8 Questions to Ask during a Consultation [Podcast]

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Click here to download the cheat sheet.

Podcast Transcription

Hello, and welcome to our new podcast brought to you by Rahal. I’m your host, Chad Cooper, a patient advisor here at Rahal, and I want to thank you for listening. This is our very first podcast which we’ll be turning into a regular broadcast here on our website. We will be discussing different topics relating to hair loss, hair restoration procedures, hair loss doctors and different techniques. Pretty much any topic that will help our listeners to learn more about their hair loss and what options they have in combating it.

Our first topic we’re going to discuss is questions to ask yourself during an in-person consultation. We will also be offering a cheat sheet that you can print out and bring with you to any and all consultations you may have. This way you know you’re getting all the information you need to make an informed decision about choosing the right doctor for you. You can view and print this form by clicking the link below our podcast.

So, on to the first question. How many years experience does the doctor have? This is obviously important because you want to know how many years the surgeon has been operating, how many procedures have they done? Is it five, ten, fifty? Is it in the hundreds, thousands, or are you the very first patient? This is obviously important because you want to choose a surgeon who has a lot of knowledge and experience performing these type of procedures. They can provide you with their patient results. They have many before and after photos, patient testimonials, patient blogs and their experiences. Hair restoration procedure is an art just as much as it is a cosmetic procedure and it takes many year of perfecting.

Question number two What percent of your practice is dedicated to hair restoration? Many cosmetic surgeons out there focus on multiple procedures, kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Some offer botox, rhinoplasty, face lifts, liposuction, hair transplants, breast augmentation and so on. A procedure like hair restoration is not something that every surgeon has the artistic ability to do. It takes years of work, practice and training. It’s important to choose a surgeon who dedicates 100% of their time and practice to hair transplants. That way you know the surgeon is dedicated to their craft and has the experience needed to give you the result you’re expecting.

Question number three. Do you perform follicular unit transplantation? Follicular unit transplant is the latest and most natural looking surgery technique. How follicular unit transplants work is that the donor hair is harvested or extracted by taking a strip of skin from the donor area, or by extracting each follicle individually one by one. The donor area is the area on the back and sides of your head that is genetically programmed to be resistant to DHT. DHT is the hydrotestosterone, which is the main cause of male pattern hair loss. It is, unfortunately something that is inherited in your genetics.

Your hair grows in small groupings that are known as follicular units. Each follicular unit grows either one, two, three, or four hairs. Each graft will be extracted in its natural grouping and implanted that way so that the result of your procedure grows the same way your natural hair does. By doing this, you are mimicking nature. So the transplanted hair grows in its natural form and therefore looks like your natural hair. All other techniques are now outdated, so very important to make sure your surgeon uses this method: follicular unit transplantation.

Question number four. What is you average graft growth rate? A lot of clinics will shy away from this question because they don’t want to give any guarantees. And of course, because this is a medical procedure, there are no 100% guaranteed results, either. But statistics from past procedures can be used, and this can give you a pretty good idea of the quality of work a specific surgeon does and his consistency. A quality doctor should generate at least 85 to 95% graft growth rate, and top doctors are usually anywhere from 90 to 100%. The doctors who stand by their work and are confident enough to give you this information tells you a lot about them.

Question number five. How many grafts do you recommend for my procedure? This may sound like a question you shouldn’t have to ask, but you would figure this information would be given to you. But there are a lot of clinics who just say that they will fill in certain areas, or quote patients using hairs which can be deceiving because one graft can have up to four hairs in it. It is important to know how many grafts you will be receiving and that way you know what you are paying for. A clinic should be able to supply you a breakdown of exactly how many grafts you receive and how many are singles, doubles, triples and quadruples. That way, you know what areas are addressed and what kind of results you can expect.

Question number six. Is trichophytic closure used in the donor area? Trichophytic closure is a technique used by surgeons to close the wound made from harvesting the grafts in a follicular unit transplant surgery. The method can best be described as trimming the hair from the edge of the incision and then closing it in such a way that it causes hair to grow up through the scar tissue. This is a major advantage to the patient because it results in a smaller scar and one that is less noticeable because it has hair actually growing up through the scar tissue. Doctors that use this method are doing it for the best interests of the patient and have taken the time to incorporate it into their procedures.

Question number seven. How much time off work is needed? This is a very important question because a lot of clinics will tell you that you can go back to work the next day or just take a few days off and you’ll be fine, but you want to get all the information and make sure that you plan accordingly. Usual recommended time is about two weeks. Reason being is because swelling does occur for the first four to five days on average after a procedure. Swelling will occur in the forehead and kind of work its way down the face over those four days. After that, usually a hat can be worn to cover up the recipient area.

There is going to be a little bit of scabbing that occurs which usually starts in the recipient area around a week and can last as long as two weeks. If there is any scabbing left at two weeks, you can take a shower and just rub the area gently with your fingers to remove all of the scabs. Once the scabs are removed, worst case scenario you are going to have a little bit of remaining pinkness in that area and that can linger for a few weeks longer. Again, a hat can be worn after the swelling goes down, to cover this area up. It’s just important that you know for work or for school or whatever it is that you are doing, that you can expect it to be noticeable for those initial two weeks. If you do get a follicular unit transplant procedure, the strip technique, sutures will be in the back of the donor area for two weeks after. At two weeks they can be removed, and the area will heal very quickly after that.

Last question, question number eight. Can I see some results from the actual doctor who will be doing my procedure? This is very important because this tells you what kind of work that the doctor consistently gets from their procedures. You want to be able to see hair lines. You want to be able to see crown work. You want to be able to see mid-scalp work; mega-sessions, how much coverage they can get in one session. They should be able to provide you multiple results from a lot of the patients that they have done.

It’s also important to ask for blogs, patient testimonials. Even a lot of clinics will have somebody who’s actually had a procedure done working for them on their staff, a lot of consultants as well. It’s very, very important because a doctor who has done a lot of procedures and has the consistency in the results is proud to show his photos. Also, a lot of clinics will have multiple doctors and they show their best pictures, but you don’t always know which doctor did those procedures. So it’s very important to ask that you see results from that specific doctor.

That is all for the important questions to ask during an in-person consultation. We’ll be back soon with another topic on questions to ask yourself after a hair loss consultation. So, please tune in next time. Again, my name’s Chad Cooper, and thanks for listening.

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About Chad Cooper

Chad Cooper is a Senior Patient Advisor at Rahal. He has been consulting and advising patients on hair loss for over 6 years. Educating our patients on what is right for them in combating their hair loss continues to be his top priority. He is a huge film buff, sports fan and has always been passionate about Personal Development, Health and Fitness.

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