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How old is too old for a surgeon?


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Hi there,

 

I've been looking into some hair transplant surgeons whom seem to have excellent credentials (e.g. endorsements by this network, coalition members, award winner, no horror stories etc*.)

 

According to my research they have all certainly done excellent work. But I am a little concerned that some of them are already over 65 years of age (namely 66+), and I was wondering if this may mean a decline in skill (this is my speculation purely, with no data to back up other than a very unrelated research study).

 

Again, all of these people I've done loads of research on, all have done good work in the past.

 

But do you suggest factoring in the age of a surgeon?

Does anyone have a positive experience with a surgeon whom is older than say 65?

Would you consider it a red flag if the surgeon is over 70 years of age?

When do you think a surgeon's age should raise a red flag?

Has anyone had a positive experience with a surgeon older than 70?

 

Thank you for the kind responses.

 

*please PM me if you want to know which people I'm thinking about, I don't want to accidentally smear someone's good name

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I don't think that I would put put a number on it. I think that I would keep tabs on the latest results of the surgeon.

I am an online representative for Dr. Raymond Konior who is an elite member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians.

View Dr. Konior's Website

View Spanker's Website

I am not a medical professional and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice.

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Hi there,

 

I've been looking into some hair transplant surgeons whom seem to have excellent credentials (e.g. endorsements by this network, coalition members, award winner, no horror stories etc*.)

 

According to my research they have all certainly done excellent work. But I am a little concerned that some of them are already over 65 years of age (namely 66+), and I was wondering if this may mean a decline in skill (this is my speculation purely, with no data to back up other than a very unrelated research study).

 

Again, all of these people I've done loads of research on, all have done good work in the past.

 

But do you suggest factoring in the age of a surgeon?

Does anyone have a positive experience with a surgeon whom is older than say 65?

Would you consider it a red flag if the surgeon is over 70 years of age?

When do you think a surgeon's age should raise a red flag?

Has anyone had a positive experience with a surgeon older than 70?

 

Thank you for the kind responses.

 

*please PM me if you want to know which people I'm thinking about, I don't want to accidentally smear someone's good name

 

I had somewhat of a similar experience when I was looking for HT docs. As long as they are healthy and have their dexterity intact, I think experience is key in choosing a hair transplant surgeon. If a surgeon has been doing hair transplants for a few decades, he/she knows what works and what does not work . . . seeing a 30 year old when they're 50 for a touch up helps them get a sense of how MPB works, and how to plan for future hair loss (even with the advent of meds).

 

On the flip side, hair restoration is a journey and can take several procedures over a decade. If I found an excellent surgeon I'd want him/her doing my next procedure as well.

 

I think what stands out, is for quite a few of the more established HT surgeons who have been doing this for decades, you NEVER see their patients having repairs - the growth or the density might not be perfect in rare cases, but the results look completely natural and the patient's appearance is improved, and they work with the patients to fix any issues.

 

I would say if they're going to be practicing for the next 10 years, I would have no hesitation about an older surgeon, and in fact would prefer it. If they have a junior partner they're training and the surgeon is retiring in the next few years and I like them both, I'd be o.k. with this as well.

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As long as the individual has talent and no physical or mental impairment, age is a non issue. Along with the age comes many years of experience which is a plus.

 

It's the end results that count...;)

Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Robert Dorin: True & Dorin Medical in New York, NY

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I had somewhat of a similar experience when I was looking for HT docs. As long as they are healthy and have their dexterity intact, I think experience is key in choosing a hair transplant surgeon. If a surgeon has been doing hair transplants for a few decades, he/she knows what works and what does not work . . . seeing a 30 year old when they're 50 for a touch up helps them get a sense of how MPB works, and how to plan for future hair loss (even with the advent of meds).

 

On the flip side, hair restoration is a journey and can take several procedures over a decade. If I found an excellent surgeon I'd want him/her doing my next procedure as well.

 

I think what stands out, is for quite a few of the more established HT surgeons who have been doing this for decades, you NEVER see their patients having repairs - the growth or the density might not be perfect in rare cases, but the results look completely natural and the patient's appearance is improved, and they work with the patients to fix any issues.

 

I would say if they're going to be practicing for the next 10 years, I would have no hesitation about an older surgeon, and in fact would prefer it. If they have a junior partner they're training and the surgeon is retiring in the next few years and I like them both, I'd be o.k. with this as well.

 

Thank you for both responses.

 

Especially with relevance to >>"As long as they are healthy and have their dexterity intact"<< any suggestions on how to check this? What might some red flags be of a doctor that WAS good but has deteriorated (I don't mean one that never was, but I guess the answer might be the same?).

 

I'm really not questioning whether these doctors were EVER good, I've done enough research that they clearly are. I just want to ensure (and for everyone else) that age hasn't turned "are" into "were".  

