Why Do Hair Transplants Go Wrong?
Hair plays a major role in one’s self-esteem. During various periods throughout history, elaborate wigs were signs of status and wealth – for obvious reasons. Today, instead of covering hair loss with a full or partial hairpiece, hair transplant surgery is readily available and within the economic reach of many. However, such availability comes at a high price for those who make the wrong choice in the doctor who performs the procedure, ranging from severe scarring to unnatural growth patterns of new hair.
Many factors can contribute to bad hair transplants. The following are the most prevalent.
Inexperienced Surgeons Can Cause Errors
The main reason for an unsuccessful hair transplant is selecting an unqualified doctor. Many are not certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. Such patients face the risks of surgical complications, scarring and infections. Many patients choose a doctor based on their advertising campaign, extravagant promises of results or low cost (or any or all of these). Also, at many clinics, the doctor (who may not even be on the premises at the time of surgery) allows technicians to harvest grafts or perform other procedures for which they have no medical qualifications.
Dr. Marco Barusco – founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – is a board-certified surgeon who is internationally recognized as a leader in hair restoration. His many credentials include: Diplomate and Past President (2017) of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery; Assistant Professor of Surgery – University of Central Florida College of Medicine; Fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) and Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS). He most recently received American Registry’s America’s Most Honored Professionals 2018 award and was recognized as being in the top one-percent of this distinguished group.
One of the most important stages of a hair restoration process is graft placement, as it determines the outcome of the final appearance of the patient. If this stage does not take place properly, the procedure will fail. It is easier for inexperienced doctors to make mistakes when trying to determine the safe donor site located on the back of the patient’s head, where the healthy follicles are extracted. Overharvesting could cause significant damage in the donor zone and result in a catastrophic outcome.
Hair Loss Types
Not knowing which hair transplant procedure is best for your type of hair loss could lead to disaster. Topics such as surgical treatments and post-operative stages are important to discuss with your surgeon prior to undergoing treatment. A surgeon with limited experience may only perform the procedure he is familiar with, assembly line-style, whether or not it is right for you. In addition, less experienced surgeons are often not up-to-date with newer (yet clinically proven) technologies and surgical procedures that could achieve superior results.
Sometimes, the degree of hair loss may not be enough for the patient to be an appropriate candidate for hair transplant surgery, yet recommended for the procedure. When asked about consulting young patients (early 20s) suffering from hair loss, Dr. Barusco explained: “They’re usually not the best candidates for surgery because of the potential for progression of hair loss. My approach with the young patients is to delay surgery, bring force to medical therapy, keep following them over a year, two, five, ten years until I think they’re ready for the procedure.” Timing is crucial. If you don’t seek the procedure at the right stage of your hair loss, it could result in a very odd-looking appearance.
Causes of Hair Loss
Another factor in determining the need for hair restoration surgery is medical condition. Hair loss may be due to many non-hereditary elements, such as stress, weight loss or hormonal imbalance. In such cases, hair loss is usually temporary. A poorly qualified doctor or unqualified clinician may misdiagnose a non-hereditary cause and perform a transplant. An unethical doctor may recognize the cause, but perform the procedure anyway.
Can a Bad Hair Transplant Be Fixed?
Every patient who undergoes any type of medical treatment is unique, and may have different results. Dr. Barusco has met several patients who have dealt with poor outcomes. When asked about how he approaches this situation, he said: “Sometimes I can help them, but sometimes I can’t. A bad liposuction or a bad breast surgery can at least be hidden from view. A bad hair transplant cannot. And what is even worse, is that these patients are coming to me not only with poor results on their hairline, but also terrible scarring and thinning in their donor hair (the limited supply of permanent hair we use for transplants) caused by taking too many hair incisions that are larger than they should be.”
At Tempus Hair Restoration, Dr. Barusco performs every procedure himself. Our team pays great attention to your emotional well-being and follows up with every step of the procedure to ensure you are well-informed and directed in the right path. Our consultation is free. Dr. Barusco will discuss the different treatments available and will recommend the one that will work best for you. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, a non-surgical treatment course could be successful.
The pain, scarring, emotional distress and considerable additional expense of a bad hair transplant can be avoided by performing due diligence in the process of selecting a surgeon. Check credentials with professional accreditation organizations, such as those listed in the fourth paragraph of this article. Don’t hesitate to ask questions during the consultation – and make sure your consultation is with the surgeon, not a salesperson. ISHRS provides an excellent list of questions to bring up, including: Who will be involved in performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?
Choose your surgeon carefully based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. Dr. Barusco also conducts virtual consultations for those who can’t travel to one of our 14 Florida locations, and our office will arrange travel and accommodations for out-of-area patients. We invite you to learn more about our procedures, then contact us to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Barusco. We look forward to meeting you and discussing your options.