Overseas Clinic for Hair Transplants

(upbeat music) – [Announcer] Welcome
to The Hair Loss Show, where two of Australia’s leading
hair restoration surgeons, Dr. Russell Knudsen, and
Dr. Vikram Jayaprakash, discuss issues relating to hair loss, and the medical, and surgical
treatment of hair loss, in both men and women. (upbeat music) – Hi everybody, welcome to Episode 28, of “The Hair Loss” Show,
I’m Dr. Russell Knudsen. – And I’m Dr. Vikram Jayaprakash, welcome to today’s episode, which we’ll be talking
about overseas clinics. So, look, medical tourism is something that’s been
around for a long time, and it’s across a variety
of different fields, in dentistry, and all
across cosmetic surgery. And we’re seeing more
and more of that happen, here in hair transplant surgery. And what essentially is happening, is people are traveling overseas to have their procedure done. And generally the reason is financial. – And curiously people will e-mail us, or will ring us, or text us, and ask us who we would recommend, and that is kind of a curious
question to have to answer. If, for example, I have a patient from an overseas jurisdiction, that asks for advice
to a trusted colleague, that’s not a problem. I find it a bit more troubling when I have someone Australia, asking me where they should go overseas, because there are very
good surgeons in Australia, not just in Melbourne, in other
areas of Australia as well. So, we wanna talk to you
through the pros and cons, if you like, of what overseas clinics do. As Vikram said, it’s
usually about the money. And traditionally, people
have been able to combine an operation with a holiday. Because they look at the healing period, which is seven to 10 days,
and they say, “Well, you know, if I can heal overseas,
while I’m on holiday, and come home after the holiday,
you know, when it’s done.” So, you know, particularly for men, this is more common for hair loss, than to go overseas for a transplant, because it’s a secret man’s business, they don’t really want people
to know that they’re doing it. So they can go away and
hide, and have it done, and wait for the healing, the
scabbing and the crusting, as I said, seven to 10 days to settle, before they come home. And that can be a really good option, because generally speaking, hair transplantation is very safe, medically safe, generally speaking. If it’s done in a quality
institution, by a quality doctor. And I’ll repeat that,
a quality institution, by a quality doctor, because
sadly, in recent years, with the explosion of interest
in hair transplantation, a lot of less savory people
have entered the market. Some of them not doctors, we call these black market clinics, because they don’t use doctors
in the process, at all. And that’s particularly troubling to us, because there’s no attention
there, to the normal standards of medical safety guidelines, and ethics. But, there are many
great doctors overseas, that people will go to
in other jurisdictions, for example, there may be people in Australia from Thai descent, and they have family in Thailand, and they wanna go back to Thailand, to save their family
and have an operation. And Thailand has an excellent
reputation for hair, and other cosmetic surgery. So, I’ve been around for long enough, to have had lots, and lots of
people, come to me and say, “Is there anybody good in Thailand?” The worst example I had,
of the naivety of some of the people that wanna go overseas was, I had a contact from a patient who came in to see me some 10 years ago, and he said, “First thing I
want to tell you, Dr. Knudsen, is I can’t afford you.” I said, “Okay, so where
are we going with this?” He said, “So I’ve been in
touch with a Thai clinic.” And I said, “Okay, and
what did they tell you?” And they said, “Oh they tell
me I need 3,000 grafts.” And I said, “Well, how did they decide that you needed 3,000 grafts?” And he said, “I sent photos.” I said, “Okay, and who did you talk to? Did you talk to the doctor, or
did you talk to the manager, or the salesperson?” “I don’t know.” I said, “Okay”. So, I said, “So who is the doctor?” And he said, “Oh, I don’t remember.” I said, “Where’s the clinic? Is it in Bangkok, or is it in Phuket, or is it somewhere else, Pattaya?” And he said, “Oh, I can’t remember.” I said, “Okay, so basically,
you’re going to a clinic who you don’t know who the doctor is, you don’t know where the clinic is, you’ve sent some photos, you don’t know who you’ve talked to, you’ve been quoted 3,000
grafts, how can I help you?” He said, “Well, I really
don’t know what’s gonna go on, so I thought you might
like to explain it to me.” Now, that’s an extreme example, I’m not saying that people
think like that, but some do. And they think that a hair transplant is such a simple procedure.
– That anyone can do it. – Just plucking the little
hairs out of the back, putting it in the front,
anybody can do it, and they underplay the
importance, of the fact, that this is cutting full
thickness of the skin. So infection, you know,
bleeding, swelling, all sorts of things can
happen, and unfortunately, unfortunately there
have been some disasters around the world, for what should be a
simple and safe procedure. – So, when we talk about overseas clinics, it’s very easy to stand here
and, you know, to be sort of, trying to talk in our best interest. We’re not saying that
overseas clinics are bad, we know of lots of surgeons,
in various parts of the world, that people may go, you know,
Thailand, Turkey, India, fantastic surgeons, who will
do great job, a great job. That’s not the problem, you know, you can get great work done
in a variety of clinics, and there are reasons,
economic reasons why, you know, surgery in certain countries, is more expensive than other countries. And that’s probably something
that we can talk about on another episode. But, the thing is, I wanna
say is that, you know, we don’t generally have a
problem with overseas clinics, we have a problem when patients
are not managed correctly. And that starts right from the beginning. If you are being assessed,
and have a consultation, and it’s not being done by a doctor, if it’s being done by a salesperson, then they are only gonna be
driven by the bottom line, they’re only gonna be driven
by trying to sell you, the maximum number of grafts
