The Philippines has been experiencing a great surge in medical tourism for the past several years and is predicted to become a $3-billion industry this year. Foreign patients recognize the competency of Filipino doctors and the reasonable price of services and facilities. This is why the country is now considered one of the best places to get reliable but affordable cosmetic surgery procedures, which include hair transplantation or hair restoration.
When it comes to deciding whether to undergo hair transplantation procedure, having the means to pay for it is not the only factor you should consider. At present, hair restoration is not a regulated procedure since it is considered generally safe, but it doesn’t mean that you can afford not to do your homework and go to just any doctor who happens to offer this service. Keep in mind that hair transplantation involves surgery and it’s still imperative that you go to the most qualified hair clinic doctor working for a well-respected organization. Getting the best hair restoration doctor in Manila requires considerable investment when it comes to time and resources, so you have to get your money’s worth in terms of results and safety.
What It Involves
To get a better idea how important it is to get the right hair restoration doctor, you have to know how hair transplantation is carried out. The surgeon cleans the patient’s scalp then numbs the area using anesthetic. Using a scalpel, the surgeon will remove strips of scalp from the head and then he will sew up the opened area. Next, he will divide the strip of scalp into tiny grafts, which range from 500 to 2,000. Each graft contains hairs that will cover the balding areas. The surgeon will consider factors such as hair type, color, quality, and the size of the area that needs transplantation in determining the number of grafts needed for the procedure. With the help of a medical team, the surgeon will place these grafts on portions of the scalp that have poor hair growth.
Recovery from surgery involves taking pain medications for several days. The scalp will be very tender after the procedure and you will have to wear surgical dressing on it for a day or two, depending on the advice of the doctor. You may have to take anti-inflammatory or antibiotics as well. The transplanted hair will fall out from your head within two to three weeks after the procedure and you have to wait for a few months to notice new hair growth. You will be able to get 60% new hair growth after six to nine months.
Looking for Credentials
Start finding a hair restoration doctor by contacting the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS) and asking for their list of qualified surgeons. The IAHRS is a consumer organization that screens hair surgeons according to their skills and ethical records. The organization does not promote individual doctors and they do not charge them to have their names listed on the website.
Unlike other websites, the IAHRS actually guides interested parties in recommending the right doctor for their needs. After you have narrowed down your list of doctors, you must ask them how long they have been working with their staff.
Next, you should look at the doctors’ credentials. Here are the questions to ask your doctor whether you are engaged on an online consultation or a face-to-face hair restoration appointment:
- Where and when did he receive his medical degrees? Where and when was his license issued?
- Is his degree and license legitimate? What about his overall experience?
- How long has he been in practice? How many hair transplantation procedures has he worked on?
- Does he have a degree in allopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine? This is something that he should have before starting on his surgical training.
- Finding a hair transplant surgeon who also happens to be a physician is better because he will have a whole-body viewpoint of hair loss and restoration to go along with his technical skills.
Other Essential Information You Need
Ask the doctor to provide you with before and after photos (at least 10 sets). Preferably, these pictures should have the same lighting, background, and angle so that you can make a better comparison. Having pictures taken in similar conditions will make it easier for you to spot possible discrepancies. The sets of photos should provide an unobstructed view of the patients’ hairline and mid-anterior scalp. While you’re at it, ask for photos of the donor scars, too.
Last but not the least, you should ask for references. The hair restoration doctor should be able to provide you with several names of patients whom you can call and ask questions.
Your Comfort Level with the Doctor
Having the right credentials should be enough information you need but it’s also important that you’re at ease with the hair restoration doctor. Here’s how to determine your comfort level with the doctor:
- Establishing rapport with the patient should be a doctor’s priority. Is he willing to answer questions?
- Is he open to discuss not just the technicalities of the procedure but also details about billing and insurance?
- Is the doctor pressuring you to make a decision right then and there? A sensible hair restoration doctor understands that a patient will need some time to think before committing to a medical procedure.
Other Relevant Concerns
The right doctor should also enumerate issues that can affect the choice of treatment. Some patients are not aware of factors such as scalp and hair color, texture of hair, and scalp condition. Hair restoration is not a one-size-fits-all procedure and the doctor should take the time to explain every detail that can affect with the outcome.
The environment in which a doctor practices is also equally important. Sanitation is very important when it comes to any medical procedure so you might want to reconsider your choice if the doctor’s office and clinic is far from perfectly neat and clean. Having a comfortable and pleasant-looking facility also counts to make the patient feel relaxed during the consultation and the surgery itself.
Doing Your Homework
No matter how much research you do on what to look for in a hair transplant clinic, nothing beats the assurance you can get from talking to the experts themselves. Fortunately, getting in touch with doctors has become easier, thanks to online consultation. You just need to go to the clinic’s website and find the tool for booking an appointment online. During your consultation, you should take the opportunity to ask all your questions so the medical staff can address your concerns and help you make a decision.