The internet is an unparalleled resource for checking surgical reputations and verifying a practice’s skill and success. Medical practices the world over have recognized this shift in patient knowledge capabilities and have sought to give the discerning public unfiltered access to their purported talents, surgical history, and client testimony through their own personal websites and reputable online forums (RealSelf, Bald Truth Talk and others).
FUE and FUT/Strip procedures (the gold standard for hair transplantation) have radically evolved beyond the simple plug and graft techniques prevalent in the 1990s and early 2000s. Yet many clinics, locally and abroad, continue to operate in an outmoded way, putting patients in serious aesthetic and medical jeopardy.
An extensive and detailed scientific study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology for the National Center for Biotechnology describes the very technical and highly skilled nature of the FUE procedure, and the expert requirements needed to perform the surgery well:
“Lack of due diligence while performing such extractions can lead to subluxation of the grafts into the subdermal layer of scalp. Overtumescence of the scalp donor area, use of blunt punches and trying to ‘core’ out the full thickness grafts can all contribute to this.” (Poswal, et al.)
Although it can be tempting to go for a cheap deal at a general clinic (who often have technicians preforming the surgery), choosing the right clinic comes down to exacting research and scrupulous inquiry.
Asking critically relevant questions of the different hair restoration practices you survey is the first major step towards weeding out superficial offers. The key questions to ask a hair restoration surgeon are:
- Do you specialize in hair transplant surgery?
- How many years of specialized experience do you have performing FUE and FUT surgeries?
- How much actual work is done by you during the hair transplanting process?
- Are you certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons?
The hair transplant surgeon you are considering should be affiliated to a standard-setting organization such as the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (IAHRS). Take a look at their qualifications and further training – do they regularly attend seminars? If so, they are more likely to be up to date on the latest medical technology. Going to a clinic that makes clear the role of the surgeon in the procedure – complete presence from start to finish – is paramount.
A good surgeon will also have a range of before and after photographs of patients to demonstrate their work. Be wary of lighting differences that some sites use to make the transplants look better than they are, such as overly bright before photos and dimly lit after photos. Another misleading aspect is when the photographs are not of exactly the same pose or position completely distorting the before and after difference. The best clinics will show extreme close-ups of their artistic hairline work for close scrutiny, so you can get a better idea of the kind of results the clinic might be able to achieve.
Any reputable surgeon will insist on a face to face consultation on a prior date to that of the hair transplant surgery or treatment. An engaged specialist will conduct a thorough review of your medical history, an examination of your current hair loss, a discussion on available options, the pros and cons of each procedure, what results you can expect, and a clear idea of the costs involved.
At Modena Hair Institute, Dr. Amir Yazdan meets with every potential patient for as long as is necessary to ensure total understanding and satisfaction with procedural expectations. As a top RealSelf doctor and only IAHRS member in the Orange County and Las Vegas area, Dr. Yazdan performs and oversees the entire surgery, beginning with pre-op prep and through to post-op care. No assistant or technician is ever allowed to operate on a patient.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.