that they can offer you. – They’ve liaise with travel companies to offer these travel packages, so the strategy they, that the
travel companies, you know, get the patients on board,
and send them over there, and I’m, oh yes, but they
take great care of you, they can give you a taxi
to and from the clinic, they book the hotel for you, they take you back to the airport, pick you up from the airport,
that’s the package, right? That’s the sales point. But the reality is, the
most important thing is, who are you seeing, and
who’s doing the operation? So, there are a couple
of factors that define, the way overseas clinics
generally would work. Okay, and again, I’m not saying this is a terrible thing, but you should be aware of it. So if you are flying 10, 12 hours overseas to have an operation, two
things you should remember. Number one, is they only
ever expect to see you once, and they don’t expect you to do it again. So the corollary of that, is that they’re gonna give
you as many hairs as they can, so that you don’t ring them
six months later and say, I thought I was gonna
get more hair than this. So the tendency, when you’re
dealing in that situation, is to be over quoted, rather than to be appropriately quoted, and they have no expectation
of seeing you again. Third thing you should remember is, I can’t remember the
last time I saw a patient that came to see me, that had
been to an overseas clinic, who had a discussion
about medical treatment, who was put on medical treatment, and who was told to stay
on that medical treatment. The closest they ever came to it, is like, oh, when go back to Australia, go and speak to the doctor. – What are they given? Sometimes given supermatter. – Yes. – They are given a bottle of supermatter. – Yeah, another remedy which doesn’t work. So there is things you’ve
got to remember here that for patient, the
best thing that can happen is to have a holistic experience with whichever doctor you go to. And that means he takes
or she takes care of you, medically, going forward, right? This is a progressive condition, and is a service part of the
package, not the package. – Hair loss is a journey,
and you are, you know, surgery is one stop on that journey. And you need to have someone who’s able to partner up with
you in the long term for that. And if they’re 10, 12
hours, flying time away, and that’s less likely gonna
be a possibility there. – And the other thing is,
of course, and this is true, not just in overseas clinics, when you look at the
before and after photos, I mean, they’re not gonna pick
the average result, right? They’re gonna pick something
that looks extraordinary. So if you can’t see the
person face to face beforehand and get a feel for what
they’re saying for you and what they really say
the outcome is gonna be. And remember, in a previous episode we talked about the difficulty of trying to quote people from photos or
from FaceTime or from Skype. Because you really can’t see the quality and the amount of the Dinah hair, you can’t really get a
good view of the hairline. Unless you’re super bowl, right? Then it’s reasonably straightforward. But in, for, here is the
thing, it’s difficult to do the interpretation from photos or videos, with video chat. So the bottom line is, really, you wanna think very carefully. If you had another option, fine, then do your research carefully. But really, you want somebody put eyeballs on you face to face to
look at what’s going on, to work out what’s the appropriate plan. – I think the other thing
as well, to look at is, you know, you mentioned
black market clinics as well. And this is where people
are employing technicians to do the work. They’re not medically trained, they don’t have a medical license. They’ve just been trained in the technical aspect of
that one particular procedure. And, you know, with that comes all sorts of other problems as well. And so you’re getting
the unlicensed practice of medicine and surgery. And that’s a big problem. So, the thing is, the thing
I’ll say about that is that, you know, we’ve met a lot of
people who have gone overseas, and had surgery and lots of
people have had a great result. But there are also people that have had less than stellar results, and I can tell you hands down, that it is unbelievably difficult to correct a job that’s been done poorly. – Because if you gonna laser
them out, you killing the hair, and you can’t use it again,
you’re gonna cut them and you’re gotta try and do it in a way that allows them to move back
to a more correct position and not leave you with visible scarring. – So what we’ll do is,
we’ll in the description we’ll link to another set of videos. So we had a patient and this is a really, this is an example. And again, this is not self serving, and this is certainly
not a generalization, but we had a patient, Ben who traveled overseas,
and this is the thing, he had an online Skype
consultation with a consultant. And then they just,
you know, bombarded him with emails, WhatsApp messages. They promised to pick
him up from the airport, his hotel was included in the package. And they offered him something
called infinity grafts, which is a term I’d never heard of, which is basically as
many grafts as you need to correct the area. – In a single session. – In a single session. Now, the problem with that is
that this guy is very young, and you take a large number of grafts, you’re overharvesting the back. And so he had that during the procedure, he didn’t meet the surgeon
until five minutes before and the surgeon was only present for about 10, 15 minutes of the surgery. There were the technicians
that were doing the procedure. He was in pain and didn’t have
any local anesthetic top-up during the procedure. And then he came back after his surgery, six months after that,
and he’s got poor growth. Very poor growth, one
higher than the other, and over-harvested from
the back, and is now going, what do I do? I can’t, they’re not returning my call. Now, I agreed, and I wanna say this again, this is not the norm. There’re a lot of people
that have been overseas and had that experience,
had a good experience. But you don’t wanna be the one person that has a bad experience.
– This is the influence on the black market clinic, right? – Yeah
