BALDING Australians endangering their lives and future hairstyles by flying to Turkey for cheap hair transplants, according to medical experts.
Australian hair transplant surgeon Dr. Russell Knudsen said Turkey quickly became the world's hair transplant center.
According to him, about 60,000 people, mostly men, visited Turkey for hair transplantation every year.
"If Google" hair transplant Darwin "or" Sydney hair transplant "on the first page of Google will have added to the Turkish clinics on it," he said.
"There are some naive people who think this is a very simple procedure – and they think that if you can make half the price abroad – why would not you?"
"There are a large number of Australians going to Turkey for hair transplant."
However, Dr. Knudsen said he had seen many Australian men returning with significant problems, including scarring, infections and ongoing health problems.
"We see terrible results from Turkey over and over again," he said.
"It's just not worth the risk, I think.
"Predatory clinics take advantage of the insecurity and vulnerability of these men by promising to build confidence just to crush it again."
Dr. Knudsen urged Territorians to ask for a hair transplant to speak to their GP first and to do research.
He is not the only one who worries about medical tourism.
Earlier this year, the International Association of Hair Recovery Surgery, the world's leading medical body to treat and restore hair loss, has launched an international campaign to raise patient awareness by alerting people to potential dangers.
Ricardo Medgia of ISHRS echoed Dr. Knudsen's concerns.
"Many of the illicit clinics have sophisticated websites that rank high on Google paid ads to attract users to a clinic that appears on the surface very professionally," he said.
"Marketing tactics is deceptive, as it looks like a team of professional doctors with excellent recommendations.
– The reality is that your surgery can be done by someone without medical training.
"Demand is so high, reports that taxi drivers and Syrian refugees are operating in some overseas countries."