Businessman dies after suffering "severe allergic reaction" to hair transplant surgery
Shrawan Kumar Choudhary, 43, who ran a logistics firm, died a day after he underwent the procedure at a clinic in Mumbai, India
An Indian man who was undergoing a hair transplant has died after reportedly suffering an allergic reaction during the procedure.
According to local reports, Shrawan Kumar Choudhary underwent the procedure at a private clinic in Mumbai, Daily Mail reports.
The Times of India reported that the 43-year-old died the day after the 12-hour procedure, which cost Rs. 500,000 ($7,244) and of which he had not informed his family.
Choudhary, who ran a logistics firm, reportedly asked the doctor for 9,000 grafts in one sitting - three times over the recommended limit. However, it is yet to be understood whether Dr. Vikas Halwai, the dermatologist who treated him, agreed to his demands. Choudhary began to develop complications after 3,700 grafts, Dr. Halwai told the police.
Choudhary underwent standard safety checks before the hair transplant began last Thursday evening. He started to have neck pain by 2.30 am the following day. But when the victim began having breathing difficulties, he was rushed to Global Hospital in Parel. He was later shifted to Hiranandani Hospital, where he died on Saturday.
While a probe has been launched into the incident, Choudhary's death has currently been listed as accidental by the local police force. According to The Times of India, doctors believe the victim suffered a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock, although the cause of death is yet to be established.
Having said that, only a "few" fair transplant patients will suffer breathing difficulties, according to the Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in India. "Patients often try to pressure doctors to cover large areas in one sitting," a spokesperson for the body said. "We do not plan more than 2,500-3,000 grafts in one sitting and make sure it is completed in six to eight hours. Prolonged time and extended anesthesia can compound problems."
Also, Dr. Halwai has been doing transplants for the last eight years, per the Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons in India. "Number of hours depending on an individual’s capacity and may not pose a direct risk to life," added Dr. Anil Garg, a member of the body.
While the surgery can prove risky if not performed in a sterile condition, no complaints or allegations were made about the cleanliness of Dr. Halwai's clinic.
Speaking to Daily Mail, Dr. Kapil Bhargava, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, said, "This is an exceptional case. The cause of his death needs to be investigated to determine if it is related to the procedure, the medications given or another cause e.g. a pre-existing condition exacerbated by the stress of a prolonged procedure. It is important to remember that all surgical procedures, including cosmetic procedures, carry risks and further risks may arise when treating complications."
While Greg Williams, hair transplant surgeon and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, added, "Like any surgical procedure, there are significant complications that can occur during or after hair transplant surgery such as anaphylaxis or life-threatening infections. Incidental events such as strokes and heart attacks can also occur. In this case, until the results of the post mortem are released, any assumptions on the cause of death would be speculative."