Link between hair transplant and death unheard: Experts

MUMBAI: Businessman Shrawan Kumar Chaudhary, who died around 50 hours after a hair transplant, had undergone the procedure at a private hospital in Chinchpokli on Thursday.
Chaudhary, who owned a logistics business in Mumbai, had not informed his family members while leaving for the surgery and had his driver accompany him to the hospital, said the police. He paid Rs 5 lakh for the procedure. The businessman is survived by his wife and three children who are aged between 12 and 18 years.

Dermatologists in the city were surprised and said a direct link between hair transplantation and sudden death was unheard of. “The case has come as a surprise to us, and in larger interest, we started looking into the details. The treating physician at Hiranandani has told us that Chaudhary came in anaphylactic shock and could barely speak. Often painkillers or drugs can trigger such a severe reaction. Sometimes painkillers taken on empty stomach too can cause this,” said Dr Anil Garg, Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons. As a standard protocol, hair transplant patients are given painkillers and antibiotics, he said. Explaining the facial swelling, Dr Garg said saline water is injected into the follicles as part of the procedure. “Often, if patients sleep on their tummy or don’t sleep in a reclining position, the saline can travel to the face and cause swelling. It mostly subsides on its own.” He added that the case will be studied in detail.

The police, meanwhile, are investigating whether the Chinchpokli hospital is authorized to do such transplants and if it has got qualified people performing them. “We will check if the hospital had made the deceased undergo various health checks before performing the surgery since it was to go on for 15 hours,” said the officer.
Chaudhary’s family is also looking for answers. He left his residence at Nahar Amrit Shakti in Powai, around 9am on Thursday and told his family members he would be late. “My uncle had taken the driver along and no one from the family was present as he underwent such a long surgery. Around 1pm on Friday, he complained of a severe breathing problem and his face had swollen up. He died after a day of undergoing treatment at Hiranandani,” Chaudhary’s nephew Trilok Kumar told.
“Everybody is in a shock as he passed away at a young age leaving behind his young children. We learnt that he spent lakhs on the transplant. At present, the entire family is in our native place (Nagor, Rajasthan) for the final rites. We will decide about filing an FIR after we come to terms with the incident,” Trilok, a chartered accountant at Chaudhary’s firm, said.
A senior police inspector at Saki Naka police station said that a case of accidental death has been registered and an inquiry has been initiated under the Criminal Procedure Act section 174 (police empowered to enquire by the state government on receiving information that a person has died under circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion) to find out if negligence led to loss of life.

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