10 Questions you should ask a hair transplant clinic before proceeding
The questions below won’t only save you money, but they will also help your hair transplant experience be smoother, without glitches and definitely with less headache. The road to a successful hair transplant operation starts with asking the right questions and finding transparent answers to them.
I’m sure you are aware that hair transplant procedures have become very popular since the introduction of FUE to the market. Bear in mind, many doctors and businessmen are also aware of this too. Consequently, with little financial investment, doctors try their luck by opening a hair transplant clinic, even if they have no relevant qualifications.
As human beings, we love saving money, and would very much like to spend as little as possible from our pockets. Whilst this is the reality, many newly opened clinics offer the lowest prices they can afford, just for the sake of getting more clients through the door. Understandably, keeping the cost at a bare minimum comes with compromises, which, as the most important side of the equation, you as a patient have to bear the repercussions.
If a hair transplant procedure was an automated process, performed by several machines with minimum human involvement, low cost wouldn’t have to be an issue. In direct contradiction, it could create fair competition and clinics would not have to look for ways to lower their per unit cost.
However, this is not the case. A hair transplant operation solely relies on the experience of the surgeon and his/her team due to it being performed manually. This involves thousands of tiny incisions perfectly made by hand with meticulous attention, one at a time, and also holding your valuable hair follicles delicately without squeezing them too much so they stay alive after the procedure.
Bearing in mind that your donor region is a limited source, who wouldn’t want to get this surgery performed correctly?
Here are the 10 crucial questions to ask your hair transplant clinic before you commit. Let’s make them sweat;
Question 1 - Will there be a doctor present who will actively participate in my procedure?
Did you know that many clinics still operate without a doctor? A cheap quote is one way to set the alarm bells ringing, so it’s crucial that you ask directly if there will be doctor actively participating in your operation and if so what exact role will they play.
But also realise that hair transplantation is a team effort. Many clinics claim that they perform 5 or more procedures a day.
As a human being, a participating doctor cannot perform more than two procedures a day, as this is physically not possible. Asking the number of patients they operate on a daily basis would also give you an understanding on what you’re dealing with.
In order to keep the cost low, some so-called clinics rent flats in apartment blocks and perform the surgery in bedrooms. Initially, this may not sound very bad, but if you have local anaesthesia in your body, you would want to be inside of a fully equipped hospital in case of any complications or if urgent care is required.
Question 2 - Does my doctor have the appropriate qualifications to perform surgery?
Due to the increased demand of hair transplant surgeries, many doctors from other medical majors have in turn switched to performing hair transplants and accept patients whilst they continue their daily routine work.
Holding an international qualification relevant to hair transplants, such as being a member of ISHRS or ABHRS would help reassure you that you are in safe hands, and your doctor is solely performing hair transplant procedures. Unqualified personnel will always carry a risk of not delivering your desired results.
Question 3 - Do you have hospital privileges to perform the procedure?
Question 4 - Am I a good candidate for a hair transplant procedure?
Although most men are suitable for a hair transplant procedure, there are still some limitations. A dense and healthy donor region is a must. Your baldness level is also important, and if you have advanced hair loss, your expectations need to be measured accurately so you won’t be disappointed after your procedure.
You may check your hair loss level on the Norwood Scale. Also, if you are at the early stages of hair loss, you may consider alternative solutions to hair transplant procedures and you might even be able to reverse hair loss, or at least slow down further thinning.
Question 5 - Will I require further operations in the future?
According to the ISHRS, the biggest hair transplant organisation in the world, patients should have a clear understanding of the time commitment necessary to achieve their desired results and it can take multiple procedures.
You should remember that a hair transplant procedure does not prevent any further hair loss. It will help you achieve the desired outlook you are after by reforming a hairline and increasing the density over sparse zones.
Depending on your hair loss level, multiple sessions may be required due to the limited graft number amount that can safely be harvested per session, or due to potential further hair loss in the future.
Question 6 - Do you speak my native language at the clinic?
Whilst doing your own research, it is essential to know whether the staff that is taking care of you speaks your language or not. Your doctor and his/her staff are the key personnel in your procedure to answer all your last minute questions, and also inform you about every phase throughout your procedure.
Speaking the same language is a must so there are no misunderstandings, especially when you are having surgery. At GetHair, we speak English, Italian, and Spanish fluently.
Question 7 - Do you have genuine and unbiased patient testimonials?
Nowadays, most clinics have some patient reviews and/or, short video testimonials. But how unbiased are they? Isn’t it very easy to publish those solely on their own website? Wouldn’t it be great to read 300+ independent reviews on a third party reviews website?
Don’t settle for less.. Look out for 12 month review videos, not immediate post-op appreciation ones. Everyone is happy when the procedure has just ended. But how about videos taken 12 months later?
Question 8 - What kind of results can I expect to achieve?
It is no secret, if you have completed even a tiny amount of research, by now, you know that individual results do vary with hair transplants. There are many variables that have some impact on your hair transplant result and most of them are directly related to you.
Having a successful operation is only one aspect of this, looking after your hair by using the right supporting hair products is another which is as important as the result itself. As mentioned on WebMD, it is a process that takes time. Do not expect miracles and be rational with your expectations. You are not 18 years old, so why would you have a hair of your 18 year old self? Would it even suit? A mature and natural looking hairline is what we are all after, that would also suit our age.
Question 9 - What are my options if I’m not entirely satisfied with the outcome of my hair transplant operation?
As a patient, you must be aware that as in every medical procedure, a hair transplant operation cannot come with a guarantee. It is common to come across some clinics offering a guarantee certificate, but it is far from the reality. There are multiple factors that have an impact on a successful operation, and some of them are directly related to how good you take care of your hair after the procedure.
If you receive a poor result, your clinic should offer you a biopsy, followed by a free touch-up session, depending on the result of the biopsy. You should ask to receive this information in written form as well.
There is no such thing as “enough research”. You should not let the clinics convince you until you are completely satisfied. This is your life and you have full right to choose the best for yourself. Doing your due diligence and finding satisfactory statistics about the clinic you are considering is key in making the right decision.
- Why should you choose this clinic?
- What is it that it makes this clinic better than the others for you?
- Is it because you can only afford their prices or are they good enough to deliver the result you are after?
Do not compromise on quality over a cheap quote. A poor hair transplant operation may cause you spend more money than you initially anticipated and can become a mentally challenging journey.
So here is the 10th question;