Who’s Qualified to Perform a Hair Transplant Procedure
When you’re considering a hair transplant, you need a doctor with the right qualifications to get the best results. How do you know which surgeon to choose from the many options available?
Trained in Plastic Surgery
Your hair transplant doctor should have post-graduate training in plastic surgery and or dermatology with specific training in hair restoration. This level of training typically includes four years of medical school, then four to seven years of residency. It may sound like a lot of preparation, but it’s necessary due to the intricacy and level of skill required for successful hair transplant procedures.
Additional Hair Transplant Training
Plastic surgery and dermatology are broad fields, and not every doctor has worked with hair transplant patients.
Those best qualified to perform a transplant have specific training and understand all aspects of hair loss. The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS) provides certification for surgeons meeting strict standards for training and experience.
There’s more than one type of hair transplant procedure, and donor hair can be transplanted into many areas of the body. You should seek out a surgeon with experience in the specific type of transplant you want and who understands all the nuances of transplanting hair to the desired location.
Experience alone isn’t enough, though. You also want to know the surgeon has a track record of successful results. Read online reviews, and ask to see portfolios of before and after pictures from previous patients.
Beware of Impostors
Because the hair transplant field isn’t currently regulated, it’s possible for anyone with a medical degree to call themselves a hair transplant surgeon. Groups like the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA) and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) offer resources for patients seeking qualified, experienced hair restoration professionals so that you don’t have to try to sift through all the choices without guidance.
Use online databases from these organizations to narrow down your choices and locate the best surgeon for your procedure.
A doctor meeting the proper qualification criteria should be able to provide a safe, effective hair transplant. If your current doctor or plastic surgeon of choice doesn’t have the required expertise, research other options in your area until you find a professional with whom you’re comfortable. Be also aware of “turn-key” hair practices, where essentially a doctor purchases a hair transplant device and hires (usually unlicensed) technicians to then perform the procedure. This is a growing problem particularly in the United States, where patients think their plastic surgeon or dermatologist will be doing the procedure, only to have the experience of most if not all of the procedure performed by these technicians.
Dr. Epstein is a triple board-certified facial plastic surgeon who has established himself as a world-renowned expert in treating men and women for pattern hair loss. With 25 years of experience, he’s performed over 14,000 hair restoration procedures to date and has worked to advance current techniques. Learn more about Dr. Epstein’s qualifications and see if he’s the best fit for your hair transplant procedure!