Every year, more men and women turn to hair restoration as a permanent solution to their hair loss, thinning, and baldness. It is one of the most sought-after medical aesthetic procedures, and its popularity is growing; in 2019 alone, over 700,000 procedures were performed worldwide. However, due to the growing demand and the return to medical tourism post-COVID-19, the industry is seeing an increase in people subjected to scams and botched procedures overseas. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of traveling to a foreign country for a hair transplant.
Hair restoration is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing industries, and this has led to a surge in illegal hair transplant operations performed by people without medical degrees—in some cases, even taxi drivers are trying to capitalize on the trend. With promises of cheap hair restoration done quickly and discreetly, many people have been tempted to fly to Turkey (and other far-flung destinations like Brazil) without first knowing the risks. Black market hair transplants have a high danger of infection, scarring, unnatural hairlines, bald spots owing to a depleted donor area, and inaccurate graft counts, with some people getting less than half the number of grafts they’re paying for. Before you’re tempted by exotic locales and low prices, you should know that there are several inherent drawbacks before, during, and after traveling for an aesthetic procedure.
Before: Research is essential prior to any operation, however discovering the best physician in another country has several obstacles, including the language barrier. Many people who have fallen victim to scams claim that the clinic had all the signs of being legitimate beforehand, such as a professional-looking website and good reviews. The fact that different countries have different, and sometimes looser, regulatory stipulations for who can perform a medical aesthetic procedure and how it can be performed should also give you pause. Another important safety concern is the stress that travel puts on the body when physical stress should typically be avoided before surgery.
During: While many people cite the lower price as their main reason for hair transplant tourism, traveling for treatment tends to be quite expensive. Even if the destination boasts cheap clinic prices, the costs of traveling and accommodation usually negate these savings. However, of most concern is the prevalence of black market transplantations, and the risks of being in the hands of poorly trained staff in an unhygienic setting where you’re more likely to contract an infection.
After: A clinic that has an ever-changing roster of foreign tourists isn’t going to offer the same post-procedure support that a local provider will be able to. When it comes to medical aesthetics, that personal touch of customized care from a practitioner who knows you can’t be underestimated.
Before you start looking at flights, ask yourself why you’re thinking of traveling for a hair transplant. Is it the cheap costs? The promise that the procedure is done better in a certain city or country? Are the clinics nearby all booked up? In fact, traveling for medical aesthetics tends to be quite expensive, and the claims that certain procedures are done better in a specific locale tend to be overhyped. If you’re having trouble getting an appointment in your area, consider booking well in advance. In many cases, clinics offer discounts for long waits to offset the inconvenience.
Venus Concept offers two state-of-the-art devices for hair transplantation that are backed by years of research and clinical trials: ARTAS® and NeoGraft®. We vet the hair restoration surgeons we partner with to make sure they’re the best in the industry. When you choose a Venus Concept device for your hair restoration, you’re choosing a procedure you can trust.
ARTAS® makes hair restoration procedures swift and seamless. Designed with the complexities of male hair loss in mind, the device uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design the ideal extraction and placement of the hair follicles. The device’s precision and speed protect your existing hair and maintain a natural appearance for the newly implanted hair. The result is a healthy-looking head of hair that lasts a lifetime. To get a better sense of what getting a hair restoration procedure is like first-hand, follow Nico’s journey and Netflix's ‘Love Is Blind’ star Cameron Hamilton’s journey on our blog and social media channels.
NeoGraft® is the latest generation in hair restoration devices, using automated FUE in a process that requires no stitches, leaves no visible scarring, and delivers a more natural-looking result. The procedure uses your own existing hair, transplanting healthy follicles through precision micrografts that cause little to no discomfort during the procedure, and require little downtime. After some initial tenderness in the first 2-3 days, most people return to regular activities. The transplanted hair will look natural, grow at the same rate as the surrounding hair, and should last for life. NeoGraft® is ideal for female clients because of its ability to graft fine and curly hair in specific areas of the scalp such as the temples, widow’s peak, and hairline.
With the latest in hair restoration technology offered so close to home, there’s no reason to rick traveling overseas for surgery. Use our clinic finder, below, to find a provider near you today.