Hair Transplant Surgery has become much more popular in the last few years with the number of clinics in the UK increasing. In addition, many clinics overseas advertise in the UK targeting prospective patients with offers of cheap package deals.
With so much choice at different price points it is understandable that it can be difficult to make a decision. If you are thinking of treating your hair loss you might want to consider the following points.
Are you able to meet with your surgeon before the day of surgery?
It is vital to have the opportunity to meet your hair transplant surgeon before the day of surgery. A thorough history and examination of your scalp should be carried out before suggesting any treatment plan. Long-term planning is crucial to the success of your hair transplant and there is no-one better to do this than your surgeon.
What is the background of your hair transplant surgeon and do they perform both Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?
FUE is certainly a more popular technique at the moment, but FUT is is often a better choice for many patients. Both techniques have their pros and cons and it is therefore important to consult with a surgeon who is comfortable with FUE and FUT. You can read more about FUE vs FUT here.
How many cases have they performed and over what period of time?
Don’t be shy in asking how many procedures your surgeon has performed and over what time. Performing one case every few months is not the same as performing hair transplant surgery every week.
Do they practise exclusively in hair restoration surgery or are they part time?
We believe the best hair transplant clinics in the world are focussed purely on hair restoration. They will be very familiar with Follicular Unit Excision (FUE), Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) as well as the non-surgical side of treating hair loss. Those who have specialised in hair transplant surgery will also make an effort to attend regular conferences such as those held by the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (www.bahrs.co.uk) and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (www.ishrs.com).
What qualifications does your surgeon have?
Hair Transplant Surgeons in the UK come from a variety of backgrounds, hence there will be some variability in their post-graduate qualifications. In the field of hair restoration however there is only one qualification and that is The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
The below is taken from the ABHRS website – https://abhrs.org/
The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is internationally recognized as the only board certification focusing on hair restoration surgery for physicians worldwide. Every surgeon that is recognized as a Diplomate has participated and shown proficiency in both extensive written and oral examinations, each of which is statistically validated with regard to their ability to discriminate between those whose practice habits were consistent with safe, aesthetically sensitive hair restoration surgery.
Why is it important to meet with your hair transplant surgeon before the day of surgery?
Any decent hair transplant surgeon will always start by taking a thorough history and examining your scalp to diagnose the cause of your hair loss. This is essential as although in the majority of cases the cause may be male or female pattern hair loss there are other less common causes of hair loss which need to be picked up.
Once the diagnosis has been established a treatment plan will be proposed. This will usually include both the surgical side of hair restoration i.e. Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) as well as the non-surgical side which might include oral Finasteride and topical Minoxidil.
If you are a candidate for surgery both techniques should be discussed as they both have their pros and cons. From the consultation with your surgeon and after assessment of your scalp one technique will usually emerge as being more suited for you.
An experienced hair transplant surgeon will be able to discuss all of the above with ease.
Patient selection, long-term planning are donor management are some of the most challenging aspects of hair restoration surgery.
A lot of clinics use salespeople to recommend treatment plans. If you are serious about treating your hair loss you must meet the surgeon before signing up to treatment.
Is it important for my hair transplant surgeon to perform both Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?
FUE and FUT are the two main techniques in surgical hair restoration. Both techniques have their pros and cons and at The D’Souza Clinic we feel that it is important for your hair transplant surgeon to offer both techniques. The reason behind this is that hair restoration is about donor vs recipient i.e. do I have enough hair to take from the back of the head to cover the area of hair loss at the top.
In the same patient the maximum number of grafts obtained with each technique will differ. If your surgeon is familiar with FUE and FUT they will be able to estimate the number of grafts achievable with both techniques. There can often be quite a difference in numbers of grafts likely to be achieved and depending on the size of the area to be covered one technique may prove to be much more suitable than the other.
I suggest you meet 2 or 3 surgeons to make sure you get the right diagnosis and find one you are comfortable with before committing to surgery.