It seems many patients visiting Turkey for hair implants do not do the necessary research before embarking on the treatment.
Established clinic owners say it is vitally important that patients undertake thorough checks and ensure they find an experienced doctor and a legal clinic.
“The patients should look where the implant will be carried out, by whom and under what kind of registration process,” says the Natural Hair Turkey owner Ersin Murtezaoglu. He adds that established and licensed clinics such as his arrange a treatment plan for each patient. The whole process takes three days if there is no post-surgery problem.
Mr Murtezaoglu says seven in 10 of his patients are those who require repair surgery after suffering health problems following unauthorised implant surgeries elsewhere. “The majority of patients come from the [GCC]. Some had treatment in such countries as Egypt, Libya or Iran where hair implant technology [and clinical] infrastructure is not as good.”
One critical difference between an illegal clinic and a licensed one is that of post-surgery medical controls or healing therapies, he adds. The unauthorised clinics are not well-established and most are not even registered as real companies but exist only on a website, Mr Murtezaoglu says.
Encouraged by huge profits, unscrupulous operators want to cash in on the hair implant sector, the hair transplant specialist Engin Sönmez tells The National. More than 80 per cent of patients Mr Sönmez treats are from Arab countries, he says. In addition, more than 70 per cent of those who suffered post-surgery problems and were referred to Mr Sönmez for treatment are Arab visitors.
With the current loopholes in Turkish laws, illegal clinics could harm an increasing number of patients. Mr Murtezaoglu says there is no protection in place for people who use illegal clinics and no way to seek compensation for any post-surgery problems if the clinic has moved or shut following the procedure. Many do relocate within months and that also means follow-up procedures cannot take place.
“If patients come back after a year to have the process of hair growth checked they may not be able to find the clinic in its former place. [Illegal operators] move from one apartment or villa to another to avoid financial audits,” says Mr Murtezaoglu.
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