hotel. Night-time Tbilisi is something special; it is possible to write about the city infinitely and about the people three times as much!

The hotel was situated on Kandelaki Street. “Not that Kandelaki!” you say? No, absolutely not that one. The hotel hostess, Gulisa, welcomed us and showed us to our apartments. Men brought up our bags, said goodbye, and informed us that the following day, at 10 o’clock, they would arrive to take us to the clinic. Everything in the hotel was in a vintage style, with unique colors; when we had spare time, we photographed almost every inch of the building, trying to capture all of the details of the interior, but in my opinion, pictures could never capture the true essence of the experience.

The Talizi representatives arrived the next morning, just as they had promised. The clinic is within two minutes of the hotel, so we had a chance to admire the city as we walked there. When we arrived at the clinic, Akaki Tsilosani – head physician and the essence of hospitality – was already waiting for us.  He was enthusiastic, full of energy, and had the most contagious smile!

My consultation with Dr. Tsilosani led to an unexpected conclusion. Initially, according to the photo, it was estimated that I would need 3500 grafts to be transplanted, so I had asked for 4000 grafts. It appeared that in the photos, however, my condition looked much worse than in person (I had photographed wet hair). To avoid the damage of my intact roots in the balding area and for achievement of the demanded effect, Dr. Tsilosani informed me that he would only need to transplant 3000 grafts. How do you like that? The doctor told me that they are glad to save me from spending an unnecessary amount of money, so we agreed on the number of 3000. Then there was the signing of the contract, calculations, and instructions for postoperative hair care.

Concerning anesthesia, I was not as well-informed as I had surmised. I had never even bothered to read the information offered by Talizi online regarding the use of any anesthetics. Having decided on this surgery, I was ready to take it without any anesthesia. Naturally, I was thinking that a local anesthesia would be used, which would pass away in a few hours; then, I assumed that, during the two weeks post-op, I would have to endure the pain until the seam healed. I was ready to take it all! However, I soon learned that Dr. Tsilosani had developed a special method of anesthesia. In this method, the head is tied up by a bandage wrap (I started to look like a Rambo!), and in the top part of the head, two injections of general anesthetic are made,so that subsequent injections will be painless.

While we were waiting for the beginning of local anesthetic effect, the Talizi staff invited my friend and I to the dining room. The table was already set with wine, fruits, and sweets. Their motto is, after all, "Above all, the patient should have a good mood, so relax."

While we were tasting drinks, nurses approached me and injected the anesthetic solution into my scalp. I was told that this is the most innovative method of anesthesia, because it does not cause allergies, provides painless procedure, and, most importantly, speeds the healing process. "For ten days,” the doctor said, “you will not have feeling in your scalp." (The sensitivity of my scalp returned fully after a month.)

Briefly, the whole surgery can be divided into three stages - cut of donor layer from a nape (15–20 minutes), a creation of micro apertures – (1.5 hours; this is the longest and most tiresome process), and, lastly, “graft placement,” which occurs when withdrawn hairs are moved onto a new place. The grafts from the head are separated into several slices. The anesthesia is very effective, so no pain is involved. Maestro Tsilosani was operating the scalpel himself. Taking into account the maximum comfort of the patient, the clinic provides a special pillow that the patient lies on face down.

As the donor grafts were separated, the nurse approached and took them away for preparation. At this point in the procedure, seconds really have crucial importance, as withdrawn hair lives no more than six hours.

After withdrawal of the donor graft, a special cosmetic seam was imposed). Then, —the creation of the micro apertures took place; this was the longest portion of the transplant Developed by Akaki, the device is connected by one wire with a micro needle and by another wire that ran into my wrist. Skin injuries were recorded and displayed on the screen. In this way, the patient can control the quantity of grafts for the transplantation. When the quantity of micro apertures reaches the stipulated quantity, the process ends. In my case, with the stipulated quantity of 3000 grafts, 3060 grafts were transplanted. The superfluous 60 grafts were for good measure as a gift from the clinic.

Then, the fastest and the most fascinating part of the process – putting the grafts in – began. By this time, the grafts were already prepared from the donor areas of skin the laboratory; the grafts were placed onto dishes, along with gauze bedding immersed in a special solution. During the procedure, I was surrounded by three assistants, each of them with a piece of gauze with grafts on it and tweezers, and they began to accurately put grafts in apertures. Once everything was completed, we said goodbye to our new friends in Talizi.  I was given two packs of anesthetizing preparation, and Zaza accompanied us back to the hotel.

On arrival to the hotel, I was once again instructed how to care for my scalp that night. We were told terrible stories about how some patients indulge in the first evening in terrible libations, which lead to the increase of blood pressure that can not only cause the loss of the new hairs from their places, but also can cause heart problems.

There were some recommendations for sleeping positions, too. It was necessary to avoid any contact between the operational zone and pillows. The best option, I had been told, was to put a pillow under my chest and leave my head hanging off a little. However, I soon discovered that, due to the anatomical distinctions between the male and female thoraxes, it is quite inconvenient to sleep on a pillow in that way. Finally, I did away with the pillow and laid my chin onto my crossed hands. Before we left Talizi, a specialist explained to me in detail how I should wash and treat my hair during the first 14 days post-transplantation.  After receiving all of the appropriate post-operative instructions, we were taken by Zaza back to the hotel, where he warmly said his goodbyes to us and reported that a clinic car would arrive at two the following morning to take us to the airport. We were very sad to be leaving Talizi, but I was excited to begin this new chapter in my life.

Once I had returned to my home, the sensitivity in my scalp came back gradually, starting from the nape. My first feeling was a terrible itchiness at the seam. In a month, the first prickles of hair began to appear. Already five months has passed at the time that I am writing this review.  Now, I look into the mirror more willingly and without disappointment. My hairs have become much denser, their length already reach 4-5 cm. Zaza says that the final effect should be apparent about a year after the transplantation; meanwhile, I will take intermediate pictures. In my heart live only the warmest memories about my unexpected Tbilisi vacation, and people who work at the clinic. Thank you so much, Talizi staff, for my new hair!

P. S. In case you're wondering, I bought a car!

Photos Before the Hair Transplant in Talizi and Five Months After:

 

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