Best NeoGraft doctors: What questions should I ask to find the right surgeon for this procedure?
Doctor Answers 17
How to determine who are the best "NeoGraft" doctors. A patient's asks....
NeoGraft was introduced about 6 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. I attended a physician's office in Florida in 2009 for a demonstration of the NeoGraft device. I've been performing FUE procedures since 2003, and I was very interested to see this device. While at this meeting, hosted by the NeoGraft corporation, it was interesting to note that I was the only dedicated hair restoration surgeon in attendance. The others there to see and perhaps purchase the machine were spa owners, obstetricians, several family practice doctors, and a few business managers for doctors who dabbled in cosmetic surgery in general. I was pretty surprised. The graft placement feature of the NeoGraft device with positive pressure is a gimmick, as I asked the head trainer for the NeoGraft corporation to place a graft using this. We were observing an live procedure, and we watched as he tried several times, but was not able to place a single graft with the machine.
NeoGraft has done a tremendous amount of marketing, and I see physicians all over the USA who have never performed a hair transplant procedure in their lives acquire this machine, piggyback on the marketing done by NeoGraft, and start to offer this complicated, and permanent procedure to the public. Many literally call themselves "hair restoration experts" the day the machine arrives in their office. 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 really is no such thing as a "NeoGraft" doctor, as NeoGraft is simply a medical device. It'd be like saying you're looking for a "scalpel doctor"....a scalpel, the NeoGraft device, and even ARTAS system are just tools that physicians and surgeons use to complete surgical tasks.
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. There is a either a board certificate with the word "surgery" on it with your chosen provider's name on it, or there isn't. It's pretty simple. 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.
This problem is so rampant and common that the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the global community of physicians practicing hair restoration, issued a consumer alert about this issue. I see patients every month who had a hair restoration performed by a technician with the NeoGraft device presenting to our office asking for help; asking me to repair the unnatural looking hair transplant results. This is often very difficult, and occasionally impossible. Because as we say in this specialty, "the good thing about hair restoration is that it's permanent. The bad thing about hair restoration is that it's permanent." Consult with more than one surgeon, make sure he or she is actually a trained surgeon, and get a feel for who you think will be the best for you. A machine absolutely does NOT guarantee good, or even acceptable results.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Ken Anderson, MD
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
What to ask regarding Neograft
Dr. Roger's response is straight on. Furthermore, I personally would never use a Neograft on a patient. In my opinion the vacuum extraction puts additional stress on the hair follicles and leads to a lower graft survival rate. I don't think to date I have seen a patient in my office who had good results with the Neograft.
Do your homework before getting Neograft
Hair surgery is permanent, and should be planned and performed with care by a physician who has training and experience. It involves the surgical removal of hair-bearing skin from the scalp and requires the artistic placement of grafts back into areas of thinning.
Follicular unit extraction has become popular as a no-scar technique. That being said, it is not a panacea, and it is not the best choice for everyone. Your hair surgeon should be able to advise you whether FUE is even the best choice for you, or if you should consider the traditional donor ellipse. This allows for the harvesting of the largest number of grafts, with the least amount of trauma to individual follicles, from the most permanent donor zone, and in a shorter period of time than with FUE. That being said, FUE can also be performed manually or with the ARTAS robotic device.
You might also like...
Neograft is a machine-a system; not a SURGEON. To find the best surgeon, to get the best results:
1. Study the before and after photos. Ask if the doctor at the clinic actually performed the surgery or whether the photos were provided by the Neograft (the company selling the machine).
2. Ask how many procedures were performed to produce each result shown in the gallery.
3. Ask to speak with the surgeon and meet with them in person if possible.
4. Sift through reviews.
5. All things being equal, give the most most consideration to your opinion of the results as depicted in the gallery, the results the the surgeon and his/her staff actually produced, your opinion of the surgeon meeting, and your gut reaction to all of these factors.
If you are not certain then keep looking until you satisfy all of your questions.
Top 5 Questions to help find the right NeoGraft Surgeon
- It is important to study the expertise of the doctor in performing the procedure.
- The physician should have experience with a number of cases, with an ability to show consistent and reliable outcomes.
- In addition, you should ask the physician who performs the majority of the work. For some clinics, technicians carryout most of the procedure with the physician distantly overseeing the work.
- Ask to what extent the physician is involved in the procedure.
- Ask plenty of questions and be sure that you feel confident in the qualifications and outcomes of your hair transplantation clinic.
BEST NEOGRAFT DOCTORS
Simply owning the machine does not necessarily speak to the experience and/or skill of the doctor. When choosing a carpenter, one doesn't generally care what kind of hammer he/she uses. The same is true for hair transplantation where experience, specialization, technique, results, training, and number of cases performed are critical. Also, there are numerous hair transplantation centers where the doctor has minimal involvement even in the critical aspects of the case, so best to ask about all of the above issues.
I hope this helps guide your decision making!
Best of luck!
neograft is a tool and not a technique so the team has to be experienced in the technique and be comfortable with the tool! Neograft is sold to doctors that may be just starting hair replacement as it is marketed as a turn key procedure where a technician can come in a perform the whole thing. Doctors with no training or experience may not be able to design the appropriate hairlines, follicle angles, and have an overall aesthetic eye for hair.
do your research!
Finding the right surgeon
With any procedure, it is best for the patient to feel comfortable and confident with their provider. That being said, there are some questions that I would recommend asking when trying to find the right one for you
- Are they a board certified surgeon that has experience in neograft?
- Will they be performing the procedure themselves?
- Look into before/after photographs
- Are they honest with you about what to expect afterwards?
- What makes an ideal candidate for neograft? (and who would not qualify and why)
Best of luck on your search!