Turkey is the leading country in hair transplantation. Due to the surgical methods and tools that he developed, Dr. Koray Erdoğan can be considered responsible for this honor. Dr. Erdoğan is the founder and medical director of ASMED Private Surgical Medical Center and the head of the World FUE Institute, headquartered in Brussels, whose members are world-renowned hair transplant surgeons. During this exclusive interview, Dr. Koray Erdoğan shared that 95 % of his patients travel from the USA, Australia, Canada and Europe to his clinic, discussed his pioneering contributions to the hair transplantation field and described the high-quality services offered at his clinic in Istanbul.
BY EMIL AKHUNDOV
AZERI OBSERVER STAFF WRITER
Question: Turkey is a leader, and ASMED is a global brand in the hair transplantation. The services your clinic provides exceed the global standards. Could you tell us about the experience and knowledge underlying this approach?
Answer: Since the establishment of the ASMED clinic in 2001, I’ve committed myself totally to hair transplantation. When I started with the hair transplant, the FUT method was widely known and used all over the world. According to this method, hair follicles are extracted by removing a strip of skin and then are transplanted into the balding parts of the scalp. Later, the FUE method was developed, in which each individual hair follicle is collected one by one from the Donor Area (temporal, parietal and occipital region) of the head and transplanted into the bald area. In 2004, I developed my own FUE system, known worldwide as the Sequential Technique.
In developing this technique, I found it crucial to apply scientific criteria to prevent the extraction of excessive amounts of hair follicles. To this end, I invented a mathematical method to calculate the optimal number of hair follicles titled, Coverage Value.
Next, I developed the Graft Calculator application to make this counting techniqueaccessible to everyone. Today, more than 7,000 physicians and clinics worldwide use this application, mostly in the USA.
In addition, I have invented surgical punches. I would like to mention the K.E.E.P. (Koray Erdoğan Embedding Placer) tool used for harmless hair follicle transplantation. This tool is exported to more than 30 countries globally.
Q.: Have you developed other hair transplantation techniques and tools?
A.: Yes, I’ve also invented the Long Hair FUE method to transplant long hair without shaving. We can see the result right after the transplantation. Due to the naturalness of the result, mostly businessmen and celebrities prefer this technique. I designed a special punch for this technique.
Moreover, I’ve invented the KE-Photo system (Koray Erdoğan Photo System) used to take photos before and after surgery. This system allows you to take photo of the patient’s head with just one click covering all the angles in the same position and on the same background in a single shot. Thus, setting the standard for pre- and post-surgical analysis.
Along with this, I have designed a KE-Rest device to ensure patient’s comfort during surgery.
Q.: Today, your breakthrough innovation in hair transplantation – KE-Bot – is very relevant. Could you tell us about KE-Bot and its benefits for patients?
A.: I designed a robot in cooperation with TÜBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), Kocaeli and Hacettepe universities. To make the long story short, it is an advanced robotic 360-degree circular scanning system. This artificial intelligence robot applies an optical system to determine the density and quantity of the patient’s hair, both in the donor and the recipient areas. The system gives opportunity to determine correctly the total capacity of the donor area and the amount of hair to be extracted without harming it. It helps surgeons to plan the surgery before the procedure. The key advantage of this innovation is the full transparency of the hair transplantation procedure. Since patients say 3,000 or 4,000 in response to the question about the number of transplanted follicles, thanks to this robot, patients get an exact answer to their questions. Using an optical system, the robot determines the number of extracted and grafted hair follicles.
Q.: You are also the president of the World FUE Institute. What kind of work do you conduct within that institution?
A.: Since 2018, I have been the President of the World FUE Institute (WFI) with its head office in Brussels. Such world-famous hair transplant surgeons as Dr. Jose Lorenzo, Dr. Jerry Wong, Dr. Ron Shapiro, and Dr. Bijan Feriduni are members of this institute. Since being elected its president, I have been trying to improve the scientific and educational developments of WFI. In this context, as WFI, we will organize a workshop at our clinic ASMED in Istanbul on 2-5 June 2022, with the largest participation ever, especially doctors from the USA, Canada and European countries. Hair transplant doctors all over the world are looking forward to this event, as the international presentation of the KE-Bot innovation will take place there.
Q.: You have brought all the innovations to the field of hair transplantation. You also provide a very high level of service in your clinic in Istanbul-Ataşehir. Tell us more about this clinic.
A.: We have been working on only hair transplantation for more than 20 years. This is our expertise. ASMED puts a priority on the needs and desires of its patients. The clinic was established as a place to achieve this goal. ASMED is a special investment. Here, on a plot of 10,000 sq.m, we have 10 fully equipped surgery rooms, 14 wards with a 5-star hotel comfort level, and a hall with a collection of paintings by Ahmet Güneştekin, Refik Anadol, Daniel Firman, and Ardan Özmenoğlu. We provide patients with privileges, creating a unique atmosphere. In the lounge patients can listen to live music, in the hall they can play billiards or the latest computer games. During the whole process, our representatives, being native speakers as well, take care of the patients. They speak 12 different languages. Throughout the surgery, the patients are under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. The wireless system allows you to constantly monitor all the vital functions, even when the patient is in the restroom. Our staff consists of more than 100 people. Training is a priority for us. Especially all nurses undergo serious training.
Q.: In general, where are your patients from?
A.: 95% of patients come from the USA, Canada, European countries such as the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Sweden. However, patients also come from distant countries, such as Australia, Singapore and Japan.
Q.: Special attention is paid to the art-work in your clinic. Where do you see the connection between art and hair transplantation?
A.: Hair transplantation is totally concerned with aesthetics. For example, there is such a thing as a hair front line and the direction I give to the hair with the front line I draw as a physician requires a purely artistic approach. It is very important to keep in mind the natural look due to the patient’s age, to create a line corresponding to the face symmetry and proportions, to create a natural look choosing the right hair follicles and direction. This person will live with the front hairline we have created. What could be more closely related to art?
Q.: It is evident you are very assertive in taking your business to a new level.
A.: Only doing my best I can feel happy and satisfied. I spend almost all of my earnings to improve the quality of the services offered. My goal is to show my colleagues all over the world that Istanbul is the place where this work is carried out in the best way possible. I am motivated by the idea of influencing people’s lives by transplanting hair.
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