Choosing a clinic to perform an FUE hair transplant is a serious business! You need to understand what the procedure involves, why it's the best option for you, what the risks are, and what results you can realistically expect. You need to be comfortable with your surgeon and feel that all your questions are answered honestly.
To help you find a reputable, trustworthy clinic, we have compiled this list of key questions to ask when you are considering hair transplant surgery - and the answers you should be looking for.
Suitability for Surgery
Firstly, establish if FUE hair transplant is right for you by asking these questions:
- Will you confirm that my issue is genetic male pattern hair loss, and not another medical condition?
- How do you determine my suitability for FUE hair transplantation?
- Do I have sufficient donor hair for this procedure?
Around 95% of men seeking FUE surgery are experiencing genetic male pattern hair loss, but it's important to rule out potentially serious medical causes such as hypothyroidism or dietary deficiencies. A good surgeon should take the time to consider your age, the amount of hair loss to date, the condition of your scalp, and the condition of the recipient and donor areas. In particular, the surgeon needs to examine the density and growth pattern of your donor hair, and whether you have any scarring from other procedures which would affect the success of FUE. This information is then used to assess if you are suitable for FUE surgery or if there are other treatment options available that will best suit your needs.
Understanding the Procedure
Once you are confident that hair transplant surgery is right for you, look for further information on how the procedure will be conducted by asking these questions:
- How do you determine where my new hairline will be, and can I have any input into this? How do you determine how much hair goes where? Do I have any input in this?
- Who performs the procedure?
- How much experience do the doctors and technicians have?
- What is the hair transection rate at the clinic?
- How many sessions will the FUE hair transplant take?
- Will I require more FUE surgery in the future?
Decisions about where to place your new hairline so that it looks natural are crucial. Newly implanted hair needs to be positioned in the correct area, and the surgeon needs to take into account potential future hair loss. Ideally, the final decision should be made based on a combination of your input and the surgeon's expert opinion, and you should be fully informed about where your new hairline will lie before the procedure begins. If your hair loss is not in the front, and it is in the central region, or crown area of your scalp, how do you determine what number of hairs/grafts go where? Do you spread the transplanted hair across both areas? Or do you concentrate it in the one area? The surgeon’s expert opinion is vital in making these important decisions.
Because FUE surgery involves the careful excision and transplant of individual hair follicles, an experienced team greatly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome. Transection (accidental damage to hair bulbs) is an expected part of FUE surgery, but the rate of transections varies greatly depending on who is performing the procedure. Skilled surgeons expect a transection rate of around 5%, while unskilled technicians may lose as many as 75% of their patients' hair follicles. Properly qualified surgeons should carry out the procedure with the assistance of technicians, but unfortunately in some clinics, the bulk of the work is left in the less-skilled hands while the surgeon 'supervises.'
One thing to consider is whether to divide your FUE procedure into multiple short sessions. This can help you manage your budget by dividing costs across several visits, it makes each session easier to manage, and it reduces the amount of post-operative discomfort you experience. Surgeons are also better able to monitor the success of the procedure if it is completed progressively.
You should ask your clinic what happens after the surgery is completed. In particular:
- What are the post-surgery instructions?
- How will the clinic support me post-surgery?
As a result of undergoing FUE surgery, many patients experience minor swelling, and some also report feelings of discomfort. Your clinic should provide guidelines on how to manage these symptoms, addressing issues such as avoiding physical exertion for a few days after your surgery, keeping the recipient and donor area clean and moist, making sure the scalp is not washed under a shower for a given time frame, when you can safely return to work, keeping your head protected from UV rays, and sleeping in an upright position to protect the recipient area.
Your clinic should also take the time to monitor your progress after surgery, and to assess the results of your transplant. Ideally, you should expect a quick check-in, in the first weeks after the procedure, then 2-3 follow-up appointments in the first eighteen months.
Making Your Decision
Finally, consider asking one more question: What differentiates your clinic from other hair transplant clinics? The answers you receive will give you insight into the priorities of each clinic, allowing you to make an informed choice that aligns with your preferences and needs.
What We Can Offer
At the Melbourne Hair Transplant Clinic, our experienced surgeon, Dr Peter Paraskevas, conducts a comprehensive clinical assessment for all patients, and personally evaluates the quality and density of each person's donor hair. He uses his clinical expertise to recommend the most suitable option for each individual patient.
Once a patient has decided to go ahead with FUE, Dr Paraskevas meets with them prior to surgery to discuss their new hairline/recipient area and calculates the density of hairs in the donor and recipient areas. He is actively involved in every step of the procedure itself - and, with a transection rate of under 3%, this offers his patients the best possible chance of transplant success.
After surgery, we offer a comprehensive program of support, including follow-up phone calls one week and one month after surgery, and follow-up appointments at six, twelve, and eighteen months. Our goal is both to monitor the progress of your transplant and to answer any comments or concerns you have during this period.
- Choosing the right hair transplant clinic is of the utmost importance. To help you make the right decision, you can use our suggested questions to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for you.
- Important factors about hair transplant you should understand include: Am I a suitable candidate for hair transplantation? Do I have sufficient donor hair for this procedure? How do you determine where my new hairline will be or where the transplanted hairs will be placed, and can I have any input into this? Who performs the procedure? How much experience do the doctors and technicians have? What is the hair transection rate at the clinic? How many sessions will the FUE hair transplant take? What happens after surgery? What is recovery like? Will I require any future FUE surgery?
- To find out more book an appointment with hair transplant surgeon, Dr Paraskevas.