The following hair loss article was written by Coalition surgeon Dr. Alan Feller, and presented on our Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums:
There is no doubt that no hair restoration clinic bats a thousand. Mine included. That’s just a fact of any surgery, including cosmetic.
The problem I’m noticing is that I’m seeing more and more patients coming to my office in need of repair work. They paid thousands of dollars for thousands of grafts but have very little hair growth to show for it. Sure, it may just be that they are not “good growers”. But these people are few and far between in my experience.
When I see a patient with a poor result, I wonder if it is smart to do a procedure on them. After all, they did poorly after their first hair transplant, right? What’s worse is, now that they’ve had a procedure, the chances of good growth on the second one should be even less due to the disruption of the skin from the prior surgery.
So what does a hair transplant surgeon do? Does he turn the patient away saying he is obviously a poor grower, or does he assume there was a problem with the surgery and perform a second procedure right on top of the first?
My thinking is simple: if the graft distribution looks poor and it looks like there were a large number of multi-hair grafts in the hairline, I determine that it was clinic error and not patient physiology. So I do the surgery as if he never had one in the past.
What is so strange is that I have been performing hair transplants for twenty years. For the first five years of my practice I saw poor hair growth all the time. But it dropped off tremendously since then, until now. In the past six months alone I’ve seen at least 7 cases in need of repair. All of which grew after we performed our surgery. In my opinion, the number one reason for graft failure is poor technique, which mostly includes either an inexperienced staff or too few staff.
Do your homework and find out how many fulltime “in house” techs your potential clinic has and uses every day. Get it in writing! My suggestion is that there should be one tech for every 450 grafts plus a minimum of one extra tech. So, if you are slated for 2,500 grafts you should have 7 techs available for your surgery. Use this formula and ask your clinic how many techs will be used for your procedure.
Dr. Alan Feller
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community