Medi Spa Hair Transplants - It’s a Thing and It’s Usually Not Good

Spencer Kobren speaks with IAHRS accepted member, Connecticut hair transplant surgeon Scott Boden M.D. about the dangers associated with the pop-up, turnkey, chop shops that are literally littering this field. Remember, hair transplant surgery is real surgery and no matter how it’s marketed, it is one of the most technically difficult and demanding cosmetic procedures to perform well. Choose your surgeon wisely.

Scott Boden, MD: So I live ... I'm in the NE and pretty established there and there are some good guys in the New York and New England area. But there are med spas and there's plastics guy because they're all Maxwell Facial guys that buy a device.

Spencer Kobren: Oh yeah.

Scott Boden, MD: It makes me crazy. And I call them. I say, "I just want to let you know if you want to spend a couple days observing how to design a hair line, you're welcome to come visit. But if you do stuff and you harm patients, it's going to be harmful for everybody." And most people get defensive and you're just trying to stifle competition. And that's not the case, it really isn't. An individual who recently opened a med spa, we had a conversation. He said, "Hey, I can take out a pancreas. I can do a hair transplant. It's no big deal." I want to, with all due respect for surgeons with great skillsets, this is a whole other well honed skill set that-

Spencer Kobren: And that's my point. And that's why I brought it up. I express myself in a way that may make some people uncomfortable. I understand that. But I also think that's why I've been effective at what I do for the last 20 years. Because the consumer is ... it's a palatable message. It resonates with the consumer, and that's my job. But when I brought up the circus and the stilts and all that stuff, you know you make a very good point. I mean, this guy bought a device. He could take out a pancreas. He thinks that there's no nuance. He doesn't realize that this is such a unique and nuanced and elegant discipline of cosmetic surgery. I don't believe that the bigger organizations have even been able to get that out there.

Scott Boden, MD: I love that. Unique and elegant and nuanced. I think that's a great description of what we do.

Spencer Kobren: Well it is.

Scott Boden, MD: And it is really something that you have to ... There isn't an established template. Everything is very individualized.

Spencer Kobren: Listen, I talk about this and I've said this before. Right now, we're recording but when I go live, I mean, I don't what's going to happen. I don't know if my 360s going to break down, if I'm going to have problems with that machine, bringing my internet, my Skype. Every day it's a surprise for me when I go live.

Scott Boden, MD: Right.

Spencer Kobren: I can't even imagine what it'd be like to work on a human being and the physiology and as soon as you open that scalp ... And I say open. You people don't want to hear that FUE or ... you do both. But you know, you're taking out that first punch. You don't know what you're going to get. You could do the best consultation in the world. But you have no clue what the reality is until you get in there. And these doctors, they have no clue. They can't handle it.

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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.