The Black Market group, comprised of surgeons from around the world, have issued a stark warning on the rise of unethical transplant clinics.
The Black Market
Against a backdrop of steadily increasing numbers of hair transplant clinics around the world, the Black Market was formed to protect the integrity of their field. It began after the initiative was announced at the recent Los Angeles coming together of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).
The early signs are that they mean business too. By releasing details of conversations among bona fide surgeons they are highlighting both best practice and some of the real issues surrounding improper practice.
Bigger Not Better
While the techniques employed were still in their early stages, as a nascent industry hair transplant clinics were places of great integrity. Some of the more basic parts of the process might have been carried out by technicians but the bulk would have been performed by physicians.
Compare that to today, a couple of decades later, where in some countries machines are even being used to perform the transplant itself. Elsewhere, patients are put on a conveyor belt by clinics treating dozens of people a day, with possibly just one overseeing doctor on call if needed and responsible for the work of many technicians performing the actual treatments.
Interestingly, as part of the exercise, the ISHRS looked for commonality in the work of leading surgeons. They identified four key areas where there was a clear clinical advantage in the method chosen by all or at least a significant majority.
1 They all used double spin PRP, 2
2 Most used micro needling
3 Most used ACell
4 Most felt 1-3 sessions optimal, followed by repeat every 1-2 years offered the best outcome for patients.
While it might be a relatively easy task, given a certain level of due diligence, to spot a bad clinic in Turkey or Iran, a final note of warning was aimed at poor practice seeping into Western Europe and the US. Here they are seeing pop up clinics featuring some of the less attractive aspects of those bad clinics in less well-regulated environments, particularly high volume establishments with oversight rather than surgery provided by a surgeon.
HIS Hair Clinic
No doubt we will hear much more from the Black Market group. It has certainly been an interesting start from them.
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