I have read that some states allow "advanced practitioners" to perform hair transplants, is that different than a hair tech?

What parts of the transplant *must* MD/DOs perform? What parts are hair techs allowed to perform? If a state allows an "advanced practitioner" to perform a hair transplant, what type of licensing must they have and are they different from a hair technician? If a hair tech performs the whole procedure from beginning to end with the doctor just popping his head in every so often, is this illegal? Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 4

Some clinics that offer hair transplant have techs do 99% of the surgery. This is illegal but it is done.

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It would be illegal in general for non doctor to perform hair transplant surgery.  In theory a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician's Assistant (PA) can perform certain parts of the surgery.  
However, why would you go to a doctor who has someone else perform the surgery?Some cosmetic clinics that offer hair transplant on the side have techs do 99% of the surgery.  This is illegal but it is done.  Let's hypothetically say that the techs are better than doctors.  Again, why would you go to the doctor in the first place to have surgery done by an unknown tech?  

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

How to Avoid a Bad Hair Transplant

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You ask very good questions. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has a warning about the proliferation of clinics that use technicians for the whole procedure. Unethical providers who want to add income to their practice will use this approach. There are only about 100 full time hair transplant surgeons in the USA. 

Legality of hair transplantation

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Only an MD can perform anesthesia, and the incision making of an FUE or strip surgery in most of the US States

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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Who Can Perform Hair Transplants?

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This is an excellent question.  Hair transplantation is surgery, and should be performed by physicians.  Legally, states may allow mid-level providers, such as licensed nurse practitioners and licensed physician assistants, to perform the FUE extractions.  However, if the person performing the procedure is not a licensed physician or licensed mid-level, then it is most likely the procedure is being performed illegally and should be reported to the state medical board.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.