Hair Transplant Turkey (or other non-US countries) – What You Should Know Before You Go!

PROS AND CONS OF HAIR TRANSPLANT IN TURKEY

The booming health tourism industry of Turkey has made it one of the most sought after places, especially when it comes to cosmetic procedures like hair transplant. There are literally hundreds of hair transplant clinics in and around Istanbul, Turkey. Some are good…many are very bad.  But how do you know what you’re getting into?

Even though the country has established itself as one of the best value-for-money destinations, and is home to some highly skilled surgeons, one can’t simply turn a blind eye to the threats and risks of undergoing a medical procedure there.

Turkey because of its strategic position between Asia and Europe becomes an easily accessible spot as compared to other countries and is often preferred as well. If you have been toying with the idea of undergoing a hair restoration surgery there too, this piece may very well help you in making the final decision and hopefully the right one!

 

Illegal clinics

When it comes to a hair transplant outside the US, one of the biggest concerns is the mushrooming of unregulated and illegal clinics that do not have the license or permission to practice. Medical tourists being unaware of how the black market hair transplant clinics operate in the local area, fall prey to such setups.

It is important to know that by law, only hospitals and registered medical centers equipped with surgery rooms and emergency units are allowed to perform the surgery. However, due to lack of monitoring and auditing by the concerned authorities, there is a surge in the number of illegal clinics and people operating these are on the loose.

While this is indirectly affecting the genuine clinics, the bigger loss is still faced by people going to these illegal clinics for treatment. The issue has become so serious over the years that The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has started a campaign against all such fraudulent practices all over the world [1]. The campaign aims at educating people on tips to look for a certified physician for their treatment.

The growing competition, on the other hand, compels them to trap as many medical tourists as possible, which not only means attractive packages and lowered costs but compromised quality.

 

Under qualified Professionals

The doctor you choose for your hair transplant is the single most important decision made while going for the hair restoration surgery. An under-qualified professional or a technician handling your case is a sure shot ticket to a botched-up procedure.

A consumer alert issued by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) highlighted the increase in the number of technicians performing the surgery and its drastic consequences [2]. Read this article for more things you should consider before traveling for a hair transplant.

The most important aspect often ignored by most people is, that no matter how minor a procedure/surgery is, it is after all a surgery and has the potential to get complicated at any stage. The probability of a complication is even higher if the doctor;

    • Misdiagnoses
    • Overlooks specific types of alopecia
    • Fails to consider the importance of strict monitoring due to co-morbid conditions
    • Advises unnecessary surgery or makes use of wrong techniques
    • Adopts bait and switch technique to lure more tourists

It is not uncommon to have patients turning to surgeons in the US for correcting the damage done, but sometimes the damage is irreversible and there is not much that can be done.

 

False Advertisements

One issue faced while searching for a proper clinic is that there is no other option except for relying on testimonials and reviews on the web, which could be real or paid. Internet is teeming with bogus claims and false advertisements of fraudulent companies and poorly skilled doctors.

You might also come across fraudulent intermediary companies or individuals, who serve as the connecting bridge between you and the illegal clinics. This also doesn’t give you a chance to assess and verify the credentials of the doctor.

In such situations, the ideal is to have a proper consultation in person, where both the parties are well informed.

 

Lack of Post-Operative Care

Successful surgery is not just when the procedure is carried out well; it is also how satisfied you are with the outcome, which in turn is determined by;

    • Realistic expectations (that you and your doctor set together)
    • Appropriate surgical method and technique
    • Excellent post-operative care

The recovery phase has a huge impact on the outcome, and anyone traveling back to their country immediately after the surgery is surely risking it. Infections during this phase can cause permanent scarring, and could even be life-threatening.

Adhering to instructions and guidelines and seeking immediate medical attention at this time, in case of anything unusual, is of immense importance.

Imagine coming back home with a complication and looking for a new doctor without any record of the procedure carried out and beginning right from scratch. The whole point of saving money goes down the drain in addition to the trouble and discomfort that one faces at this point.

 

What to look out for?

Now that pros and cons of hair restoration surgery in Turkey have been discussed, here is a list of questions that a prospective patient can ask regarding the procedure, its risks and benefits. Once you have these and other questions in your mind satisfactorily answered, you’ll know if you have chosen the right place or not;

    • Who will perform the surgery and their experience, training, and licensure in treating hair loss?
    • Malpractice insurance?
    • What happens, when something goes wrong?

Undoubtedly, Turkey has established itself as one of the best value-for-money destinations. It is believed that the industry surpassed over $1 billion in 2018 [3]. But, with poor sanitary measures and easily obtained qualifications the procedure may very well be affordable, however, its consequences are bound to be costly.

 

 

[1] https://ishrs.org/2019/11/01/ishrs-launches-fight-the-fight-public-awareness-campaign/
[2] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/buyer-beware-medical-tourism-for-hair-transplants-can-have-costly-consequences-300273303.html
[3] https://www.dailysabah.com/health/2019/06/29/turkeys-hair-transplant-industry-surpasses-over-1-billion-in-2018