The hair transplant industry has surely come a long way. Gone are the days of the unattractive plugs, replaced by advanced methods, impressive artistic skill and natural results. When the FUT (Strip Method) replaced the old plug method, a great deal of jubilation was felt in the industry. Hair Transplant clinics were flooded with new patients and old patients wanting to improve their pluggy look. The industry as a whole made leaps and bounds in the right direction, delivering excellent results to patients.
Then two FUE equipment companies entered the hair transplant stage. There’s nothing wrong with introducing effective equipment in order to advance techniques and results, however, the marketing of these two companies has taken the industry back several steps from where it had advanced and created a platform for unsatisfied patients. By advertising heavily online about the FUE method, many patients created an interest in this technique over the FUT, Strip method, since it results in dot scars in the donor area when harvesting the hair that will be transplanted in other areas. This interest resulted in many doctors contacting the FUE companies in order to purchase their equipment and begin offering hair restoration to patients. This is where the problem exists.
First of all, not all patients are good candidates for the FUE technique. Patients with curly hair or very aggressive patterns of hair loss are far better off using the FUT, Strip method, due to its higher harvest and better management of donor. A patient that has an aggressive hair loss pattern that may need several large procedures throughout their life can face a problem if they have too many dot scar in their donor, thus creating a diffused look in their donor follicles. Of course, the manufacturers of the FUE equipment don’t alert the public about this, but instead, continue to compare dot scars to terrible looking scars, created by non surgeons performing the FUT/Strip, surgery and then asking “what would you prefer…dot scars or a terrible line going across your head.” Not only is this misleading, but also very deceptive to the public. If an FUT surgery is performed by a board certified surgeon, he/she will leave a very fine line, with even hair coming out within the line, from a tricophytic closure. But this information is not shared by these two equipment companies.
However, the most disappointing situation this irresponsible marketing from these two companies has created is actually very dangerous to patients. A great deal of non-hair specialists are purchasing equipment from Artas and Neograft and allowing their contracted technicians perform the entire hair transplant surgery! This “Hair Transplant in a Box” method has produced a great deal of unsatisfied patients, causing them to lose their money and donor follicles with it. Although technicians play a vital role in a hair transplant surgery, they should not be performing an entire surgery. While Mr/Mrs plastic surgeon is performing a breast enhancement surgery in one room, he/she is also producing a great amount of revenue by having these mail order technicians illegally perform an entire hair transplant surgery in a room next door.
The most disappointing angle of this situation is that Artas and Neograft are looking in the other direction, not caring about the negative impact this is causing. Instead, they are duplicating their sales by continuing to ship their equipment around the world to any licensed doctor that is willing to pay for their equipment in order to maximize profits. There’s nothing wrong with capitalism and wanting to expand market share, however, it must be done in a responsible manner!
A great deal of non-hair specialists have popped up everywhere. In Florida alone, numerous clinics are now offering hair restoration in Orlando, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Miami, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Sarasota, just to name a few cities.
This problem will only be rectified by prospective patients doing their homework and implementing a correct process of choosing a qualified and involved hair restoration specialist. Unfortunately, we get many patients that call our office after experiencing the negative experience and results form one of these Hair Transplant in a Box clinics. Sometimes we’re able to rectify their problem…sometimes it’s too late and the damage has been done.
If you’re in the Tampa, Florida area and would like a complimentary consultation, give us a call at 855-855-4310. If you’re visiting from out of town, you have several places to visit in Tampa, aside from having your consultation. You can have a great time at the Tampa Seaquarium, the planetarium , Busch Gardens, catch a Bucs football game or go shopping at the International Plaza.