View Full Version : Are all patients suitable for surgery?

Mick from Farjo
03-02-2011, 08:14 AM
The simple answer to this has to be no, even those who have reasonable loss and are technically feasible to treat.

In the last year or so a few cases have highlighted this point to me. First of all we need to take a look at what makes a suitable candidate. Here we could add many factors but I will highlight just a few.

· Sufficient donor hair of reasonable quality of course
· A good understanding of all the processes involved.
· A mature attitude to present and future hair loss issues.
· Reasonable expectation of what may be achievable.
· A reasonably healthy psychological profile, free from obsessive or body dysmorphic issues

I’ll give you an example of a problematic patient. We recently received correspondence from a patient threatening to expose us as being a ‘poor clinic’. This stemmed from the fact that we told him that we would not carry out further surgery for him. This patient came to us for the first time following a failed plug surgery procedure in the 1980’s, followed by a failed FUE operation a few years ago. He told us that he was drawing up an agenda to complain against the FUE clinic and would “go to the newspapers” and all the forums. I told him that he would be better addressing his concerns with the said clinic and see if things could be amicably resolved.

The patient told a sorry story and it was easy to be sucked into his tale of woe. He convincingly told us that his life was in tatters because of his hair and asked if we
could help. All he wanted to do at this time was to try to remove some of his old original plug scarring and change it to a linear scar. This he said would be better as he kept his hair short. Thereby being easier to explain a line scar rather than a bunch of 4mm plug marks. Unfortunately the width of the area of the plug scars was such that despite our efforts we could not remove it all in one pass. Post op recovery and everything else was fine.

Out of the blue sometime later this patient started sending rather threatening emails saying he would sue us because he now has a line scar and cannot shave his head. We felt we did everything by the book and did our utmost to help and now we are the object of his venom, and yes you guessed it he blackmails us with ‘exposure on the forums’! The reason we could not treat him further was that we became aware of certain personal and psychological issues that had we known about them initially, we would not have treated him. Due to his bad experience previously elsewhere and our eagerness to help him, we actually only made a minimal charge for the treatment and yet he is still not happy.

Another example is regarding a second case where I recently heard from a guy who when he spoke was clearly emotionally charged. In short he said that he had wished he listened to our advice to not have surgery and consider medications first instead. He visited us five years ago and we recommended Finasteride. Six months later he saw an advert and went along to see Mr Salesman. He advised him to fly out to their clinic in Europe and everything would be fine. Three procedures later and with little hair to show, he wondered what he could now do. We will see him to see if we can help but it is unlikely that anything meaningful can be achieved.

Not all patients are suitable for surgery and sometimes people slip under the radar. I would advise any clinic to spend as much time as possible looking at who they perform treatment for and assessing them properly because in the long term the benefits will be greater for all.