I'm going to share my experience so I can help others the same way they helped me decide. I'm on my second day post-op and It was a long flight going back home so forgive any errors or mistakes. I'll try to give more details as I can.
- Why Aisha?
I'm from the States and I decided to go to Turkey to do the procedure. There's a Spanish discussion forum with plenty of nice cases from this clinic and I decided to do the procedure with them. Specially since it was only 2000 euros (includes hotel staying + transport). So the reason is plenty of good results and affordable price.
I will post pictures bellow. Just going to explain how it was in detail:
The clinic is getting flooded with Spanish clients. Apparently there's a lot of word-of-mouth and the mentioned forum attracting clients like me. When I was in Frankfurt for my connection, the security guard told me he sees a lot of people coming from Turkey with the same scars (hair transplant). I guess Turkey became a Mecca for hair restoration. And since they're going thru a currency crisis, Istanbul became very affordable.
Initially I was concerned about going to Turkey, specially as an American but the experience was great. The city is beautiful, safe and very affordable for tourists. The airport is yuuuge (later I realized it's the biggest in the world!).
- Arriving in Istanbul
When you finish customs you head to the exit and on the left side you'll see a number and your name (exactly like they explained a week before). Then they take you to the hotel.
- The Hotel
It's a 5-star hotel called Mercure. At the lobby I saw a guy with some bandages in his head so the staff is used to see our kind of (medical) tourist.
The clinic gives you a day so you can visit the city (or rest). They tell you to have a nice breakfast and be ready at the lobby at 7:30am.
- The Clinic Representative (translator)
The gentleman is called Ammar (who speaks English). There's another who speaks Spanish called Mustafa who I met at the clinic since there was another Spanish patient doing the procedure (the clinic does two patients a day).
Ammar was waiting at the lobby at the exact time. We entered the van and while we headed to the clinic (who took 20min I believe) he explained everything in detail. From the procedure to the expectations. He took all my doubts and I felt more confident about the procedure.
- Arriving at the clinic
The clinic is clean and modern. They share one floor with another clinic (I don't know the name) so they can use the lab for blood tests/etc.
You meet the other patient who's doing the procedure. I asked him if he was a member of the Spanish forum and he said no. That he had two friends who did the procedure and recommended the clinic (it gave me a little more confidence).
They take your blood to check for diseases and for the PRP (Platelet-rich plasma, which is included in the package).
You talk to the two ladies (Aisha and Meryem), sign the papers and pay in cash.
- Starting the procedure
You lay down on your stomach and they give you like 15 (anesthesia) injections in your head. It hurts but it lasts a minute, then you feel nothing.
You hear the machine touching your head and you realize they started the procedure. I don't know how long it was but it was hours.
Then they stop so you can have lunch. They bring the typical hospital food (healthy but not tasty). I guess I finished eating in 20min. So the next part starts.
I had a look at the grafts; they're very tiny, way tinier than I expected. Since my hair is very thin and never had too much density I was expecting for most of the grafts to be of a single hair. Ammar (who stays with you for 90% of the time) asked the professional who was separating the grafts and she said 50% was two hairs, 25% singles and the rest threes. Way better than expected.
Now you have to lay down facing up. They give you more injections in the head. This time a solution to bloat/swell your scalp. You feel some pressure and feels like you have a helmet on. Again, it's a little painful but last only a minute.
Then they start puncturing your scalp (making room for the grafts). You don't feel a thing but the sound is like someone is piercing a sheet of paper (it is funny).
- Putting the grafts
Now the last part. They start putting the grafts in your head. In my case the majority in my frontline since I had practically none and then moving to the crown area.
The whole procedure takes many hours. I arrived at the clinic at around 8am and when they finished it was 7pm to 8pm.
- Returning to the hotel
Still at the clinic, Ammar showed me the medication I have to take and explained how/when to take it. He gave me a bag containing the pills and lotion/shampoo plus manual with instructions.
We headed back to the hotel. He told me he would pick me up tomorrow at 10am for a first wash to explain how it's done. I went to my room tired. Called reception and ordered a Salmon with vegetables to my room.
- Back at the clinic for Wash
Nurse gives you a wash and they explain how it's done. They offer to take more blood for another PRP but after too many needles I decided not to have it.
Later I went to the hotel to rest. Early in the morning the driver was waiting to take me to the airport. Took 30min to arrive and after a long flight, I'm back home.
My head is a little swollen (liquid is going to my face) and I'm trying to stay laying down most of the time. And now the most important part, the pics:
As you can see, none in the front.
Second wash by myself on 2nd day:
I wonder if I should gently rub (actually pat) more to remove the lotion residue.
Back are and sides:
I'm just beginning. The attention was exceptional. What I need now are results.
I'll keep you guys posted.