Turkey has fast become a go to place for hair transplants with increasing numbers of locals and tourists undergoing the procedure there in recent years. Hair transplants have become one of the country’s fastest growing industries and despite decreasing numbers of tourists visiting Turkey year-on-year, health tourism continues to go from strength to strength.
The main attraction to Turkey is low prices - a hair transplant in the UK could cost up to £15k, in Turkey they start as low as £600. There are also factors such as short waiting lists and package deals that include hotels which offer aftercare. As attractive as it may all sound, there’s still some serious questions around the quality and standard of practise in the country.
The Dangers of Poor Hair Transplants
There is usually a reason why something is cheap. This has proved to be the case as far as hair transplants go. As it’s become more common to venture abroad for a cheaper hair transplant the risks associated have become more evident. Stories suggest that transplants are being carried out by rookie surgeons and technicians to keep costs low and profits high.
Naturally, this is leaving visitors with less than desirable results and in the worst cases, irreversible damage to their scalp. Before visiting a different country for a transplant it’s essential to investigate online. Ensure your chosen clinic is licensed by a legitimate governing body and that there are solid testimonials from former patients.
In many developing countries, FUE procedures are being performed by technicians, not qualified medical doctors. This is a cause for concern and something anyone considering a procedure abroad should research adamantly beforehand.
Which Other Countries Should I Avoid?
As well as Turkey there are now several countries boasting a burgeoning hair tourism industry. Below is a list of some those becoming more popular;
Hungary – Hungary has several licensed clinics offering hair transplants, however, there are a lot of unlicensed practices – so do your research!
India – India has a fast-growing hair tourism industry – but be careful – it is poorly regulated and there are plenty of unlicensed practices taking advantage of the situation.
Mexico – This is an increasingly popular destination for hair transplants, particularly with US patients. The dangers here are not as high as other countries but it’s essential to do research before visiting or booking.
Thailand – Thailand is home to a lot of cutting-edge hair transplant surgeons, but the actual procedures are reported to be done by under-qualified and inexperienced practitioners.
What is Deemed a Successful Hair Transplant?
A high-quality hair transplant is set around several key factors; the number of hair follicles available for transplant, the accessibility of those hair follicles, the skill and experience of the surgeon and how and where the hair grafts are placed.
The strongest indicators of a healthy transplant become visible a year later when the hair has grown successfully. It should no longer be the case that the patient constantly worries about their hair. The hair transplant should not be remarked on by family, friends and colleagues and the patient’s self-esteem has improved.
Is a Hair Transplant Permanent?
A hair transplant is can last a lifetime if the hairs have been harvested correctly from the ‘safe donor zone’.
This is perhaps the most common question asked by patients as it is a major concern that after their surgery their hair will begin to fall out and they will be back where they started, having spent a large sum of money.
This is emphasised in the initial stages after the transplant. This period can be disappointing. as instead of the hair growing and becoming thicker there is often a ‘fall’ first.
This process is widely recognised, it’s known as shedding and is completely normal after transplantation. The transplanted hairs fall out after 2-3 weeks. The new growth starts to appear after 3-4 months.
For more info:
The NHS has compiled a guide to hair transplants which discusses many of the key issues surrounding the topic. You can also visit our blog for articles and advice.