Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by caldoc44, Nov 14, 2005.
Do surgeons perform this procedure or do dermatologists?
(dermatologists with extra surgery training)
Not true. Anyone can do hair transplants. Do a quick search and you'll see that there are FP's, Urologists, Radiologists , General surgeons, Dermatologists, etc who have switched fields into hair transplant surgery.
As far as I know, all you need to do is a one year training program through something like MHR (Medical Hair Restoration) and you're good to go. HT surgery is a field that many students don't even think about when considering specialties. If you want big $$$ and 9-5 lifestyle, HT surgery is definitely a GREAT option.
Can you provide a link to a radiologist doing hair transplant surgery?
Here's a list of them that work for MHR and their locations. The one from Philly (Jonathan Ballon, M.D) used to be a neurosurgeon!
How much on average do these hair transplant surgeons make per year? Is it a competitive field to enter?
How much is the cost of a single surgery?
Very intersting. Why would a radiologist do hair transplant? Seems like radiologist have very good hours and very good pay?
I don't think annual income for HT surgeons is published. One of my dad's friends had HT surgery. He paid over $6,000 (cash). If you do 2 of those per day x 5 days/wk x 4 wks/month...that equals $240,000/month!
That explains why a dermatologist or a radiologist would drop their practice and switch to HT surgery. I'm definitely keeping my options open...
In the article with the radiologist HT surgeon it said that he did only one surgery per day. Didn't say how many per week.
Yeah, I read that too. I'm probably going to shadow one of these guys during the break and get the nitty-gritty on HT surgery. I'll post the info when I find out. Who knows, one day we might have a "HT surgery" forum on SDN...maybe not.
Anyone can take a class and say they do hair transplants.There are significant liabillity issues in this field.As for getting 6K per procedure,and filling up your week with this..dont count on it.There are limited numbers of people who will pay this kind of money and there are many plastic surgeons,dermatologists etc who have practices focused on cosmetic procedures who get the bulk of the patients.If you go to a physician shortage area it may be easier to do this.
Probably depends on how well you sell yourself. Many people go to FPs who practice cosmetic medicine for procedures like botox, dermabrasion, laser procedures...etc. I am sure the same could hold true for HT surgeons.
You may be right. I'll get back to you guys after some research and shadowing experience.
You're definitely right about the importance of location.
I am currently a pgy2 res in int med. How does one go about a fellowship in hair restoration surgery? I went to the link mentioned,but did not see any specific programs. Also is it possible with an Int Med background?
how do we apply?
Sounds like someone's been enlightened! I remember reading this a while back when I was researching this stuff on the net. Google "Medical Hair Restoration" and somewhere on there is a link to their application and requirements. Perhaps you can contact the person in charge and get the down-low on this enigma of a field. Let us know. I'm sure there are plenty of other people interested.
Thanks I will
This is not quite true. Hair transplantation isn't a part-time job. Most plastic surgeons aren't involved with this field because
a. ) They lack the training (they too have to enroll in of these fellowships)
b.) It's not worth their time when they can spend the bulk of that performing other procedures.
Most hair transplant surgeons are dermatologists who focus primarily on hair transplant and perform clinical derm on the side. These dermatologists enroll in one of these one year fellowships and they aren't any more qualified to perform these procedures as a family practice physician who enrolls in this training. Neither are surgeons.
The reason why people are not rushing to this field includes several reasons. Many physicians don't want to be associated with this field because of the reputation it brings. It may be unfair but hair transplant surgeons are still considered a joke by some in the medical field. To put it in layman's terms, it's still considered a very cheesy profession by many. It's still associated with infomercials and late night television.
The second reason is due to the fact there aren't many jobs associated with this field. Physicians are very risk averse and are used to joining a group as opposed to going solo. You can join those large companies but you wouldn't earn more than you would as a dermatologist or much more than a primary care physician. So you would be forced to going solo and opening your own practice. Establishing a clientele in this field could be difficult.
