As health tourism booms, so too does the number of horror stories of operations botched abroad – and hair loss surgery is no exception.
Inspired by Wayne Rooney
The England forward is arguably as famous now for his hair restoration journey, believed to have involved at least two surgeries so far, as he is for his football and serves as an inspiration for many men. Former Liverpool footballer, Didi Hamman also underwent surgery to bolster his receding hairline recently and admitted he too was inspired by what’s now commonly known as ‘the Rooney Effect’.
Whilst Wayne Rooney has done wonders for helping men to be more confident about seeking help in fighting their male pattern baldness, not everyone has his Premiership budget. This is why Mr. Hamid chose to go to Turkey for his hair transplant as it appeared to be a more affordable option.
“When Wayne Rooney got it done, I looked into it and thought it was too much money, it was around £13,000.” Mr. Hamid told the Mirror. Priced at £1,500 the operation in Turkey represented a saving of more than £10,000 compared to having it in the UK. Furthermore, Mr. Hamid said one of his friends had had the same procedure done in Turkey a few months prior and believed everything was working out fine.
Alas, as he soon found to his horror, the decision turned out to be a false economy and now – almost 15 months later – he is still paying the price.
Says follicles were damaged
Turkey was recently listed as the number one ‘health tourist’ destination for Britons seeking hair transplants abroad. The banker from Bury in Greater Manchester went ahead with the Turkish surgery, taking a friend with him for company. “I was worried before I went and unsure but kept thinking about my friend and the results he had,” he recalled.
Mr Hamid, who had advanced hair loss before his surgery, was initially impressed at how easy it all seemed, “I flew out there on the Sunday and was booked in on the Monday to have it done. When I booked they sorted everything out, they do your transport, accommodation and taxis, everything”.
Whilst his stay may have gone smoothly, he is not convinced his ten hour surgery did, claiming the work damaged the follicles at the back of his head and, adding insult to injury, he is once again experiencing thinning hair.
Admitting he was happy with his results initially up to the 10 month mark, he says he is no longer satisfied. “I have not got the results I was expecting. When you get the treatment done it takes about six months for your hair to grow and 14 months to see the full results.”
Unfortunately Mr. Hamid believes the surgeon who carried out his hair transplant – the method, whether FUT or FUE is not specified – took too much donor hair, making it unlikely he can have corrective surgery.
“When you do go somewhere like Turkey it damages your follicles in the back of your head,” he says. “When they do it in England, they will do 2,000 at a time and when I had it done they took 3,500 which was too much… now, if I wanted to have the treatment done again I wouldn’t be able to get another full transplant done because they have damaged some of my follicles. I will need about 3,000 taken out to correct it because of the damage that has been done.”
Another reason for his hair loss?
Mr. Hamid first noticed signs of hair loss almost ten years ago, “I started losing my hair when I was quite young,” he explains. “I tried many different things and nothing had ever worked – I had given up on it. At 21, to lose your hair, it affects your confidence.”
This experience of trying different products to no avail may have put the Mancunian off using professional hair loss treatments. If this is the case, this may also be at least part of the reason he is experiencing post-transplant shedding now.
In order to prevent hair loss following a hair transplant it is widely advised that men follow a treatment course as part of their on-going aftercare. Using the clinically-proven components finasteride 1mg and/or minoxidil – ideally both together as part of a comprehensive combination treatment programme – can help preserve the hair surrounding the transplanted area in those with genetic hair loss.
Failing to properly maintain this type of post-surgery routine can lead to thinning around the grafts which often looks extremely unnatural. This happens due to the DHT, which caused the initial hair loss dealt with by the transplant, continuing to attack the other hair follicles around the top of the head. Unless this underlying cause of male hair loss is dealt with, hair loss remains a possibility.
Whilst having surgery abroad is always a risky business due to factors such as different standards in care, availability for on-going or emergency assistance and even language barriers, if this simple maintenance step is not followed, this can also cause unsatisfactory results following hair restoration surgery. If Mr. Hamid was to take advice from a hair loss specialist they would be able to properly assess his condition and advise him on the best way to maximise his hair as it is through the use of personally-tailored, non-invasive methods.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.