Hair transplant is the most popular private cosmetic treatment for medical tourists travelling to India in 2016

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Cosmetic surgery insights and trends from 2016 reveal that hair transplant was the most popular treatment for medical tourists in analysis of almost 96,000 patient enquiries to private clinics in India

  • Medical tourism enquiries made up almost 12% of all enquiries to clinics in India in 2016, according to clinic comparison sitecom
  • Top 3 most popular treatments for medical tourists were hair transplant, dental implants and liposuction
  • Top source countries for medical tourism in 2016 were the UAE, UK and the US, driven mostly by cost savings of up to 70% for major treatments

whatclinicDecember, 2016: Hair transplants are the most popular medical tourism trend of 2016, with enquiries up by 16% over the past 12 months. The restoration treatment is set to continue its domination as a key trend for 2017 since figures from were released this week.

Almost 12% of all email enquiries were from overseas patients. The most popular treatment was hair transplant, which is one of the fastest growing elective cosmetic treatments worldwide according to the consumer site. India, alongside Dubai and Turkey have all emerged in 2016 as medical tourism hotspots for the costly treatment, which uses advanced grafting techniques to remove hair from the back of the head, where it is more likely to grow, and plant it to the front of the head, where baldness can occur.

Hair transplant treatment has advanced in recent years, and awareness has grown thanks to a number of high profile pop stars, footballers and actors who have successfully had the treatment. There are two main methods used to perform the treatment, FUE (follicular unit extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transplant). The former relocates small units of follicles individually, while the latter removes small strips of hair. One or both methods can be used to relocate healthy hair to balding areas.

The second most popular private treatment from medical tourists heading to India was for dental implants. Patients in the UK and the US may have to spend tens of thousands on dental implants and the cost savings are often high enough for people to consider this treatment overseas. However, dental implants require multiple treatments and so medical tourists tend to travel to countries where they plan on staying for a few weeks, in order for the treatment to be correctly administered.

 Liposuction is the third most popular medical tourism treatment for medical tourists travelling to India, where patients can expect to save up to 70% on the cost of treatment in comparison to the at home prices.

Most popular procedures for overseas people enquiring into India Increase in enquiries over the past 12 months
Hair Transplant 16%
Dental Implants 43%
Liposuction 20%
Gynecomastia 25%
IVF – In Vitro Fertilisation -6%
Rhinoplasty 31%
Tummy Tuck 44%
Skin Lightening 18%
Breast Implants 19%

The top source regions for medical tourism to India are the UAE, UK and the US. Interestingly, the report also indicated that there was also considerable demand for routine treatments from overseas patients, as well as the high value treatments like hair transplant, which may be attributable to people living and working abroad, who are travelling home, and plan to book treatment while they are there.

Top patient countries enquiring into India Increase in enquiries over the past 12 months
United Arab Emirates 23%
UK 26%
US 13%
Saudi Arabia 22%
Australia 18%
Bangladesh 46%
Qatar 28%
Canada 15%
Oman -2%
Kuwait 36%

Commenting on the data trends, Philip Boyle, Head of Consumer Matters for WhatClinic, said:

 “Medical tourism continues to grow worldwide, driven by greater transparency around pricing and increased access to affordable travel. Many countries, and clinics, have recognised the opportunity of patients from overseas and are providing key services, including translators, airport transfers and accommodation to help attract patients.

“We have seen a growth of around 10% in the numbers of overseas patients looking for treatment in India, with much of this growth attributable to key treatments like hair transplant and dental implants. However, it’s important to do your research before committing to treatment overseas. We advise all patients who are thinking of medical travel to research the experience and qualifications of their chosen practitioner, to read reviews, and to carefully consider quality, risk and outcomes when making their decision”

About is a global healthcare comparison website that enables patients to compare and review clinics across the globe, with online booking and independent price checks. With detailed listings for over 120,000 private healthcare clinics across 135 countries worldwide, helps consumers make an informed decision on elective medical treatments as conveniently as possible. was founded in 2007 by tech entrepreneur Caelen King and is headquartered in Dublin. In 2015, over 15 million unique visitors came to the site to find, compare and book treatments across a wide range of elective medical treatment.