1. Can your hair transplant doctor provide you with a minimum of 10 sets of before and after photos taken at the same angle, the same background and the same lighting? These picture specifications are important to ensure that there are no possible discrepancies when looking at the individual cases. Be sure that the photos provide a clear view of the hairline, as well as the mid anterior scalp. If possible, ask your doctor to provide you with photographs of donor scars.
2. Ask for the names and phone numbers of at least 6 patients that you can contact to discuss their experiences with the hair transplant physician and staff that you are considering. If possible, ask to speak with two physicians who have had the procedure performed by the hair transplant doctor you are researching. Last but not least, ask to meet patients that have similar hair and skin characteristics as you. It is very important to view patients with these similar characteristics in order to assess your hair transplant physician's ability to provide you with a realistic and beneficial outcome.
3. If the hair transplant doctor or hair transplant group you are considering claims to be performing follicular unit hair transplantation, ask the following questions:
a. Are the grafts microscopically dissected?
b. Do all the technicians use stereo-microscopes?
c. How long have the technicians been using microscopes to dissect follicular units?
d. How many stereo-microscopes are being used during a procedure?
e. Does your hair transplant doctor use a single bladed knife to excise the donor strip?
4. Contact your state medical board to see if any complaints have been filed against your hair transplant doctor or hair transplant group.
5. (Consultation) It is imperative that you meet with the actual hair transplant doctor that will be performing your surgery on the day of your initial consultation. If you meet with a "medical consultant" remember the following:
a. The consultant should be there to provide you with basic information on the hair transplant procedure.
b. He/she is most likely not a medical professional and should not provide you with specific medical or surgical recommendations.
c. If your hair transplant doctor is not available for your initial consultation, leave immediately and do not have a hair transplant performed by that hair transplant physician or hair transplant group.
d. Consultants do have their place in this field, but cannot replace a consultation with a medical professional.
Is your hair transplant doctor's practice dedicated solely to surgical hair restoration? If not, what percentage of his/her practice is?
Reviewed by Paul J. McAndrews, MD