A final year medical student in Chennai, 22-year-old Santosh was shy of his slight baldness and decided to go for a hair transplant procedure last month. But two days after the surgery, he was dead.
His mother, P Josebeen, a nurse, is heartbroken. She said she could only watch helplessly as her only son developed a fever immediately after the 10-hour-procedure involving around 1,200 hair transplants and died on the third day in a private hospital.
His parents allege the doctors at the Advanced Robotic Hair Transplant Centre who performed the procedure were not surgeons and the anaesthetist left soon after the procedure began. Both doctors are now missing.
“They earn fifty to sixty lakhs every day. For them, only money matters. They don’t value life. I lost my son in a short time. This should not happen to anyone. We need justice, arrest both doctors,” Ms Josbeen said, who had paid Rs. 73,000 for her son’s surgery.
Authorities say the hair transplant centre had obtained a licence only to run a hair salon which too expired two months ago. Although they had qualified doctors one of who was trained in China, there was no infrastructure to tackle any complication. The centre has no sterile place or an operation theatre, officials said.
For now the authorities have sealed the centre. The drug controller has recovered a huge stock of medicines kept without licence.
The state medical council has sent a notice to the owners while the health department is recommending using a tough law to regulate such centres dealing with surgical procedures including hair and wart removal, often masquerading as beauty parlours, spas and hair treatment centres.
The police have filed a case of suspicious death and are now working on exhuming Santosh’s body since he was buried without a post mortem.
Officials from the hair transplant centre were unavailable to respond to the charges.
However, a police officer who did not want to be quoted said, “They are based out of Pune with 17 centres in seven cities. This centre appears to be getting around 35 clients every month.”