(Disclaimer: I am not in a legal capacity to give a verdict upon hair transplant. The opinion is purely mine.)
I have been listening and avoiding to speak about the question, “Who should not do Hair Transplant?”
Hair is clearly a subject under the dermatology postgraduate training. Hair loss of any etiology is treated by dermatologists. Hair loss has many causes, one of the causes is Androgenetic Alopecia, AGA, commonly called as Baldness. Up to certain stage of baldness, it is treated by medicines only. Beyond certain stage of Baldness, Hair Transplant is added along with medications. And beyond a certain stage when medicines have failed or there is no scope for medicines, purely Hair Transplant can restore the looks.
So clearly, Hair loss management requires dermatological knowledge. All the doctors would agree that sometimes the most experienced eyes face difficulties in diagnosing some cases. We take the opinion of other doctors and advise tests, sometimes combinations of two. Sometimes even referring to higher centers.
The reaction of Scalp also differs widely to therapeutic agents; medicines and procedure. Without a deep understanding of the pathological progression of skin diseases, one can not do justice to the treatment of hair disorders. Hair transplant is a superficial procedure, extremely artistic though! To master the art and science of Hair Transplant and answer the three big questions in this field, which are;
1) covering the complete baldness with adequate density,
2) giving natural looks with transplanted hair and
3) transplanted hair should be long lasting requires one pointed focus and one lifetime is not enough to master these points.
Still, many non-dermatologists jump into this field and wash their hands for many reasons; some don’t do good in their own subject, believe it is easy to master (which is not), it has more money, etc.
I believe, prevention of any medical condition and follow up of any medical treatment are the most important jobs of a doctor. In baldness, both the phases of management requires deep thorough knowledge of pathological evolution and response of the scalp tissue to treatment; medical and surgical.
Sometimes diagnosing a case of Baldness is extremely difficult to the most experienced eyes! Sometimes some co-existing diseases on Scalp are missed by the non-dermatologist, and most importantly, the body reacts in a very weird manner to interventions.
To summarize; Hair loss management, medical and surgical should not be tried by medical professionals who are not qualified dermatologists for the above-mentioned reasons.
I don’t endorse and intend to promote this aesthetic medical business to be practiced by non-dermatologists. I firmly believe, depending upon my MD dermatology training that hair loss is a disease to be evaluated by dermatologists and treated as well.
(I am not a legal expert.)
By Dr. Pradeep Sethi