Toronto Hair Transplants: Here’s Why Going Overseas for Surgery Could Be Your Worst Decision Ever
We all know the thrill. There’s such satisfaction in discovering a deal, whether we’re shopping for something small or something as significant as a new house. We like the feeling of winning that comes from getting what we want at a lower cost, yet the context for each saving scenario matters a lot. In real estate, for instance, paying less for the same piece of land or building is a win, no matter how you slice it. However, in Toronto, hair transplant clinics vary in quality and service. Can you imagine how much hair transplant standards vary around the world? Keep reading to find out why going overseas for hair transplant surgery could be your worst decision ever.
We’re going on a deep-dive into some serious considerations for “cosmetic tourism” and bargain shopping when it comes to hair transplant surgery. Before you book a flight in anticipation of a great holiday and a new head of hair, please read this guide and arm yourself with the knowledge that will keep you safe and happy in the long term.
Medical tourism is equal parts tempting and disappointing
To be fair, “abroad” from Toronto, Canada, could mean a number of things, and there are well-known, reputable clinics across the U.S. and U.K. that you could travel to and receive excellent service. The cost of doing so in those cases would not be less than at home. In fact, the cost would be considerably higher, so patients are not beating a path to the airport to travel to first-world elite hair transplant clinics. Instead, they are drawn in by the slick marketing of cheaper, less regulated destinations.
Over the past few years, the number of Canadians travelling to places such as India and the Middle East for hair transplants (and other cosmetic surgery) has increased dramatically. Popular cosmetic tourism locations include Mexico, the Dominican Republic, India, Turkey, Thailand, and Hungary.
Walking around Istanbul last year, you would have seen a surge of foreigners with their heads wrapped in bandages or soft hats. General tourism has declined in Turkey, but according to Emin Cakmak, who is head of the council for health tourism there, roughly 750,000 health tourists visited in 2017, 60,000 of them for hair transplants alone. The numbers have been steadily increasing, along with disaster stories of the conditions, the methods, and scarred outcomes. Some reports from Turkey have suggested that up to 200 procedures are carried out each day. Other locations with similar stats include India, where the industry is only very loosely regulated, so the consistency of safety and care are unpredictable.*
Prices that are advertised at less than 50% of the cost in North America are very tempting. We’re talking about saving multiple thousands of dollars. When an individual is considering a full head hair transplant in Toronto with a high number of grafts, they’ll pay over $10,000, but a discount clinic in Turkey may offer what sounds the same for only a couple thousand dollars. They may throw in pictures of luxurious accommodations as well.
People who end up seeking surgical repair work and medical care back home often find out the hard way that hair transplant surgery wasn’t the simple, safe, and easy procedure they thought it was.
Another potential problem that can arise after seeing an inexperienced practitioner is that they’ll advise people to have surgery too young. Skilled hair experts know that while hair loss can begin in the 20s, undergoing surgery at that age can leave people with strange-looking results that lead to embarrassment and need repair. The hair will continue to fall out around implanted grafts in an unpredictable way. Jumping the gun on hair transplant surgery is rarely advised by a true professional, yet unethical clinics will be happy to take money from young patients and create permanent problems for them.
Surgery, no matter how minimally invasive, requires very high skill and expertise to be accomplished safely. The results are directly affected by the calibre of the clinic and practitioner, but by the time they are back home, it’s too late for many well-intentioned people to realize this.
A look at Toronto hair transplant experiences:
In Canada, hair transplant clinics can be “checked” reasonably quickly. You can see the surgeon’s credentials and find out exactly what they mean. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada regulates all of our cosmetic and plastic surgeons so that patients can be assured of standard, in-depth education and accountability from their care provider. Likewise, surgical facilities accredited by the province are held to extremely high standards and given certification such as OHP (Out-of-Hospital Premises) 3, indicating that they operate with fully licenced staff, meet or exceed safety protocols, utilize licenced anaesthesiologists, and are equipped like a public hospital to provide safe and thorough care.
Though well-trained nurses and techs commonly participate in hair transplant surgery, our Toronto hair transplant clinics are overseen and run by experienced surgeons who direct and implement surgical plans. Patient care provided before and after cosmetic treatments in Toronto involve consultations and assessment appointments to deliver personalized care and service even months later.
Do you know what professional terms ensure reputable education and practice standards in the country you are travelling to?
Unfortunately, you can’t assume that “hair surgeon” means what you think it does. In many mass hair transplant markets, the procedures are not carried out by surgeons at all. This is one of the most problematic factors for low-cost surgery. Clinics keep costs low by reducing facility safety and technician training or licencing. The technicians who perform procedures may have no medical licence whatsoever, and people are lined up on beds with multiple patients to a room. This is probably not how you picture your operating room when you schedule a cosmetic surgery. It shouldn’t be.
It’s not their fault that they’re unaware of this, but many people unwittingly participate in completely unsafe, unsanitary surgeries because they don’t know what the standards should be, or because they paid so little that they don’t think they have a right to complain.
Communication can be difficult
To verify conditions for your procedure and staff qualifications, you’ll need to find their information online or call the clinic. Calling a number out of the country will be pricey, and you may find a language barrier when you do so. Some patients settle for talking with a representative and do not speak with or see a surgeon as they are planning their procedure. Consultation to determine your personal needs and discuss your health picture is a vital aspect of planning. So is an open discussion of the risks associated with your treatment.
