The following post is by UK-based physician Dr. Bessam Farjo:
I recently came across a poll on newbeauty.com, which reveals that one in four Americans would consider having surgery if it wasn’t so costly. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that people seek a lower cost option and consequently consider having surgery in a country where it’s cheaper. While the discounted price tag may be very appealing, there are some important things to bear in mind when it comes to having surgery abroad.
The same website outlines some of the dangers associated with medical tourism. It describes how it can be difficult to check if a foreign physician’s credentials are genuine, suggesting that the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is a good place to start. It also flags up that you may not be covered by your travel insurance if something goes wrong in another country. Another issue concerns recovery, which can sometimes take longer than expected after surgery and there can also be a danger of clotting if travelling by plane.
Similar considerations apply to our own field of hair transplant surgery. The website of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery provides a list of members as a reference not necessarily recommending anyone in particular. It is down to the individual patient to do their due diligence whether online or in person.
There are clinics that try to take advantage of potential patients who consider surgery at home too. We’ve seen a growing number of men come to us after opting for surgery via an offer on a discount website such as Groupon or KGB deals. These ‘deals’ are usually limited to 1,000 grafts which is only around 2,000 – 2,500 hairs. To anyone with a significant amount of hair loss this would be nowhere near enough to provide a suitable result.
The small print in these offers often dictates that only one discount is available per person, meaning that anyone requiring further treatment would have to pay the full cost or more likely, above the odds.
There certainly are some serious dangers involved with having surgery both abroad and at home and I would strongly recommend considering these should patients be tempted by low-cost surgery options. As always, I must stress the importance of thorough planning and research when contemplating any type of surgery, make your decisions based on what’s right for you, not on the price it costs.
Learn more about the author of this article, Dr. Bessam Farjo, on his BaldingBlog profile or at his website.
Dr. William Rassman’s Comments:
I can speak to having surgery in the United States, Canada or Europe. The issue of recourse comes up. What recourse do you have if the doctor misrepresented himself (or herself)? Or if there is medical malpractice involved in the delivery of the surgery? Or if the “doctor” really isn’t a doctor?
I know the laws in California are made to protect the patient at all times, and California lawyers are waiting enthusiastically to represent those who are harmed. The legal recourse in many foreign countries may not be there, which means that if you become a victim of the surgeon, there is little you can do about it. This, to me, is a good reason to have the surgeries in the United States, Canada or European countries that have strict laws that control doctors’ licenses and the way they use their licenses.
Tags: hairloss, hair loss, hair transplant, travel, surgery, farjo