Mostly recovered from my jet lag now, so thought I'd get a few more post surgery pics up and some details on the procedure as promised. I will give a step by step run through of the events of the big day. :)Had a pretty hearty breakfast down at the buffet from 8:30-9am. Driver Saim Sivas had told me he would be picking me up sometime between 9-9:30 the day before, so to make sure i'd ate by 9. Just had time to brush my teeth and by the time I was back down stairs, he was there. Timed perfectly. :)He told me that we were also taking a couple more gents with us. One of them being Kamal from London and the other being Michael from Germany. Unfortunately Kamal had not yet had breakfast because of some confusion in the pick up time he was told, but the driver happily said that he could have breakfast and that he'd come back in half hour to pick him up after he'd dropped us off.We arrived at the drop off point for the clinic which was only about 10mins drive away. Before we knew it, we were upstairs in reception talking to the receptionist, Sonnur. She spoke very good English and sorted out payment while will filled out a few basic details about ourselves on a form.Within 15mins, I was the 1st to be whisked away upstairs where I met the infamous Dr Tugrul Maral and we began our pre-surgery consultation. Dr Maral explained to me basically everything I was to expect from the surgery and the chances of needing a 2nd visit. I was told that I was probably closer to a Norwood 4-5 and that I would need approximately 3500-4000 for sufficient coverage which would give me an 80% chance of not needing a 2nd visit. He was quite confident we would achieve that.As everyone has said on here, Dr Maral was absolutely transparent in everything he spoke of and it didn't take a lot to work out that this guy knew what he was talking about. There was no salesman pitch waffling. Just the facts and a good amount of humor in between. He is a very easy man to speak to and I don't just mean that because of his English being sufficient. He is also very passionate about what he does and works very hard to try to ensure all his patients are happy patients. It was now obvious as to why he has such a solid positive following. :)After a quick Q&A session, he then took my before photos and drew up an approximate hairline of what I was to expect. As I have said in my comments, try not to worry about this hairline too much, as the technicians will redraw it based on how many grafts they achieve and your thoughts if you are not happy with there 1st attempt. Just know that this is a game of compromise, so you may not get what you wanted if you don't get sufficient grafts. Even though I had more than enough grafts, the technicians redrew mine using some measurements and adjusting, before they showed me a hairline that I felt was perfect the 1st go. Thankfully it was exactly what I had in mind. ???? I'm told that Yessin, the girl that does the hairlines, will work with you within reason to achieve a hairline you'll be happy with.Consultation was over and it was time to get into it! I was sat down outside the offices where I was fed some water, while taking a couple of pills for what I think was swelling and possibly pain from memory. I was then told to remove my jacket, shirt, singlet and shoes. These were replaced with an operating top and some basic slippers. I had brought my phone and head phones so as I could listen to some music, as if heard people say that hearing the drill and hairs being taken out was a little off putting, so I had come prepared. I also had in mind of getting a few during surgery pics. Unfortunately I was asked to have these removed from me until after surgery. Bugger. :/ I was a little disappointed in this, but it was further into the surgery when I realised why they would probably prefer you could hear there instructions. Such as asking you to roll over, or if you feel any pain etc. So I was ok with it. :)Next was the fun part... The local anesthetic injections. Now I don't know what some of the people are on about when they say that it's only the 1st couple of injections that sting a bit and the rest are ok. I don't mean to scare anyone, but I had myself, Kamal and Michael all confirm that we had closer to 25-30, pretty intense injections in the back of our heads, before they began being "ok"! Lol. It was when the technician told me that it's only painful for the 1st 5mins that I thought, yeah, that sounds like more than 2 bee stings haha. 5mins of deep breathing and I got through. I could not say the same for Michael, as we could hear him yelling during each injection from another room. Kamal reckoned he was not far off yelling himself. So yeah, the injections are not fun, but your just going to have to bear them and push through. Will depend on your pain threshold too obviously, but you just gotta keep thinking of the end game and you'll be right. ;)Once the injections are done, it's all pretty smooth sailing. It'll take atleast half an hour before they get the donor area completely numb (at least for me), before they started infecting fluids to make retrieving the grafts easier I believe. You'll feel a little bit of pressure from this, but it's fine.Next they start drilling the grafts and taking them out. I was told later on because of my fine hair, they were able to use the drill bit. At this .7mm drill bit. At this point I believe I had 2 female technicians on the job at 1st, with one drilling and the other plucking them out. Not too long later I'm pretty sure a gentleman also joined the team, which I think took over possibly counting and sorting the grafts into the trays. I was shocked at how quick they were at drilling the hairs with the micro motor. I swear they would do about 5 in about 2 seconds. Disturbingly quick! Haha. But I trusted they knew what they were doing. I wasn't sure how I'd handle the drilling noises and extraction of the grafts with out my head phones, but it was all ok. I can confirm the sound described by other people when the grafts are taken out as sounding like single strands of velcro releasing too haha. x) They did have a tv running with Turkish music playing, but I just lay there relaxing with my eyes closed most of the time, as it was just a blank screen with music playing through it most of the time anyway. So I can confirm my technicians were not watching tv, as I have heard a couple of people say, but they did hum along to songs and chat and giggle amongst each other respectively. It was obvious there minds were very much on the job at hand when it counted though. :) I'd say the extraction part of the procedure probably took around 1.5hrs at a