SECOND ANNUAL “WORLD HAIR TRANSPLANT REPAIR DAY” AIMS TO HELP VICTIMS OF HAIR TRANSPLANTS FROM FRAUDULENT, ILLICIT CLINICS
Participating ISHRS physician members offering free corrective surgeries for eligible candidates
CHICAGO – August 15, 2022. In an effort to help the growing number of patients unknowingly and fraudulently being operated on by unlicensed individuals who either lack training or are not authorized to perform surgery even under direct supervision of a licensed physician, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) will host its second annual “World Hair Transplant Repair Day” on November 11, 2022.
This worldwide event is part of the ISHRS’s Fight The FIGHT (an acronym for Fight the Fraudulent, Illicit, and Global Hair Transplants) global consumer awareness campaign designed to educate and help people who have been victims of this widespread practice. Victims may reach out individually to participating volunteer physicians through the campaign’s website at HairRepairDay.org for a chance to receive a pro bono restorative hair procedure.
“The ISHRS is committed to raising awareness of this widespread problem of unqualified technicians illegally performing hair transplant procedures, oftentimes resulting in irreparable damage to unsuspecting patients,” said Nilofer Farjo, MBChB, FISHRS, president of the ISHRS. “Consequences of this unscrupulous practice include permanent scarring, infection, visible donor scarring, poor growth, thin patches of hair or bald spots, and hair depletion from over-harvested donor areas – all of which can be difficult, and in some cases impossible, to correct.”
The ISHRS explains that many clinics around the world promote themselves as hair restoration experts — luring vulnerable patients with cheap prices and false advertising presented with misleading information. In many cases, physicians are not even present to perform the surgery.
While the number of hair transplant surgeries has increased in recent years, so too has the proliferation of fraudulent, illicit clinics trying to capitalize on the demand to permanently correct hair loss. According to results of a recent member survey conducted by the ISHRS, 51% of ISHRS members reported there are Black Market hair transplant clinics in their cities. In 2021, 5.4% of hair restoration patients sought treatment to repair previous surgery from offices where the physician did not perform the surgery, up from 4.2% in 2019.
When performed by a qualified physician, a hair transplant is an excellent procedure for treating hair loss safely and effectively. The ISHRS is committed to patient safety and continually strives for the best outcomes for all patients, offering members superior education and training to improve their techniques. To help ensure patients have the information needed to make informed decisions about who performs their hair restoration surgery, the ISHRS urges potential patients to ask the following questions, as well as questions regarding costs, risks and short- and long-term benefits and planning:
- Who will evaluate my hair loss and recommend a course of treatment? What is their education, training, licensure, and experience in treating hair loss?
- Who will be performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?
- Other than the licensed physician, will anyone who is not licensed by the state (or country) be making incisions or cutting my scalp to obtain grafts during my surgery? If so, please identify this person, explain his or her specific role and why this person is legally permitted to perform surgery without a license.
- Is everyone involved in my surgery covered by malpractice insurance?
“The best advice to avoid being a victim of a physician that chooses to let someone less qualified and unlicensed do your surgery is to ask questions and insist the doctor be the one to perform the surgery. Do your homework and don’t settle for less,” said Ricardo Mejia, MD, chair of the ISHRS Communications and Public Education Committee.
About the ISHRS
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is a global non-profit medical association and the leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration with 1,000 members throughout 70 countries worldwide. Above all, the ISHRS is dedicated to achieving excellence in patient outcomes by promoting the highest standards of medical practice, medical ethics, and research in the medical hair restoration industry. The ISHRS also provides continuing medical education to physicians specializing in hair transplant surgery and is committed to delivering the latest information on medical and surgical treatments to consumers suffering from hair loss, and most commonly from androgenetic alopecia – male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. It was founded in 1993 as the first international society to promote continuing quality improvement and education for professionals in the field of hair restoration surgery. For more information and to locate a physician, visit www.ishrs.org.
About the Survey
Conducted by Relevant Research, Inc., of Chicago, IL, USA, the ISHRS 2022 Practice Census is a compilation of information provided solely by participating physicians. The information published in this survey was developed from actual historical information and does not include any projected information. The margin of error for the sample is within plus or minus 6.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. For a full reprint of the ISHRS 2022 Practice Census Report, visit Hair Restoration Statistics.