And yes, the third reason is geography. These practices won't survive in a rural or small town in which the demand for such services won't exist. You need to be in a city that caters to wealthy men who are concerned about their appearance and are willing to spend money on that. Most of your clientele will be men and it isn't socially unacceptable for a man to be bald. You can't be situated in a blue collar town in which some low income worker would rather spend 6 grand on his head than his children's education.
very interesting comments. will take into consideration
On the contrary, most plastic surgeons aren't into this b/c
1) its much less profitable then surgey per hour
2) it's VERY tedious & boring
I can't imagine a Plastic Surgeon who would feel the need to do extended training in this. Having done several myself, it's very simple to do technically. Literally you can read a book and do this with satisfactory results. In fact, most "hair factories" have very little of the actual procedures done by the Physician other then the harvest of the scalp. The cutting of the grafts & implantation is mostly grunt work done by their assistants in many clinics.
That's what I heard too...
Yup.. anybody can do it. But there was a recent scandal with Bosley and pretty much the outcome said hair transplants are B.S.... search google and I'm sure you'll find it. It's still VERY profitable if you're able to find clientele, errr patients.
So how effective are hair transplants? Anyone have any experience with them? Had one? Observed any cases?
medicine is a business after all and the money is if you can market yourself well and also if you're good at what you do. the word will get around if you do a great job, people dont give a crap about what kind of a specialty you are if you can do the job well. Also even if dermatologists can do this but have no business sence for recruiting patients and run a profitable clinic they will collapse as well. there are excellent primary docs who have mastered the outpatient system and make tons of cash, efficient and successful at their job so after all the training in hair transplants or cosmetics make sure you take a business course...
Technically, the work is straightforward. The difference between getting good and great results is where the experience counts, getting that illusion of a restored natural hairline with the right mix of micrografts and larger grafts from a limited pool of transplantable follicles. Patient selection and preoperative management of expectations is important, as it is with any cosmetic procedure.
The hardest part appears to be setting up your office efficiently with the appropriate staff who can do the graft cutting (i.e. taking a strip of hair-bearing scalp and skillfully cutting it into the many hundreds of small micro grafts and mini-grafts.) To do a transplant in a reasonable amount of time requires one or ideally two well-trained technicians preparing grafts while the surgeon is doing the site prep, punches and slits and placing the grafts. Those kinds of employees are not found that easily and most would probably need to be trained in-house. Of course, you need appropriate surgical room equipment, a reclining surgical chair, sterilizers, chillers, punches, loupes and lighting. It is possible to do this part-time, but the costs of promoting the service make full-time practice more necessary. Yes, it is a cash-based service--no insurance--which is good, but the cost of promotion, especially in broadcast media, is very expensive.
As others have posted, the training background for hair transplanting varies. You don't have to do a fellowship, and it is within the scope of practice and training of some specialists. Most seem to be dermatologists, but there are FPs, plastic surgeons and others. For a plastic surgeon to do this is probably not that financially worthwhile, as the same time spent doing other cosmetic surgeries is probably more profitable. For an office-based pratitioner, derm or FP, the financial advantage of doing procedures in-office is clearer.
10 years forwad. Is the situation any different now?
Pretty much the same. Some of the technology (e.g. Neograft) is newer (some can argue whether it is technically better)
The same barriers to success exist. I live and work in a rather affluent area and recruitment for hair transplant patients is still sparse.
Perhaps they're just asking a too high price for the procedure? Couldn't it be cheaper?
I'm slightly receding 2/2 med school stress (not even close to bald) and thought this might be a good pre-residency present. So looked into getting one of these myself. Was shocked I couldn't find anywhere within 5 states of me that offered this under $7000 with all the fees, etc. Additionally the soonest availability was 2 months out. They must be doing something correct. It would be interesting if a HT doc or someone who has worked with a HT doc could comment about the field. I'm sure they don't want to say much as having others entering the field would only create more competition for themselves. I highly doubt to many medical students have the opportunity to shadow one with how secretive the business it. The whole thing seems like a very successful scam---cash pay, $6+ per graft, many hidden fees, etc. There's no way that any HT doc isn't bringing in at least 1mil/yr.
Most of the physicians who do hair transplants do it as a small part of their practice. It is common to only do a dozen a year. There are a few physicians who do HT on a weekly basis or more, but they need to be in high volume markets. It definitely isn't a "scam," HT is safe and effective. It is an all day procedure that requires the full attention of a technician, so of course it is expensive. Contrary to what people said above, you don't need special training or certification to do hair transplants. That said, the best HT surgeons are the ones that do the most of them and that offer both ellipse and robotic surgeries.
