If you're impacted by hair loss, a tropical holiday and a new head of hair with a cheap price tag might sound very appealing. Many clinics advertise hair transplant and holiday packages to Australians online, but there are some key factors to consider before choosing to fly overseas for a procedure.
In this article, we explain the risks with overseas hair transplants and what you need to know to make sure you're informed before making a choice or see how to fly into Melbourne.
Hair transplant Thailand – what are the risks?
Here at Gro, we often see people who got a hair transplant overseas, and then have to come to us for a correcting procedure, so we're speaking from experience. Here's our two cents on the reality of overseas hair transplants.
There are risks associated with lower cost hair transplants abroad – infections, poor quality work, a language barrier between you and the team... And most importantly, lack of care for long-term patient satisfaction.
Uneven or unnatural results when hair transplants are performed by multiple technicians
When you jump on the low-cost, overseas hair transplant conveyor belt, chances are you'll have multiple people working on your procedure. It's common to have two technicians working on one hair transplant, one on the left and one on the right, which can create an uneven look due to different people having a different manner of inserting the follicles. Even if the clinic advertises hair transplants performed by a doctor, that doctor may actually supervise multiple hair transplants simultaneously.
Aggressive tools that cause scarring
With overseas transplants, the tools that are used are usually more aggressive than what we use here at Gro. If the extraction of follicles is rough, scarring may occur. In some cases, the scarring can damage the donor area and make corrective treatment impossible due to the limited number of healthy donor follicles left.
Poor follicle survival rate and over-harvesting the donor area
Cheap hair transplant clinics attract clients through the door with promises of high hair numbers for a cheap price. In reality, it's not as good as it seems. Oftentimes, they talk about hairs implanted, but fail to mention how many hairs will survive in their new location. Here at Gro, we achieve a follicle survival rate of over 95%, where as at other clinics it may be as low as 70%.
Therefore, to get a decent result, the clinic has to extract a high number of hairs from the donor area. This is called over-harvesting. It may make your donor area appear sparse and a corrective hair transplant in the future impossible.
Results are what matters, so only the surviving hair is worth paying for, and you never want to waste donor hairs.
Will travel insurance cover you if something goes wrong?
Another factor to consider before travelling for any procedure is insurance. What happens if something does go wrong with your hair transplant? No one likes to think of worst case scenarios, but it's still important to know whether travel insurance will cover you in case of infections or complications.
Travel insurance policies are put in place to cover the unforeseen. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to find an insurance company that will cover an overseas cosmetic procedure as they are classed high-risk. Travel insurance won’t cover the hospital expenses as a private patient.
So, if the worst case scenario happened, could you go into emergency and be taken care of like you can in Australia? What would it cost? Will the the language barrier make it difficult to communicate your situation?
Australia has strict health and safety regulations, which we follow closely at our clinics. Additionally, our clinic staff are there to support you for a full 18 months post-procedure. We check in with you regularly to see that you're happy with your results.
Summary of the key risks with an overseas hair transplant:
- Travel insurance won't cosmetic procedures - you’re on your own
- Damage to the donor area could make a future hair transplant impossible
- Unqualified technicians may perform the procedure, not doctors and potentially not even nurses
- Procedure and facility hygiene doesn't meet Australian standards
- High risk of infection
- Lower follicle survival rate - more wasted hair, less donor follicles for future use
- Limited or no post-operative care and no monitoring of results down the track - once you fly home, that's it
- If corrective treatment is needed, the cost outweighs the initial savings
- Communication barrier – if something goes wrong, how do you communicate it and get the medical assistance required?
Verdict: the risks outweigh the savings
Weighing the pros and cons of price savings versus risks, we highly recommend getting your hair transplant done in Australia. With the risks outlined in this article, a low-cost hair transplant may not be so low-cost once you have factored in the potential for corrective treatment or medical assistance required.
While money is a real factor for many people, you can't put a price tag on your peace of mind and the lifelong health of your hair.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. However, we recommend asking these key questions when comparing clinics:
- What hair transplant technique will be used? How will my follicles be extracted?
- Will there be scarring?
- Who will perform my procedure – a doctor, nurse or technician?
- What are the post-procedure care instructions and who do I contact in an emergency?
- What follicle survival rate do you achieve?
- Will I be able to have a second or corrective hair transplant in the future?
- Will the results look natural and even?
What should I do next?
When getting a hair transplant with Gro, you can trust that you're in the best hands. We care about your hair and want to make sure you're happy with the results for the rest of your life. Don't just take it from us - check out our 5-star Trustpilot rating and our before-and-after gallery for more.
If you want to know more about our signature reGro® hair transplant, book a consultation with one of our Hair Growth Specialists at our clinics across Australia. You'll get an honest overview of what to expect from a reGro hair transplant and the chance to ask any questions you have.
Benefits of a reGro® hair transplant
- Safe and hygienic
- Over 95% follicle survival rate
- 18 months of post-operative care and support included
- The most advanced and gentle hair transplant method
- Highly trained hair transplant doctors
- No pain, no stitches and no scars
- Completely natural results to suit your unique features
- Enjoy your own hair, for life!
Get started today by booking your consultation online, or call us on 1300 787 563 to speak with one of our team members.