Finding Your Best Hair Transplant Surgeon
If a patient who has had benefit from a hair transplant surgery refers you to his or her surgeon then that is probably the best way in deciding about your surgeon! The worst way to choose a surgeon is through commercial advertisements or aggressive marketing campaigns as in regular advertisements in newspapers. Beware of medical practice without doctor credentials who focus on advertisements only and do not give importance to patient care. Narrow down your search to a few doctors and then research about them in the internet.
The Surgeon’s Specialty & Qualifications
The first research should be about the specialty and background qualifications of the doctor. Hair transplantation is performed mostly by plastic surgeons and also by dermatologists with appropriate qualifications. If their background is something else you must ask them why they have chosen hair restoration which does not belong to their specialty. If they are homeopaths (which is very common here) ask them how they can provide reasonable care. The same thing applies for an ENT surgeon or a MBBS doctor or a gynaecologist! The benefit of going to a plastic surgeon is that they have the reasonable training and skills to provide an excellent outcome and would be able to manage complications should any arise.
Look into the training of the surgeon as well as the publications. Is he active in medical education and updated in his field? Publication of papers in journals shows that the surgeon is sharing ideas and experience with other doctors in order to improve patient care. In this regard, publications are in peer reviewed medical journals confers significant value.
Technique Employed by the Surgeon
When you have chosen your surgeon ask your surgeon whether he would perform the hair transplantation by the FUT or strip method or the FUE method. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages therefore discuss this thoroughly with your surgeon and ask him his reasons in choosing the particular technique. It is also important to ask your surgeon whether he provides the newer methods of hair transplantation like body hair transplantation and techniques of camouflaging like scalp micropigmentation.
Practically speaking, a hair transplant surgeon should be conversant in both of these techniques in order to provide you with a balanced view regarding the method that should be adapted in your case. If you have doubts, consider taking opinions from other surgeons before arriving at a final decision. Therefore, choose your technique and then go to a surgeon who provides reliable results using that technique.
A surgeon who practices FUT should be using magnification when harvesting the strip and should perform the modern methods of closure to ensure that the scar is minimized. You can discuss these beforehand with your surgeon. FUE, which is performed using machines also produces fine, dotted scars so ask your surgeon about the possibility of visible scars following a FUE procedure.
How the Consultation should proceed
You must make sure that you are evaluated by the surgeon himself who would be performing the surgery himself and would not leave the same to his technicians. This first consultation is the most important as all of your questions should be properly answered at this stage. Ask for his credentials at this stage in a polite manner as you would then know whether the surgeon belongs to the correct specialty.
Secondly, observe whether the surgeon is in a hurry to take you up for a hair transplant. You might not be a good candidate for a hair transplant surgery because of your age or because you have not been subjected to medical management or because of inadequate donor density. In these cases, an ethical surgeon would discuss all of these issues with you. Beware of rushing into a hair transplant just because your surgeon says so because you might end up with terrible results later on. Many men and women are not good candidates for surgery and should be treated with medications for a long term before embarking on surgery.
Thirdly, your surgeon should consider measuring the density of donor follicles over the back of your scalp and assess the scalp laxity because these factors are important in deciding the possible maximum donor follicles that can be harvested. A surgeon who looks casually at you and labels you as a super candidate for hair transplant surgery is probably fooling you.
Fourthly, ask all of your questions to your surgeons, outline your expectations and make sure that you have been satisfied in all aspects.
Next, be sure to ask your surgeon how many transplant procedures you would be needing. Most people think that a single hair transplant would be sufficient for them but this is just the opposite! As your hair loss progresses you would need touch ups to get the best results. People generally require 2 or 3 transplant sessions or even more to achieve the best look.
Sixthly, your surgeon must not rush you through the surgery. Remember, this is a procedure which is going to give you permanent results so decide carefully what you are going to live with the rest of your life. Hair transplantation is a work of art and aesthetic surgeons can create the wonderful hair line and restore your hair naturally that you can wear the rest of your life. Make sure you are counselled regarding that.
Lastly, your surgeon should be able to instil confidence in you. If you have doubts after the first consultation then it is probably a sign that the surgeon is not in your best interests.
Tips for Outstation Patients
Many a time patients choose a surgeon outside their city and do a lot of research on them and then communicate with them via the internet and then decide on the surgery after sending pictures to the surgeon. In these cases all the above rules apply. In addition, it is important that you know that the surgical technique and the promised number of follicles might vary because the surgeon does not have the facility to examine you in the first place. Therefore, choose a surgeon wisely: he should have a variety of techniques in his armamentarium to provide you with the best results in these events.