guess.Next they flipped me over and the most experienced technician spent the next hour or more creating all the holes for the grafts to be inserted into. This is not before, yep you guessed it, some more local injections haha. You will have to deal with about another 10 that will go along your hairline area. These are just as bad as the 1st ones. But the rest from there backwards should already be mostly numb from the back injections earlier. I was impressed by the time spent and the way she angled my head to make sure she was getting at my scalp with just the right angles. It was good to see quite a bit of time and patience going into this highly important part of the operation. :)After that, I was given a quick and tasty lunch of roast chicken and veges, while I had my 1st conversation with Kamal from the UK. This was also when we were listening to Michael yelling in the other room. We could feel his pain, but we also couldn't stop laughing haha. Sorry Michael. Poor guy wasn't taking to them very well. xPThe 30min lunch break ended with a ever so subtle note of urgency from the technician that they must begin transplantation. I was more than happy to get it under way! :) This was probably the most boring and longest slog of the operation for me. I believe this took around 4hrs to implant all hairs, which was done by 2 female technicians most of the time and the help of a 3rd gent for around 3hrs of that time. I've got to give them credit here. This is a long and tedious job and they do so well to keep chugging away at it until it's done. I believe I was able to have a quick toilet break and drink of water about half way through. They were also feeding me juice boxes through out the surgery and always asking me if I was in pain and feeling ok. Only a couple of them could speak basic English, but it was more than enough, for any communication needed. The staff are amazing at there jobs and there is no doubt they have a lot of experience under there belts. The technicians are also rotated onto different jobs after a few hours too I'm told, so that they are always alert and have a fresh pair of eyes on the job at hand. Dr Maral is also checking in on how progress is going throughout the whole procedure also. From what I could work out, he always seemed happy with what he saw and was not in there for long on his visits because of this. :)Once all grafts had been transplanted, they bandaged me up, made sure I was feeling ok to slowly stand etc and then sat me down and explained to me what I was to do for the next critical 6hrs and showed me what my medication was and when to have it. These covered pain, anti-biotics and another one to do with hormones or something. They also gave me a blow up C shaped pillow for sleeping on my back and a cover to save my hotel pillow from the inevitable blood and fluid stains. And a block of chocolate! Haha :)I was then taken back to the hotel by a different driver that couldn't speak much English, but was always very careful and aware that I was not to hit my head on the car roof or anything while I was under his watch.The surgery ended up taking about 7hrs excluding lunch from what I worked out and I was done by 6pm. The other 2 guys finished later as they had to wait for the technician that makes the holes to be done with me before they could proceed. They also had great graft retrievals, with 4000 and 4700 respectively. But I was the winner! Haha ;)That evening my head had worked its way to about a pain level of a 7 before I decided I was going to have 1 extra Parol (Panadol equivalent) than was recommended. Thankfully the pain then mostly subsided within an hour and I went and had a burger and chips down stairs in the buffet.That night I somehow ended up getting 5hrs of sleep, but it was broken up into, 1hr, 2hrs and another 2hrs. So although not great, it was better than expected. I was still pretty wrecked from the 20hrs of flying from the day before though, so I guess that helped with sleep.The next day Kamal, Michael, myself and some other guy I briefly saw, but never spoke to the day before, made the trip back to the clinic at 10am the next morning after breakfast and had our dressings removed by Dr Maral. Kamal, Michael and I were then taken into his office and sat down for our final debrief you might say haha. Pictures were taken, such as the ones I just posted and then there was a lengthy conversation between us all about post care and many questions regarding, smoking, exercise, swimming, showering, growth enhancement products etc etc. It was an excellent conversation with many laughs between us. Was also so great to be able to do as a group, giving us more time to think of questions between us and hear answers to questions we may not have thought of ourselves. I had the impression it's not always done in a group setting, but it worked out really well. :) we received our body lotion and shampoo products to be used from the 4th day onwards post surgery and we were sent on our way back to the hotel to do as we pleased for the remainder of our time in Istanbul. :)So that was the most important and detailed post I wanted to get out. Hope you stuck through it and found some of it interesting. :) I will do a few more posts of the following days, but I won't have too many more details to add.If you have any questions, again, please feel free to comment or pm me and I'll be happy to help if I can.I don't think I need to tell you how happy I was and am with the way the whole procedure and the way I was looked after during my whole time in Istanbul. Everything went with out a hitch and even exceeded my rather high expectations. I'm very pleased and would like to whole heartedly thank Dr Tugrul Maral for his excellent work and attention to detail on everything they have done for me. And continue to do so post surgery, back in Australia. :)I will also just want to mention, even though he told me not to, that he apologized for the confusion with the accommodation pricing upon my pick up that I mentioned in an earlier post and that the appropriate staff that were the cause of this unnecessary confusion have been dealt with so that it won't happen again. Unfortunately this issue was out of his control and he was not aware of any of it. Either way, I can not recommend or thank him enough for being such a passionate man about his work and always wanting his clients to be happy 100% of the time. After getting to know him and conversing with him over the last few days, it's very obvious to me why he has such a great following now. He deserves every bit of it. ????Hope you enjoy and they'll be more (less lengthy haha) updates to follow. ????