Hope Is Not A Strategy - Hair Transplant Patient Responsibility
The internet is a cesspool of misleading sales and marketing tactics targeting vulnerable hair transplant consumers, making research even more difficult. No matter how much good research you have done, understanding that all cometic surgery comes with risk of disappointment, or worse, is vital before undergoing treatment.
Spex: There has to be a real understanding going into this for every patient, that they need to take some form of responsibility, that they have to be aware that the outcome may not meet their expectations and how are they going to deal with that?
Spencer Kobren: I think in all fairness, in fairness to the patient. I speak to a lot of guys who absolutely are not emotionally equipped to deal with any type of cosmetic surgery, and physician's should be able to, and consultants should be able to assess that relatively quickly. However, another problem that I see is when guys are doing their research, and they are going to an individual physicians' websites, or they are going to message forums, what they are seeing, and let's be honest, are home run results. That's it. Doctors are not putting up their mediocre results, doctors are not putting up, "You know what, this is a guy who we thought we were going to be able to help, and this was a quasi failure."
This is a possibility if you walk through our doors or anybody's doors. No one's prepared for that. There's no visuals out there, there's no videos out there, there is no real clear educational material except for the stuff that we put out. But still, people find us. What normally happens is, and it's sad, you look up hair loss at least here in the US, or hair transplant and you find one of our sites. The Bald Truth, American Hair Loss Association, the IAHRS. People are like, "Wow, this is really cool, but I want to get fixed." So they go to the guys who are offering $4.99 a graft or whatever. They go and, "get fixed," and then they come back to us. Because they've been fucked up.
Spex: Yes, and that is the reality of the situation. Unfortunately, price, just because a surgery is cheaper and people are selling it and they've got fantastic pictures on their website, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get a top caliber hair transplant.
Spencer Kobren: But even top caliber guys, let's face it. The best of the best are only showing their best images. I understand that. Listen, part of this business is sales. You have to be able to market yourself in order to get patients through your door. That is a reality that for whatever reason some consumers don't fully grasp. They just think, "This is a doctor, he is here to help me." They don't think about the physician's kids' tuition that has to be paid.
They don't think about their Mercedes Benz payments, they don't think about the physician's mortgage. It's a business. I think very few doctors decide when they're young to go to school, take pre-med, then go to medical school with the idea that they're going to become a hair transplant doctor.
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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.