Over the past few years, medical tourists have been flocking to Turkey in their thousands to take advantage of its low-cost surgical procedures. Hair transplants have become one of the country’s fastest-growing industries, boasting FUT and FUE hair transplants for a fraction of the cost of the same procedure in the UK – but is it too good to be true?
Why are hair transplants in Turkey cheaper than the UK?
Hair transplant clinics in Turkey often lure in potential patients by offering all-inclusive package deals, not unlike a regular holiday, that include airport transfers and accommodation as well as the hair transplant itself, making it an enticing proposition for those looking to save money.
However, there are several reasons why hair transplants are cheaper in Turkey, and it is not just to do with the lower costs of day-to-day living. Clinics often cut costs to offer competitive deals, but they sacrifice safety and quality in the process. As the demand for hair transplants is high, clinics compete against each other to get the lowest prices possible, which means that many clinics hire under-qualified staff to keep up with their requirements and keep costs down.
Another reason for the rock-bottom prices is that, although there are legitimate clinics in Turkey with licensed doctors and surgeons, there are many more that are staffed by minimally trained technicians with little to no medical background.
Legally, hair transplants in Turkey must be carried out by a qualified hair transplant surgeon or doctor, but many clinics disregard this. In some cases, patients will have an online consultation with a doctor before their surgery, to lead them to believe they will be performing the operation but will actually be operated on by a technician instead.
At Crown Clinic, we will typically perform one or two surgeries per day, giving us plenty of time with our patient to make sure everything is to the highest possible standard.
Turkish clinics typically operate at a much higher capacity, cramming as many surgeries into the day as they can, meaning the procedures are rushed and there is little time between patients to thoroughly clean operating rooms and medical equipment.
What are the risks of having a hair transplant in Turkey?
The biggest risk for a patient undergoing a hair transplant in Turkey is having a botched operation. Some of the most common complications patients present with are:
- Severe scarring,
- Unnatural hairlines,
- Overharvesting - where too much hair is removed from the donor area,
- Poor hair growth.
Although the initial price of the surgery in Turkey may be low, the cost of fixing a poor hair transplant will be higher – although in some cases, the damage will be irreversible.
A thorough consultation before a hair transplant is critical to make sure a patient is getting the right treatment for their type of hair loss, but for those looking overseas, the consultation will likely be – at most – a brief video call with a surgeon. This can mean patients could undergo a procedure that won’t actually suit their needs, so they will ultimately be wasting money on a hair transplant that won’t yield the results they want.
Good aftercare is also key element of a hair transplant, but if you have surgery abroad, you’re unlikely to be able to have follow-up appointments at the clinic, unless you’re happy to fly out if you have any issues! As these clinics know that patients will be flying home shortly after surgery, postoperative care is of little interest to them. However, if you have your surgery at a trusted UK clinic, you can rest assured that you will be in good hands with a surgical team that will be happy to answer any queries you might have.
If you’re struggling with hair loss and would like to discuss your options, we would recommend booking in for a consultation with Dr Shahmalak, one of the world’s leading hair transplant surgeons.