The most important aspect of my hair loss consultation – Expectations
In the 27 years I have been working in my field, there have been tremendous improvements in our approach to our patients, in our options of non-surgically therapies for hair loss in men and women, in our surgical techniques we offer to correct male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss as well as in treating other causes of hair loss such as traction alopecia, trichotillomania, traumatic hair loss from other surgery, radiation therapy, accidents, et cetera.
No matter what the cause of the hair loss is, it is imperative for me to determine exactly what my patient is expecting for results of what I provide for them. This is the most important aspect of my hair loss consultation. Expectations!
Something that I have heard over these many years in talking with patients is that sometimes they have been told things about hair loss and its treatments by other doctors or their representatives that simply is wrong. If this mis-information is due to ignorance, it is forgivable. Most times, however, information to the prospective patient is conveyed just to get the patient into the doctor’s surgery chair.
Real life examples of this are:
• Young patients being recommended for hair transplantation of their crowns
• Patients being told that they would require only one transplant session for the rest of their lives
• Individuals being counseled against the need to slow progression of their hair loss with medical therapies and/or laser therapy
• Being under-sold a surgical procedure, then hitting the patient up to do more on surgery day
These and other unethical practices, unfortunately, still occur in this field. I think it is because practitioners either are simple not good and ethical people or because they may have over extended themselves in their businesses by being poor business people or they simply are greedy.
I have observed another aspect of this mis-information in the last few of years with the aggressive marketing of hair transplantation surgical devices—especially FUE ones–being sold to anyone with a medical degree as “a high-profit turnkey addition to his or her practice”—even though they are not hair restoration surgeons and never have been involved in taking care of hair loss patients!
These doctors are “trained” over a grand total of two or three days and then they are performing surgery on patients…with radio, TV, print, and internet ads touting all of their expertise! These doctors and facilities are growing at a break-neck pace around the country and the world these days. I have observed that even the before and after photos by these doctors aren’t even patients on whom they have performed the procedure. It takes at least a year after a transplant to see significant “after” results. Buyer beware!
Likewise, if the “price” quoted for the procedure is extraordinarily low, this often is a warning sign that the doctor is new and is trying to get patients to practice on or he is not very busy and needs this “business” or a “bait-and-switch” situation is occurring where the fee is elevated on surgery day. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!
As with any walk of life and, particularly, in the medical field—again, buyer beware. If you are not confident in what you are being told in your hair loss consultation, don’t sign up for surgery right then. Take time to further investigate the doctor’s credentials, experience, reputation, et cetera before pulling the trigger and having a surgical procedure by someone who is inexperienced and possible unethical.