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My experience finding a HT surgeon



I wanted to share my HT experience with any others interested, since this forum was useful to me when I first seriously investigated the possibility of a transplant. I had 2500 grafts transplanted in a single procedure on August 9, 2012 by Dr. Mark DiStefano at his CT location. I have a norwood 4 hairline. Time will tell if the rule of thumb touted, (norwood scale x 1000 = grafts needed) was a good scale or not.

I suspect I was like many others when they first looked into a HT. I did web searches for surgeons, which naturally leads to their web sites. It's a start. but does little to help one understand the differences in one phsicians practice from another. So, spend the time to visit each doctor you think a legitimate candidate. I think of my experiences visiting three doctors a little like a goldilocks story.

The first was a practice that used what I would call a commissioned sales rep to educate the patient on the options, and sell them on the doctor. After meeting with this rep you have a short meeting with the doctor to confirm what you've been told, and of course to ask you to sign up. Their recommendation, 1500 grafts based on the FEU technology and method, but could also go with 1500 grafts using FUT method. Different pros/cons and price points for each. But either choice, the rep was offering discounts to move me along the decision process. It turned out the more I looked into their FUE process and the doctor, the more red flags I found. And, only 1500 grafts seemed too low an estimate to achieve some reasonable density.

The second practice I visited was actually a surprise to me, in that the doctor was the only person providing consultation. No middleman or rep. Just him using open time in the FUT process where he wasn't needed. That's a lot better than meeting sales rep. This was a high visibility doctor with lots of accollades. The doctor was very straight forward, very directive (I know what to do here, and that's what we should do). Of course, the price point was also much higher than the first doctor, and price is for results, not to compete for low cost. His plan was 2500 grafts to cover my front receded hairline. Don't worry about the bald crown, you can't see it and you won't care after the front hairline is done. If I wanted the crown done, then come back after 9 months for another procedure ( and more cost). Well, coming back 9 months later didn't sound like a great plan for me, and of course for another hefty price.

The third doctor finally listened to me and knew enough to give me the answer I was looking for. Let's do 2500 grafts, and we'll cover the front as well as the crown. My goal wasn't to create the most dense front line. It was to give me a look of having hair in all the right places. You may be put off by my comment, know enough to give me the answer I wanted. But, this is really the most important point. It's what I want. Not the doctor. I want the doctor to provide me the service that meet my wants. The price wasn't the lowest or the highest, but reasonably priced for the planned procedure. I was able to trade off density for a single procedure and the attendent cost.

So, my advice to anyone looking at a HT. If the doctor is employing a person to evalute you, they are using a sales rep that should clearly signal that they are not relying on their skill to drive business. If the doctor is a "name", they may be prone to replacing "your" wants, with what they want to do. I think I ended up with the middle solution, skilled and able to represent themselves, and more focused on you than on themselves.

next blog, my results to date.

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Thank you for sharing your hair restoration experience!


Blake (Future_HT_Doc)

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