Unethical Promotion And Sale Of Hair Transplant Surgery
26th March 2012
An alarming trend of UK clinics offering discounted surgery, through websites such as Groupon and KGB deals has emerged in recent months. It seems that some hair transplant clinics are taking advantage of the increased popularity of the treatment due to what I like to refer to as the ‘Rooney effect’. By offering patients ‘deals’ that are very appealing in the current economic climate, I believe this may lead to many people being ill-advised.
I was recently made aware of a 35-year-old man with a thinning crown, who researched hair transplant surgery on the internet and came across a Groupon offer for a transplant at a London clinic. He decided to go along to an advisory session at the clinic, but never actually met with the doctor who would be doing his surgery or any medical person for that matter. They told him that for £5,500, he would get full coverage.
Now, there’s no such thing as ‘full coverage’ and if the patient were to lose more hair subsequent to surgery, they’d certainly realise this. As the patient was experiencing thinning, it may have been more appropriate to advise he consider medications initially. It seems to me that the clinic was pitching for a sale, rather than providing quality advice.
I was interested to see Groupon hit the headlines last weekend following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading that found widespread examples of breaches of consumer protection rules – the website now has three months to improve the way it operates. It concerns me that clinics are using websites like Groupon to offer these discounted treatments to the increasing number of men who are seeking hair transplants. Like many operations, it is not a ‘one size fits all’ procedure. I advocate the need for guidelines to be put into place, to ensure that women and men are protected when it comes to hair transplants, or any other type of cosmetic surgery.