In follicular unit extraction, hair implantation is simply removing hair from the back of the patient’s head and replanting it on the balding parts. It is predominantly male patients who seek this treatment, while female visitors opt for eyebrow implants. It takes three days to finalise the implant process and another six to eight months before transplants settle and hair grows normally. The official price of hair implant surgery by a licensed clinic starts from $1,500 but this can drop to as low as $800 among the illegal black market operators amid cut throat competition to lure patients.
Hair transplant surgery can only be legally performed in a hospital by a doctor, dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. The hospital must clearly state the procedures of hair implant surgery treatment in its records; it must be equipped with an emergency unit and at least one surgery room. It also has to be properly registered with the national healthcare system according to Turkish laws. But illegal clinics operate in residential buildings, offices or even at small hospitals.
In many unlicensed clinics surgeons leave the work to technicians, inexperienced medical students and even to people with no medical training.
Apart from post-surgery infections or disappointing results, the patients’ lives are at stake, as hair implants are not simple surgery as promoted by clinics in the black market. If the patient has a heart disease there is a very real danger of serious injury or even death.
So far, no politicians, police, health authorities, tourism or medical tourism bodies are doing anything to stop the problem getting worse. Inaction means that sooner or later we will see headlines about hair transplant tourists dying- and by then it will be too late to explain the difference between legal and illegal clinics.
What it’s really like to get a hair transplant
Fashion and grooming blogger Edward Lemont, aka The Discerning Man, aims to fix his male-pattern baldness by undergoing hair transplant surgery in London
BY THE DISCERNING MAN
As a male blogger, appearance is everything when it comes to sharing my life with thousands of strangers daily. I recently had hair transplant surgery to fix the issue of male pattern-baldness prominent on both sides of my forehead.
As my blog’s primary focus is grooming and fashion, photography is essential. However, with social media sharing there comes insecurities, and it was my hair that made me feel embarrassed when I compared myself to other male bloggers. My pattern-baldness wasn’t any receding issue, it was actual bald patches just above the hairline. I knew I wanted to have surgery but had a few important questions to ask myself about it first…