The topic of corrective hair transplant surgery is back………again
Lately I have been performing way way too many corrective surgeries on work performed by doctors that see the patient as a money-making opportunity instead of what they are, an individual looking to improve/restore their confidence by having a hair transplant! This type of surgery that is so visible can have a life altering affect on the patient, a detail lost on many doctors.
Now there are many tools out there, many marketing schemes that promise you they have the latest technology, the only technology, the magical team, this type of slit or the other, “dense packing” etc. but sometimes customers forget: Hair transplants are not done by machines, they are done by doctors! That is IF the doctor is wholly involved! I remember somebody who came in for a reconstructive surgery done at a prestigious clinic on the east coast. When I looked up the webpage the doctor was performing up to 5 surgeries a day! How? Does he have 5 twins? This tells me that most of the work is done by the staff and not the doctor which is why he was in my office!
Many people think that they can buy a tool and voila, they are a hair transplant guru…. but far from it! My workload proves it, without a doubt!
Again, I cannot stress or emphasize enough how important: experience, passion for this type of work, immense patients and having an artistic eye are a must in this field! We are talking about basic knowledge i.e. no two and three hair grafts in the hair line! Why? Because a 2 and 3 graft hairline does not exist, our hairline is made up of ONE hair graft!
The above picture is a perfect example of what you DO NOT want the result to look like. There is no replacement for experience, period!
No hairline is the same as no two hair transplants are the same. A physician must be able to frame the face when designing a hair line, a hair line that will look natural aka as it belongs there!
The above picture is right after the corrective surgery! For me, as a doctor, when I showed him the first time what it looks like, his face lit up, he was grinning ear to ear, that was my personal satisfaction, seeing all his worries just vanish! Poof…….with a corrective surgery!
Yes, any doctor can open a hair transplant clinic and they can buy any tool out there, but we go back to: a tool is as good as the operator! What these devices need is competent and trained doctors. Doctors that understand the pros and cons of the device and they are able to maximize the pro and minimize the con! In my practice I choose very carefully what devices I use, and I am always looking at the end result! I can make any outrageous claims, but the results are what ultimately matters!
Let’s look at punches for a second regardless of the claim people make: a 22 gauge will be smaller than a 19g, and it is very obvious that one is significantly smaller than the other! So, therefore the scaring will be that much smaller, which in turn means healing time will be greatly reduced!
Some doctors need large teams some don’t! It depends on the doctor! In my case I was fortunate enough to be able to work both sides of the isle! I was a nurse so did the “grunt” work and then when I got my medical license, I was able to do other side easily. Some of my fellow doctor friends fawn over my machine like stitching, I attribute that to my youth when I used to do needle point with my grandmother, sew “goblen” for my fiancée…….little did I know then how helpful these will be in the future: patients, attention to detail, repetitive work for long periods, visualizing what the results will look like, artistry………now, to pad myself on the back: I challenge you to find a hair transplant doctor that used to do needle point?….Yes, I am that rare of a breed indeed.
Now after reading the above, you may wonder what is a goblen? It is a type of needle point popular in Europe! It is a type of sewing where there you need to fill in the grid with the right color thread to yield a picture. It requires attention to detail and repetitive work. Below is an example of a kit and what the results might look like.
So, why do I have so many corrective surgeries? “Every physician, MD or DO, has the legal right to pick up a scalpel and proclaim him/herself a qualified hair transplant surgeon.” So, new clinics popped up on the horizon that thought that they can do what the top doctors can without any training, or just by buying a certain machine or tool! Some learned the hard way that it is not so easy, and others are learning on their patients that end up at my clinic! So how do YOU, the patient, avoid this pitfall?
Remember, clinics compete for a small niche market, and they need to set themselves apart, sometime doing so by outrageous claims, by misleading advertising or just by omitting certain cons about their device.
Now let’s return to you the patient who is bombarded by ads from every angle. What should you do?
- Look at reviews: read all of them……should give you a basic idea.
- Scope of practice i.e. hair transplant only or spa or cosmetic surgery where hair transplant is part of it.
- Time in the field
- Experience of the doctor i.e. how long has the doctor been doing hair transplant and how many.
- Their results: this can be misleading because pictures can be doctored, taken in a particular angle etc
- Avoid doctors with claims of grandeur! Avoid claims: “The best hair transplant doctor!”, look for “among the best”!
- Avoid cheap hair transplants, if you are going to save money save it on something else, you will wear your head for the rest of your life 😊
- Doctor involvement i.e. are they doing “essential” work, and the rest is left to the staff.
- There should be no pressure to do a hair transplant, it is an elective surgery after all.
- Consultation should be with the doctor that will be performing the surgery, if you do not get to see your doctor during a consultation walk away as fast as possible.
At my clinic I have days when I do only consultations and the other days, I do hair transplant only. I have one assistant, yes just one! Between the two of us we can tackle even the most difficult and large session FUE. We have done 4500 graft surgeries in 10h. How? First, we have 49 years of combined experience doing nothing but hair transplants. Two we have been together for 19 years. Lastly, we just click, and we know what needs to be done, like a fine-tuned machine we perform. I also do not perform surgeries day after day! I am not a mill!
Now let’s be clear, we are not miracle workers so when we do FUT, which is more tech laborious, we do have two trusted techs that come in and help out.
You want your doctor to be fresh. At Hair 4 Life Medical, I do a surgery, followed by a day of consultations, followed by a surgery, followed by a day of consultations, then another surgery.
Another aspect that sets me apart is that after your surgery your post op care is with ME, the doctor, and not with an assistant. I check my work, I teach YOU to take care of the fresh grafts, I answer any questions/concerns you may have, and I am available to my patients 24/7/365! Yes, I do come in on the days that we are supposed to be closed to do your shampoo! You thought I would just give you a written piece of paper for you to figure it out! Not my style! Once you had hair transplant with me, you become my extended family!
Lastly, I leave you with these words of wisdom from another hair transplant doctor that felt the same frustration as me:
“Behind these devices there needs to be a competent doctor, and with the doctor, a competent team. Otherwise, no robot or vacuum-assisted gizmo will help you. But here is the big problem: these companies are advertising, selling and promoting these devices to doctors all over the country and the world who have no training in the complex procedure of hair restoration surgery. And they couldn’t care less. Their investors need to make their money, so therefore machines need to be sold … to whoever is buying.”
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Contact Hair 4 Life in Scottsdale
Dr. Kelemen integrates conventional and naturopathic medicine to provide the best of what both worlds have to offer. She creates a unique, compassionate, accepting environment for her patients. You only have to read the reviews to find out how she empowers her clients to look and feel their best. They leave the clinic with their heads held high!
To find out which procedure is best suited to your needs, you are invited to come into Hair4Life for a free consultation. Treatments are kept as affordable and accessible as possible so come in and talk to us.