Dear Dr. Rassman,
I really like this blog, and all the help you’ve given us, but I have a question (not a good one for you, I suppose). Why there are such exorbitant prices for hair transplants, making them available only for those rich guys?! Another question, which probably will make you think before answering the first: Do you think those diagnosted with leukemia, who need a marrow transplant, don’t have the right to live on because they don’t have 150.000 $ for the surgery?! Medicine shall not be business, but as we all see it is. Anyway, thank you for your time and I really hope in the future medicine will be as it should be, available for everyone! (just a teenager view)
Hair transplants are not just available to “rich guys”, but as you are a teenager with an interesting view on things, perhaps you consider anyone with a better-than-minimum wage job to be “rich”. Remember that hair transplantation is a completely elective procedure and not for everyone. If you buy a hair system and do the ordinary wig replacements and wig repairs, the cost will average $15,000/5 year time frame. Every 5 years the cycle continues. If you have a hair transplant, most people can get it for between $5,000 and $10,000. For me to do a hair transplant, I use a certified facility that is accredited (a process that is very expensive, but guarantees quality processes and sterility), I have a team of people working almost all day with the patient having the hair transplant, and I pay support staff, buy surgical supplies, and have rent, which is expensive. All of my staff are paid a decent living wage so that I can retain the best staff and they get medical coverage included in their employment. My overall costs are a fraction of what you would pay to have a surgical procedure performed on an outpatient basis in any hospital in the US (normally between $1000-2500 per hour) and our typical surgery runs 5-7 hours in length. And you’re always open to save a buck by using doctors who do not have my experience, many of them producing inferior results (or even worse).
By comparison, if you bring your dog into the veterinarian, the office visit often runs about $80, and blood work and any X-rays could run $1,000 or more. Your dog may not be cured in one visit, so repeat visits and repeat tests will drive up the costs further. He/she will probably get sick again another time. Another example: my son just had his timing belt replaced along with miscellaneous other things on his 11 year old Toyota car and it cost him around $2,500. I doubt it took a team of people 7 hours to do it. A good hair transplant, compared to a wig or a vet visit, is most often a one time cost that will probably not be repeated (if you take finasteride) in the lifetime of many people. Compare the value: a wig at $15,000 over 5 years or a hair transplant that will last your lifetime and will be less than the cost of a wig for 5 years. I think that comparing a bone marrow transplant is not appropriate here and your question about that is pretty ridiculous.