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:
1. Language and cultural barriers
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.
2. Choosing a good hair transplant surgeon is a fine art
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.
3. Post-surgery is just as important as the surgery itself
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.
4. There are few options for when things go wrong
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.
5. Some countries are overburdened with medical tourists
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.
Why you can expect excellent care at an Australian clinic
Fortunately, Australians seeking hair loss treatments are blessed with a vast array of options on their own doorstep. At Melbourne Hair Transplant 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.
- Travelling overseas to have a hair transplant procedure might seem cheap, but only deceptively so. Some risks to your health and wallet include:
- Language and cultural barriers: Can you communicate in your doctor’s language?
- Choosing a good hair transplant surgeon: do you know what to look out for?
- Post-surgery/Aftercare: Have you considered how aftercare and follow-ups will be done? Will it be adequate care for you?
- What happens if things go wrong? Travel insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures. Will you be out of pocket (or worse) if something goes wrong?
- Overburdened with medical tourists: Will you receive quality care? Or is your surgeon more focused on getting a high quantity of patients through their door?
- Find out more about the quality of care you can expect from Melbourne Hair Transplant in Melbourne’s CBD by booking an appointment with hair transplant surgeon, Dr Paraskevas.