I had hair transplant done by Dr. Quatela of Rochester, NY and he was very disappointing. How can I find a better surgeon?
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Doctor Answers 8
Patient asks: "How can I find a good hair restoration surgeon?"
Thank you for writing in with your question. There are several ways to choose a hair restoration surgeon, all of which are complementary to each other. Unfortunately, a physician offering hair restoration services in the USA requires literally zero hours of surgery training. No kidding. As such, the results are all over the map. Some are very good, and some are not so much. There are gynecologists who are closing up shop, purchasing an FUE device, and calling themselves hair restoration “experts” in this country. Makes about as much sense as a facial plastic surgeon closing up shop, getting a gynecology table, and calling himself a gynecology expert. Doesn’t work that way in real-life, but with hair restoration, that’s the reality if the situation.
The NeoGraft device was introduced about 5 years ago, and is simply a machine that a physician (or, more likely, a technician) uses to perform the follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure. It is more or less a motorized, hand-held circular punch, attached to suction. NeoGraft has done a tremendous amount of marketing, and I see physicians who have never done a hair transplant around the country acquire this machine, piggyback on the marketing done by NeoGraft, and start to offer this complicated, and permanent procedure to the public. In much of the country, the doctor will simply hire a technician (the going rate for a NeoGraft tech in Atlanta is $70/hour) to perform the procedure. It should be noted at this point that hair restoration technicians have the same exact medical training requirements as grass cutters: absolutely none. The physician only need sign the papers and be on the premises. No joke. So, whether using the NeoGraft, or the much more advanced ARTAS robotic hair restoration system, or any other device, including a 50 cent 1mm biopsy punch, it is the experience and dedication of the surgeon and his team that will determine the outcome.
Hair Restoration is it's own specialty now. There's a global society (the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and a Board. Choosing a surgeon 100% dedicated to hair restoration is paramount. If "NeoGraft" suddenly appears on a long list of other procedures a physician offers, I would be wary, as it is unlikely that the physician has a full-time, highly-trained team of hair restoration technicians, and is just hiring one of many "hired gun" technicians that will arrive at the office, and do the procedure for $70 an hour. There are hundreds of subtleties and nuances in hair restoration, and assuming that because a physician now offers NeoGraft, in addition to all the other procedures offered, will be competent and excel at hair restoration surgery is simply foolish. Look at the experience and dedication of the surgeon who will be performing the surgery, and make sure technicians are not actually the ones who will be performing the surgery. Also make sure the physician you choose is actually a trained surgeon. The majority of hair restoration "surgeons" are, in fact, not trained in surgery at all, and hold no board certificates in any surgical specialty whatsoever, so examine your physician's credentials carefully. You should feel perfectly comfortable asking for a copy of the surgeon's resume to review. Look for many years of dedication exclusively to hair restoration, not just cosmetic surgery in general.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
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How to Choose the Right Hair Transplant Surgeon
2. Search the ISHRS.org and find a doctor who has a surgeon background. This will bring something extra to the surgery table. If he's board certified, all the better.
3. Make sure during the consultation you specifically ask if the doctor harvests the donor and makes the recipient sites. If they hesitate with their answer or explain their techs are highly trained to perform everything, leave!
4. Make sure they show you a good number of before/after pictures of their patients (not pictures that were sent to them by FUE equipment companies).
5. If you're going to do FUE again, you could choose a doctor that is seasoned in using an automated hand-held device. This will help you avoid a $1/graft royalty fee that doctors who use highly marketed FUE machines have to pay back to these equipment companies.
Hope this helps.
If your doctor was "disappointing" do your research and interview several doctor and ask to speak to their former patients.
Avoiding a Bad Hair Transplant
Steps to avoid a bad hair transplant and find a qualified surgeon:
1. There are approximately 100 surgeons in the USA dedicated solely to hair transplantation.
2. Less than 80 are board certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS).
3. Approximately 40 hair restoration surgeons are Fellows of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (FIHRS).
4. Avoid clinics where you meet with a sales person.
5. Does their website show lots of good results. Is it their work? Ask them.
6. Google their name and learn about their practice. Are they dabbling in hair transplantation?
7. Don't let price cloud your decision making process.
8. Please visit link below to learn more.
Best wishes in your search for repair.
Disappointed with my surgeon.
1. Doctor-only clinics, where the surgeon performs most or all of the surgery. The scientific standard is, whenever an incision (cut) is made on the human body, this should be done by the surgeon. The graft harvesting phase and the recipient site incisions involve incisions, where as the graft placement part does not. In these type of clinics you will see that these standards are met.
2. Doctor supervised clinics, where the surgeon is in the facility, supervises the technicians, takes some or no part in the surgical procedure.
3. Technician-only clinics, where the doctor takes no part in the procedure and even may not be present in the facility. Even if he seems to be supervising, he actually does not contribute to the quality of the procedure.
The decision on what type of clinic you choose is at utmost importance of what you should expect as a service. Unfortunately, the price is not the only determining factor for quality and it could have been possible to get a doctor-only service in different parts of the world for a cheaper price than you paid.
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.