The True Cost of Cosmetic Tourism

Last month a study was published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery in relation to the burden of cosmetic tourism on the Irish health system. In the short period under review 8 patients were admitted to one Dublin hospital alone with significant complications following cosmetic procedures abroad. The complications included infection, wound dehiscence (where the wound splits open) and implant extrusion (where the implant becomes exposed).

The trend for patients to travel abroad for cosmetic procedures including hair transplants is growing with Google analysis from this study showing that Google searches in relation to cosmetic procedures in countries such as Turkey and Lithuania have increased by 5000%.

Hair Transplant Repair – A Growing Problem

We at HRBR are seeing a large increase in enquiries from patients who are not satisfied with their hair transplant procedure which they have had carried out abroad in countries such as Turkey.

Some of these patients report infections, pain or other complications in the initial few weeks following their procedure along with difficulty in getting post operative care from the foreign clinic. They are often forced to attend local GP clinics and hospitals in order to receive care. Hair transplantation should generally be a very safe procedure where complications are rare with proper surgical techniques and post operative care.

Other patients attend us months later when the transplant has grown and the results are not as expected. Hair transplantation is a permanent procedure and poor or unnatural hair transplant results can be difficult to repair. See our blog on hair transplant repair work here for details on how we can help.

We have also seen patients being operated on that are potentially not suitable for surgery in some cases due to age or due to an underlying dermatological condition that is contributing to their hair loss.

Advice for Patients Considering Cosmetic Procedures Abroad

We advise patients to do their research and not let price be the only determining factor when planning a hair transplant or any cosmetic procedure. Always be comfortable with the team that is treating you, check the qualifications of the doctor, enquire about the post operative care and never feel pressurised.

The study notes in relation to cost savings from travelling abroad that “This low cost can come with an unforeseen price due to deficiencies in standards of post-operative care such as short stays in a foreign country and lack of follow up that potentially leads to problems”.

The study concludes by saying “The public need to be informed of the potentially negative consequences of cosmetic tourism”.

The full study can be read here COVID-19 and cosmetic tourism: A Google trends analysis of public interests and the experience from a tertiary plastic surgery centre – ScienceDirect

Find out More About the Risks of Hair Transplants Abroad

Patients choosing to travel for hair transplant surgery should be aware that the treatment of hair loss is generally an unregulated industry worldwide. As a result, many commercial clinics have opened with profit and not patient care at the core of their business model. At HRBR, we have treated many patients who have had substandard work carried out both in Ireland, the UK, Turkey and beyond.

Learn more about the risks of travelling to Turkey for a hair transplant

Contact Us