This article has been written to help you decide which hair transplant clinic is best for you.
Where is the clinic?
Day of surgery
When you begin your search to find the right clinic for you it might be logical to start with where the clinic is based. Most clinics will ask you to arrive early in the morning and regardless of whether you have Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) the procedure itself will take most of the day.
Remember that the grafts are particularly delicate for the first 5 days after surgery and for this reason we do not recommend using public transport after the procedure if you can help it. Consider the logistics of how you are going to return home, if you can get someone to come and collect you then fantastic if not a taxi will suffice.
Another important point to consider regarding location is follow up after your hair transplant surgery. We see our patients routinely at 6,12 and 18 months after their procedure.
If your hair transplant clinic is far from home or even abroad, will you be able to attend appointments? It is also worth checking if you do not attend your appointments are there any ramifications and if you cannot attend your appointment in person is there an option for video-call follow-up.
Finally, if there are any complications after surgery would you be able to easily get to the clinic and see your operating surgeon. Hair transplant surgery is generally very safe and there are few complications, however they do arise from time to time and it is important you know there is help available if required.
What services does the clinic offer?
Although not always the case some of the very best hair transplant clinics specialise solely in hair restoration. Hair transplant surgery is an involved process requiring specialised equipment such as microscopes, high magnification loupes and a trained team of hair transplant surgical assistants to assist the surgeon. It is quite difficult to do a hair transplant effectively from time to time.
Who runs the clinic?
Many clinics in the UK and overseas are run by non-physicians. This is not always a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of. Often these companies are led by sales figures, which does not always translate to what’s best for the patient.
Who will I be seeing at my consultation?
It is common for patients to be seen initially by a non-physician, they are often referred to as patient advocates or consultants. Make sure you know who your consultation is booked with. Seeing one of these people in the first instance can be useful to give you an overview of hair restoration, however it is not a replacement for seeing your operating surgeon. Only a hair transplant surgeon is qualified to suggest your treatment plan.
If you are not seeing a surgeon in the first instance will a follow up appointment be made with the operating surgeon at another time or will you meet your surgeon on the day of the procedure. Lastly is there any charge for your consultation and if so is it redeemable against the cost of surgery if you are to go ahead.
Is the clinic registered with the CQC?
The statement below is taken from the British Association of Hair Restoration website – https://www.bahrs.co.uk/patient-advice/regulation/
In England, it is a requirement by law that all Providers of Hair Restoration Surgery (Hair Transplant Surgery and Prosthetic Hair Fibre Implantation eg Biofibre) must be registered with the CQC. In addition, in England, Hair Transplant Surgery and Prosthetic Hair Fibre Implantation must be done in a CQC registered facility.
You can see whether a clinic is registered with the CQC by going to this website – https://www.cqc.org.uk
Points to consider during your consultation
Once you are booked in for your consultation there are some questions/points you might like to consider.
- Are the offices clean and tidy?
- Do I feel comfortable?
- Are you speaking with your operating surgeon or a salesperson?
- Who is suggesting your treatment plan, a surgeon or a salesperson?
- If it is a salesperson can you meet your surgeon?
- Was a full history taken as well as examination of your scalp?
- Were you taken through all the treatment options i.e did they speak about both the surgical and non-surgical side of hair loss, FUE and FUT?
- Did they tell you the price – what does the price include – how do they price hair transplant surgery?
- Were the payment terms set out clearly?
- Were you provided with a written summary of your consultation and the proposed treatment plan?
Points to consider after your consultation
If it was your first hair transplant consultation you will surely have many thoughts and questions. It is important to remember that this is elective surgery and you should not be pressured into booking your procedure. Be wary of any time limited incentives used to encourage you to book straight away.
Most clinics operate on a 2-week cooling off period whereby it is not recommended that surgery is undertaken within 2 weeks of your initial consultation. This is based on the Royal College of Surgeons professional standards for cosmetic surgery – https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/standards-and-research/standards-and-guidance/service-standards/cosmetic-surgery/professional-standards-for-cosmetic-surgery/
We always recommend patients have a few consultations at a few different clinics to get a feel for what is right for them. It is essential that you feel comfortable at your chosen hair transplant clinic and you meet with your operating surgeon before the day of the procedure.
You might like to read our article on ‘How to choose a Hair Transplant Surgeon’ which covers some other important points to help you make the right decision.