Choosing Your Surgeon
When you receive a hair transplant, you are undergoing a surgical procedure, and although this procedure is fairly straightforward and simple, it is nevertheless, a surgical procedure, and you should be confident of the surgical skills that your surgeon possesses.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for consumers to assess their potential surgeon’s credentials. Hair transplant surgery is not taught in medical school and hair transplant surgeons come from many different disciplines of medicine. In fact, The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is a newly established board and the American Board of Medical Sub-Specialties does not yet recognize it. To make it just that much more complicated, not all physicians practicing medicine are board certified and it is not required to have boards in order to practice medicine. Because the Board of Medical Sub-Specialties does not recognize The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, physicians boarded in Hair Restoration Surgery have not necessarily completed a residency (specialized training) in that particular discipline.
So, how do you begin to vet your surgeon? Although there are many qualified hair transplant surgeons, I believe those with a strong surgical background are best equipped to deal with any issues that may arise during your procedure. Furthermore, surgery is a hands-on discipline and someone who has lots of experience with the technical skills and tools used when operating on the human body has an inherent advantage over someone who lacks that background.
The best hair transplant result is achieved by transferring as many hairs as can be safely harvested and placed in a completely natural manner. The skill of your surgeon will ensure that as much hair as possible is harvested, while minimizing the scar in your donor area. The skill and experience of the surgeon and his team will assure that the harvested hair is then placed in a completely natural manner, and that the transplanted hairs survive.
At the Siporin Revitalization Center, the doctor makes all the recipient sites for the transplanted hair grafts. The incisions are made using the smallest possible instruments, placed in the appropriate direction and at a natural angle. Care must be taken to avoid damaging the existing hair, and to avoid damaging the grafts while placing them in the small incisions. In this regard, it is the skill of both the surgeon and his team that assures you the best possible result. Both the surgeon and his assistants must have extensive experience in hair transplantation, and they must also exhibit patience and technical skill to provide you with the best result.
Be wary of clinics that perform too many or too few hair transplant surgeries. When few hair transplant surgeries are performed, the team may lack the refined skills required to do the procedure expertly. However, in very busy clinics, care and attention to detail are often overlooked. Ask the doctor or his team how many surgeries are performed in one day. Will you be the only patient on your surgery day? How many procedures have the doctor and his team performed? Too few surgeries, and perhaps the skill is not there; too many, and possibly the quality of each may be compromised.
In addition to training qualifications, there are also several qualities your surgeon should possess in order to maximize your result and ensure a positive experience. First, your surgeon should have communication skills so that you fully understand every aspect of the procedure, and -- most importantly -- so that you have a realistic expectation of what the transplant will do for you. There are many variables involved in a hair transplant, so the more communicative and patient your surgeon is, the better you will be prepared for the procedure, for your recovery, and for the period after your transplant when your final results will gradually become apparent. (See What to expect: the day of surgery and What to expect: after surgery.)