Are All Hair Transplants Created Equal? No, But Most Turnkey Docs Have No Clue

If you don’t choose the right hair transplant surgeon the first time, you are in for a long, expensive and emotionally draining journey. Today’s turnkey, chop shop, device brand driven industry is literally destroying lives. IAHRS accepted member, Los Angeles hair transplant surgeon Marc Dauer, M.D. discusses just how critical it is for prospective hair transplant patients to choose their surgeons wisely, and to avoid the marketing hype that is not only destroying the field, but the hopes and dreams of so many vulnerable hair loss sufferers.

Spencer Kobren: It's like anything else, I can tell you that doing the job that I do ... Forget about everything else I do in my work, but just sitting here behind this mic, especially when I'm going live, there isn't a day where I don't have some surprise. Something changes. Something happens to my board. My phones are not working properly. My 360's not working properly. I'm having a problem with a camera or internet connection. I can't even imagine what it's like working on a human body and seeing a different physiology from person to person. There's got to be so many surprises with every case. 

Marc Dauer, MD:  So many surprises and different ethnicities provide different challenges and different forms of hair loss and diagnosing the form of hair loss.

Spencer Kobren: You're looking at me from a social distance. You're like, "You got a lot of donor." When you go there, and if you know how to examine it, you may step back and say, "Well, maybe it's not quite as much as I thought per square centimeter." There guys don't even know how to check. 

Marc Dauer, MD: Right. Absolutely. 

Spencer Kobren: That's the problem. I don't have anything the device manufacturers as far as devices themselves. My thing is train these doctors or educate these doctors to the point where they know that they have to be involved and they have to learn how to perform this well, because people's lives are at stake. They may not be open heart surgery, but their emotional lives or their interpersonal relationships, the way they feel about themselves, the way their career path ... You are essentially, or a physician is, once someone decides to sign on that dotted line, they become a big part of the future of this person of this human being. They don't even know. 

Marc Dauer, MD:  A huge part. Not only that. Once they've a bad hair transplant, whether the hair line's been put too low, or they've been over harvested, whatever's happened, you can't go back in time. You've got a finite amount of donor supply, and you got a problem. You can't back up from there. That's why it's so, so important to choose the right doctor the first time so that you don't end up with a problem. 

Getting back to what we talked about before about the subtleties that go into it, I've been doing this for 15 years, and I've gone through so many different iterations of different machines just for doing the FUE. I do all my FUE by hand personally, and each time ... I remember when I started FUE 10, 11 years ago, I thought that tool was the best tool. Then I got another tool a couple years later, and I was like, "Oh my gosh. This one's so much better." Then I got another tool a couple years later, and I was like, "Wow." I couldn't even believe the progression in tools. Even the one I've been using for the last couple years again is another progression. When you're doing this day in and day out, and you're in the field, and you're attending all the meetings, and you're really seeing exactly the results of your work on a large basis basically, it allows you to critically evaluate and continually move yourself forward. I always like to say if you're not moving forward, then you're moving backwards, because everything is moving forward. 


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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.