Last week was the first ever World Hair Transplant Repair Day, organised by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the global non-profit medical association and leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration, of which Dr Mooz is a member.
Hair transplant surgeons around the world joined forces to raise awareness of how unqualified, inexperienced or even fraudulent clinics and practitioners are risking patient safety and producing botched results.
What is driving this explosion in fraudulent hair transplant clinics?
Hair restoration surgery is worth a staggering $4 billion worldwide and the profits at stake are powering this growth in hair loss clinics both here in the UK and abroad. When performed by a trained and experienced medical practitioner, hair transplants are a safe and highly effective solution to hair loss. However, clinics have now sprung up that offer low-cost deals to draw in patients with surgery performed by technicians rather than a properly licensed hair transplant surgeon.
- Is the clinic properly registered?
As with cosmetic surgery, there is little oversight of the hair restoration industry. Check that your clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission. This is the NHS regulatory body that keeps medical standards in check and regulates hair transplant surgery.
- Is there website transparent?
Many fraudulent clinics have very impressive, sophisticated websites and pay a lot of money through Google paid advertising, but do not clearly demonstrate who will be performing the procedure and detail their qualifications, training and experience.
- Is your surgeon properly registered?
Unfortunately, there are no regulations stopping inexperienced or improperly qualified practitioners performing hair transplant surgery. First, check your practitioner is registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) – Dr Mooz is on the specialist register for plastic surgery which demonstrates that he has been through a rigorous training and examination process.
Membership of leading professional organisations is also a good indicator as they will enforce certain standards for their members. Dr Mooz is a member of the UK Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (UKAAPS), The International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).
- Is the price too good to be true?
If the cost of a hair transplant is significantly lower than at other reputable clinics, then it probably is too good to be true. Also beware clinics that offer financial inducements such as discounts or time limited offers.
- Are you being rushed into surgery?
If the clinic is using salespeople to perform the initial consultation or are putting pressure on you to commit to surgery in a short time frame, then you should be wary.
Beware a hair transplant surgeon who suggests that the operation is ‘scarless’ or ‘painless’ or guarantees a certain outcome. All surgery carries some risk, and a reputable practitioner will make sure you’re fully informed about all the potential complications and give you breathing space to make your decision.