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FUE Surgery – Worth Discount to Let New Doctor Punch 200 Grafts?


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Hey guys!

Quick question for you lovely folks. I'm talking to a well respected surgeon about an FUE procedure to rebuild my frontal hairline (3500 grafts). I tried to get a break on the pricing, and the doctor offered a substantial discount if a new doctor punched up to 200 of my 3500 grafts (under his supervision).

I realize the younger doctor's punches could suffer a lower survival rate than the experienced surgeon, but she will not be making any of the recipient sites or placing any of them (technicians are placing). She is a dermatologist who is seeking to get into FUE. Her dermatology patients love her, and she has punched with this doctor before. I am told by the clinic that she is proficient at punching.

It SOUNDS low risk and potentially worth saving a couple of bucks, but I wanted to run it by my friends here. What are your thoughts?

Hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

Edited by DJNordwood
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Interesting, who’s the clinic? 
 

As preached from the heavens on here by many, price should never be a deciding factor - I agree with this to an extent, but my heads also not so far up my own arse to realise that for some people, they actually wouldn’t consider ht surgery if it meant paying the top top rates out there, and luckily today as there are many very talented surgeons who are more affordable than the highest rates in the game, I think it is a fair factor to base your decision upon, albeit you have maintained your due diligence in every other area of research ... largely patient results and having met for face to face consultations. 
 

Anyway, I digress . . Depending on the size of the discount and the surgeon in question, I would potentially say it is a low risk/high reward option. 
 

If you feel comfortable providing more details, I think it will help the community offer you further advice. 

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Depends on how much you're saving, haha. I understand where you're coming from - every dollar you can save without compromising your results is worth pursuing. In your case I think that it is relatively low risk. I'm sure if the doctor trainee transected a graft, the senior doctor would intervene and prevent it from happening again. You do stand to lose some grafts forever, but the number is so low that you may be able to overlook it.

In the end, IMO the most important factor of surgery is having a highly experienced doctor doing the majority of the procedure. If he is as well respected as you say, then it's worth being a dummy head for a couple of grafts if it makes his price accessible to you.

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@transplantedphil That seemed like the bigger risk to me than losing a few grafts. But with such a small number of punches, I'm not sure how much of a concern this is. Probably enough to do some damage.

@Curious25 Thank you for your response! I don't want to out the clinic on here since they're offering to give me a break, but it's a 15% difference in cost. It's already more affordable than some others. I'm not talking bottom of the basement prices, but it's not Alvi Armani. Price was somewhat of a consideration, but this surgeon's results posted by users on here have been stellar and everyone sings his praises.

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IMHO, 15% is not significant especially considering the fact that we all have a limited donor supply...and I believe you get one strike to hit a home run so why not choose the surgeon who is proven and just have the ultimate procedure you were initially planning for.

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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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5 hours ago, gillenator said:

IMHO, 15% is not significant especially considering the fact that we all have a limited donor supply...and I believe you get one strike to hit a home run so why not choose the surgeon who is proven and just have the ultimate procedure you were initially planning for.

I have to agree with gillenator - for me 15% wouldn’t justify the gamble. However I’m pretty risk averse 

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I would totally go for it. Everyone starts out somewhere right!? Under Drs supervision and she has done it before. If it’s a well respected clinic then why not.

 

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sorry to disagree, but a well respected clinic means nothing in this industry. So too the statement by OP that her dermatology patients "love her" and she is "proficient". That sounds like marketing. 

I had a part time doc with 5 years experience do my first FUE .. and the scarring sucked. For my 2nd FUE I chose a 30 year old veteran of the industry ... and the scarring is imperceptible. They both used the same model/punch size (which ironically enough was invented in the clinic where the part time doc worked). It's the skill of the person making the extractions that determines everything.

If OP is pursuing FUE because they want to wear their hair short and/or are concerned about scarring, then they need to assess whether the money is worth the risk. Personally I'd only agree if I could see examples of her "proficiency"  and know exactly where her extractions would be taken from.

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If it was me and if I knew now what I knew when I went under the punch a couple of times I honestly would prefer to have the one doctor doing the work. I realize it's only 200 grafts but they are finite grafts. I'm sure their would be plenty of other patients she can practice on with a discount being offered. I may sound horrible and I realize you would also be helping a new hair transplant surgeon learn her craft which is admirable. But remember the old adage measure twice and cut once. Not the other way around. All the best with whatever option you decide on.

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If you do decide to do this then the next question is where will they implant them? If they mix the 200 grafts in with the rest and scatter them all over then there is no way to tell if they grew or not. If you put them all in one area then if they don't grow you will have an obvious empty spot.

 

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I’m risk adverse but I would probably go for it in this case. They’re going to work extra hard to make it perfect because it’s trainee doctor’s first time, and you get 15% discount off entire procedure? Would probably need a little more info to make decision, but at face value, does not sound horrible IMO.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you folks! Great, thoughtful input.

@transplantedphil Great points. 200 grafts are still grafts, and I'm already anticipating a second procedure in 1-2 years for the crown. Scarring, looking to the future and needing probably 2 more procedures long term, would present problems.

@Curious25 and @gillenator – I am risk averse myself, to a fault. I feel apprehension about the whole procedure, whether the new doc is involved or not. (Was reading about the frequency of lidocaine toxicity in HTs earlier, which – while it seems rare – still freaks me out.) Which is why I posted on here. Wanted to get outside perspective since my anxiety about the whole procedure is so unreasonable lol.

@Gatsby – I feel the same way, like it'd be kinda nice to help a new doc, but also ultimately I don't care lolol. I'm the one who needs to be happy with the results at the end of the day.

@Concord75 – 15% off the entire procedure, which makes it feel like a liability to me lol.

Edited by DJNordwood
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To cast a bit more perspective on your grafts - it’s almost a 1/3 of the grafts @1978matt has recently used to successfully cover a pretty evident bald spot on his crown - so it would be a shame to risk throwing them down the drain with a dermatologist in training . . Given that they don’t grow. 
 

@transplantedphil makes very valuable points re extraction complications - one also has to consider potential damage around the puncture wounds to grafts that would otherwise be able to have been further utilised one day in the future if needed. 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I think you guys talked me out of it lol. I'm probably going to elect to only have the surgeon do the punches. The scarring could cause problems for later, and I know I'll have to come back. And every graft counts. Thanks again!!

Edited by DJNordwood
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There can potentially be collateral damage to neighboring grafts in the extraction process if the individual is not skilled and experienced in the extraction technique.

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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