Hair loss can be a difficult topic to talk about for the millions of men (and women) it affects worldwide. As well as being an embarrassing and a hit to self-confidence, hair loss can have a detrimental effect on one’s appearance that, in the past, was difficult to address.
These days hair loss treatment technologies can restore hairlines using almost undetectable techniques. A follicular unit extraction (FUE hair transplant) is one such treatment. As with any medical procedure, however, FUE comes at a price, and many of those seeking treatment are attempting to get it as cheap as possible.
One of the most recent and concerning phenomena is the inclination of people suffering hair loss travelling to Turkey, India, Asia, and other parts of the world to seek cheaper FUE treatments (also known as hair transplant tourism).
Indeed, Turkey is leading the world in terms of the value of its hair transplant industry, which stood at an immense $1 billion in 2014 alone. For the most part, the reason for such a lucrative industry is the fact that a hair transplant operation in Turkey can start from only a few thousand dollars, a steal compared to many other nations.
It seems like a low-cost way to achieve a full head of hair, right? But having your hair transplant done overseas poses risks and pitfalls you’ll want to know about. The following factors are a few of the reasons Australians should choose to be treated here for their hair loss issues:
Navigating a foreign country can be difficult enough when you’re on holiday, let alone when you’re preparing for a serious medical procedure. Hair transplant tourists will likely have to communicate via an interpreter, who may not be able to accurately translate all of their needs, concerns, or issues.
If you’re travelling abroad for surgery, it is unlikely that you will have much of a say in who treats you. You may not be provided with all of the resources necessary to help you make the best decision, feel secure, and at ease about the hair transplant procedure and the clinic. As another of our blog posts explores, choosing the right surgeon for you is fundamental to your wellbeing and aftercare.
Medical regulations and conventions in other countries may also be different to that in Australia. For example, you may only be assigned a medical technician or a nurse to carry out the procedure, not a surgeon. Accreditation of instruments used, the surgery theatre, and more, could be substandard when compared with clinics in Australia. These issues could compromise treatment outcomes and care.
While surgeries abroad can and do go well, the fact that patients have to fly home afterwards provides a major barrier to recovery. As with any major surgery, FUE treatments require follow-up appointments and post-surgery evaluations to ensure the wellbeing of the patient. Getting advice on surgery performed in another country is tricky, particularly if complications arise.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong with surgeries, such as infections or adverse reactions to drugs. The vast majority of travel insurance companies don’t cover medical costs for cosmetic surgeries undertaken abroad, which could leave you owing far more money than you were anticipating or even unable to access the medical care you need.
Countries such as Turkey, which sees thousands of hair transplant tourists pass through its airports every month, are overburdened with work. With so many people to treat, their onus is on quantity, not quality, which could mean you do not receive the level of care you were hoping for.
Fortunately, Australians seeking hair loss treatments are blessed with a vast array of options on their own doorstep. At Melbourne Hair Transplant Clinic (part of The Paras Clinic), Dr Peter Paraskevas is qualified to provide top quality care to our patients. You can rest assured that the surgeon is present and active during the entire FUE (follicular unit extraction) process. We follow strict guidelines relating to suitability of treatment for patient, management and follow up, ensuring that everyone that passes through our doors is well looked-after and achieves the head of hair they always dreamed of.