• 10-31-2008 03:09 PM
    tbtadmin
    Questions To Ask Your Hair Transplant Surgeon
    Answered by James Harris, on The IAHRS Hair Transplant Info Center

    View original post

    I figure the best way to know what questions to ask a surgeon I may see for possible hair transplant surgery, is to actually ASK a hair transplant surgeon. Can you give me a list of things I should watch out for or be aware of and possible questions to ask to the doctor I see for a consultation? Thank you in advance.
    ----------------
    Thank you for your letter. You are absolutely correct that you may ask the surgeon any question that you would like and you have to feel comfortable with the way the surgeon answers your questions as well as the answers that he/she gives you.

    The list of possible questions is lengthy and will depend on your individual situation and areas of particular interest. In general there should be no area that is off limits or too sensitive to ask the physician including training their experience. You should also be able to ask any question about the medical or surgical treatment of hair loss and how each may benefit you. If you have specific questions after you have done some research into hair restoration, by all means ask.

    I wrote a book called “The Hair Replacement Revolution” several years ago that devotes an entire chapter to evaluating the physician including questions to ask. It is available from my office at no charge (contact me at info@hsccolorado.com or toll free 1.877.694.9381) or it can be purchased from Amazon.com. Below are three excerpts from chapter 9 which address your question. The first section is a “Patient Bill of Rights” which outlines your rights when interacting with a hair restoration surgeon:

    As a prospective client, you have a right to:
    A provider who is experienced and knowledgeable; someone who makes you feel comfortable and at ease.
    As many consultations as necessary until all of your questions are answered.
    Bring your spouse, friend, sibling, parent, or anyone else to the consultation.
    A thorough explanation of the provider’s plan, whether a hair addition or surgery, before making a commitment. Especially in the case of surgery, you should expect a clear understanding of the procedure—of each step involved. Will there be transplants? If so, what kind of grafting is planned? How many sessions will be needed to achieve the desired results?
    Meet and talk with your surgeon prior to the day of the surgery, not only on the day of the procedure itself.
    Be informed of the possible complications of the surgical procedure, or drawbacks of the hair addition you are considering.
    Full disclosure of the surgeon or provider’s training and experience.
    Meet and talk with some of the provider’s other clients or patients.
    Read the consent form at your leisure without feeling rushed. Understand it before signing it.
    Make your decision without feeling pressured by sales tactics.

    Questions for the physician:
    Why did you begin doing hair transplants? (Although there is no right or wrong answer to this question, the response should offer some insight into the doctor’s motivation and personality.)
    How many procedures have you performed? (A minimum of 100 is best.)
    How long have you been in practice? (A minimum of two to three years is good.)
    How long did you train with other doctors before you began performing the procedures? (One year would be ideal.)
    Which conferences and symposiums do you attend to stay current in the field? (At least one of the following meetings should be attended each year: The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the European Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, ISHRS Live Surgery Workshop.)
    What is your primary surgical orientation: follicular unit transplantation or mini/micrografting? (This answer will indicate the surgeon’s primary method of hair transplantation. Be sure to ask how many procedures of this type he has performed.)
    Will you arrange for me to meet with some of your former patients who have experienced hair loss that was similar to mine, and who have completed the restoration process? (This answer better be “YES.”)
    Some possible questions to ask yourself after meeting the physician are:

    Does the physician…
    Seem to understand my situation and care about my feelings?
    Show a willingness to acknowledge if he is unsure of something I have asked?
    Make me feel rushed?
    Appear willing to simply talk to and listen to me?
    Offer photos of other clients and provide an opportunity for me to meet with them?
    Explain technical procedures in a way that I can understand?

    James Harris, MD
    Member, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
  • 11-23-2008 10:18 AM
    Dr. Feller
    I would also ask:

    How many technicians are employed by the perspective HT clinic per patient per day?

    How many years have those techs been performing HT in THAT office with the same team?

    Are the techs "shared" between clinics?

    Are unknown "roaming" techs (also called "travelling techs") employed from time to time in that clinic? You really don't want to go there if that's the case.

    Are microscopes used? Be careful here. MANY if not MOST HT clinics own a few microscopes for show, but rarely if ever actually use them.
  • 11-23-2008 02:35 PM
    PayDay
    Hi Dr. Feller!
    Hi Dr. Feller,

    It's cool to see you on this site. I'm a long time fan of The Bald Truth and have heard you on the show many times. I don't know much about the laser stuff, but since Spencer will not endorse it, I have chosen to stay clear.

    I asked a question in another thread that I would like your opinion on if you have some time.

    Here is the link to the thread:

    http://www.baldtruthtalk.com/showthr...?p=181#post181

    Thank you for your time!
  • 11-23-2008 04:12 PM
    Dr. Feller
    I'm not a fan of "test" surgery in general.

    $5,000 is a good bit of money and I would imagine that would get you FAR more than a "test" surgery for that amount.

    Best of luck.

    Dr. F
  • 11-23-2008 09:45 PM
    PayDay
    Thanks Dr. Feller! So how many grafts can I get from you for $5000
  • 11-24-2008 12:34 AM
    M Law
    Traveling Techs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr. Feller View Post
    I would also ask:

    How many technicians are employed by the perspective HT clinic per patient per day?

    How many years have those techs been performing HT in THAT office with the same team?

    Are the techs "shared" between clinics?

    Are unknown "roaming" techs (also called "travelling techs") employed from time to time in that clinic? You really don't want to go there if that's the case.

