Traveling Out of the Country for Hair Transplant Surgery


Due to the cost of elective procedures such as cosmetic surgery or hair transplants, many people who want them cannot afford them. Men who have thinning hair may always wear hats when out in public or comb their hair in such a way that it hides their bald spots. Women with thinning hair can style their hair to hide it, have extensions put in if they can afford them, or wear wigs.

Since hair transplant procedures are not covered by NHS, or private insurance in other countries, people who want them have to pay for them out of pocket. As with many other elective medical procedures or even costly conventional treatments, some people are electing to go to other countries offering the same procedures at a lower cost. Many countries outside of Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States offer quality hair transplants by certified physicians for much less.

Finding Trained Specialists

When having any procedure done in another country, or even your own, you need to find someone who specialises in the field. If you want a hair transplant, then look for a doctor who has been trained to perform hair transplants, which could be a plastic surgeon, a dermatologist, or a general surgeon. Since there are many companies that specialise in certain hair transplant techniques, they usually will train doctors who want to learn their techniques.

Research Doctors

Since there are specialists in most countries who perform hair transplants, you should research the country you plan to visit to find a hair transplant doctor. Once you’ve found some, you need to research their training, backgrounds, medical licensure, and experience, just as you would with any doctor you hire in the UK. You can go online to try to find information about the hair transplant doctors you’ve found, including searching to see if they have websites for their practices.

If they have trained in a certain hair transplant technique such as FUE, then you could search using the name of the technique to find doctors in the country that you’re visiting. For instance, you can get a hair transplant in Turkey using the aforementioned technique, so if you use the name of it when you do an Internet search, you should be able to find the information you need. Read their websites or any information you find carefully, especially about their training and experience, then look to find any accreditations or certificates that they may have.

Hair Transplant Accreditations

There are organisations that certify or accredit doctors who do hair transplants. One of them is the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). They provide fellowship training programs for doctors interested in performing this procedure. They also have a search feature that allows interested parties to search for hair transplant doctors by name or by country.

When you find the list of doctors in the country you’re going to, such as Turkey, just click on a name to find out more information about the doctor. The site lists their locations, website addresses, backgrounds, training, and experience. However, there still may be doctors who are not associated with the ISHRS who perform hair transplants and you can continue to research to find them.

Both Europe and the United States have their own societies that accredit hair transplant doctors: the European Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ESHRS) and the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS). Some doctors in other countries will have received medical training in the UK or the US and will have studied and earned certificates there while they did.

Why Go to Turkey?

There are hundreds of hair transplant clinics in Turkey and at one time they accounted for about 25% of all hair transplants done in the world. There are many licensed doctors who perform hair transplants, especially in the country’s most popular city of Istanbul. Estimates show that hair transplant surgeries there have become an industry worth over a billion pounds.

Save on Procedures

One of the main reasons people travel to another country to have a procedure done is the cost. In Turkey, men or women from the UK who want their hair restored can save a significant amount of money. Hair transplants in the UK cost up to five times more than they do in Turkey, which means saving thousands of pounds.

The cost of a hair transplant usually depends on how many grafts are transplanted from the donor area to where hair is missing or thinning. The average cost for one in the UK that involves 2,000 to 4,000 transplanted grafts ranges from £6,500 to £9,500 pounds. However, if the procedure is done in Turkey, you only pay £2,200 to £3,000 pounds.

Many clinics also include transportation to and from the airport to your hotel and then to and from the hotel to the clinic. Accommodations in a nice hotel may be included for a couple of days as well. If you wish to stay longer than the provided-for accommodation, then you would need to pay for the room out of your pocket.

Surgery Time and Recovery

Hair transplant surgeries are done in the clinic and they may take one or two days, depending on how many grafts are being transplanted. Plan to be in the clinic at least a full day to have a FUE procedure done. The recovery period may be different for you but most patients can return to work and most of their normal activities within three to five days and the stitches can generally be removed 10 days after the procedure.

Most doctors will provide aftercare medications and shampoos along with instructions about what you can and cannot do until the stitches are out. Full hair growth can take a few months but you should start seeing some hair coming in about two to three months after the procedure. If you are considering hair transplant surgery but the cost has made you reconsider having it done, you can go to Turkey for much less and regain a head full of healthy hair.