Cosmetic and surgical tourism is now a multi-billion Euro industry. Whether you’re looking to obtain a hair transplant, liposuction, or a face lift, you’ll no doubt find the costs significantly lower in certain regions of the world. One such country that has a reputation for offering low-cost hair transplants is that of Turkey.
While it is true that you stand the chance of saving a few hundred Euros by taking a trip to Istanbul, you need to ask yourself whether the savings outweigh the underlying risks. If you’re thinking about heading over to Turkey for this very reason, make sure that you read our article on why you might need to rethink your plans.
What’s the big deal? It’s only a hair transplant.
While it is true that a hair transplant is one of the most routine cosmetic procedures available, the process requires the skills of a highly trained specialist.
In its most basic form, the procedure will initially see the surgeon make thousands of tiny incisions towards the front of the scalp. Next, he / she will proceed to extract follicles from areas of the scalp that have a greater intensity of hair coverage, usually from the back of the head.
Finally, the surgeon will insert the previously extracted follicles into the area of the scalp that requires growth. Sounds simple, right? Think again. The procedure is not only complex, but it requires the skills and knowledge of a qualified, highly trained surgeon.
Unfortunately, this is often not the case in a number of hair transplant facilities in Turkey.
The Truth about Hair Transplants in Turkey
A much reported pain-point of getting a hair transplant in Turkey is that much of the industry is dominated by misleading marketing ploys. While online brochures are jam-packed with claims of employing a team of qualified doctors and surgeons, much of this is nothing but hog-wash.
On the contrary, these low-cost procedures are instead performed by those with little to no experience of the complex procedure required. Even if the practice in question does have an on-site specialist, the individual is often only brought into proceedings if and when something goes wrong.
As such, how comfortable would you be during the procedure knowing that an untrained nurse or technician is making thousands of incisions into your scalp, and then subsequently extracting follicles from other areas of the scalp?
The answer is simple.
While you would indeed save yourself a few hundred Euros by opting for a Turkey-based practice, you’d also run the risk of causing significant, life-lasting damage.
What can go wrong?
While the risks of a hair transplant will always remain present regardless of who is performing the procedure, qualified and experienced surgeons will have all of the required medical expertise to reduce these risks to a minimum. On the other hand, not only do unregulated hair transplant operations fail to implement the necessary safeguards, but often, they fail to explain the risks to the patient.
One such risk that remains present in this respect is the process of extracting hair follicles. Failure to assess which follicles are likely to spurn growth will lead to ineffective treatment. The patient will likely experience hair that grows back thin in certain areas of the scalp, leaving a much undesired look.
Inexperienced and unregulated operations have also been known to plant grafts of the wrong size, or at unnatural angles. Once again, this will leave the patient with a hairline that looks somewhat unnatural.
Another common theme is the over harvesting of follicles from the donor area. We see many unsatisfied patients that went to Turkey and other places come in to patch up their donor areas. In order to obtain a natural looking result, the density of the hair needs to follow the natural laws. We only have so many healthy follicles. And the art lies in distributing these healthy follicles in a fashion that it will look completely natural.
So think again when you read about clinics that promise to do 6000 grafts or more. Our vast experience in the field has taught us that anything over 3000 follicles is irresponsible and in most cases completely unnecessary.
Stick with a regulated E.U based practice
If you’re still keen to engage in a hair transplant abroad with the view of saving money, then at the very least you should use a practice located in the E.U. Malta is often cited as a noteworthy location, not least because cosmetic and surgical practices have stringent regulatory obligations to meet.
Maltese-based surgeons must be in full receipt of the required qualifications and skill-set to perform the operation in question.
In the case of hair transplants, all the specialists here at Persona are not only heavily experienced in this niche area of surgery, but they follow all of the required domestic and E.U. standards.