Hair transplant patients around the world are being lured to “black market pirate clinics” operated by technicians with little or no training promising guaranteed results which pose serious risks to unsuspecting men and women seeking help for hair loss.
Many of the illegal clinics have slick websites with testimonials that appear very professional. However, the reality is that your surgery may be done by someone with no medical training.
“The demand is so high, reports are that Taxi cab drivers and Syrian refugees do the surgery in some overseas countries. Patients are the ones that suffer when they realize too late who did the surgery and end up with botched complications and scars and hairlines that are not normal and disfiguring,” said Ricardo Mejia, MD, chair of the ISHRS Committee on Issues Pertaining to the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine.
This is why we are working diligently to educate you about these dangers. We encourage you to verify the credentials of the clinic and or doctor.
In the recent ISHRS member survey on black market hair transplants, they confirmed that this practice is extensive and is causing harm to patients around the world.
Specific problems members reported include:
- Unnatural hairlines
- Poor hair growth
- Wrong hair direction
- Depleted donor area in the scalp leaving a bald appearance
- Infections and inaccurate graft counts.
- Some patients think they are getting 4000-6000 grafts when in reality they may only get half.
With the increased popularity of medical tourism in recent years, we implore you to do your homework before considering a hair transplant in another country. Laws and regulations pertaining to surgical procedures can be much different than those in your own country.
Additionally, there is no recourse when something goes wrong. In the recent ISHRS survey when members were asked to rank on a scale of one to ten (10 being the worst) how big of a problem the issue of black market clinics or unlicensed personnel performing hair restoration surgery in other countries is, 63.27 percent of ISHRS members acknowledged the severity of the problem and responded with either an 8 (23.47 percent), 9 (13.27 percent) or 10 (26.53 percent).
“We hope patients will use the new ISHRS resources to educate themselves about the risks of undergoing a hair restoration procedure on the black market and to make sure they understand the local laws and regulations when considering a hair transplant in another country,” said Dr. Tykocinski , President of the ISHRS.
Don’t become a victim of unscrupulous hair transplant clinics. This is happening in many countires where they create a turnkey business model and the hair transplant clinic emerges instantly and the surgery is performed by unlicensed technicians.
We also recommend that if you are seeking to travel abroad, know who the doctor is that will be doing the surgery. Verify the ISHRS credentials and training, and ask to have an observer in the room to confirm the doctor does the surgery. If it is not allowed, think twice. If you care about your results, you may have to pay a little bit more for a doctor and qualified trained team than the taxi cab driver.
For the full press release, please visit this link.
For more information on this awareness campaign please visit this page. And help us inform consumers about these practices by sharing the link to this blog post on social media.