Getting a hair transplant surgery is an investment in yourself – an investment in your confidence, self-esteem, and appearance. It can be hard to choose. You owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can before making a decision about which clinic you want to work with.
Here are some of the criteria we believe you should consider when making your selection of a surgeon:
- The Experience of Your Doctor
Like any craftsman, quality results come from experience. You should look for a surgeon who has performed many successful procedures. The amount of time they’ve been doing hair transplants is less important than the number of transplants they’ve actually done. For example, a plastic surgeon who mostly does Botox and maybe does 1-2 hair transplants per month on the side for the last 20 years will have less experience than a hair transplant surgeon who does 1-2 hair transplants per day for the previous 5 years. Look for a surgeon whose everyday focus is hair transplantation.
- The Experience of the Clinic
How long has the clinic been around? A hair transplant clinic doesn’t survive for years without providing consistently good results. Will the clinic be around in the future if you have a concern, or want more hair transplant surgery? Will the same doctors and staff be there, the ones who already know you?
- The Experience of the Staff
Your doctor will rely on experienced assistants to help with your surgery. Is the clinic staff experienced? Have they worked with the doctor for a long time? Do they have the same high standards as your doctor? Or is there a lot of staff turnover at the clinic? Are there different assistants coming and going every few months? Does the clinic directly employ the assistants, or are the assistants contracted or rented, travelling from clinic to clinic to work with dozens of doctors, caring more about the next job than the clinic where they’re working?
Look for a surgeon who actually does the procedure themselves rather than delegating it to a non-medical technician or assistant. You can only truly care about your work if you do it yourself.
- Does your Surgeon talk about more than just Surgery?
For some patients, hair restoration can be about more than just surgery. Sometimes it’s just as important to use non-surgical techniques to help you keep the hair you still have, or maybe even regrow some of your own lost hair. Does your surgeon talk to you about this? Does your surgeon talk to you about ways to minimize the amount of surgery you need, or do they just talk to you about more and more surgery, even if there are alternatives that might be right for you? You should be armed with all the information you need to meet your goals, not just some of them.
Look for a surgeon who is credentialled specifically by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to do hair transplant surgery. This means that they have rigorous training and that their technique and work have been reviewed by an experienced colleague so you know your surgeon has the right experience and skills. You want a surgeon that’s trained long-term with other highly experienced surgeons, not someone that’s just taken a weekend course.
- Before-and-After Pictures
Your doctor should have available a gallery of their patients for you to review. Their gallery should give you accurate information about what you’re seeing – the number of grafts, the kind of surgery, and the other treatments those patients are using – so you feel like you know what it might take to achieve a similar result. Of course, your surgeon won’t be able to show you every single patient, but their gallery should show enough different types of patients so that you can get a sense of their skill and versatility.
- Your Comfort Level with the Physician
Having a compatible patient/physician relationship is an invaluable part of your satisfaction with your surgical outcome. Make sure you actually talk to the surgeon you’re considering working with, not just a non-medical consultant. You should know the person with whom you’re making this significant investment! Did they ask you good questions about your hair loss? Did they try to understand your goals? Did they work to help you meet those goals in a way that fits your lifestyle and your budget? Did they talk to you about the surgery that was right for you, or did it seem like they were trying to push as large a surgery as possible, even if perhaps you don’t need that much surgery? Were they truthful about what can be achieved, and what cannot be achieved? Did they talk to you about non-surgical treatments that can boost your hair transplant result and even keep you from needing a hair transplant in the future? Were they honest enough to tell you that a hair transplant might not even be the right option for you? Did they listen to all your questions, and answer them in a way that made sense to you? Did they give you an opportunity to follow up and ask more questions at a later time? Or did the process seem hurried, rushed, pushy, or sales-ey? Whatever the experience, you should feel comfortable that your doctor has your best interests in mind.