Again, the low prices can have an unfortunate influence on instincts and cause people to ignore red flags. You’ll need clear lines of communication before and after your surgery. If you don’t have this, it’s an indication to walk away.
Have you considered these additional expenses?
Travel and hotel
Going abroad for a hair transplant, unlike Toronto, may involve multiple flights or land travel, plus accommodations before and after your procedure. There are often unforeseen changes to itineraries or hotel rooms as well, so having an expense buffer is useful in case you get stuck in an undesirable situation.
If you need to return to that clinic for a check-up or to correct an issue in the future, those travel expenses will all be repeated.
Not all hair restoration results are the same
Though it may seem like a very straightforward process of plugging in hairs like seeds in the ground, the modern, natural-looking hair transplant results that have wowed you in pictures were not achieved by inexperienced techs. Simply implanting grafts in a scalp doesn’t guarantee they will thrive, and it definitely doesn’t mean they will grow naturally with the angle and density to mimic real hair.
The look of an obvious hair transplant is a cringe-worthy picture we’ve all seen before: hair plugs in bunches, growing in rows like doll hair and standing up at unusual angles from the scalp. Hairlines that end in hard, unnatural edges on the forehead also come to mind. These common mistakes are “tells” of an unprofessional hair transplant.
The many nuanced factors that contribute to a flawless result are achieved by medical professionals who have extensive training and an artistic eye. The craft of doing this well comes from years of experience and research.
At the Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic, we utilize the industry’s most advanced FUE devices to increase the take rate, minimize trauma and scarring, and deliver exceptional outcomes. Our Toronto hair transplant surgical facility is first class and fully accredited. We have experienced medical staff who devote undivided attention to each individual patient.
These days it’s not hard to create slick, flashy ads and clever marketing on a low budget. It’s arguably much cheaper to nail the marketing than the medical service your clinic offers. This is why innocent customers fall for the promise of top-notch service when, in fact, they may receive nothing like what they envisioned.
You should be able to read real reviews and talk with real patients. A good Toronto hair transplant clinic will generate many testimonials. They may not be able to post patient photos online due to privacy restrictions, but in the facility, you’ll be able to view them. As well, people can post reviews about their experience online anywhere a hair transplant clinic’s services are advertised. Take the time to read and evaluate those reviews.
You know that the incentive to save money is a compelling factor. However, most people don’t add up the potential cost of problems when considering the numbers.
Cost of a return trip
Locally, when you’ve seen a surgeon for a treatment, you can return to them. Usually, this happens within the first week and then a few times more while you heal. They examine you physically to ensure that you have no complications, and they answer your questions to put you at ease. In-person assessments help reduce the risk of problems going undetected. When you travel abroad for surgery and then leave the place of surgery, a major safety factor is left hanging. You may develop a complication or not be satisfied with your results, and the only way to have the surgeon who was responsible for your care treat you is to see them in person. Have you budgeted for multiple trips?
The cost of medical care back home
All too often we see people who’ve undergone cheap or unqualified surgery and have wound up with scalp damage, infections, scarring, or worse. To treat and correct these issues will require seeing a doctor and paying an unknown sum. Reconstructing a hair transplant once you are back home can be much more difficult than a primary treatment due to tissue damage, compromised blood supply, and scarring. You have a limited amount of viable hair follicles to harvest for grafts, and your repair will be working with even fewer.
Full-price procedures really are worth it
You’ve heard it said before, “you get what you pay for.” In the case of hair transplants and most cosmetic procedures, this is not only quite true but a matter of personal health and safety.
Most cosmetic and plastic surgeons have spent long years devoted to their training and craft. They care about patient safety and satisfaction above all, as their work is a reflection on their practice and themselves personally. Most surgeons are caring people with a genuine desire to help and heal.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous business people also hide under these professional terms and do not deliver ethical care to patients. They will not be bothered if you don’t like your procedure results, and they don’t even care if you are safe and healthy. When offering low-cost hair transplants, they could be selling you a lot of trouble.
We recommend a few key actions that you can take to stay safe and get optimal results:
- Research your chosen Toronto hair transplant clinics in depth. Ask questions about facilities and credentials. These factors are more important than cost.
- See your surgeon in person. Consultation is vital to help select a personalized treatment plan for you. Not all hair transplant methods suit every person. You may have more than one excellent option to choose from. Understanding the nature of your hair loss and undergoing treatment with a surgeon who is aware of your whole health picture is crucial to your success and satisfaction.
- Look into medical financing if the lump sum cost of a Toronto hair transplant is too much for your budget. Many third-party financial organizations will help you spread out payments over a more extended period for your convenience.
- Look into a less expensive, non-surgical option. PRP for hair delivers impressive results for people with thinning hair. It is drug-free and requires no downtime. It’s not able to grow hair where there are no active follicles, however, for increasing density and helping slow hair shedding, this can be a miracle intervention for many who are not quite ready for a Toronto hair transplant surgery.
- Lastly, don’t jump into anything. Toronto hair transplant surgery has come a long way and now the recovery time can be fast, so more people are choosing to go this route for hair restoration, but it is a surgical procedure. There are real health and aesthetic risks to hair transplants, and they increase in the wrong hands. You deserve incredible results and top of the line care. Don’t settle for less, no matter what the deal is.
We welcome you to contact the Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic for more information. Schedule a consultation today and begin your research with us. We look forward to meeting you.