Nine Tips to Finding the Best Hair Transplant Surgeon
Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration is proud to serve patients from the greater Los Angeles area as well as all of California, the rest of the United States and even other countries. Although many people are willing to travel anywhere they need to go to find the best hair transplant center to give them the hairline they desire, some patients prefer to use the services of a local doctor.
Here are nine tips that will help you find the best hair transplant surgeon to handle your hair restoration needs:
- Education – Be sure and ask the surgeon about his/her medical background because proper training in dermatology and plastic surgery are not always sufficient to provide the desired results. Hair restoration has its own training and mentorship programs. Find out about the prior training of the doctor to see if he/she has proper fellowship training in hair restoration. There are a few centers that are approved hair transplant fellowship centers by the International Society of Hair Restoration.
- Certifications – Your doctor should be licensed in the state in which they practice medicine. Most hair transplant doctors are board-certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS) or the Fellowship of the International Society of Hair Restoration (FISHRS):
- ABHRS – The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is the only qualifying board certification for hair transplant surgeons. Some of the qualifying factors for the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery are hair restoration training either through fellowship training or experience gained over many years of performing hair restoration surgery. Candidates must provide documentation of a minimum number of hair restoration procedures performed by the physician themselves. In addition, candidates for board certification must pass both a written and oral examination. You can check the board certification status of your doctor through the ABHRS Find a Physician section of their website.
- FISHRS – The Fellowship of the International Society of Hair Restoration is a recognizing certification established in 2012 by ISHRS in order to recognize members that possess an exceptional set of educational criteria, leadership positions, scientific achievements, publications and a quest for excellence in the field of hair restoration. An ISHRS fellow must meet established criteria over time to maintain their fellowship status. You can check the list of fellows of ISHRS here.
- Experience – It is important to make sure your hair transplant surgeon has enough relevant experience to give you the results you desire. Experience does not always translate to years performing surgery. In the last few years, the field of hair restoration has undergone a radical transformation and many doctors who have been performing hair restoration for years have had to upgrade and enhance their skills. The best hair transplant surgeons are the ones with years of experience but they still keep current with the most advanced hair restoration techniques. Experience, education, and innovation go hand in hand and are the main elements of a technologically advanced hair restoration practice.
- Hair Transplant Method – Pick a doctor that is familiar with various hair restoration techniques as opposed to only being comfortable performing one technique. This allows him/her to be flexible when making the final decision about the best hair transplant technique for your hair restoration needs. Be sure and ask questions to make sure the doctor is knowledgeable about the technique scheduled to be performed.
For example, if the doctor wants to perform follicular unit transplantation through Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), you need to ask the following questions:
- Are the grafts extracted using automated or microscopic methods?
- Is the doctor going to be the one who extracts the grafts?
- What is the role of the technicians during the procedure?
- Does the doctor employ different methods to extract the hair grafts?
If the doctor wants to perform hair restoration using Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), ask the following questions:
- Are the grafts microscopically dissected?
- Do all of the technicians use stereo-microscopes?
- How long have the technicians been using microscopes to dissect follicular units?
- Do you use several graft extraction methods or only one technique?
- Results – Ask your doctor for “before and after” photos of previous patients that had the same hair restoration technique you want to undergo. Open house events are a great opportunity to meet the previous patients of a doctor. If your doctor is hosting an open house, you will have an opportunity to view the transplanted areas of the previous patients. The goal of a successful hair transplant is that you will not be able to detect the transplanted area of the scalp from the natural areas of hair on the person. You can also ask the office if you can visit and chat with any previous patients in person so you can view the results in person and ask any questions you have in a one-on-one setting
- Word of Mouth – It is always a good feeling to hear about the great experiences a friend or family member had with a doctor. Not everyone wants to discuss their hair restoration experience with others but there is often someone in your life that is open to sharing their story. Online reviews from reputable sources let you discover more information about a medical practice and the hair transplants they perform. You can look for doctor reviews on a number of websites including Hair Transplant Network, The Bald Truth and RealSelf.
- Consultation Appointment – One of the most important steps in the hair restoration process is scheduling a consultation appointment with your doctor of choice. It is your opportunity to discuss your hair transplant goals with the doctor and better educate yourself about the steps involved in having a hair transplant.
There are a number of questions you should ask your doctor during your consultation appointment and they include:
- Am I a candidate for a hair transplant?
- Are you the actual person that will perform the surgery and, if not, which part of the procedure will involve the use of assistants?
- What is involved in my examination before you make your hair restoration recommendation?
- Are there other steps I need to follow to maintain a full head of hair?
- What method of hair graft extraction do you recommend and why?
- How many follow-up doctor appointments will I have after the procedure?
- What should I expect after my hair transplant is performed?
- Innovation and Research – The medical field of hair transplants is evolving and improving on a daily basis. Doctors that want to provide superior results for their patients do not usually stick to the “same old thing”. They use the most advanced hair restoration techniques while also looking for new and better ways to perform a hair transplant. It is easy to identify these hair transplant surgeons thanks to their large amount of research, publications and presentations.
- Warning Signs when Choosing a Hair Transplant Surgeon – There are a number of steps you can follow to ensure you don’t choose a hair restoration surgeon that will not deliver your desired results:
- Don’t ask your family doctor or dermatologist for a referral as they might not understand the complete scope of what is involved in a hair transplant
- Conduct proper and thorough research rather than simply relying on a Google search for “best hair transplant surgeon near me”
- Don’t trust a medical group simply because you saw them advertised on TV as their ad might not give a complete demonstration of their actual medical knowledge and surgical skills
- Don’t choose a doctor that is located close to your home just because they are located near you
Hair restoration is a big investment of your time and money. Natural results that last a lifetime are within your reach. It is worth your time and effort to invest your energy in finding the best hair transplant surgeon to provide you with the hairline you desire.