Why can’t you just buy on price? All that a hair transplant surgeon does is puts hair follicles into holes, so what’s the big deal?
Great question and an important one as well. We are all sensitive to price and there is no doubt that if you can buy the ‘car’ cheaper from one dealer, why pay the higher price from another dealer. The higher price dealers try to sell service, but the reality is that a Lexus is a Lexus and you can get maintenance from any authorized dealer so you could buy the car over the internet and save thousands of dollars. A better question to ask: Why is a hair transplant (or any cosmetic procedure) different from buying a Lexus at the lowest price you can get?
I think that you now might understand where I am going with this question. How does one value cosmetic surgery services by particular doctors in a comparative shopping viewpoint? When you are buying the services of a surgeon for cosmetic surgery, you are buying:
- Unique surgical training
- Artistic judgments, experience and talents
- facilities and skilled staff
In a major cosmetic procedure (like a face lift for example), it often takes years to get the experience ‘under your belt’ to make a great cosmetic surgeon. Doctors just starting off are taking their skills from training and finely honing them, often ‘practicing’ the techniques that they accumulated in training. For a hair transplant surgeon, the same is true. I see hairlines that are not quite right, that are not well placed, that are not balanced, not distributed properly or placed in the proper alignment and/or are not delicate or subtle. So putting hairs into holes without skills and artistic judgments may give you an Edsel rather than a Lexus and everyone (unfortunately) knows what an Edsel looks like.
In a hair transplant, there are issues of ethics and judgments on the extent of surgery, the indications when to do it and when not to do it, how much to do, how often to do it, what is the particular variables of each patient when it comes to planning, and what risks should be taken for what gain, etc… Doctors who cut corners in recruiting patients have to employ people who sell for them and substitute their expensive time to the more cost effective time of a salesmen. As long as you have the money, a salesman will tell you that you need the surgery in order to take your money. In my practice, I turn down more work than I perform because I know when to do surgery and do not value the almighty dollar over what is best for my patient. This is not a plug for me, but a statement that a doctor’s value is in his knowledge and honesty in placing his patient’s interests above his financial interests.
In modern hair transplant surgery, the team is as important as the surgeon. Experienced team members are critical to producing a successful hair transplant. Novice doctors get hair transplant failures on a significant scale, but unfortunately, the consumer only learns of these failures 6-8 months after the surgery was done because it takes that amount of time for the hair to grow no matter who does the surgery. By the time a patient may find out that the transplant was a failure, his check has cleared the doctor’s bank and the doctor may not be in business anymore.
Take a look at newhair.com, read our history, our publications, and request a free copy of the book we wrote on transplantation. Look at the pictures of our patients and their results (over 200 on our site). We have written the authoritative articles for the repair of hair transplant problems. Be sure to thoroughly check out your doctor. With our medical group, you can meet a dozen or more patients at our monthly open house events and judge for yourself the value of what your dollar buys. There is no need to overpay, just to get real value and that is the power you, as a consumer, hold.