Hair transplant success depends on an excellent team
Unlike almost any other cosmetic procedure, an excellent hair transplant requires an excellent team. The surgeon is only part of the equation. I am responsible for hairline design, donor harvesting and closure, and recipient site creation (where the grafts go into). My team is responsible for graft dissection and placement. Having an excellent team is mandatory.
Almost any surgeon/physician can do hair restoration, but as the other physician has answered very few do it well. Looking at one's before and after results can be a testament to one's skills.
Knowing as much about safety regarding when to transplant and when not to is very important. I believe that good judgment must involve both understanding the medical aspects of hair loss (types of hair loss that you can't operate on, medical management, etc.) as well as surgical expertise (artistry and technical skills).
Finally, ethics is key. Too many clinics have hard driving salesmen to push you to do a case that the surgeon might otherwise think is dangerous or inappropriate. Ethical judgment on when not to operate is very important. hope that helps.
p.s.: here is a short video in which i talk about if any physician is trying to get into the field, what he or she should be thinking of regarding all of the above points.
Any physician can technically do a hair transplant.
Any physician can technically do a hair transplant.
What you want to look for is a physician who understands hair loss and can create a natural looking hair line that will last for 10-20 years, not just 2-3. Most patients want to fill in bald areas, but an experienced and trained physician knows that just filling in bald areas will create an unnatural appearance as natural hair loss progresses. Qualified physicians are those that have trained in hair restoration, understand natural hair loss patterns, and will take the time to educate patients on what constitutes a natural hair line.
Unfortunately, some physicians who technically know how to perform hair transplants do not understand hair loss and create hairlines which are not natural.
Who is Qualified to Do a Hair Transplant?
You might think that to be qualified to do a hair transplant you need a particular qualification.
Fact is, as long as you have an MD after your name you can technically perform hair transplants.
Because of the lack of regulation in the "hair transplant industry" you need to make your decisions very carefully.
The American College of Surgeons do not recognize hair transplants as a specialty. Therefore you can't become "Board Certified" in that area.
Hair transplants are something that is learned in addition to what we have become "Board Certified" in such as plastic surgery.
When talking with different clinics, look at the doctors experience, make sure you look at before and after pictures, talk with actual patients and find out about the experience of the technicians that will be assisting the MD.
Who can do a hair transplant?
Technically, any licensed physician can do a hair transplant. That's were it gets tricky. Since anyone can advertise for it, it's imperitive that you find those MOST qualified. As a physician who is dual fellowship trained in both facial plastic surgery and hair restoration I think this is optimal training. Hair transplant is more than a technical challenge, but artistry. Creating a hair restoration plan that will maintain flexibility for the patient and produce an aesthetic and natural result that is lifelong is key. Other intangibles (Do you like your surgeon? Does he have a kind and considerate staff?) are all important.
Qualified Hair Transplant Surgeon
Qualifications are determined by experience. Hair transplants are easy to do, but it is difficult to get a good result. Remember, hair loss is progressive. Unfortunately, I have seen many patients who had hair replacement surgery at a young age and subsequently had severe additional hair loss. Without adequate donor area, the final result may be deforming. A qualified surgeon has the experience to estimate the ultimate extent of alopecia.
Qualified doctor means they have a doctors degree.
Qualified doctor means they have a doctors degree. Any doctor can do hair transplant surgery as well as brain surgery. It is about training as well as some artistic aesthetic skills.
Two equally trained doctors in hair transplants surgery does not mean you will have two equal results.
Choosing the Right Hair Transplant Surgeon
Any licensed doctor is legally
permitted to perform hair transplant procedures, which can make finding a
"good" hair transplant surgeon a bit tricky. Typically, the procedure
is offered by plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and other doctors who work in
aesthetic medicine. When you're doing your research, pay close attention to the
doctor's credentials, including how many years he or she has been performing
hair transplant surgery. Before-and-after photos of previous patients are also
a great resource. If you schedule a consultation, don't be afraid to ask a lot
of questions, including how often the doctor performs this procedure. Stick to
your gut when evaluating a doctor. If something rubs you the wrong way, keep
searching. Best of luck!
Qualifications of a Hair Transplant Surgeon
Excellent hair transplant physicians have developed from a range of different training backgrounds, but the procedure is often done by dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons, and plastic surgeons. The most important things you should consider when looking for a hair transplantation surgeon are:
1.) Physician’s education: high quality training, board certification, up to date in latest hair transplant techniques. 2.) Experience: Has he/she performed many successful hair transplantations? 3.) Clear communication and rapport: Do you feel confident that the doctor clearly understands your goals and objectives? Good luck with your search!
Choosing A Hair Transplant Surgeon
Since hair transplantation is not recognized as a specialty within itself, any board certified doctor can technically perform hair transplant--only as far as medical certifications go. But a qualifying certificate does not denote the skill, experience, or artistry of a surgeon. When looking for a hair transplant doctor, be sure that he/she has--in addition to the proper certifications and licensing:
Video and/or photo documentation of past cases
High success rates among said cases
The proper tools (preferably handheld), a competent staff, and a well-equipped operating room
Determining a good hair transplant surgeon goes beyond the basic medical qualifications. The right surgeon is perhaps the largest contributing factor to the success or failure of your procedure.
How to choose a surgeon to perform a hair transplantation
Many physicians can perform a hair transplantation procedure for a patient. The skill of the surgeon for the procedure, however, is to be able to outline a proper hairline pattern for the patient that will maximize the available grafts taken from the posterior scalp to give the appearance of the greatest density of hair for the patient. Needless to say, the quality of the surgical techs assisting in the preparation and placement of the grafts is paramount to the successful completion of a hair transplantation procedure.. Always ask about the members of the team that will assist the surgeon in performing your surgery.
I may be very biased, but I truly believe a Plastic Surgeon is best equipped to perform surgery of this type, but must admit that there is less pure surgical experience required to perform a hair transplantation than the more complex surgeries that we all are asked to do.
Good luck to you.
Frank Rieger M.D . Board Certified Tampa Plastic Surgeon