- Friday.March 13. 2015
The risks of seeking price rather than quality driven hair restoration surgery are highlighted in a consumer alert issued by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).
Martinick Hair Restoration medical director Dr Jennifer Martinick says the warning was issued after the ISHRS received reports that some hair restoration clinics offering heavily discounted surgery in India, China and the United States may be using unlicensed technicians.
The ISHRS consumer alert states that it ‘knows of patients who have been harmed’ while being treated by unlicensed physicians.
The ISHRS, the world’s leading educational authority on hair loss treatment and restoration, issued the warning earlier this month.
“The use of unlicensed technicians to perform aspects of hair restoration surgery which should only be performed by a properly trained and licensed physician or properly trained and licensed allied health professional (eg nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) practising within the scope of his license, places patients at risk of (1) misdiagnosis; failure to diagnose hair disorders and related systemic diseases; and (111) can result in the performance of unnecessary or ill advised surgery all of which jeopardizes patient safety and outcomes, the ISHRS alert says.
There may also be a risk that unlicensed technicians may not be covered by malpractice insurance.”
Dr Martinick says the natural looking results available through modern hair transplantation are consistently delivered by licensed experienced quality driven physicians.
These quality driven physicians employing highly trained surgical support teams do not consistently offer heavily discounted procedures.
Dr Martinick, a past president of the ISHRS, says while the cost of surgery is understandably an important factor for prospective patients, it is critical to ensure that all aspects of surgery are performed by a licensed physician or licensed allied health professional.
These aspects include preoperative diagnostic evaluation and consultation, planning of surgery and donor hair harvesting, hairline design and recipient site creation during surgery.
“The doctor makes a difference, Dr Martinick says.
“At our clinics the doctor is present at all times during surgery. Prospective patients should not take it for granted that this occurs at all clinics.”
Dr Martinick says when researching a hair loss clinic for treatment it is essential to ask about the education, training and license of the person who will evaluate your hair loss and recommend a course of treatment.
She says prospective patients should find out who will perform their hair transplant surgery, how extensive a role the doctor will have in that surgery and ask about the doctor’s license, training and experience in the field of hair restoration surgery.
Dr Martinick says make sure that every person involved in the surgery is covered by malpractice insurance and ask if any unlicensed person will be making incisions or harvesting grafts during surgery.
For more information about the ISHRS global consumer alert visit this link.