Questions To Ask a Hair Transplant Surgeon
I figure the best way to know what questions to ask a surgeon I may see for possible hair transplant surgery, is to actually ASK a hair transplant surgeon. Can you give me a list of things I should watch out for or be aware of and possible questions to ask to the doctor I see for a consultation? Thank you in advance.
Thank you for your letter. You are absolutely correct that you may ask the surgeon any question that you would like and you have to feel comfortable with the way the surgeon answers your questions as well as the answers that he/she gives you.
The list of possible questions is lengthy and will depend on your individual situation and areas of particular interest. In general there should be no area that is off limits or too sensitive to ask the physician including training their experience. You should also be able to ask any question about the medical or surgical treatment of hair loss and how each may benefit you. If you have specific questions after you have done some research into hair restoration, by all means ask.
I wrote a book called “The Hair Replacement Revolution” several years ago that devotes an entire chapter to evaluating the physician including questions to ask. It is available from my office at no charge (contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free 1.877.694.9381) or it can be purchased from Amazon.com. Below are three excerpts from chapter 9 which address your question. The first section is a “Patient Bill of Rights” which outlines your rights when interacting with a hair restoration surgeon:
As a prospective client, you have a right to:
- A provider who is experienced and knowledgeable; someone who makes you feel comfortable and at ease.
- As many consultations as necessary until all of your questions are answered.
- Bring your spouse, friend, sibling, parent, or anyone else to the consultation.
- A thorough explanation of the provider’s plan, whether a hair addition or surgery, before making a commitment. Especially in the case of surgery, you should expect a clear understanding of the procedure—of each step involved. Will there be transplants? If so, what kind of grafting is planned? How many sessions will be needed to achieve the desired results?
- Meet and talk with your surgeon prior to the day of the surgery, not only on the day of the procedure itself.
- Be informed of the possible complications of the surgical procedure, or drawbacks of the hair addition you are considering.
- Full disclosure of the surgeon or provider’s training and experience.
- Meet and talk with some of the provider’s other clients or patients.
- Read the consent form at your leisure without feeling rushed. Understand it before signing it.
- Make your decision without feeling pressured by sales tactics.
Questions for the physician:
- Why did you begin doing hair transplants? (Although there is no right or wrong answer to this question, the response should offer some insight into the doctor’s motivation and personality.)
- How many procedures have you performed? (A minimum of 100 is best.)
- How long have you been in practice? (A minimum of two to three years is good.)
- How long did you train with other doctors before you began performing the procedures? (One year would be ideal.)
- Which conferences and symposiums do you attend to stay current in the field? (At least one of the following meetings should be attended each year: The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the European Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, ISHRS Live Surgery Workshop.)
- What is your primary surgical orientation: follicular unit transplantation or mini/micrografting? (This answer will indicate the surgeon’s primary method of hair transplantation. Be sure to ask how many procedures of this type he has performed.)
- Will you arrange for me to meet with some of your former patients who have experienced hair loss that was similar to mine, and who have completed the restoration process? (This answer better be “YES.”)
Some possible questions to ask yourself after meeting the physician are:
Does the physician…
- Seem to understand my situation and care about my feelings?
- Show a willingness to acknowledge if he is unsure of something I have asked?
- Make me feel rushed?
- Appear willing to simply talk to and listen to me?
- Offer photos of other clients and provide an opportunity for me to meet with them?
- Explain technical procedures in a way that I can understand?
Find A Surgeon
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.