I was 40 years old at the time (41 now). I knew a couple of guys who used Transest and got great results. There are several good low cost clinics in Turkey if you don't mind technicians doing most of the work. Somehow I got lucky as Dr. Ayse Ozturk worked on me for about 2 hours. Dr. Ibraheem worked on me for about 6 hours. The whole procedure took around 8 hours and 2 technicians assisted the doctors as well. I don't know if this is normal or if some patients get most of the work done by technicians but it seemed as if the doctors at Transest had a major role to play (at least for me).
Everything was discussed ahead of time with their coordinator Mr. Aytac (pronounced I-Touch) over email and Whatsapp messenger. I sent him pictures and asked him several questions. He was always good to respond in a timely manner.
A nice gentleman (Transest driver) picked me up from Ataturk airport in Istanbul and took me to "Midmar Hotel" which is one of the hotels Transest uses for their patients. It's a decent hotel. I'd say 2.5 to 3 stars. Clean, plenty of tv channels (a handful of English speaking channels) and decent food with free breakfast. WiFi internet was free at the hotel as well and I typically got around 1.5mbps speed. Nothing great but very usable. Luckily one of the front desk gentleman spoke excellent English and he said he had lived in New York for several years. I spoke with him several times and he was quite helpful.
The day of my procedure I was picked up by the same Transest Driver. The clinic is only about a 5 minute drive from the hotel. Mr. Aytac spoke with me for a while and collected the money. He took some "before" pictures and he had Dr. Ozturk look at my head. She doesn't speak English but Mr. Aytac was there to translate. She inspected my hair and my head and put together a game plan. I was then escorted to another room where a very pretty young lady drew a couple small vials of blood. They used the lab next door to test for HIV, hepatitis and something else I don't remember. Within 15 minutes or so the blood work came back negative and I was ready to go. The rest of the blood would be used for PRP treatment at the end of my procedure. They shaved my head and had me wear a hospital gown.
I laid down on a high end looking table that resembled a flexible massage table. The anesthetic injections to the skull (maybe 15 or so of them) hurt. Anyone who says they only sting a little is lying! I have a pretty high pain tolerance and they hurt like hell. I would say after the first 5-6 the pain did lessen a bit. Your head starts going numb and the last few are very tolerable. I really thought they might use some numbing cream or something on my head first but NO.
Once they start extracting hair you don't feel pain. You feel some pressure of them pulling but its very minor. The strange part was being able to hear the hair follicles being ripped out. It's sort of like hearing a faint sound of velcro being pulled open. Terrified yet haha? Don't be, I just like being detailed in my description.
about 4 hours into the procedure they stop. You go into a small room and are fed a meal. I got chicken, rice and potatoes with this sort of soup. It was very tasty and I was able to eat even though I didn't think I would be with what I had just gone through. After about a 30 minute break you go right back on the table.
The doctors and techs work tirelessly. I was so impressed with their work ethic. Every 45 minutes or so you are told to turn. You turn on your left side, your right side and face down. There is an opening in the table to put your face into and they use plenty of rolled up clean towels to make you comfortable. When it's all over you are bandaged up and given instructions on how to sleep and take your antibiotics and pain pills which they provide. Their driver takes you back to the hotel.
The next day you eat breakfast at the hotel and their driver picks you up again and takes you back to the clinic. Bandages are removed and your head is inspected and an iodine type of thing is tapped against the sides and back of your head. It burns a little but nothing major.
The scabs fell off and about 11 days and I started buzzing my whole head with a #1 clip after 30 days. I hated how patchy it started looking after a month so I just started cutting it all off. I know they say not to use clippers on the top but I did anyway. I started growing it at about the 12 week mark. Its been less than 18 weeks so far.