– Cause this is, this was a sales hatchet. And he admits he was naive and desperate, and wanted to get it done in one session. So he’d been delayed to
believe all his misconceptions were gonna be correct. I just wanna emphasize about
techs or technical assistance, we all use them. Okay, so in my surgery,
in Dr Vikram’s surgery, yes, we have technicians of
the system and the surgery, they do parts of it that are
legally allowed to be done. Say for example, they can, under the microscope,
they can trim the grafts, after we’ve cut them out. They can insert the grafts into the incisions but
we make the incisions and we do the harvesting, right? That’s the surgical part of the operation, making the recipients on
incisions and the harvesting. Whichever technique,
whether we do Strip or FUE. So if you’re going to
ask any serious question about whether you got a doctor
involved in the process, you wanna know who’s harvesting
the grafts in the back of the head, and who is
making the recipient sides? That is the two telling questions that will explain to you whether you’re in the black market clinic, or whether you’re in a
conventional medical clinic where the surgeon is doing the work. – And the thing, the other
point to mention is I mean, we’ve gone off a little bit and talking about black market clinics. Black market clinics are not, they only, don’t just occur overseas somewhere. – They’re spreading around the world. – They’re everywhere and we
have them here in Australia, in Melbourne and Sydney, we, you know. They’re probably in the US, in the UK. So it’s not something that happens everywhere else.
– I have to mention about Turkey, I don’t really wanna take, you know, an aim at Turkey. But Turkey is where this problem exploded in the last 10 years. And every week, people come in and say, all my mates went to Turkey, I just can’t be bothered or
why shouldn’t I go to Turkey. It’s a question we get all the time. Are there some great Turkish colleagues? Absolutely, that I know and respect. And I feel so sorry for them, because only 10% of the clinics
in Turkey by our estimate, have a doctor involved in the
process, 10% of the clinics. So if you do the math, and you’re flirting with going to Turkey, there’s a 90% chance you’re talking to a clinic that has no doctor
involved in the process. Now, this is spreading
around the world, right? But that’s probably the
most concentrated market where we’re having trouble finding the surgeons
involved in the process. So, it’s not don’t do it,
it’s just don’t be naive and make sure you do your research. – Yes, absolutely, doing your
due diligence is important. Again, no, we, you know, we understand the financial implications and what drives people to go overseas. And that’s fine, we’re not, you know, we’re not for everyone. And this is, this video is not intended to try and sort of get more people to come and see us in clinic. We just wanted to address the issue that there are such things
as overseas clinics, why they, you know, and
the reason why they exist. And what you should look
for if you are going to undertake that. One of the things I’m very
proud of that we have over here, we have, you know, we are
part of our patient’s journey. So we see them before that move, we see them a number of
times up until their surgery. We’re involved throughout this,
on their surgical process. We see them post-op, you know. We see them multiple times
in that post operative phase. We even have an open door
policy in our clinic, patients can come back and see
us, you know, as many times. – Anytime they want.
– Anytime they want. And they have our contact details, etc. But, you know, that’s the
kind of, I would think, the kind of interaction you’d want with someone who’s involved
with your hair, etc. – I’m not special pleading
for the doctors in Australia, but one of the reasons we
have high costs in Australia is not just because we live
in an expensive jurisdiction with, big rents and big costs, but also the medical regulations are very strict in Australia. So for Vikram and I, we can’t register as medical
practitioners in Australia, unless we have medical
indemnity insurance. And for someone who wants to
practice hair transplantation, that’s around about $30,000 a year. So the message is, I
can’t even see one patient until I’ve paid my $30,000. So that means that’s just,
that’s the first expense, let alone the rest of the expenses that happens by practicing in Australia. So clearly Australia and New Zealand, are going to be more
expensive jurisdictions than some overseas because of a number of variety of reasons. But there are many
countries overseas with, there’s no such thing
as indemnity insurance for the doctors, which means if you have
a problem, good luck. Because there’s no insurance
to cover for compensation. So, I just said, I’m not
making special pleading for me or Vikram, or even just the other
doctors in Australia, I just want you to understand why there is such a differential
price around the world. We’re not the greediest
doctors in the world, we just live in a specific environment that makes it expensive
for us to practice. – Well, that’s a lot and hopefully that’s enough for you
to digest on on that. So have a think about that, do your due diligence and,
you know, this is something that’s gonna to live with you
for the rest of your life. – And please don’t be afraid if you’ve gone to an overseas clinic, and you come back and
you’re happy with results and then you start to see and think about, how did you happen to do something that’s stopping further hair loss. Please don’t be embarrassed
to come and see us. – Yeah, absolutely.
– Or other doctors about it. And after you said, look, you know, I know that I had my operation cause that was what I needed to do, but now I need to make
sure I keep my hair. We are very happy to be
involved in the assist. – There’s no judgment
judgment at all, is there? No, absolutely. And even if , you know, something
wrong with her, you know, we will do our best to try and help correct as much
as possible with that. So, there’s no judgment
across the board at all. So hopefully, you’ve found that useful. Please leave a comment
in the comments section. Give us a like and keep
the subscriptions coming and we’ll see you on the next episode. – Thank you very much. – Thanks. (dramatic orchestral music)

