These days, irrespective of the age, hair fall has become a common problem. It is observed that numerous people suffering with receding hairline and thinning of hair are opting out for permanent solutions for their complaints. Hair transplant surgery is gaining popularity as it offers permanent solution towards receding hairline. But then, hair transplant surgery should be performed through experienced and skillful specialized surgeons. Because, if this surgery is not performed properly then, it can lead to several complications and disfigurement of the patient. Hence, it is advisable to do a thorough research of the credentials and affiliations of the hair transplant surgeon, prior to the operation. You must be very clear regarding the technique that shall be employed and regarding your expectations from that surgical technique.
Hair transplant surgeons require a certificate to authenticate their skills in hair transplant procedures. Since, there is no existence of any board certification in this specialty; it becomes difficult for the patients to assess the credentials of their physician. Every hair transplant surgeon shall present you with his credentials which may seem to be quite impressive but then, it is essential for you to fully comprehend the exact meaning of the presented credentials.
Below are mentioned few of the credentials that are available in the field of surgical hair transplant:-
- The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery
- Diplomat, American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery
Presently the surgical hair restoration has no approved medical specialty board sanctioned by The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The organization, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has totally 24 medical specialty boards, of which The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is not a part. Certification of physicians under this Board, offers assurance to the patients that they have successfully completed an approved training program and an evaluation process which assesses their capability in offering quality patient care in their specialty.
Presently there is no certification process, governed by the ABMS for the field of surgical hair restoration. If a surgeon claims to be “Board Certified” in hair transplant surgery or “Certified” by The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ABHRS) then, it does not indicate that he is board certified in this field. The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons offers a written examination to its members and confers the title of ‘Diplomat’, to the physicians who are successful in this examination. The American Hair Loss Association points out that as the board is not accepted by the American Board of Medical Specialties, it lacks the power to confer medical board certification in the US.
- Hair Transplantation Fellowship, XYZ Hair Restoration Group, Orlando Florida
Education offered by most fellowship programs in the field of hair restoration is minimal. Most of the fellowship programs in the field of hair restoration are utilized for promotional purposes. Most of the groups that offer fellowship programs fail to teach the currently used state of the art hair transplantation techniques.
The American Hair Loss Association identifies that there is a very small number of surgeons that have undergone the fellowships under the guidance of truly experienced and ethical physicians and practices.
- International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
A non-profit voluntary organization, The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) consists of more than 700 hair transplant doctors. This organization offers continuous education to physicians that specialize in the field of hair transplant surgery. Membership in the ISHRS organization fails to prove expertise in the hair transplant field and it should not be considered as a qualifying permit. Presently, there are no set standards for entry into the ISHRS hence any physician performing hair transplantation surgery can become an “active” member of this organization. As per the ISHRS, the average experience of a hair transplant surgeon is approximately 14 years.
- American Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons
Another educational organization created by the doctors in the field of hair restoration surgery is The American Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ASHRS). Membership in the American Society of Hair Restoration Surgery does not qualify a surgeon been certified to practice hair restoration surgery. Membership in this organization is only for educational reasons.
- World Hair Society
There is very little information available regarding The Word Hair Society. This organization fails to contribute much in the field of hair restoration, though it appears as a credential on the Curriculum Vitae of several physicians.
- The American Hair Loss Council
A non-profit organization, The American Hair Loss Council is developed by non-surgical hair replacement business owners. This organization should not be considered as an educational resource by the hair loss consumers. Membership of this council does not indicate any professional qualifications in the field of hair restoration surgery. The details offered to the public by this organization are outdated and can prove to be harmful in some cases. The American Hair Loss Association fails to be affiliated with The American Hair Loss Council. The American Hair Loss Association approves only one credential – Membership in the Elite International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons.
- The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS)
The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, been a consumer organization selectively screens experienced and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS fails to offer an open membership policy to physicians practicing hair transplantation. This is the only organization which identifies that all physicians are unequal in their experience and technique. Elite membership of this organization indicates the best in the field of surgical hair restoration. The goal of IAHRS is to offer a reliable place for potential patients to select a surgeon based on experience and not on their capability to purchase public opinion through advertising. Before granting the membership, the IAHRS determines the physician’s experience in hair surgery.
It is your responsibility to investigate your surgeon’s background, qualifications and track his experience in follicular unit extraction or follicular unit transplantation technique, prior to the surgery. Ask for patient’s testimonials from your surgeon.
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