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Thank you for both responses.

 

Especially with relevance to >>"As long as they are healthy and have their dexterity intact"<< any suggestions on how to check this? What might some red flags be of a doctor that WAS good but has deteriorated (I don't mean one that never was, but I guess the answer might be the same?).

 

I'm really not questioning whether these doctors were EVER good, I've done enough research that they clearly are. I just want to ensure (and for everyone else) that age hasn't turned "are" into "were".  

 

There is no easy way, but if talking with him/her the surgeon seems fine, if when you watch them move they seem fine . . . Essentially what they have to do is cut a strip of flesh from your scalp, close it well, and make thousands of holes in your head :rolleyes:. The techs trim the grafts, and implant them. For manual (but not robotic) FUE I would be a little more worried.

 

To put things in a little perspective - a 5 year old probably has more dexterity and better vision than most of us, but would you let a 5 year old near your head with a scalpel:eek:? There is probably a sweet spot between experience and youth, but as long as they appear in good health, especially if under 70 I personally did not worry too much about age.

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I do think your concern has some legitimacy however there is really no way of knowing except to ask to see him/her for very recent references. Then get as many examples as possible.

 

When Bobby Limmer Sr. retired and handed the clinical reins over to his son, he retired gracefully after performing HT procedures for decades.

 

Good ethical doctors generally know when it's time. I know some dentists and other MDs not in this field who retired when they believed it was their time.

 

Most will slowly back off their time and schedule rather than just stopping altogether.

 

I have a question. Would it not be better to have decades of skill and experience on your side? How many heart transplant patients for example would favor the younger more physically fit MD to do their procedure compared to a cardiologist who has numerous transplants already done with success.

 

Anything that potentially affects sustaining life or irreversible physical deformation would warrant experience and knowledge. Age suddenly takes on a new dimension and perspective...;)

 

Glad to see you are doing exhaustive research!

Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Robert Dorin: True & Dorin Medical in New York, NY

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Also, a good doctor will know when it's time to retire.

 

I agree...:)

Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Robert Dorin: True & Dorin Medical in New York, NY

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Hi there,

 

I've been looking into some hair transplant surgeons whom seem to have excellent credentials (e.g. endorsements by this network, coalition members, award winner, no horror stories etc*.)

 

According to my research they have all certainly done excellent work. But I am a little concerned that some of them are already over 65 years of age (namely 66+), and I was wondering if this may mean a decline in skill (this is my speculation purely, with no data to back up other than a very unrelated research study).

 

Again, all of these people I've done loads of research on, all have done good work in the past.

 

But do you suggest factoring in the age of a surgeon?

Does anyone have a positive experience with a surgeon whom is older than say 65?

Would you consider it a red flag if the surgeon is over 70 years of age?

When do you think a surgeon's age should raise a red flag?

Has anyone had a positive experience with a surgeon older than 70?

 

Thank you for the kind responses.

 

*please PM me if you want to know which people I'm thinking about, I don't want to accidentally smear someone's good name

 

Crazy as it sounds…this was a concern for me as well..its a normal part of the process for some people…I know what you are thinking..

You want someone young and up-to-date with the latest and greatest!

Newhairplease!!

Dr Rahal in January 19, 2012:)

4808 FUT grafts- 941 singles, 2809 doubles, 1031 triples, 27 quads

 

My Hairloss Website

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Chances are very high that most of the work, around 70-80%, will be done by the doctors technicians, not the doctor. The doctor will make the recipient sites, remove the grafts, and design the hairline. This may be of paramount importance in the overall result you get, but cutting the grafts and placing the grafts, the very jobs that require dexterity, are being done mostly by the technicians.

 

I don't see how age would be an issue regardless, unless you are worried that the doctor will get tired more easily, and chances are he won't be spending enough time on your noggin to get tired. If he does spend enough time to get tired, you have chosen a doctor who spends more time on his patients than most do. So you have chosen wisely.

 

The lesson is age is not a deal breaker, rather, your concentration should be focused on their results.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Senior Member

Well stated...;)

Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Robert Dorin: True & Dorin Medical in New York, NY

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Interesting thread! I personally believe that continuing to work up until an old age helps keep people sharp and healthy. I also plan on becoming a hair loss specialist, so I suppose if anyone is looking for an FUE procedure in 70 years, I'm your guy! ; )

"Doc" Blake Bloxham - formerly "Future_HT_Doc"

 

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

 

All opinions are my own and my advice does not constitute as medical advice. All medical questions and concerns should be addressed by a personal physician.

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the question should be: HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG FOR A SURGEON

 

Agreed! When I was looking I wanted at least 5-10 years of experience. If they are working with a more experienced physician then the shorter end was ok.

 

Another question - how many procedures should they be doing a year? 2-3 transplants /week would be 100-150/year..

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