Deciding to undergo a hair transplant is a significant decision, and something you should never take lightly. A well-done hair restoration surgery can provide a long-lasting self-esteem boost and help you feel more confident in your appearance, while one performed by a less experienced or qualified surgeon can make you feel even worse about yourself.
The first step in any successful cosmetic procedure is to do your homework. When you’re considering a surgery that will have such a far-reaching impact on your life, there is no such thing as too much research.
How to Get the Most From Your Consultation
After you’ve done your due diligence and identified your shortlist of a few surgeons who seem like good candidates to perform your procedure, your next step is to reach out to them to schedule a consultation. The chief objective of this one-on-one appointment is to determine if the surgeon’s knowledge, experience, personality and philosophy align with your expectations. You want to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and puts your mind at ease.
You may also get the opportunity to tour the surgical facility and meet other members of the medical team on the day of your consultation. However, if any of the clinics you contact do not offer you the opportunity to meet with the actual hair restoration surgeon when you arrive for your appointment, that’s usually a sign you should remove that clinic from your list.
While there is no set rule for how long your consultation will take, you want to allow enough time so you can get answers to all your questions without feeling rushed at any point during the conversation. Think of this meeting like an interview: It’s not only your opportunity to assess the surgeon’s knowledge, but also a chance for the doctor to help provide you with the most realistic expectations of what your procedure will help you achieve.
What to Ask Potential Hair Restoration Surgeons
Though it’s understandable there are many emotions influencing your decision to get a hair transplant, don’t rush into anything. Instead, weigh your options carefully, and remember, you can never ask too many questions. Heading into your hair transplant consultation armed with plenty of research and planning will make you a more confident patient.
Preparation is fundamental to ensuring you have a productive consultation. Come to the meeting with a list of questions, either handwritten or saved in a note-taking app on your phone, to ensure you don’t forget to ask anything. You should never be embarrassed to address any concerns, no matter how “foolish” or “frivolous” they seem to you. After all, anything you come up with is probably something an experienced surgeon has heard several times before.
To help get you started, here’s a list of 10 questions to ask during your consultation.
1. Which procedure is best for my concerns?
Not all hair restoration surgeries are the same. The two most widely used techniques today are follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplantation. Though both can provide outstanding, natural-looking results when performed by a qualified doctor, follicular unit transplantation is the more invasive of the two options, and leaves patients with a linear scar on the back of their heads.
2. How many years have you been in practice?
In general, you’ll want to look for someone who has plenty of experience in the hair restoration procedure you want.
3. Who will perform my procedure?
Some hair transplant clinics have a setup where a medical team does the surgery under a doctor’s supervision. In other cases, the surgeon you meet during your consultation will personally complete your surgery.
4. What percentage of your practice is devoted to hair restoration?
This criterion is another area where not all hair transplant surgeons are the same. Some doctors specialize in hair restoration full-time, while others offer it as only a small focus of their practice.
5. Can you show me before-and-after photos?
Experienced surgeons should be more than happy to provide examples of results from past patients, or put you in touch with satisfied clients who can give testimonials. It’s probably a warning sign if a doctor seems evasive or dismissive when you request these things.
6. When will I see the results?
It’s essential to realize before committing to the procedure that hair restoration does not provide you with a full, thick head of hair overnight. The complete hair transplant timeline takes up to a year. Your doctor should give you realistic expectations for this ahead of time.
7. How many grafts will I need to get the coverage I want?
Since per-graft pricing is a standard model among many hair restoration surgeons, asking this question is essential to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay for your surgery. The number of grafts you require will also affect how long your procedure will take.
8. Can you provide a comprehensive list of all the costs associated with my surgery?
The total cost of the grafts is not necessarily the only expense influencing the final price tag. There are often also fees for the surgeon’s time and use of a surgical facility, as well as any medical supplies or prescription medications you may require after your procedure. It’s a good idea to ask for an itemized list of all these expenses ahead of time, so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay for your hair restoration.
9. Do you offer financing options?
Hair transplants are a cosmetic procedure, and as such, your medical insurance likely will not help offset the cost. A financing plan can take some of the burden off your budget by allowing you to pay in affordable installments over time.
10. How long will I need to take for my recovery?
Since modern hair restoration techniques are minimally invasive, you could technically expect to go back to work a day or two after your surgery. However, it’s up to you to decide how long to wait before you resume work and social activities. Scabbing, redness, bleeding and swelling are all common in the first week or so after hair restoration, so if you want to keep your recovery private, you might choose to take more time off to rest.
A World Leader in Hair Transplant Surgery
Dr. Robert Jones is Toronto’s most renowned hair restoration specialist, and has been on the vanguard of innovative hair transplant techniques for more than 15 years. He regularly performs 3,000- and 4,000-unit FUE surgeries in a single session, and has provided patients from as far away as Asia and Australia with healthy, thriving hair transplants that look completely natural. Stop letting hair loss hold you back. Schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.