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Hair transplant wait times - are they indicative of quality?


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So in November I had a consultation with Dr. Diep and his staff told me that they were booking over 13 months out, so the earliest I could get an appointment for was January 2021. I followed up with them recently asking if there was any way to squeeze me in anywhere, and they said they are still fully booked, and now their earliest availability is February 2021.

While I was going back and forth with Dr. Diep's staff, I've also been in contact with Dr. Sanusi Umar in Los Angeles, and it turns out Dr. Umar has availability for February 2020, so in the next month and a half.

I am very tempted to book with Dr. Umar, as I've seen nothing but good reviews on this forum, and he specializes in men with afro-textured hair like myself.

 

I am just wondering if the fact that he is available so soon a red flag? I figured the top surgeons had a wait time of at least 6-7 months so am I just getting extremely lucky and am I overthinking this?

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IMHO, yes that's a red flag and you have to wonder why.

Do you really feel that you have done enough 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 True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

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So I've had consultations with 3 different surgeons (Diep, Umar and Canales) and they've all said similar things about what I'd need for surgery (all 3 recommended roughly 2500 grafts FUE) so I don't think anyone is lying to me in terms of treatment.

 

I've been going through a lot of Dr. Umar's past results, on this forum, yelp and his site/youtube channel and they all seem positive. I've looked up his license records to see if he has any malpractice claims or any other red-flags on his record and I don't see any there. I have gotten written confirmation from his staff that Dr. Umar himself extracts the grafts and makes the slits in the recipient sites himself.

 

Dr. Umar is also listed as one of the main recommended surgeons on this forum for the state of California, and various users have posted their result pictures and have been pretty pleased with the results. So everything seems to be above board to me, which is why the quick availability seems odd.

 

For anyone else here who has had work with Dr. Umar, how long did you have to wait? 


 

Edited by Ikemen724
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no it is not a red flag. if you’ve done your research it shouldn’t be a problem.

think of it like this:

Doctor A only schedules/does procedures 3x a week

Doctor B schedules/does procedures 6x a week

both are equally qualified but ones wait time is twice as long as the other... there are a lot of logistics behind clinics that you don’t know about. H&W has about a 3-4month wait last time I checked and they’re top in the world.

hope this helps

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It's mostly just good marketing and advertising. Both doctors and get similar results but one is more well known as he invests in his image more so he gets more business. I have had diep work. I wouldnt go back to him for ht#2 or recommend him personally but that is just my experience obv.

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Wait times have nothing to do with skill or talent of a surgeon, there’s a surgeon that supposedly has a 7 year wait list. In my opinion, that’s just hype. That said, I went to Dr. Diep myself and had a stellar result. I recommended him to my friend who’s at 5 months and also had a killer result. He waited 9 months.

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I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

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22 hours ago, Ikemen724 said:

So in November I had a consultation with Dr. Diep and his staff told me that they were booking over 13 months out, so the earliest I could get an appointment for was January 2021. I followed up with them recently asking if there was any way to squeeze me in anywhere, and they said they are still fully booked, and now their earliest availability is February 2021.

While I was going back and forth with Dr. Diep's staff, I've also been in contact with Dr. Sanusi Umar in Los Angeles, and it turns out Dr. Umar has availability for February 2020, so in the next month and a half.

I am very tempted to book with Dr. Umar, as I've seen nothing but good reviews on this forum, and he specializes in men with afro-textured hair like myself.

 

I am just wondering if the fact that he is available so soon a red flag? I figured the top surgeons had a wait time of at least 6-7 months so am I just getting extremely lucky and am I overthinking this?

I don't think it matters...surgeons can have cancellations and can fit you into their schedule. I've seen Coalition member surgeons have a waiting list that is 4 months long; while others have a 1-year long waiting list. That said, both Dr. Umar and Dr. Diep are highly recommended on here and I've only seen positive reviews for both surgeons. Have you had an in-person consultation?

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21 minutes ago, Dr. Suhail Khokhar said:

Have you had an in-person consultation?

I had in-person consultations with Diep and Canales and online consultation with Umar, with extensive back-and-forth conversation with both Dr. Umar directly and his staff. 

I know many think an in-person is preferable, but the in-person consultations I've had so far were both very quick, with the doctors taking a 2-second look at my head and then coming to a conclusion for what I need, and I don't think there is any new information that I could gain that I haven't already talked to Dr. Umar and his staff about, which makes an extra trip to LA seem unnecessary to me.

