What are the risks associated with having a non-doctor perform a hair transplant surgery?
Depending on the type of hair transplant, FUE vs. FUT, the risks can be severe. Non-physicians are not aware of appropriate ways to sterilize the scalp for any procedure, and infection risks are likely to increase. Incisions may be too deep or wrong angled or placed during the recipient site creation, which can have a terrible aesthetic result for the patient.
The non-physician may not be aware of proper anesthetic techniques to make the patient comfortable for the process.
What are the factors behind a successful operation?
Patient selection is of the utmost importance. Post-operative recovery is vital to protect the hair grafts—appropriate hair grafts from the correct portion of the scalp on the donor area. The angle and distance between grafts in the recipient site, so the final product looks natural.
How permanent are the results? Could the patient need a second procedure after a while?
The hairs we harvest are typically resistant to hair loss effects from androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. So those hairs should remain essentially forever. The existing hair you have in the temples, hairline, top of the scalp, and crown region can continue to fall out as the process of alopecia continues and depending on the stage of hair loss preoperative, may determine if you need a second procedure to improve your appearance in 5-10 years.
Which patient profile is the right fit for the operation?
A patient with stable hair loss for at least two years. Someone who is mentally prepared and ready to proceed with the surgery without being convinced. You must have fine hair in the donor area without any alopecia effects to this area.
How should a patient choose the right doctor and the clinic?
It would be best to feel comfortable with the physician based on rapport—the results from other patients. The physician is stable in the area and doesn’t plan on moving after one year. Stay away from clinics that have a salesperson evaluate you. Stay away from clinics if the doctor will only see you for the first time on the procedure day.
Can you talk a bit about your experience in the field?
I have been a board-certified general surgeon in active clinical practice since 2010. I added on medical-based aesthetic procedures in 2014 after undergoing training in the field. In 2018, I decided to train and learn about hair loss and hair transplantations. I had wanted to enter this field for many years before 2018. The first procedure I performed for hair transplantation was at the end of 2019.
Since then, I have performed on average one case per month. I always give patients non-surgical options for their hair goals. I have been serving many PepFactor treatments for the scalp, which works great for almost all patients.
Is there anything you would like to add?
It would help if you never pressured a patient to perform the procedure. The procedure needs to be overseen by a skilled physician in all aspects of the procedure. You should always offer patients their full options and not just surgery. You must set appropriate expectations and time for recovery and when expected results will happen.