Let’s face it, in the modern world of sleek marketing, celeb endorsements and good looking models, this for some is the only level of research they need to do for what is their life changing hair transplantation surgery. Why waste time when others have researched for you and their five star and four line reviews are more than enough to catch you and reel you in. With their glowing teeth and their gelled hair that looks like a scene from Grease, (the movie), not the country, the set is ready, all that is needed now is your part to complete the dream. The price is good so why pay more?
In the good old days, you had to leave home to get robbed, now it happens from the safety of your office, your home or anywhere that you are connected. The web that gives us so much, and it gives us a lot of good, is also a fertile ground for grooming the unsuspecting victim.
Dr.Bisanga details some of the nasty surprises cheap surgery can give!
Like many today, time is precious and money is an important factor, so these become the USP or the “unique selling points” for many hair transplantation clinics. Flashy presentations, often on sites and media accounts that are live and then down very frequently, huge marketing budgets, (ironically the larger the campaign the smaller the doctor), and medical professionals who really have no depth or pedigree to show.
Aside from the presentation, comes the deal, the price, the clinch…all you can eat, a marketing tool for restaurants in the 90s, has become a tool for modern hair transplantation, they just changed a few words to “all the grafts you need”, and often for a set price or a very cheap price per graft. The focus is on this and less so on the qualifications, recognition, awards, peer review, pedigree and depth of posting history of cases and education to recognised forums.
Attracted by this wonderful price and often less than half of what you would expect to pay in a truly bonafide reputable clinic, it seems to be low risk and high benefit. Okay, the stage has been set, now let’s see some of the problems that come. Firstly the number of patients per day that are being operated on. When most of the top will do one or at most two patients per day, and averaging 8 hours per surgery, these are doing multiple and even I have heard of 8/9 daily! Yes, you read that correctly, a few more and you have a football team!
Surgery, this will usually last 3/4 hours for 3000 to 4,000 FUE, and this is an important aspect, the surgery is tech centric not doctor centric, so in essence you have multiple technicians punching the grafts, three at a time is not uncommon, and the same crew placing with implanter pens. So, the whole process is super-fast, the hair implantation happens simultaneously with the sites being cut, and like a quick fit fitter, you are in and out before you know it.
The donor is often over harvested, the hair angles, depth, direction and density, rather than being dictated by the doctor are at the mercy of the technicians, most of whom have little to none medical experience of qualifications. In fact, it is shocking but some are part time taxi drivers and illegals in the country with no experience in what is essentially a very complex and life changing surgery. If your tech is left handed you may have different hair orientations placed as opposed to right handed, and trust me I have seen the results of this.
To make matters worse, your hourly rate was in all probability more for this than it would have been with a doctor centric, renowned clinic, that due to the doctor punching all of the grafts and cutting all of the sites, you need far more time. So, in essence, your cheap deal per hour is not so cheap financially.The real cost however is far more, the grafts are precious, the donor often is beyond repair and the result is worse than being bald! The cost is emotional, both socially and professionally. I have met many who have left well paid jobs due to this and take anything where they can live under a hat!
If things go really wrong then your actual physical health can be at harm, with too many injections and risk of toxicity to even scalp necrosis! At times the last thing to worry about is the end hair transplant result that can be pluggy, lack density and frankly be anything but natural.
Take home message, remember a hair transplant is for life, work out the cost difference it will be per year and ask yourself…is it worth it? In short a good surgery is priceless, a poor one is even more costly.