How To Choose Your Hair Transplant Surgeon: The 6-Step Guide
Choosing your hair transplant surgeon is a very complex process. Many different resources will provide you with a lot of information and you will need a way of filtering the data. You will see ads around, patient reviews and forums where everyone says something different.
Each individual has a different story and from countless data, you will try to find the right information to create your own story. There is no specific way to find your ideal hair transplant surgeon, however, we have come up with 6 steps to help you ease the process a little. Let’s begin!
1) Determine Which Method Will Work Best For You
FUE or FUT, what is the best method for your unique case? The best way to begin your journey is to decide which method you would like to have.
Since they both have some advantages and disadvantages, learning and making research for each will improve your knowledge in both. This way when you compare them, the chance that you didn’t miss anything important will bring better results.
The potential problem is, making a decision too fast without sufficient knowledge. People rush their decision at this stage because they get an “excellent” deal or want to be done with this as soon as possible.
However, in most cases, rushing results in spending more time and money. Therefore throughout the process, people sticking with “Do it once, Do it Right” idea end up with the ideal surgeon.
So, it is better to do extensive research for both methods until you fully understand them both. After you are sure about the way you want to go, you come to the second step.
2) Prepare an Initial Budget and Be Flexible
After choosing the hair transplant method, you will have an idea about the estimates. The second step will be comparing different clinic approaches in the market.
You will soon find out that some clinics prefer offering packages while others offer per graft rates. Then you will see a few doctors who don’t use any information about their costs on their websites.
You can check our article on hair cost plants for a more detailed explanation for each. Briefly, clinics offering packages make everything more comfortable because you will pay once and they will take care of your flight tickets, accommodation, and other needs. Generally, young and ambitious surgeons follow this approach to attract patients.
The clinics with per graft rates will be offering a higher service. If you need it, they help you with accommodation and transfers, but they focus more on the surgery and its success. The more experienced and ambitious surgeons follow this approach in the market.
In the last type of clinics, you need to ask the doctor for a consultation to get a rate for your case. This type of strategy means that the surgeon is already very famous and successful and will not take any risks to ruin his name.
They usually examine each patient, and if they think it is not worth both their and patient’s time, they refuse to accept the patient. This kind of clinics are more reliable and ethical but might reject you.
If you choose to go for a package, then your budget is set, and probably there won’t be any changes during your trip. However, if you decide to go to a clinic without any packages, you might need to change your budget a little bit. They usually help patients with accommodations and transfers, but flight tickets and other expenses are your responsibility.
That might require you to be more flexible and spend a little more but the chances of having a better result from your procedure increase as well.
3) Compare Before/After Pictures
Each patient is unique, and each case will be different. However, some cases might be more similar, and that is just good data for you to visualize the outcome. After you choose your method and determine a budget, get some free consultations from different clinics.
While you do that, it is an excellent idea to look for how the surgeon did with the former patients. This will give you a rough idea about what to expect from the surgeon.
Although this will help you to decide, in some cases the resemblance can be misleading. There are two things to be careful with, one is the hair type and loss might look similar but characteristics might be different, and second the surgeon might fail to deliver the same quality.
Pictures are a great way to see the whole category but they can’t be the only reason why you choose the surgeon. If you prefer your doctor only based on this factor, you might end up being devastated. Therefore, the third step is, looking former cases to better understand what the surgeon might deliver.
4) Get More Free Consultations
The best part of all this is, it is free to get a consultation. Research shows that the first mistake patients regret after an unsatisfactory surgery is, they haven’t asked around enough.
Since clinics don’t charge a dime for consultation, use it to your advantage. Not only to get their ideas but also for having more time to think.
Think of it this way; you decided you want to get a hair transplant surgery and chose the FUT method with “x” amount of budget. If you consult two doctors, you have two options. On the other hand, if you ask ten doctors, then you have ten ideas about your case. Probably from those ten ideas, you will see a few that make sense.
If you get those ideas together, you will have a plan coming together. Then, the only thing you need to do is, finding the ideal doctor for the plan. Now that you know what you are looking for, everything will be a lot easier.
But if you choose one option from two, in the beginning, there is a chance that you miss all those great ideas from the others. Even if you end up choosing the same surgeon, you can discuss more your case and get him to do something better.
