Here’s why you should think twice about getting a hair transplant surgery abroad. This patient came to our office seeking a restorative hair transplant surgery to fix his botched surgery. He traveled to Turkey to get a “more affordable” hair transplant. He was told he would be getting
an FUT/strip procedure and would be getting the most “bang for his buck.” Upon returning home, the patient began noticing darkening on the top of scalp. He also noticed a wide linear scar that stretched across the back of his scalp that was extremely visible.
The patient tried contacting his doctor but was unable to get a hold of him due to the time difference and lack of returned calls/emails by the physician. Within just a few short months, his scalp looked like this. The once black area developed into dead scalp tissue and severe scar tissue with complete graft failure and hair loss. The linear scar never recovered and there is a hair loss in a linear pattern across the scalp.
Unfortunately, this is a common outcome we see of hair transplants done abroad. Doctors in other countries are not held to the same high standards that doctors in the US are held to. The
early blackening of the scalp is a tell-tale sign of necrosis. This is caused by infection and is completely preventable if the surgeon is skilled, experienced, and has a clean, sterile environment. Once necrosis occurs, it is very difficult to treat. This patient will likely not have hair growth in the dead tissue area again. His best hope will be aggressive PRP treatment to try and heal the area and break up the scar tissue. If the scalp is able to regain some blood circulation and healthy tissue again, then transplanted hair may be successful in the area. Any attempts at remedying this case will be hopeful at best, as there are no guarantees with botched hair transplants.
You can prevent this from happening to you! Your hair transplant is an investment in your future appearance. Find a good, trustworthy hair restoration surgeon that is local. While it may cost you more up front (compared to Turkey’s prices), you’ll save more time, money, and stress in the long run.
Some individuals who are desperate to get a surgery or procedure done, but find themselves with a lack of funds, seek treatment abroad.
In developing countries, procedures and surgeries can be done for a fraction of the cost compared to here in the U.S. For some, the cheaper price tag outweighs their concerns about the risks of cutting corners.
Whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad, all medical surgeries carry risks. While the risks are usually relatively low, with the benefits far outweighing the risks, in the U.S. the patient is made aware of all potential outcomes prior to partaking in the procedure.
In other countries, things like lack of regulation, lack of sanitary quarters, lack of education and lack of expertise increase the risks of surgery dramatically.
Regulation. In the U.S., we have strict regulations on doctors via the medical board of doctors. There are associations and government run organizations that outline and regulate strict guidelines for how medicine should be practiced. They also outline and regulate the areas in which medical surgeries and procedures can be done, maintaining sanitation. All of these regulations reduce risks of danger to the patient, such as infection and death. These regulations keep the patient safe and help secure the positive outcome of the procedure. In developing countries, they don’t have these same organizations that keep strict guidelines for medical practice. This lack of regulation means increased danger for the patient. Your risk of infection and having a botched surgery increases dramatically.
Education. In the U.S., doctors go through intense training and schooling before being allowed to practice. Additionally, they have to get specific training and maintain current yearly training hours to keep up their knowledge and skills. In other countries, doctors are not held to this same high standard of continuing education. Because they may not be as skilled, they may not know the correct techniques for surgical procedures.
If you find yourself contemplating getting a procedure done abroad, stop and think about the risks that are increasing. While you may save money short-term, you’ll end up spending more long-term to correct a botched surgery. And most importantly, risking your health is not worth any dollar amount.