In recent years, we are seeing a pilgrimage of patients with alopecia to Turkey to have hair implants attracted by the demand for very aggressive offers. Travel packages include, accommodation and intervention for between 1,500 and 3,000 euros. In fact, Turkey is the Mecca of this transplant also because its government supports the growth of this health tourism.
What are the most popular procedure now?
Currently, the most widely performed hair implant is called FUE ( Follicular Unit Extraction ). We are talking about the most advanced hair transplants to treat alopecia and baldness in both sexes and it requires great experience and expertise on the part of the surgeon who is going to do it.
This type of implant, which is performed under local anesthesia , consists of obtaining an individual follicular unit directly from the scalp .
With the patient monitored, the expert will obtain healthy hair mainly from the nape area with micropunchs (cylindrical instruments or very small circular scalpels to extract each follicular unit one by one), which are prepared under the microscope and reimplanted with other precision instruments called implanters.
FUE technique does not limit the areas of the body from which hair can be extracted (although it is usually from the nape) to perform implants.
With the application of the FUE method the hair has an excellent potential for regrowth and the patient tolerates surgery easily.
How is the postoperative?
The patient returns home the same day on his own feet and can return to his routine in 4 or 5 days and do sports after two weeks. The only precaution in those days is not to put your head down, but always straight or leaning back.
The patient can take an analgesic the day of the intervention and the next day for discomfort. The hair that is implanted falls out around 15 days later, after a month it begins to be born in the transplanted area, growing at the rate of one centimeter per month.
Risks and complications of having these implants in Turkey
The problem is that often, on the second day of Hair transplant in Turkey, the patient takes a plane back to their native country and there is no postoperative surveillance . In addition, there is no possibility of claiming in case complications arise because it would mean going to that country again. There is another very important aspect: Both the preoperative diagnosis and the transplant design in Turkey are done through a photograph because there is no prior consultation. The danger that this entails is that some types of alopecia could even worsen with a hair transplant.
Not just in turkey but overall infections tend to rise for patients who go to those offers they find on social networks. We also see significant healing problems and , of course, we see patients disenchanted because the implants have not had the expected effect and they have also lost hair in the nape area (donor area) .
The patient must know that after the implant, a follow-up must be done to avoid or treat any complications that may arise in time and continue with the appropriate therapeutic protocol to keep alopecia under control and ensure long-term results. This is something that obviously does not occur when the patient goes to this hair implant tourism, since they leave the country two or three days after their operation and have no follow-up.
The situation worsens even more , because these types of patients are reluctant to go to a hair dermatologist to check them , because they are ashamed to admit that they some other country, because of the price without evaluating the conditions.
Are all patients with alopecia suitable for treatment?
Implants can be done in those cases in which hair loss is significant or when hair stimulation techniques have not been sufficient. In these patients, a series of studies are carried out, such as trichology, to diagnose the causes of hair loss, in addition to other analytical studies that allow experts to assess general problems that may affect the hair, such as a lack of vitamins or iron, or hormones. The ideal candidate has stable or progressive alopecia, but is already under medical treatment .
What factors influence the success or failure of this procedure?
There are no differences in results due to gender, but rather success in hair transplantation will depend on the type of hair, the surgery performed and the postoperative care.
Are hair implants always done in one go?
It all depends on the degree of progression of the baldness to be treated and the density of the hair in the donor area. The average is between one to four transplants for each patient, although one usually achieves sufficient satisfaction.
As many as needed implants can be done, as long as there is a good donor. Usually about 2,500 or 3,000 follicular units are transplanted and the intervention lasts about four or five hours.
Differences between the technique used now and the one used before
The difference of the FUE technique with a previous one that is still being used, the FUT ( Follicular Unit Transplantation ), is that with the first, individual follicular units are obtained directly from the scalp and although they are usually taken from the area of the neck can be used other areas of the body. With the second, they perform follicular microtransplants, but from a strip of scalp obtained from the neck.
Going back in history, as early as 1939 the Japanese dermatologist Shoji Okuda used mini hair grafts in the surgical treatment of scarring alopecia and, later (in 1959), the dermatologist Norman Orentreich described the use of the punch , a circular scalpel to take the mini-grafts of different sizes. However, the final aspect of the procedure with this technique was doll hair. But it was not until the 1980s that the concept of the micrograft was introduced, that is, the use of the follicular unit that contains one to three hairs for the reconstruction of the hair implantation line and the correction of mediocre results in those patients operated with the preceding technique.
At present, this expert says that they prefer a combined technique, that is, the use of micrografts (one to two hairs) to reconstruct the hairline implantation line, while minigrafts (three to four hairs) are reserved to give density, especially in the upper part of the scalp.
The FUE hair implant is the most performed, the most innovative and its cosmetic result is somewhat better because it leaves less scary than the strip technique. However, FUT is still used, especially in women.