Also when your doctor sees your motivation and knowledge, he will be more interested in your case, and you will increase the chance of having a better result in the end.
5) Try To Find A Surgeon Who Does The Extraction Himself
This only applies for the FUE method! In Follicular Unit Extraction method, the most important aspect is the extraction part. Unfortunately today, a lot of different clinics from all around the world prefer to use technicians in the operation. Apart from the ethical issues around it, we will try to explain the scientific problems behind this.
The reason why FUE was invented is that the FUT procedure leaves a scar after the surgery and it doesn’t look very natural in some cases. The way FUE solves this problem is by changing the extraction method.
Instead of harvesting the hair follicles from a linear strip, FUE method requires its surgeon to extract each hair follicle individually. At the end of the extraction part, overall graft health is higher than the FUT.
Naturally, when after the surgeon plants these follicles, they have a better chance of adapting their new position and giving a more natural look to the patient. Also, random harvesting leaves no scar, and in a few weeks, patient’s scalp heals.
Now, if you choose to go with the FUE procedure, then you will be paying more money than you would for the FUT. The reason is you aim for better results. If you believe the technician can deliver it under the supervision of a doctor, there is no problem.
But if you truly grasp the importance of the extraction, then you might want to consider making sure your doctor performs the harvesting.
6) Is Your Surgeon a Member of ISHRS?
ISHRS organization has the most authority in the hair transplant world. There are only a little more than a thousand member surgeons worldwide.
First of all, finding an ISHRS member does not guarantee success. There are a lot of members who use technicians in the procedures although its a violation to ISHRS policies. What you can do is, finding an ISHRS member who is an active member.
Each year, ISHRS has two conferences where only the member surgeons participate. They contribute to the advancement of hair restoration techniques and technologies. If your doctor is active, this means that he is an ethical and professional member of the hair restoration society.
Being a doctor is not only about conducting surgeries, but it is also about contributing to the knowledge of its community.
Notably, the fellow members are given their title to distinguish them from the rest of the surgeons for their efforts in the area. They attend meetings, write articles and do researches by giving up the time they can generate revenues.
That tells a lot about the personality of the surgeon. If your priority is finding a surgeon with high professionalism and reduce the risk of having a bad overall experience, a fellow member might be a good idea.
Some Additional Information
The 6 steps explained above can give you an idea about the process. Each person is different so we prepared these 6-steps only for you to have an idea. This strategy gets results, however, every case is unique. So, the reason why we prepared this guide is for people to look at it and prepare their own strategies.
You might want to reposition steps because, for you, the extraction might be more important than the costs. For someone else. the extraction doesn’t mean anything because he might want to get a FUT procedure.
What we tried to do here is just helping you exercise your idea and make it better. No one can guarantee results, but if you keep looking and build a solid plan, you increase your chance of getting the ideal results in the end.
If Your Hair Characteristics Is Not Suitable For Transplants
It is not the end of the world. You still have options. They might not be as effective as implants, however, alternative methods are proven to be effective until a certain degree.
You can still use Finasteride to decrease your DHT level if you are a male. If you are a lady, Finasteride wouldn’t work on you, but you can use Minoxidil which can be very effective.
Moreover, there is the PRP option for both genders. PRP can dramatically increase your hair density as a short-term and temporary solution. We expect this technology to improve in the future and become more effective for long-term results as well.
Also, changing your lifestyle can help you increase your hair or slow down hair loss. Less stressful life with a better diet and sleeping pattern can have a positive impact on your hair.
Even if you are not suitable for a procedure you can still implement these changes and see if they help. As long as you keep on trying, you always get something in the end.
A Little Reminder
If you follow the six steps, there is a very high chance that results will satisfy you. But there is always a chance that things might go wrong, even if you do everything right. In any case, because you have a lot of information about the process, also if things go wrong, you will know how to fix them. So, in case things don’t go as planned, because of your vast knowledge and research, you will find solutions faster and easier.
Having a hair transplant procedure is a very important and strong step towards a life with higher standards. You are choosing to invest in yourself, change yourself into a better physical state. This will serve you for many long years. The choice is yours. If you do your prep well and follow these steps, there is a lesser risk of things going wrong. Then, all you need to do is focusing on your healing and new looks. Otherwise, you might have to deal with it for a very long time.