The distinction between medical tourism, and traveling to another country to a black market clinic, is important.
In a recent survey of ISHRS physician members, more than half of the respondents see at least 15 patients each year seeking to correct the mistakes of a procedure done by those not properly trained in hair transplantation.
“A young man came into my office with a baseball cap on. He had a photo of a young man with some frontal hair loss, not showing the face below eyebrows, he asked how many grafts it would take to fix this. I responded that I would usually need 1500 grafts to satisfy most men with that amount of loss. He then took his cap off revealing a poor quality restoration which was obvious. He then told me he had received 4500 grafts after 2 FUE procedures & a strip as well. Sadly, he informed me that he had borrowed $28,000 for the procedures and due to his inability to keep up with the payments, he was filing for bankruptcy. The practices utilized a popular suction-assisted FUE device.
Another patient asked a local HT practice to perform an FUE procedure. The patient asked the doctor to not put him to sleep as he wanted to know exactly who was doing what as he had heard rumors that doctors were allowing technicians to do ALL the work. He was told he could stay awake. He said that an IV was put in place for safety reasons and [he] woke up 6 ½ hours later in a recovery room. His HT was very sparse, unnatural & his hairline was too low.
The 3rd patient came in after visiting a general surgeon who offers Neograft FUE procedures. The patient asked the doctor where he would recommend placing his hairline. The doctor responded that he had no idea, but that the technicians, who do the procedures, would explain it all on the day of the procedure. The doctor explained that he only owned the equipment and surgery center where the HTs were performed. Otherwise, he had nothing to do with the procedures.”
“…technology can only assist trained and licensed health care practitioners. They are using deceptive communications in advertisements as well as in their sales technique to make the patient believe that this procedure is a robotic surgery with perfect results.”
“Today A consultation patient described that during a recent consultation, the doctor introduced the 2 technicians that perform the surgery! He mentioned that the doctor said that he will provide the anesthesia.”
“There’s a freelance technician team working for several skin clinics where have no experiences on hair transplant before but want to provide this service to their patients. So, the clinics/physicians only do advertisements and the freelance team will do the surgeries for them.”
“Patient had ‘2,500 FUE grafts’ performed in Turkey. Disfiguring result. Came to me for corrective surgery. Patient informed me that approximately 20 hair transplant procedures were being performed simultaneously by techs in this clinic at the time of his procedure.”
“Female attorney in Minneapolis had FUE procedure performed completely by techs, (I personally know the technician who flew into town to perform the procedure). The physician literally did not enter the room during the duration of the procedure. The patient came to me for a 2nd procedure because she was not comfortable with returning to the initial ‘phantom doctor’ clinic.”