Dr Gyaneshwar, a consultant plastic surgeon who attended Tariq’s case, tells TNM that they found him to be infected with ‘Necrotizing fasciitis’, which results in the destruction and death of the body’s soft tissue. “It had affected the skin muscles in his scalp, eye and eyelid. The muscles were dead and when he came, he was having difficulty breathing,” Dr Gyaneshwar recalls.
After an emergency tracheostomy to help him breathe, they tried to save his eyes. “Within a week though, they realised they would have to remove my right eye completely or risk the infection spreading to my left eye as well,” Tariq says.
Even after his right eyeball was removed, Tariq says he remained in the hospital for two months, half of which he spent in the ICU. Dr Gyaneshwar confirms that he underwent about 10 surgeries at the time.
Dr Gyaneshwar says that such an infection could have happened because of three reasons: post-operative complication, patient complication or incorrect sterilization of the equipment used. He elaborates on the second cause – it is possible that since Tariq was a diabetic, proper precautions were not taken to control his blood sugar before the surgery, leading to complications.
While he cannot be sure of which of these caused the infection, the Telangana Medical Council found Dr Ishratullah guilty of professional misconduct on the following grounds:
- He told Tariq that he would make 3500 grafts and from such grafting, his tissues for hair growth will be formed.
- However, he only made 2800 grafts.
- He was found to have no qualifications to state that he has “special training”, his degrees are unrecognised and, based on these unregistered degrees, he claimed to be an expert to attract clients for hair transplantation.
- He did not evaluate Tariq thoroughly considering that the latter was elderly and diabetic. “You have not obtained any specialist opinion regarding effective treatment before or after the surgery. Surgery in a diabetes patient is known to fall into complications like sepsis. In case of post-surgery, patient developed infection, cellulites and gangrene,” the Council order notes.
Dr Ishratullah meanwhile, told another publication that he did not want to comment on the issue, but had filed an appeal in the Medical Council of India and obtained a stay.
Dr Gyaneshwar says that the community has been seeing a sharp increase in the instances of unqualified medical professionals performing medical and surgical procedures they have no qualification for. “You must always ask to see certification of their credentials and verify that they are from accredited institutions,” he asserts.
To baldly go… to Turkey for a hair replacement op
ISTANBUL: They say that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, but what about men? Men are just as attached emotionally to the hair on their head, perhaps even more so since they are far more likely to lose it.
For Arab men, the risk of losing a much-prized good head of hair is even greater. As well as genetic factors, the hot, dry climate of the Middle East, and the local habit of covering the head make hair preservation more difficult.
Hair transplants are one answer, but the costs are high: Around $25,000 in European clinics. However, in recent years, cheaper alternatives have emerged in Turkey, offering the same surgical techniques and medical care as Europe, but at a fraction of the price — as much as 90 percent cheaper.
Depending on the type of operation, hair transplants cost between $1,500 and $3,000. Combined with its proximity to the Middle East, all this adds up to making Turkey the destination of choice for balding men from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Somalia. And men from Europe and the US have also been traveling to have the procedure.
Up to 500 hair transplants are carried out every week across the country. Of the 100,000 or so procedures carried out in Turkey in 2016, 65,000 were on foreign patients.
One of them was Dr. Suheyl Jubara, 42, a Kuwaiti-born dentist of Jordanian origin who has worked in a Turkish state hospital for 21 years. He was intrigued by the Arab men he often saw at the airports with black bandages wrapped around their heads, waiting for their flight home.
He began studying hair transplant techniques. “Finally on a cold Ankara morning a few weeks ago, I found myself here at this clinic where the whole staff guided me very well throughout the process,” he said.
Istanbul alone has around 350 licensed hair restoration clinics. Some have branches in other major cities such as Ankara, Izmir and Bursa, the cities most visited by Arab tourists.
One of the biggest, Estetik International, where Dr. Jubara was treated, opened its first overseas branch in Dubai last year.