Doctors to consider should be members of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) and be Diplomats of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS). The most coveted awards in the field of hair restoration are the Golden and Platinum Follicle Awards given by the ISHRS for outstanding achievements in science or clinical research relating to hair restoration. If the prospective doctor is the recipient of either of these awards, this would show the confidence that their peers have in their skills and abilities as a hair restoration surgeon.
Inquire if the doctor has helped contribute to the science of hair restoration through research and publications. Publishing medical papers shows that the physician is sharing ideas and experience with other doctors in order to promote patient care. If the publications are in peer reviewed medical journals, the medical community holds them to be of significant value.
Perhaps the biggest decision to make once you have decided to have a hair transplant is whether to have the doctor harvest the donor hair through a long, thin strip via follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or as individual follicular units using follicular unit extraction (FUE). There are advantages and disadvantages to each, so it is important to have a good understanding of both techniques so you and your doctor can decide which is best for you.
Clearly, if a doctor does only one type of procedure – either FUT or FUE – they are going to be biased toward the technique they perform and are unlikely to give you a balanced view. When making a decision, be certain to consult with a doctor who performs all of the procedures that you are considering, or consult with multiple doctors to hear all sides of the discussion. Once you have decided on a technique, it is then okay to go to a doctor who just does that one type of procedure well.
When considering FUT, ask whether the surgical staff uses microscopes for dissection, loop magnification, or simply the naked eye. Stereo-microscopes allow the surgeon and his team to perform the most accurate graft dissection and best preserve donor hair. Take a look at the operating room to make sure it has clean up-to-date equipment, and that there are plenty of microscopes on hand, as each clinical staff member will need one. If you have decided to have an FUE procedure, you then need to decide if you want it performed by one of the standard manual techniques or with the newer robotic technology.