Hair to the throne: Turkey is world leader in hair transplant operations
Pakistani doctor Humayun Mohmand, a pioneer in hair transplants in the country, treats a patient at his clinic in Islamabad, on October 16, 2014
Aamir Qureshi (AFP/File)
Turkey generated over $1 billion from transplants in 2014, performs nearly 5,000 procedures monthly
With revenues from procedures reaching $1 billion dollars in 2014, Turkey is the world leader in surgical hair transplants The Washington Post reported Friday. The cost of an average transplant procedure in Turkey will run you between $1,700 and $2,000. Surgeons the United Kingdom or the United States however charge as much as $25,000 for the same procedure.
These drastically lower prices are prompting some 5,000 foreign patients to travel to Turkey each month to undergo a transplant operation. Close to 3,500 of those monthly transplant recipients arrive from wealthy Gulf States like Saudi Arabia.
According to The Washington Post environmental conditions are huge contributing factors to hair loss in the Middle East and for Arab men. After prolonged exposure to the Middle East’s notoriously hot and dry climates, the use of desalinated sea water for bathing and continued use of head coverings all make hair weaker. In Arab culture specifically, a thick head of strong, healthy hair is extremely desirable.
The procedure involves collecting close to 4,000 individual hair follicles from the posterior area of the scalp using a technique called follicular unit extraction (FUE). After the follicles are collected they are then carefully implanted into the desired areas following a specific, previously designed density pattern.
Many of the patients who travel to Turkey for the operation also bring their families, taking advantage of the opportunity for a vacation.
urkey’s medical tourism sector can be a hair-raising experience
The country has built a reputation for its cosmetic surgery sector but a boom of unlicensed clinics offering procedures is putting that and the health of patients – many of whom are from the GCC.