22 thoughts on “Overseas Clinic for Hair Transplants

  1. I had a top up transplant overseas in Thailand, never again. I had to get Dr Vicrum to fix it for me, thank goodness he was able to help me. I would stick to the Knudsen clinic in future. Best service and work. A+

  2. I'm from overseas and I want to consult in the nearest hair clinic… But how do I know that they are legit? What am I suppose to look for? And maybe even ask for somekind of documents?

  3. If anyone is interested in getting hair transplant in Turkey, there is a website called https://www.sacekimisonuclari.com/index.php?board=2.0 where patients post their results and not the clinics, so the results you will see be more accurate than the before after pictures on the website.

    It's in Turkish but you can search for the name of the clinic or the doctor to get the results from certain clinic/doctor, and you'll see the pictures on the topic.

    Note: I have no relation to website or any hair clinics in Turkey, I just want people to be informed before they get the procedure done and it's a website I check regularly to see the results of different people.

  4. Thank you so much for these videos guys. Please could I ask on the days you implement dutasteride for patients, you do not also take finasteride on that same day, right? Also, are you keeping patients on the 'low-dose' 1mg finasteride alongside the implementation of dutasteride? Thanks again guys!

  5. Can you Please recommend some GREAT colleagues from Turkey ? I am from France and cannot afford you guys although you seem both extremely well qualified

  6. Is finasteride mandatory after a hair transplant?
    I'm a part of the percentage of people who had almost instant side effects and can't take it anymore. What does that mean for me if I'm looking to get a HT?

  7. I had 2 HT procedures done here in melbourne and 1 in turkey just recently with Dr Acar of Cosmedica. I not only found it had become too expensive for me here but my doctor, Rhett Bosnich and his wife had passed away suddenly so i decided to try overseas, i did spend a year researching the best clinic i could find and so far im happy with the result. I wasnt fed any bullshit and i was told what i could actually get done from looking at my donor regions. Its been over 3 months and my donor region is thick again and my front and crown are slowly gaining , i can see some improvement and i correspond with my doctor every 3 months ( 1st week, 3rd week, 1 month and now every 3 months) so i feel im being look after.. but as you said, its important to do your research, ask questions, search forums like "Realself" and others out there to see what other people have gone thru and their journey. I thought about it for a year whilst researching before deciding and thats what i would recommend.

  8. Does 1 mg finasteride 3 times a week can grow new hair or just keep the hair what we have at that time ( i. Started taking in initial stage of balding)

  9. Why do Korea advise 0.25mg per day finasteride? But you guys suggest 3mg per week? There are a few studies that show that 0.25mg is around 6%less effective as 1mg tablet. Thank you

  10. Im currently in my third month of minoxidil foam, and in my 2nd week of combining this with finasteride…the results are beginning to show – would you recommend derma-rolling too?

  11. i did HT in Turkey 4 months ago with 5200 grafts cost me around AU $3400 (including hotel and airport pickup and drop) + $1500 return fare from Sydney . really happy with the results so far .

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