Medical tourism is becoming massively popular in many forms, and in many countries. Turkey is one of these countries. Besides its well-known, high quality eye treatment, it offers another service – hair transplantation.
In short, hair transplantation is the procedure of removing hair from the back of the patient’s head, and replanting, or transplanting, it onto the balding areas. The procedure is popular among men for its easy, noticeable result and fast healing so patients can return to their social life within two days only.
Matthew McConaughey, Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta, among others, have reportedly undergone this procedure. Once the province of the rich and famous only, today, hair transplantation is available for almost anyone, no matter how modest their means./
Ascending numbers of travellers for Hair Transplant
The numbers of hair transplants have undergone a massive rise in Turkey, despite the recent unrest in the country. In fact, Turkey was the leading country for hair transplantations in 2015. And the numbers of people arriving in the country to experience the treatment still appears to be growing.
According to data from the Turkish Healthcare Travel Council, 746,000 foreign visitors arrived in Turkey for medical treatment in 2015. 100,000 of these were specifically seeking hair transplantation. This amounts to some 200 transplantations per day and the number increase to approximately 500 Transplantations in the weekends. The country earned $5.8 billion from legal medical tourism in 2015. And it is estimated that $1 billion of this sum was generated by hair transplant patients.
Most foreign patients, arriving for hair transplantation in 2015, were from Europe and Arabian Gulf Countries. Prices in Turkey are a big draw for those wishing to reverse hereditary hair loss. Official prices start from $2,000, while in the UK the same procedure costs about $12,000. In the United States, prices can rise up to $15,000. As a consequence, many Europeans and Americans are also opting for Turkey as the destination for their hair transplantation surgery.
The location of Turkey which is about 2/3 hours away from most of Europe countries was the most important factor for the doubled numbers of European Hair Transplant patients especially from İtaly, France, Spain, Germany for the two days only procedure.
The countered Illegality in the Industry
However, there are serious problems connected to the rapid growth of the industry in Turkey. The local black market is linked to a network of travel agencies. Together they have created a network of unlicensed hair-transplant businesses within the country. They perform operations with unauthorized personnel in a low hygiene places, neither hospitals nor clinics!
But how to identify these illegal businesses? Prices of hair transplant surgical procedures often drop to as low as $800 in the black market. Also, hair transplantations can only be legally performed in hospitals or fully equipped clinics, either by a doctor, dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.
Due to the importance of this sector, and to counter the rapid growth for these illegal operations, the government have enacted hard laws to control Hair Transplantation within the country. All performing clinics and hospitals must be registered with the national healthcare system.
Professional clinics are concerned about these unlicensed facilities. It is a fact that illegal clinics are putting patients’ lives at risk. Amateurs are employed and insufficient equipment is used, creating a high, and very real, risk of danger.
The Necessity of Choosing Carefully
It is thus necessary to choose clinics for hair transplants very carefully. Professionalism, combined with compliance with the above mentioned conditions, is essential.
Skin Health Turkey is an institution that satisfies all the requirements perfectly. It was founded by doctors and travel consultants. The clinic, based in the centre of Istanbul, provides a large variety of surgical procedures using the latest techniques and equipment, but is particularly experienced in hair transplantation. Transplantations are performed by one of the co-founders, dermatologist, Dr. Öykü Çelen, who uses the most advanced technique called “FUE Technique”.
Skin Health Turkey is extremely professional in its approach and provides its patients with a pre-prepared travel and treatment program. The centre boasts high success rates in treatments, but goes on to offer much more than just the treatment itself. The clinic’s services start when the patient arrives at the airport and continue, even after the patient’s return to their home country. After the treatment, patients are monitored periodically by professionals via a CRM follow up system.
Moreover, the company also has a branch in Italy, thus enabling it to serve European countries as well as other countries around the world. The company is highly regarded globally. It has participated in many national and international conferences and touristic activities, appealing to many partners and agencies to join it.