Martinick Hair News

The Unseen Dangers of Overseas Hair Transplants, A Closer Look

- Wednesday.August 30. 2023

In recent years, travelling abroad for medical procedures has gained significant popularity. One area where this trend is particularly noticeable is hair transplantation. Many individuals, driven by the allure of cost savings and the promise of a full head of hair, opt to undergo hair transplant surgeries in countries like Turkey. While the appeal of a quick fix is undeniable, it’s crucial to consider the hidden risks and pitfalls associated with this practice. 

The Unseen Dangers of Overseas Hair Transplants, A Closer Look


Dr Jennifer Martinick, a respected figure in the field of hair restoration, brings a comprehensive perspective to the table—one that seeks to educate and inform rather than criticise an entire country’s medical industry. She recognises and respects ethical doctors and colleagues whose commitment to patient welfare and quality work shines through.

Dr Martinick shares similar opinions and viewpoints with other experts, like Dr Jeffrey Epstein, and provides a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding the overseas hair transplant industry. Indeed, people often embark on this journey with high hopes of a successful procedure, only to face disappointing outcomes and unforeseen complications. Let’s explore some of the key points raised and the broader implications.

1. Government Approval vs. Personal Welfare

In countries like Turkey, where economic factors have motivated the promotion of medical tourism, individuals may find themselves entering a system where their well-being is not the primary concern. Individuals often travel to Turkey, believing they meet the criteria for transplantation and are readily granted approval. This approach is sanctioned by the government, possibly driven by the nation’s economic goals to boost foreign currency reserves due to the significant devaluation of the Turkish lira following the impact of COVID-19. It could be perceived that the government’s priorities may differ from those in other countries, and their approach to healthcare reflects these distinctions. 

2. Ignoring Underlying Medical Conditions

Dr Martinick says, “Medical conditions aren’t taken into account, which means around 10% of men may not be suitable, and they often don’t realise this. Additionally, people with DUPA (diffuse unpatterned androgenetic alopecia), which affects 2% of Caucasians and 5% of South Asians, are never considered suitable candidates.”

This oversight not only jeopardises the success of the procedure but also endangers the health of those who may not be suitable candidates for surgery. This serves as a reminder that medical decisions should always be based on a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s overall health.

The mental state of individuals seeking hair transplants is another dimension often unexamined. It raises concerns about their psychological well-being and the ethical implications of providing surgery without proper evaluation and support.

“No consideration is given to the mental state of the clientele, which from various studies undertaken, suggests that up to 20% of men may have an ulterior motive for having a hair transplant, and require very careful evaluation before proceeding or the doctor having to say that ‘I can’t meet your expectation’. That’s 35% of men who will not have a satisfactory outcome for one reason or another. After 30 years of practice in Australia, that is the actual attrition rate that we see in our consultations,” says Dr Martinick.

3. Quality of Work

The lack of design, artistry, and proper hairline placement in some overseas clinics underscores the need for a rigorous assessment of the competence of the individuals performing these procedures. Substandard work leads to unsatisfactory results and risks of infections, scarring, and long-term damage.

“And it doesn’t take a trained eye to note the inferior work. This leads to medication and future loss; Hair loss in everybody is continuous throughout life. You must have enough hair to follow future loss,” Dr Martinick says.

4. Health and Safety Concerns

One of the most alarming aspects of overseas hair transplants is the potential health and safety risks associated with subpar medical practices. The use of local anesthetic without proper physician oversight and the lack of emergency equipment and trained personnel in case of complications are issues that must be addressed.

The mention of underreported deaths due to cardiac arrests is a stark reminder that even seemingly routine procedures can have life-threatening consequences. This number of deaths in young men is Dr Martinick’s greatest concern. The legal system in some places even tries to hide these numbers. 

“There is no or little physician involvement. The local anesthetic they use has two ingredients that can and have caused cardiac arrests in people of any age. Local anaesthetic is something that even well-trained doctors have the utmost respect for and take measures to make sure it doesn’t enter major blood vessels; it is why oxygen and resuscitation equipment with properly trained staff are on hand in case something goes wrong in a safe operating room,” says Dr Martinick.

5. The Importance of Follow-Up

Postoperative care is a critical aspect of any medical procedure, and the absence of proper follow-up care after an overseas hair transplant can leave patients vulnerable. Dr Martinick’s concern about local doctors’ reluctance to provide follow-up care due to insurance complications highlights the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to patient care.

In light of these issues, hearing about the recent changes in Australia’s medical standards and the emphasis on patient safety is encouraging. With the new standards issued by the Medical Board in Australia in July this year, along with medical insurance simply refusing to cover doctors for all procedures they want to do, individuals can make more informed decisions about their medical procedures. 

Choosing a reputable medical professional in a regulated environment can significantly reduce the risks associated with hair transplants. Australia is one of the safest countries to undertake a hair transplant. Still, it is now up to the patient to ask the doctor what their medical insurance covers them and if they have any restrictions. 

While the allure of overseas hair transplants may be strong, it’s essential to consider the potential dangers and complications associated with this practice. Dr Martinick’s insights shed light on the complex interplay of economic incentives, patient welfare, and medical ethics in medical tourism. As prospective patients, it’s your responsibility to prioritise your health and well-being above all else and to thoroughly research and consider the potential risks before making decisions about a medical procedure like hair transplantation.



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