How do I Choose the Best Hair Transplant Surgeon?

K.C. Bruning

The choice of an appropriate hair transplant surgeon is the most important decision you can make in the hair restoration surgery process. Hair transplant surgeons are not required to hold any qualifications other than a medical degree, so the quality of surgeons can vary widely. For this reason, it is crucial for you to research a surgeon’s experience, previous work, reputation and procedures in careful detail.

Hair transplant surgery requires a large team of surgeons and assistants.
Hair transplant surgery requires a large team of surgeons and assistants.

Begin by researching the skills and experience of the hair transplant surgeon. Confirm that he or she has a medical degree. Ask how many years of experience the surgeon has had specifically with hair transplants and whether he or she works in any other areas. If the surgeon works in another area, you should ask what percentage of time he or she spends in each specialty.

Hair transplant surgery is an extremely demanding procedure.
Hair transplant surgery is an extremely demanding procedure.

Ask to see at least 10-12 pairs of clear "before" and "after" photographs of work previously done by the surgeon. The photos in each pair should have the same background, lighting and angle. Ask also to see close-up shots of the scars created during surgery.

Now research the hair transplant surgeon’s background. You can check with the medical board in your region or country to see if there are any complaints against this particular doctor. Review local publications and discussion groups to get an idea of how the surgeon is perceived by both patients and peers. Get several patient recommendations from the surgeon, and view the work in person in order to determine whether the work is of acceptable quality and style.

Hair transplant surgery is an extremely demanding procedure for both the surgeon and the surgeon's staff members. It is important to learn as much as possible about how the team works. You should ask how many procedures a day the surgeon performs. If it is more than one a day, he or she might not be able to give you the attention necessary for a successful procedure.

If the hair transplant surgeon performs follicular unit hair transplantation, you should ask whether the grafts are microscopically dissected, whether the practice uses stereo-microscopes and, if so, how long the practice has used them. Ask also whether the surgeon excises the donor strip with a single-bladed knife. The surgeon should also use a microscope to dissect the donor tissue into follicular unit (FU) grafts.

Though hair transplant surgery requires a large team, the surgeon should handle all primary functions during the procedure. Find out whether he or she will be making all incisions and placing all of the grafts. The rest of the staff members should only be providing support to the surgeon.

Finally, observe the surgeon’s demeanor. Determine whether he or she listens carefully to patient questions. Find out how the surgeon handles medications, follow-up visits and additional treatments. It is important to meet with the doctor and not a medical consultant. If the practice does not offer an introductory meeting with the hair transplant surgeon, it is not a good option for the surgery.

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