Turkey ranks the world’s first for the number of hair transplant operations carried out, amid rapidly rising demand from Arab citizens from Gulf countries.
A senior official from the Health Ministry, Ömer Tontuş, said over 200 hair transplant operations were carried out daily in Turkey, mainly on foreign patients.
“Our country has become the top destination in the world for this surgery. An average of 200 people, mainly foreigners, have a hair transplant surgery every day here, and this figure is even higher at weekends,” Tontuş said.
He noted that Turkey was particularly popular because of its relatively close distance to the Gulf and the relatively low prices its hair transplant surgeons offer.
“We see most health tourists coming from the Gulf countries, Germany, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya. Hair transplant surgery takes just a few hours, so while here patients can also visit touristic spots in Turkey. Hair transplant patients spend an average of five days in Turkey, even though they can return within two days after the operation,” Tontuş said.
Turkey is followed by India and Thailand in popularity for hair transplant operations.
“Our country gives a higher quality of service at a lower cost than its rivals,” Tontuş said.
Turkey, the sixth most-visited tourism destination in the world, has also become one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in recent years. Over half-a-million medical tourists visited the country for operations last year.
Only 109,000 medical tourists visited Turkey in 2010, but this figure had risen to 583,000 last year.
With the addition of plastic surgery figures, this figure increases to 700,000, according to sector representatives.