Introduction Right, so after about two years of waiting I finally gave in and hopped on 0.25mg along with nizoral 2% late last year. I’d long been expecting to get a transplant eventually, but after comfortably settling on finasteride despite the negative attitude to young guys with transplants I decided at 22 that potential surgery issues and risks are the same for everyone no matter what age, and that my attitude towards my hair-loss was too strenuous to deal with any longer. Time to fix this curse. Around a year ago I’d looked into clinics and narrowed things down across both FUT and FUE to Rahal, Hasson + Wong, Erdogan, Lupanzula and Lorenzo. Contacted Lupanzula, Wong + Hasson and Erdogan around this time and Erdogan was the only one that was happy to operate without my use of finasteride and my age at the time. When I came back to check around December who my options were I was solely looking at Erdogan and Rahal for their aggressive approaches. Ultimately the price quote from Rahal was almost double that with Erdogan, and additionally although they have similar consistency I found Erdogan to be a little better at using a lesser number of grafts and there is one case in which Rahal gave a transplant which ended in necrosis, which put me off somewhat. From the search it was clear Erdogan has more good results than any other doctor does in the world (and I’ve looked at thousands) at the lowest price of any of the top tier surgeons. I saw one bad result out of maybe 500 and the only criticisms offered were that his hairlines were too aggressive. This typically came from other doctors too incompetent to do dense packing or braindead patients from mediocre American FUT surgeons saying how genius it was to be “conservative” despite having the hairline of a 50 year old and in their lifetime never going through more than half of their donor area. The other criticism was that the surgery is largely tech driven, which it is, but this is the same worldwide and doesn’t affect results if the techs are well trained, so who cares? Cheap surgeon with consistent, and top end results, so I booked the first date I could for April 7th in late December. Day 1 Arriving at Attaturk airport from Australia after 20 hours of flights, I was contacted by Sevinj the patient coordinator who said the driver was waiting in the exit. After a little minor trouble with finding the right exit, (there are a few) there was a 45 minute or so drive to the clinic, upon which you’ll notice how insanely busy and chaotic their roads and traffic are. What is considered a near accident in Australia seems commonplace there every few minutes. Sevinj greeted me at ASMED just outside the lobby that is incredibly gorgeous and modern in itself, and made to wrap my shoes which was a nice touch for hygiene standards. One of the first things you will notice is the incredibly gorgeous women that work in this place, it almost feels like they’ve gone to a modelling agency, hired half of their models and trained them up for various roles. You are appointed a translator, in my case Sevval who was very sweet and helpful and then given blood, and heartrate tests. I was shown around the rest of the clinic which is equally beautiful and my room in one of the ASMED suites was very convenient, however I did miss the Radisson Blue food which I have heard others praise quite a bit. Instead, my translator typically ordered me take out delivered to my door. For my interview with Koray, he asked me a few banterish questions about Australia and spiders before moving to the serious stuff. Definitely has a nice quirk and sense of humour about him and was making a few of the techs have a good laugh prior to my surgery. He mainly questioned about my use of propecia and suggested I keep it up, and estimated my donor capacity and hair thickness (9650 and 55 microns). The first hairline he drew for me was a little too pointed in my opinion and not the natural state of my old line, so I asked him to make it a little more rounded and on second attempt, it was pretty much perfect. Definitely liked that he was very open to suggestions. He said I needed about 3000 grafts for the area and I asked if he could shove in another 1000 densely packed in. He said he could, however we would need two days, so I settled with the 3000. After this I came down for pre-op photos, a shave (which for me was fairly horrific) and then pre-op post-shave pics. Again you’ll notice how gorgeous and modern the clinic looks and the stunningness of the women working around the place, which never gets old. I also met another 3 guys having the surgery on the same day as me and was given drugs for surgery by the anaesthetist Dr Umad who seems kind of scary at first, but has an amusing dry sense of humour. Day 2 Despite being asked to wake by 7 am for the surgery, you’ll easily be woken by the loudspeaker Islamic call to prayers at around 5:30 am. Went for a big breakfast, took a Xanax (which was really great) and some other drug and was sat down in quite a comfortable extraction chair. They gave an ipad to watch films on during most of the surgery and it was actually fairly relaxing. The main issue with the surgery is the multiple anaesthetic injections which I needed every hour or so and were fairly horrific. Probably a 7/10 on the pain scale. Towards the end of my extractions I’m fairly sure the anaesthetic had almost completely worn off and I was feeling the entire punch, but I didn’t ask for any more needles because they’re slightly more painful than the extraction itself. You get to watch the live coverage of graft statistics on a screen as well which is fun. In between this 3 hour stage they give a nice lunch, pasta with beef chunks along with jelly, soup, bread and bean salad. When Koray came in for the incisions he instantly brings a liveliness to the room and the nurses love his banter. He was joking about nicknames he had given them and got me to give him the English name for big bird which he had given as the name for one of the larger tech ladies. The incisions are actually the nicest part, you hear a nice scrape sound from the blade which if you are a fan of ASMR might like. Implantations are the worst part, very monotonous and at this stage the entire head is needed regular anaesthetic injections and beginning to throb a bit. They finished at around 4:00 PM after starting at 7:30 and did 3070 grafts all up. They gave me an extra 50 as a surprise which the head tech did the incisions, and implantations for at the very end. If I had one recommendation to others going through the surgery, I would say get constant injections AS SOON as you feel pain. In my case I was waiting too long and the new injections were quite painful in themselves. If you ask for them regularly then you never have to experience this and the increasing pain level over time. Day 3 Before packing up ready to head off, I got a first wash with their foam and shampoo by one of the hair washing goddesses and some post-op photos. I left at around 2:30 pm incredibly satisfied with the experience (as of yet); everyone was incredibly nice, the clinic is beautiful, my translator Sevval was particularly sweet and the service was top notch overall. Currently I’m 3 days post-op and swelling is pretty bad, I have bruises around my eyes and look like a mongoloid but both the recipient and donor area are looking pretty good. A bit of minor throbbing and pain in the donor area in particular but nothing terrible. Here are a bunch of the main stats: 3070 grafts – Hair/Graft ratio: 2.47 Total Donor Area – 9650 Average Hair Thickness – 55 microns Singles - 277 Doubles - 1326 Triples - 1201 Quadruples - 240 Quintuples - 26 Sextuples - 0 They’ve given me the pics on a nice ASMED USB that I’ll post when I get back. Hopefully things will turn out alright and its only upwards from here.