Cut price transplants leave patients tearing their hair out warns Yorkshire expert
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A leading Yorkshire hair transplant technician is urging men battling baldness to wake up to the dangers of going overseas for hair transplant surgery.
The warning from the Baruch Hair Transplant Centre based in Leeds comes as managing director Sean Baruch says he has experienced a big increase in patients contacting him who have been abroad to countries such as Turkey for the procedure. It follows the tragic death of a 29-year-old Leeds woman who suffered multiple heart attacks after having cut-price ‘bottom lift’ cosmetic surgery at a Turkish clinic.
Commented Sean: “This year alone we have seen an increase of nearly two-thirds of male patients who have been lured abroad by the promise of cut-price transplant surgery but the end results have been appalling. They then come to me several months later when no new hair has grown or the procedure has actually left them looking and feeling worse than before they first had it done. I must have spoken to at least 250 men already this year who have been left traumatised by their experience.”
Men can get hair transplant work done overseas for a fraction of the price of what it costs in the UK at a reputable clinic. In some cases the work can be carried out a tenth of the cost but in reality the price is much higher.
Adds Sean: “Unfortunately once men have had the work done there is nothing that I or my team of expert medical team can do to help as another surgeons shoddy work cannot be put right safely or easily. When a patient visits an unregulated provider in somewhere like Turkey, the surgeon doing it often damages the follicles in the back of the patient’s head which are used as donor hairs, usually removing far too many in one go. In the UK we might take up to 2,000 follicles at a time and in Turkey I’ve seen cases when 3,500- 4,000 follicles have been taken which is far too excessive and sadly for the patient, irreparable.
“To make matters even worse many of these practitioners are unregulated which means the patient has no comeback. Aftercare procedure once the transplant is done is critical to the overall success and there’s not a lot of this going on with the cases we are witnessing from across various European countries.”
There are many non-qualified doctors and hairdressers operating around the world. In the UK, patients are protected by the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
All the surgeons working on behalf at Baruch Hair Transplant Centre have to be trained to a very high standard, GMC (General Medical Council) registered and a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). This prevents malpractice and delivers optimum results. Sean’s onsite operating theatre is fully compliant with health regulations and prevents cross contamination.
The problem is rife in destinations such as Turkey where there are lots of clinics offering transplants with the promise of a full head of hair. Turkey has been listed as the number one ‘health tourist’ destination for Brits seeking hair transplants abroad.
Added Sean, who has been a regulated practitioner for 20 years and has overseen thousands of successful transplants and procedures: “This increase is very worrying and I’m keen to prevent men who are desperate to change their lives through hair transplant surgery from not only risking throwing away their money but also at the mercy of unscrupulous and unregulated so-called surgeons who don’t care one bit about the hair on these men’s heads. Instead, they are just preying on men who they know are desperate. The message is clear don’t get plucked in Turkey, stay safe and seek a consultation from a regulated specialist in the UK before parting with any cash. Transplant surgery is not always viable or appropriate for everyone and if this is the case I will be upfront and honest with the patient and then explore other treatment options such as a bespoke non-surgical hair transplant.”
Earlier this year Sean and his team performed a pioneering Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) transplant on international and super league rugby star Luke Gale. Six months after the procedure Luke who was often ridiculed by fans for his thinning hair now sports a healthy and completely natural head of hair which he is personally delighted with. The procedure included a comprehensive after care programme including laser therapy to ensure the hair growth was healthy.
Commented Sean: “Like thousands of men, Luke came to see me because he wanted to do something positive about his hair loss. There are lots of treatments out there but they are not always suitable for the client and Luke wanted reassurances that we could help him long term. Being in the public eye as he is and especially in such a tough sport as rugby league, Luke found himself at the end of some cruel taunts from fans and players. This can have a profound effect on confidence so to want to do something positive about it is the most natural thing in the world. The procedure that Luke had gave him the renewed confidence to continue to be a great success in his sport and in life away from the pitch too.”
As part of his commitment to providing safe and reputable hair transplant advice and surgery, Sean is offering four men the rare opportunity to access the same treatment that Luke Gale received at just half the cost. Following a comprehensive medical assessment, Sean and his team of transplant surgeons provided a £6,000 hair transplant for just £3,000 including all aftercare procedures.