If you’ve considered hair restoration at any point over the last few years, chances are you’ve heard of hair transplant tourism – the process of going to another country to have your procedure done. Lured by the promise of a cheap hair transplant, men and women have been traveling overseas to try to restore their hair. In fact, the global medical tourism market is estimated to be anywhere from $45.5-$72 billion.
In theory, it sounds great. But do the cost savings outweigh the potential risks of having your hair transplant done abroad? Let’s take a look.
Why is It So Cheap?
There are a few reasons that hair transplant clinics abroad can charge such low rates. Salaries and overhead expenses are typically lower in many of these countries. On top of that, they often hire lower-skilled workers as salespeople and counselors, which means they can pay even less. Competition between hair transplant clinics has become so fierce, price wars are extremely common, driving the cost down even further. This “race to the bottom” often leads clinics to cut back on essential services and quality of care, just to make a profit.
Why You Should Think Twice
While there are many legitimate, professional, highly qualified hair restoration clinics located across the world, it always pays to do your research before committing to anything.
Beware of “Black Market” hair transplantation clinics
Although most foreign governments do try to regulate the safety of its hair transplant clinics, the reality is sometimes very different. Laws often say that a Doctor has to be the one performing your hair transplant surgery, but there have recently been reports that “black market” hair transplant clinics have arisen where technicians — not physicians — are illegally performing hair transplants. This means that unless you’re able to verify the credentials of the clinic first-hand, there’s a chance you might be having an illegal surgery and not even be operated on by a Doctor.
Another troublesome situation that has been reported is the promise of large graft procedure sizes. Overharvesting of follicle grafts, can cause uneven, patchy hair in places that used to be full. This leaves many patients looking worse than before their procedure.
Read the Reviews
Just like any significant medical procedure, it pays to do your research. One of the best places to start is by looking at reviews of hair transplant abroad. Keep in mind, however, that reviews you find on clinic websites aren’t always going to be the most trustworthy. For more unbiased information, check out third-party review sites and other industry publications.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few clinics, it’s important to ask the right questions to make sure they uphold the strictest safety and ethical standards. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons recommends asking the following questions:
- Who will evaluate my hair loss and recommend a course of treatment? What is their education, training, licensure, and experience in treating hair loss?
- Who will be involved in performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?
- Will anyone other than the doctor, or not licensed by the state, be making incisions or harvesting grafts during my surgery? If so, please identify this person, explain their specific role and credentials, and why they are legally permitted to perform surgery.
- Is everyone involved in my surgery covered by malpractice insurance?
If the physician or clinic you’re talking to isn’t able to answer all of the question above, or seems to not be giving you a straight answer, it might be time to look somewhere else.
How Much is Your Hair Worth to You?
While it’s easy to be lured in by the cost savings of hair transplant tourism, you need to ask yourself a simple question, “How much is your hair worth to you?”
- Is it really worth it to go with a cheaper procedure for something this important?
- What qualifications does the physician and staff have?
- What happens if you aren’t happy with the results?
- Who are you going to call when you have a question?
- What assurance do you have that what they sell you is what you are going to receive (e.g. physician, graft count, accommodations)?
By the time you complete the procedure and pay for all the travel related expenses, you just might end up spending the same amount as if you were to get it done in the U.S. Of course, you wouldn’t get to see another part of the world, but you might not really be in the mood to tour or travel long distances after surgery either.
Lastly, fixing a hair transplant procedure that’s gone wrong, if possible, is going to cost a lot more than having it done right the first time.
Trust the Experts at Bosley
There’s no substitute for the skill and experience of a highly trained hair transplant physician. At Bosley, all of our procedures are performed by our experienced Physicians using the latest hair transplant techniques and technology. Bosley Physicians have dedicated their careers to the art and science of hair restoration in order to provide patients the highest degree of surgical excellence. And with 70+ convenient locations across the U.S., you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to restore your hair. Because, at the end of the day, your hair is worth it.
If you’re looking for a solution to your hair loss, trust the Bosley experts. Find a Bosley location near you and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
1Patients Beyond Borders from https://www.patientsbeyondborders.com/media
2In Turkey’s cutthroat hair-transplant tourism industry, the biggest losers are the patients and Syrian refugees (2017, April 17th), from https://qz.com/954680/in-turkeys-cutthroat-hair-transplant-tourism-industry-the-biggest-losers-are-the-patients-and-syrian-refugees/
3Medical Tourism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, from https://fightthefight.ishrs.org/medical-tourism/