Considering Having a Second Hair Transplant Procedure In India – Is This a Good Choice?
Hi, I had a frontal procedure 9 years ago in the UK and as is very common the result is not very good, so I am looking to have another procedure. My hair loss has progressed in 10 years to a Norwood 4, much more in the crown area so I am looking for one large procedure of approximately 4000 grafts. Due to all the contrasting information on the internet and on forums its very difficult to decide on where to go and which doctor to choose. A lot of people have the opinion to only consider traveling to USA for a hair transplant. have been looking at a clinic in India and it looks very good, informative and very affordable compared to most, but as usual I have heard good and bad about going to India for a procedure Can anyone clarify that going to India especially is a good decision to make because obviously I am very wary after the 1st procedure I had, and all the negativity surrounding hair surgery etc. I would love to hear about other peoples experiences with this clinic etc It would be unthinkable if I made the wrong decision this time and was left with very little donor area and unnatural looking hair. If that was the case I would rather shave my head and wait for advancements in hair restoration which surely is inevitable some time soon. Many thanks.
I am sorry your first experience with hair transplantation was not up to your expectations. I assume you live in the U.K. I had heard that there were a couple of “hair mills” in your country back then that did perform sub-standard work, but I certainly need to emphasize to you that there are several excellent hair surgeons in the U.K. presently whose work I have personally seen and who are spoken of very highly by their patients on various internet sites. The two Farjo doctors, Drs. May, Rogers, and Westwood all have been to most of the international society meetings. There may be a few others that are just as involved, but have come into the field more recently. I would certainly urge you to at least visit a few of them and get a personal feel for the results and approach each of them use before deciding to leave your country. It is always nice, for reasons of follow-up, etc, to have your work done in your home state or country if the quality is not sacrificed.
Getting back to your own situation regarding the top of your head: You didn’t say how old you are. If you were 20 when you had your work and are 30 now, then one still has to be conservative, because you could do a lot of balding still. Most Norwood IV pattens I basically still treat as a Norwood VI, because that is where these people will eventually end up, and it makes sense to plan that way. 4000 is an awful lot of grafts to transplant at one visit. There are a handful of clinics that do this size of a session, but the majority of the top physicians in the field stop somewhere around 3000 or so as their upper limit, and for a number of good reasons: One is staff fatigue. That is an awfully long day for everyone and humans do get tired. Second is that no one has done a good study on the survival percentage of the hairs that are transplanted in such large sessions, particularly in the more central areas. Granted, we all see some rather spectacular results, but does this happen every time or not? I, for one, believe there is a limit to what the blood supply of the scalp can support, and that limit is different from one person to another. The thickness of the scalp is a big factor. There are other considerations, but I won’t go into all of them in this setting. Also, because you have had previous work, your scalp is not a “virgin” one, and so the blood supply will be compromised in some small way, making it a little wiser to be a wee bit conservative in the graft numbers. If I were you and it turns out you are in your early 30′s, I would be shopping for 3000 grafts instead, with the option to do more work later.
As for the physician in India you mention, I am not that personally associated with his work. I have not heard any complaints over the years regarding his work, and, certainly in this day and age of the internet, if he did bad work, we would probably all hear about it. I would correspond with his clinic and, if possible talk with or meet with a couple of his patients if possible that live in your country that they could refer you to. And, most importantly, I would visit with at least two other doctors/clinics and, after you are all done, go with your “gut feeling” as to where you feel most comfortable having your second session done. With the techniques we have today, It will be hard for you to go wrong if you pick a reputable physician.
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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.