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Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Monday, October 24, 2011

Want to get a hair transplant? Don't get swayed by classifieds offering cheaper hair transplant procedures as they can cause permanent damage to your scalp, doctors warn.

"The popularity of hair transplantation has seen a dramatic increase ever since celebrities have come out in the open declaring that they have undergone the procedure. A lot of younger adults who are about to get married are also coming in for hair transplantation," hair transplant surgeon Arvind Poswal told IANS.

Currently there are three procedures available. The first one is FUT (follicular unit transplantation) or strip procedure, where hair is transplanted from the permanent zone, the area in the back and sides of the scalp where hair is more resistant to balding, to the bald or balding areas.

The second procedure is FUE (follicular unit extraction), which is a slower procedure involving the transplantation of 500-1,000 hair strands. The third procedure available is DHI (direct hair implantation), which is considered the most advanced technique.

While the strip procedure can cost anywhere between Rs.40,000 and Rs.50,000, the DHI procedure ranges from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.5 lakh.

Newspapers and magazines are rife with advertisements offering cheap hair transplants at lower prices, but experts say blindly believing the ads is an invitation to disaster.

"A lot of complications can occur if the procedure is not done properly. People often get affected by lucrative offers and end up paying more in the form of scars and bad results. A lot of scarring can occur in the front and back. Bleeding and infection may also occur," said Viral Desai, a cosmetic and plastic surgeon based in Mumbai.

"A cheap transplant done in haste can do permanent damage. The visible scars not only look ugly but are also painful reminders of the treatment going wrong," Desai added.

Arihant Surana, medical director of Delhi-based Asian Roots spa, which offers hair transplant options, says transplants done by untrained doctors can make the hair look artificial.

"The most common thing that happens in such a case is 'no result'. Also, patients can get scarring in the front and back of their scalp if they opt for places that offer attractive discounts but generally lack trained and skilled doctors. And such damage is permanent in nature," said Surana.

"The new crop of hair doesn't look natural but appears as a 'paddy field' of hair placed artificially on top of the head," Surana added.

Poswal says such advertisements lead to negative publicity for doctors as well as the procedures.

"People should not get carried away by such advertisements. These give negative
publicity not only to the doctors but also to the procedures and obviously they will think twice before going in for the procedures," he said.

"It is important for people to do a proper research before getting swayed by such advertisements and opting for cheap treatments. They should look at people who have a similar hair loss problem like theirs and then decide," Poswal added.

Surana echoes similar views.

"It is extremely important that one should do the ground work and basic research on who are the experts in this area. One must check the track record and previous successful cases. Blindly trusting startups or people with scanty experience or getting swayed by attractive offers can cost dearly!" he said.


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