How one of Turkey’s leading hair clinics is adapting

Turkey is considered the global medical tourism leader for hair transplants. The market has been adversely affected by COVID-19 lockdowns, but one leading clinic in Istanbul has worked quickly to achieve a new normal, to keep serving their international clients safely.

Every year, thousands of medical tourists visit Turkey in search of different hair transplant procedures. They have good reasons for their choice; in addition to having well-equipped hospitals and experienced health personnel, hair transplants in Turkey are affordable.

Further to the impact of the pandemic on healthcare, the leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), has stated that hair restoration surgical procedures can proceed safely. To resume operations, says ISHRS, hair clinics must establish best practices in tandem with the governmental guidelines to protect both their staff and patients.

Leading hair clinics in Istanbul are taking this lead from ISHRS. Dr Serkan Aygin Clinic has stated it is well equipped, as the majority of the new protocols are already standard with them.

Treatment options offered at the clinic include Sapphire follicular unit extraction FUE, a procedure that involves manual removal of individual hair follicles from the patient’s scalp with sapphire blades for minimal side effects. Precautions that the clinic is taking to provide the best treatment to their patients include:

  • Screening for COVID by conducting a series of tests, including temperature checks. Patients showing no symptoms are cleared to proceed with their appointment. Those showing signs are advised to seek medical attention through a virtual visit, while monitoring their symptoms. The clinic also encourages online consultations for individuals who fall in the high-risk category.
  • Limiting visits to only one person per patient in a day. Social distancing and other additional measures are taken to minimise physical contact.
  • Using HEPA Filters in all operating rooms. HEPA Filters can clean the air every 2-3 minutes in a room. After every hair transplant procedure, Ultraviolet C lamps effective against microbes are turned on.

To ensure full protection for its citizens and tourists, Turkey has put new protocols in place. Wearing a mask is mandatory during the flight and at the airport, and everyone visiting the country must be screened on arrival. Any passenger showing symptoms including high fever, coughing or respiratory difficulties will be subject to check-ups and testing for coronavirus. Those who test positive will need to self-isolate at their place of accommodation.

The clinic puts forward a new argument about the benefit of lockdown quarantines for medical travellers. It suggests that, given compulsory quarantine periods, patients could see this as a good time to travel for various medical procedures, as when they get home, they are forced to recuperate instead of living normally.

The clinic says that patients are still travelling for hair transplant surgery but instead of travelling in groups, patients are now opting to travel solo.