    Are microscopes used? Be careful here. MANY if not MOST HT clinics own a few microscopes for show, but rarely if ever actually use them.

    What is the downside of going to a clinic that uses traveling techs? I mean if the techs are REALLY skilled wouldn't they just be spreading their good tech ways across the various clinics they work for?
  • 11-24-2008 08:16 AM
    Dr. Feller
    M Law,

    Traveling techs are a big problem in this field.

    Most doctors who hire them have no idea who these people really are or what their backgrounds are. Regardless, these doctors hire them to work on the scalps of their unsuspecting patients. This is a violation of patient trust that boarders on the criminal IMO.

    How would you like it if during a your procedure you found out that one or more of the techs working on you was a stranger to the practice and to the doctor himself? That the person didn't live in that area and had no allegience to that doctor or practice? That if things got rough, they could just disappear without any accountability? Not a comforting feeling, is it?

    Traveling techs are by nature part-timers. That is unacceptable in a field that requires daily practice to not only maintain skill level, but to improve.

    Teamwork is at the very heart of any successful endevour. The very best clinics in the world have teams of techs who have worked with each other for years.

    Traveling techs, in sharp contrast, are loners who can't work in true teams because they are never in one clinic with the same people long enough. Such techs are usually considered to be "intruders" and are usually shunned.

    How good would the NY Giants be if they created a team of traveling players who hardly know each other just before each game and never practiced together? It would be a disaster. And so it goes with traveling HT techs.

    The traditional "doctor- employee" relationship is inverted when it comes to traveling techs. They are in the driver's seat, not the doctor. It is they who dictate the details of a procedure, not the other way around. And of course it could be no other way since the doctor has absolutely no idea beforehand what skill level that tech can operate at. This is unacceptable.

    In the end, it comes down to the individual. I happen to believe that the best techs are the ones who work EVERY day in the same setting with the same team. They have a veseted interest in the practice and have already found their social and professional niche within the pack of the HT team. Just through daily observation and feedback from other techs the doctor knows the actual skill level of each tech and can tailor the procedures to take advantage of each person's strengths. Because Traveling techs are unknowns, such quality control cannot be applied. Growth and improvement are near impossible.

    I personally would not go to ANY business or clinic that needs to use, or chooses to use, these unaccountable roaming part-time employees. I also believe that such people contracting themselves out as licensed professionals across state lines is also a violation of law and should be looked into.

    Finally, I think ALL clinics who use these traveling techs should be required by law to disclose this to their patients individually in writing AND on their websites. Patients should know before hand that while the doctor may have X number of years of experience, that the techs he uses are inexperienced strangers who have not worked as a team.

    When a tech is good, real good, they are enticed to stay with one practice. If a tech can't find a job near their home because there are no successful practices in the area, then their skill level suffers from lack of practice and guided training. These are the traveling techs. So they will hire themselves out to doctors far away for high pay. But they may only perform 3 or 4 procedures in a month. How do you think that compares to the quality tech who works for the same doctor with the same team for 8 surgeries per week every week for years? No contest.

    Remember everyone, it's YOUR scalp, and you only get one in this lifetime. Make sure the staff working on your scalp are a well oiled and experienced TEAM who has worked together for years and are people the doctor knows in depth. There are plenty of them out there. ASK your perspective doctor to put in WRITING the experience of his team. If he doesn't, get out and don't look back.
  • 08-09-2011 12:04 PM
    pink
    hi i am a girl from India. i am 31 yrs old. i am suffering from Alopecia Ophiasis type since in was 1 1/2 yrs of age ! i had taken steroid injections in the affected area and also taken medication for the same . after steroid injections i recovered my hair but once it was stopped all the grown hair fell off and till today it hasnt regrown !
    Ophiasis is a snake band like baldness which stretches from one ear to the other ! since its at the back of my head it doesnt show much but like any of you here i cant tie my hair or do anything with it ! luckily i do have my scalp hair except the back part of it because when i lift my hair up its bald from back so i cant tie my hair !
    also recently i started having bald patches around my scalp ! i fear my alopecia areata is progressing now and soon it will effect all my scalp hair !~

    Can you please suggest me if there is any kind of treatment for Alopecia Areata Ophiasis type condition !

    thank you
  • 08-09-2011 12:35 PM
    Mr. 4000
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr. Feller View Post
    I would also ask:

    How many technicians are employed by the perspective HT clinic per patient per day?

    How many years have those techs been performing HT in THAT office with the same team?

    Are the techs "shared" between clinics?

    Are unknown "roaming" techs (also called "travelling techs") employed from time to time in that clinic? You really don't want to go there if that's the case.

    Are microscopes used? Be careful here. MANY if not MOST HT clinics own a few microscopes for show, but rarely if ever actually use them.

    that is funny

    my doctor lied about the first two questions, matter of fact I had to listen to two of the tech talking while putting in the grafts, one telling the other that the doctor needed to talk to her after my HT. Meaning that she was going to be let go. At this time my doctor is in a consultation and I can hear him in the other room. I was thinking to myself what the hell did I get my self into with this liar. He told me everyone had a minimum of 4 years experience and was not being honest. When I emailed him he had a new staff member respond to my email.

    His turn over is obviously high when it comes to some positions, and in this economy you know doctors are adjusting their staff to profit more. He even dropped his sales rep that I dealt with who lied her ass off to me about many things.

    I spoke with my doctor about it and he won't address it, implying that I would have to sue and have a court order for the employment records

    you know him well Feller...

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