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What To Ask A Hair Transplant Surgeon Before Surgery

Finding a qualified hair transplant surgeon can seem like a daunting and stressful task. So many questions running through a patient's mind, but what are the most important questions to ask a surgeon? In this article, we will go over a few questions that every prospective patient should ask a surgeon prior to committing to hair restoration surgery.

What are the hair transplant surgeons and technicians roles during surgery

Today, surgical hair restoration is a team effort that involves both surgeons and technicians working in tandem to provide patients with the best results possible. However, it is imperative that a patient ask the surgeon what their role will be during the procedure.

*Will the surgeon be responsible for harvesting the donor hair whether it's the removal of a donor strip for Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) or the extraction of follicular unit grafts through Follicular Unit Excision (formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction FUE)?

*How many technicians will be involved in the procedure and what are their credentials and experience?

*Will the surgeon be creating the micro-incision recipient sites that will determine the angle, depth and overall density of the hair during the procedure?

What are the surgical options available

It is important that a physician educates prospective patients on what options are available prior to undergoing surgery. Today, there are two methods to harvest a patients donor hair. The first method which has been refined since the early 90's is FUSS or strip surgery. FUSS is a surgical technique that involves a surgeon removing donor tissue from the sides and back of the patients scalp. This is referred to as the donor area, which is an area where hair is genetically resistant to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for androgenic alopecia or genetic hair loss. The second method is Follicular Unit Excision or FUE. FUE is a minimally invasive surgical technique that involves a hair transplant surgeon using a small punch between the sizes of .7mm to 1mm in circumference to score and extract follicular units one by one.

Which donor harvesting method is best for the specific patient

Both harvesting methods rely on a finite donor supply and thus, careful planning must be employed prior to having surgery. Generally, more grafts can be excised using FUSS or strip surgery, because a large donor strip can be removed in one surgical session without any obvious thinning to the donor site. However, choosing this method will result in a linear scar that will inhibit the patient from cropping their hair ultra-short or shaving their head.

Conversely, due to the nature of follicular unit extraction, fewer grafts can be harvested in one sitting for a variety of reasons. This includes donor density, graft transection, surgical fatigue etc. It is important to ask and understand the pros and cons to each harvesting technique and build a long-term plan with a surgeon prior to committing to surgery.

What happens if the procedure is not successful?

Unfortunately, hair transplantation is not an exact science and even the best surgeons have results that are lackluster. Therefore, any surgeons giving a 100% satisfaction guarantee are not being or truthful. The truth is, even if a procedure is successful patients may not always have realistic expectations. Therefore, its up to the surgeon to properly educate the patient on what can be realistically achieved for their particular situation.

In addition, patients should ask the surgeon what he or she will do in the event that the procedure does not yield the expected results. Moreover, patients should ask to see other patients with similar hair loss and hair characteristics (color, shape and texture), so that they may get a better understanding of what can be achieved for their particular case. However, patients should always remember that no two people are the same thus, the final result and appearance may change from patient to patient.


Selecting a skilled, talented and experienced hair transplant surgeon is crucial for receiving natural results that will last a lifetime. It is important to select a surgeon that has the proper credentials and experience.

The Hair Transplant Network carefully select surgeons that meet the highest of quality on a consistent basis. Many surgeons apply, but few are selected. Surgeons that are recommended by the Hair Transplant Network have proven themselves to be elite experts in surgical hair restoration. The Hair Transplant Network thoroughly scrutinize and pre-screen surgeons before even considering them for recommendation. Therefore, patients who choose a recommended surgeon can rest knowing that their surgeon has met the highest standards in the hair restoration industry.

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