Man’s hair started falling out in clumps after Turkey transplant horror

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After flying to Turkey to save money on a hair transplant, Tom Brett found that “you get what you pay for.”

Casino worker Tom Brett, 31, started losing his hair when he was around 20. He said: “Losing my hair really affected my confidence, I found myself wearing hats almost every day. I was just not confident at all.”

Motivated by the prospect of saving money, he flew to Istanbul in 2019 after paying £2000 for his surgery and a two-night hotel stay to have the operation at a surgery he had researched beforehand. Tom, from Portsmouth, said for the same procedure in the UK he was looking at paying £5,000 which he couldn’t afford at the time.

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He said: “It seemed too good to be true because of the price so I just took a leap of faith but it didn’t really go the way I expected. There’s a reason it’s a lot cheaper, you get what you pay for. I didn’t think it was a possibility that it could go wrong, so I was shocked when it did.”

When he arrived in Istanbul, Tom soon found out the surgeon he had been speaking to was not going to be doing the procedure himself. Rather, his assistants would be doing the transplant. He said: “He was leaving it to his assistants and floating between each surgery room during the day. They’d already injected me with numbing stuff and I thought it’s already too late now, so let’s crack on.”

Tom Brett from Portsmouth, who had a nightmare experience when he had a hair transplant in TurkeyTom Brett from Portsmouth, who had a nightmare experience when he had a hair transplant in Turkey
Tom Brett from Portsmouth, who had a nightmare experience when he had a hair transplant in Turkey | Tom Brett

Tom said the people working on his hair transplant did not speak English, so he sat in silence for eight hours while they worked. Afterwards, they gave him a bottle of lotion, telling him to apply it once a day and to email them if he had any questions.

The following day Tom flew home where his hair transplant appeared to be healing fine for the first couple of months. But after around six months, Tom said his hair started falling out in patches.

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In a Radio 2 interview Tom did in 2020, he said he emailed the team but they kept telling him to wait for 12 months to have passed until the transplant had fully healed. But, after the 12-month mark, they no longer had an obligation to give him any more aftercare and they just offered him another hair transplant that he would have to pay for.

Dr Roshan Vara, a hair transplant surgeon at the Treatment Rooms in Harley Street fixed Tom’s hair transplant. Tom said Dr Vara could tell right away the hairs were put in at the wrong angle. He said: “It was just so much more professional, they put me at ease. They spent about half an hour afterwards going through the dos and don’ts with me and I didn’t have any of that in Turkey, they didn’t explain anything.”

Dr Vara said it was obvious to him the hairs were implanted in the wrong direction so they were growing straight upwards: “The hairline design the clinic in Turkey gave him was grossly asymmetrical. The geometric nature in which the hair was implanted also made his hair look like a “rice-paddy” field.”

“We found profound scarring and altered blood supply in large areas of his scalp due to the trauma of his previous surgery. This made surgery riskier in areas and limited the amount of work we could do. We are pleased it has been life changing for Tom.”

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