This is true. It's tedious work but any physician can do it with proper training.
Where's the best place to study this?
The US Transplant Academy is the best. It's superior to The International Pilar Consortium, but just by a hair.
I'm from Europe though. Do they teach foreigners?
I'm pretty sure they have an online training program. You can print your certificate upon completion. You should google them.
Wow, why so skeptical.
DHI training. They have 0ver 50 clinics. Many in Europe. Only one in US.
I'm 100% positive it will not be an "online training and certificate".
FUI and Stem cells are the methods of choice for hair restoration.
FUI can be done with a machine or by hand.
You've got to be kidding me!
DHI can't hold a tuft of hair to the USTA or the IPC.
Thank you for your reply.
Can you sent me link to those two because I can't seem to find it on the net.
Unfortunately, both are pretty elite groups (think of the movie The Skulls from the 90s), and so it's invite only. You're going to have to put in the legwork if you wanna play with the big wigs.
lol. OK. Thanks Mr. big wig.
I know so many docs doing hair transplants and they don't have any need for the big wigs. But you go ahead and live in you imaginary elite world.
And don't even ask me about my merkin.
What about these places?
Turkey: Hair Transplant Training and Hair Restoration Training FUE Courses for doctors Turkey
Turkey: Hair Transplant Training – Tayfun Oguzoglu Hair Transplant Clinic
India: Hair Transplant Training - AK Clinics
Hungary: Hair Transplant Training Course - Learn HT at Fue.Center
London: Hair Transplant Training London
Some of them seem to have appeared just recently. All of them offer a 1-week-course.
Most of them teach FUE. You will also need to learn the strip method because not everyone is a good candidate for FUE.
You can achieve that by going out of the country. Living there for about 6 months and just doing cases of all kinds. Living in another country like turkey won't cost much. When you return you will need to learn how to run the business of hair transplants. Then you will make lost of money doing it once you are established. I will cost you as I said above and then the cost of opening and marketing a highly competitive business.
Thanks! That is a good point.
DHI Hair Restoration Training Academy -- I think they still seem the most trustworthy. What do you think of them? Somebody already suggested them before.
The one in India that's 3 months long. I would do that and see if you could stay 3 months more. India is cheap to live in. Then I would go to the US and find a guy who can teach you the business side and be a mentor for about a year (you may have to pay for that). You may need a mentor if a difficult case comes along.
So I figure with equipment, training, travel, lodging, business buildout, marketing, six months survival money you looking at about 200 to 250.
The average Hair restoration is aroung 5000 to 7500 per patient. You can had PRP to it and get another 1500 -2000 for some patients. You can do the math. It's a business. Good luck.
Unfortunately most HT doctors are crap and into this business for money. HT is an elective surgery and therefore they don't care if the results are good so long as patients don't die, develop complicated conditions etc. I've known so many people who were practically disfigured after getting An HT.
P.S Average HT in US is about $4-8 per graft. Most people get 2000-3000 grafts per session so they DO make big bucks (on low end $8-12k to high end $16-24k). That's if you have one patient a day. Some doctors have 1-3 patients per day so you do the math. And more and more doctors doing HTs exclusively.
Also FWIW. I've seen most HT doctors are DO doctors. Those doctors who are really good at what they do have people lined up for 6-12 months in advance.
In terms of FUE vs FUT. In today's day and age, people want FUE. Each graft is extracted individually (virtually no scaring) instead of a smilie face scar in the back of your head. FUT is easier to do and takes less time, that's why most US doctors mostly do FUT. in Europe FUE is the norm. FUE leaves white dots as scars and thus allows people to wear their hair short.
The market is definitely there. People travel across the globe to have HT done at reputable clinic. There will never be shortage of bald people unless something comes out that changes genetics.
3 months sounds very nice for the same price the others offer just 1 week. At least you won't feel as ripped of even if it is a scam, because living in India for 3 months may be a fun experience on its own.
Also they state that their doctors are members of ISHRS which is probably the best organisation for hair transplantation education. Perhaps it's not that different from ISHRS's own course.