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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

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Dealing with a Botched Hair Transplant

What do Gordon Ramsey and James Nesbit have in common, apart from being rich, famous and regulars on the television?  Both men have had hair transplants.  At around £30,000, this is a treatment reserved for the lucky few who can afford it.  However, the latest hair transplant techniques are constantly evolving and becoming more successful; therefore, the price is likely to reduce in the future, making the procedure more accessible.

Negligence claims for hair transplants

But at the moment, the hair transplant surgery is in its relative infancy, not guaranteed to work and industry as a whole has recently been termed the 'wild west of medicine' by the New York Times.

If a hair transplant goes wrong, especially in the hands unlicensed or inexperienced surgeons, the consequences can be painful, costly and even fatal.

Hair transplant death

In May 2016, a 22-year-old medical student in Chennai died following a hair transplant procedure.  The young man had the surgery done at the Advanced Robotic Hair Transplant Centre in Nungambakkam, a salon that was licensed for hair cutting and styling only.  However, they were conducting hair transplant procedures which are equivalent to minor surgery without a licence.

The student underwent a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), a technique in which follicular units are removed directly from the donor area. The grafts are then transplanted into bald parts of the scalp.  This required a general anesthetic.  The surgeon who performed the procedure was not experienced in plastic surgery and the anaesthetist left the building after administering anesthesia, an action that breached regulations.

Death was attributed to organ failure due to delayed anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction which can be triggered by anaesthesia.

Emotional and physical scars of hair transplant procedures

A botched hair transplant, performed by an unlicensed or inexperienced surgeon can cause significant scarring, particularly if the incisions made in the scalp when transferring the hair follicles become infected.  Any scarring will become more noticeable as the hair continues to thin.

Other consequences of medical negligence in hair transplant procedures can include original and transplanted hair falling out and damage to the nerves of the scalp resulting in a loss of sensation.

Dr Kouremada-Zioga stated in an article featured in the Independent that poorly-done cosmetic surgery regularly ruins lives. "No two surgeons are the same," she says. "It comes from many years of practice." It is certainly painstaking work. Hour after hour, extracting and inserting single hairs, one after the other, after the other. 

Such an intricate procedure requires a high level of skill.  If the surgeon performing the hair transplant is negligent, compensation must be sought to fund the corrective procedures.

Fierce competition

As cosmetic surgery becomes more mainstream, competition between clinics is becoming fiercer. Corners are cut, follow-up care is not adequately provided, safety procedures are not always followed and full consultation of the consequences of an operation is often neglected.  If any of these occur before, during or after your hair transplant surgery and you suffer injury as a result, you can sue the clinic for compensation.

To bring a successful compensation claim, you need to seek specialist legal advice.

At IBB, our personal injury team, led by Malcolm Underhill, has the expertise and knowledge to advise and represent you if you wish to make a claim for a botched hair transplant or any other medical negligence incident. To talk about how we might be able to help, please phone us on 0333 123 9099, email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk  or fill in our contact form.  Any discussions you have with us will be in the strictest of confidence.

The information contained within our Blog Articles is provided as general information only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice or seek to be an exhaustive statement of the law and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. For further details, please see our terms of use policy.