Surgical Hair Restoration: What to Avoid in a Surgeon
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Currently the field of surgical hair restoration is not regulated by either the U.S. government or the medical community. Any licensed physician can legally perform hair transplant surgery without any prior surgical training or accreditation of any kind.
However, a handful of extremely skilled and ethical physicians do perform excellent hair transplantation in this country. These physicians have had extensive training in surgical hair restoration and are at the top of their field. Their state-of-the-art techniques are truly transforming lives.
Although remedies promising to restore hair to balding heads have been around since ancient times, most men and women with thinning hair can do little to reverse the process. For cosmetic purposes, or after hair loss from surgical or drug treatments, many people turn to wigs, hairpieces, and hair weaving. Some people get tattoos to simulate lost eyebrows and eyelashes. Certain drugs may slow hair loss, and alternative treatments may bolster the health of remaining hair, but no treatment is likely...
The American Hair Loss Association fully endorses hair transplantation when performed by qualified, ethical physicians. However, finding a qualified hair transplant surgeon can be challenging. Do not underestimate the complexity of this important task. Consider the following advice:
Avoid turning to the Yellow Pages when seeking a hair transplant surgeon.
Avoid referrals from your dermatologist or family practitioner.
While your family doctor or dermatologist might mean well, the fact is that most physicians in this country know very little about the scope and pitfalls of this demanding cosmetic procedure. Unless your doctor has personal experience with the hair transplant physician he is recommending, our advice would be to say thanks, but no thanks.
Avoid referrals from your hair stylist. In some cases, hair stylists may receive compensation from hair transplant surgeons for referrals. Be careful.
Avoid large hair transplant groups or practices that employ or contract physicians to perform hair transplantation under a common umbrella.
Avoid practices advertising on television infomercials. While these larger groups have the ability to buy public opinion through expensive and flashy television, print, and radio marketing, this may not equate to superior surgical results.
Finally, remember, just because a "company" or "practice" claims to be one of the largest does not mean that they are one of the best. The American Hair Loss Association recognizes that these large practices do employ some skilled and ethical physicians and that it is possible to attain satisfactory results. Do your homework first before you decide on a surgeon.
Published on March 1, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from the American Hair Loss Association