Edited by Ikemen724
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23 minutes ago, Ikemen724 said:

... but the in-person consultations I've had so far were both very quick, with the doctors taking a 2-second look at my head and then coming to a conclusion for what I need,...

Mmh, maybe you visited the wrong clinics. My F2F consultations took up to 1 h and included measurement of the donor density at several positions, review of old pictures of myself +the family and drawing different hairlines as well as discussing medication and surgical plans. 

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1 minute ago, Gasthoerer said:

Mmh, maybe you visited the wrong clinics. My F2F consultations took up to 1 h and included measurement of the donor density at several positions, review of old pictures of myself +the family and drawing different hairlines as well as discussing medication and surgical plans. 

When I saw Dr. Diep he inspected my hairline visually for a few seconds and then quoted me the # of grafts I'd need. I asked a few more questions and then he moved on to pricing. There wasn't any measurements of donor density taken or review of old pictures. But I have no hair-loss on the back or sides of my head, so maybe he thought it was obviously dense enough? 

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My donor is very good as well: Please look into the pics in my thread. 

By the way, all three (!) clinics I visited personally followed (more or less) the procedure described above. All clinics also measured the recipient area after drawing the hairline and the calculated (!) the required graft #. 

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Don’t take this the wrong way at all man as you say you’ve done research but trust me when I tell you that you haven’t done enough research. It sounds like you live in Southern California and you are trying to find the best possible option that doesn’t require you hopping on a plane. That is a big mistake. Take it from me, a guy who has made that mistake. What I’m saying has nothing against the recommended California surgeons that you consulted with but you need to also reach out to other top North American doctors and ask them for results with guys that have similar hair texture as you. You should also do in person consultations with the doctors you consult with whose work you like even if it requires flying out to them to see who you are most comfortable with and trust your gut instinct on that whether it ends up being a California doctor or one somewhere else. You don’t want to regret limiting yourself to location later on. Also to answer your original question about wait times,  I’m not sure you should judge a place by wait times. There is a guy here , legends007, who just last year was able I think on three weeks notice to squeeze in an appointment with Dr. Hasson and has great results. Does that mean Dr. Hasson is not a quality doctor because he had a sudden opening? Of course not. In any case, be smart and I wish you good luck with whatever you do. 

Edited by Sam818
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Hello my name is Rafael Odreman MD I am hair transplant surgeon from South America, in my personal opinion the wait time depend of the schedule of the surgeon as well as the amount of population near to the clinic, because sometime there is not date available because we must to perform surgery during this specific month as well as attend to a congress o workshop. So I rather advice you guys to look for the results and also if the surgeon seems to you a person you can trust. If any of you have further question le me know I will be happy to answer best regards 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/28/2019 at 12:11 PM, Ikemen724 said:

When I saw Dr. Diep he inspected my hairline visually for a few seconds and then quoted me the # of grafts I'd need. I asked a few more questions and then he moved on to pricing. There wasn't any measurements of donor density taken or review of old pictures. But I have no hair-loss on the back or sides of my head, so maybe he thought it was obviously dense enough? 


hello. Im new here. Diep did the same thing to me and it kind of threw me off to be honest since I flew in. 
 

I just had my FUE transplant with him the other day. I’m gonna document everything once I get back home. But to answer your original question, I was wondering the same thing. 
 

My consultation was in July 2019. I paid $1000 to secure a spot for March 2020, while asking to be placed on a waiting list.  In November and early December they reached out to see if I could come it. But it was last min notice. Mid December they contacted me to let me know that Diep couldn’t do my surgery in March and they would try to find another time. That’s all they told me. 
 

i called back a week later and they said the best they could do was July 2020 and they couldn’t even confirm it! I was frustrated but felt pressure to accept because they were already scheduling 2021 appointments.  
 

After asking for advice on reddit (to not avail) I called again asking to speak to the office manager. I let her know it was BS that they canceled my appt and didn’t give me another one. It’s a pain in the ass to travel for this stuff. She agreed and said they had an opening for January 2020 and I booked immediately. 
 

i say all that to say, I totally see where OP is coming from regarding the long lead times from Diep’s office. It’s something they need to work on. They don’t require full payment until a week before the appointment so they get a lot of last minute flakes. 
 

Despite my experiences I still went with them for my transplant. I’ll definitely create a thread to share results. 

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My personal Opinion is that we should not consider wait time as the only factor for quality (It can be one of the factor).
wait time happens because of demand. Demand can be due to Quality or something else.

Sent you a PM.

an aside :

I just remembered the term ikemen : good looking guy😎 (from watching anime)

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Agree...not the "only" factor.

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 True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

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