3 Questions To Ask Your Hair Transplant Surgeon
With the rising popularity of hair transplantation procedures and newer, more convenient and effective techniques like shave-less FUE (follicular unit extraction) available, you may be considering having a hair transplant surgery yourself.
If you are considering hair transplant surgery as an option, how do you know that the person you are considering for your treatment has the education, experience, and combination of technical know how and artistic skill to get you the results you are looking for?
It all starts with asking the right questions. By asking the right questions and getting satisfactory and thorough answers from an experienced hair transplant physician, you can make the right choice and be well on your way to restoring your hair and appearance.
If you are researching hair transplant surgeons, it is likely you are doing so for the first time. When you have your initial consultation regarding hair loss treatment, the first thing to ensure is that you are meeting with a doctor. Then, consider asking some or all of these 3 questions.
1) What qualifications should my hair transplant surgeon have?
One reliable way to ensure you are getting an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner is to look for certification from a respected hair restoration surgery authority.
The American (or International) Board of Hair Restoration Surgery—is the only recognised board certification program for hair restoration surgery physicians worldwide.
Certification under this program is contingent on meeting stringent standards for training, education and experience.
ABHRS certification requirements include:
- A current MD or DO license in good standing
- Personal recommendations from 2 physicians who belong to the American Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ASHRS) or the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)
- Passing both oral and written exams covering general knowledge of hair restoration procedures
- Having completed at least 50 surgeries as primary surgeon
- Full case reports with before and after photos demonstrating satisfactory results
Ongoing education and periodic recertification are required to maintain certification.
2) How much experience does the hair transplant surgeon have?
Hair restoration expertise can be highly specific, so be sure to choose a surgeon with experience treating clients like you.
Even the most experienced surgeons mainly see primarily asian, male, and younger (early middle age) clients whose hair restoration needs may differ from yours.
If that does not describe you, ask whether any hair restoration doctor you are considering has experience with clients like you.
Why? There are different challenges involved in hair restoration for clients of different ethnic backgrounds and for female clients. Older clients may have different needs than younger ones, as well.
Hair can have many different textures, follicle sizes, and growth patterns, and darker skin may heal and scar differently than lighter skin.
Curly and kinky transplanted hair can be challenging, too, requiring special knowledge and skill for a natural look.
Aesthetics after restoration can be a concern as well — you want someone who understands what your hairline should look like, and how to place the transplants so the new hair will blend in naturally.
Older clients may need more extensive restorations — including multiple procedures
Women, being much less common seekers of hair restoration, can present different aesthetic and technical hair restoration challenges, too.
That is why you should always ask to see a portfolio of relevant cases that are similar to yours and be sure to ask whether the physician has the right experience and skills.
3) Who Will Be Performing the Procedure?
The very best hair restoration surgeons perform their own extractions and placements with capable assistance from an experienced support team.
Other hair restoration clinics may rely more heavily on technicians during the procedure, with supervision and assistance from the physician.
You will probably want to avoid so-called “turn-key” operations, where most of the work is done by a harvesting device operated by a surgical technician.
Many people don’t realise that this model is increasingly common, so it is very important that you ask things like:
- Who removes the grafts?
- How long has the doctor been working with the support staff?
Hair Restoration With Dr. Donald Ng
Dr. Donald Ng is the founder and medical director of Alaxis Medical and Aesthetic Surgery. He is one of 400 people in the world certified through the American and International Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is actively involved in every step of the hair restoration process and brings an understanding and close attention to detail.
The doctor individually extracts every graft himself — a rarity, but necessary to ensure maximum viability and natural regrowth patterns.
He is assisted by his medical team, with whom he has worked closely for more than 15 years.
His patients include both men and women, and he prides himself on being able to serve patients who have a broad range of skin and hair types.