Would you get a hair transplant from a taxi driver?
BALDING Australians are putting their lives and future hairlines at risk by flying to Turkey for cheap hair transplants, according to medical experts.
Aussie hair transplant surgeon Dr Russell Knudsen said Turkey was quickly becoming the world's "go-to hub" for cheap hair transplant surgery.
He said about 60,000 people, mostly men, visited Turkey for hair transplants every year.
"If you Google 'hair transplant Darwin' or 'hair transplant Sydney' the front page of Google will have adds for Turkish clinics on it," he said.
"There are some naive people who think this is a very straightforward procedure - and they think if it can be done for half the price overseas - why wouldn't you?"
"There's massive number of Australians going to Turkey at the moment for hair transplants."
However, Dr Knudsen said he saw many Aussie men returning with significant issues including scarring, infection and ongoing health problems.
"We see terrible results time and time again coming out of Turkey," he said.
"In my view, it just isn't worth the risk.
"Dodgy clinics prey on the insecurity and vulnerability of these men by promising to build up their confidence, only to crash it back down again."
Dr Knudsen urged Territorians keen to get a hair transplant to speak with their GP first and do their research.
He's not the only one worried about medical tourism.
Earlier this year, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery - the world's leading medical authority on hair loss treatment and restoration - launched an international patient awareness campaign, warning people about the potential dangers.
ISHRS' Ricardo Mejia echoed Dr Knudsen's concerns.
"Many of the illegal clinics have sophisticated websites ranking high with Google paid ads to attract the consumer into a clinic that appears on the surface very professional," he said.
"The marketing tactics are deceptive as it appears like a team of professional doctors with excellent testimonials.
"The reality is your surgery may be done by someone with no medical training.
"The demand is so high, reports are that taxi cab drivers and Syrian refugees do the surgery in some overseas countries."