International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery warns consumers of growing risk
Geneva, IL – While hair restoration surgery is a booming industry worldwide, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is concerned about a growing trend putting patients at risk – unlicensed technicians performing substantial aspects of hair restoration surgery.
As with any surgery, a properly trained and licensed physician or a properly trained and licensed physician extender (e.g nurse practitioner, physician assistant) practicing within the scope of his or her license should be the only medical professionals performing certain aspects of hair restoration surgery. These aspects include preoperative diagnostic evaluation and consultation; surgery planning; surgery execution (including donor hair harvesting, hairline design, and recipient site creation); and management of other patient medical issues and possible adverse reactions.
Unlicensed technicians performing these highly skilled aspects of hair restoration surgery places patients at risk of (1) misdiagnosis, (2) failure to diagnose hair disorders and related systemic diseases, and (3) can result in the performance of unnecessary or ill-advised surgery. The ISHRS strongly believes that these potential risks jeopardize patient safety and treatment outcomes.
“Patients need to be their own best advocate when it comes to their medical care, which is why they should thoroughly research their potential procedures and medical providers,” said Vincenzo Gambino, MD (Milan, Italy), president of the ISHRS. “When performed by the right physician, surgical hair restoration is a safe and effective procedure that can consistently produce natural-looking, permanent results.”
To help patients make informed decisions about 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 involved in performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?
- Will anyone not licensed by the state be making incisions or harvesting grafts during my surgery? If so, please identify this person, explain their specific role and why they are legally permitted to perform it.
- Is everyone involved in my surgery covered by malpractice insurance?
For more information about hair loss and hair restoration surgery, or to find an ISHRS member physician by state or country, visit the ISHRS website at www.ishrs.org.
About the ISHRS
Founded in 1993, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is a non-profit medical association with a membership of over 1,000 physicians worldwide dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of hair restoration. The mission of the ISHRS is to achieve excellence in patient outcomes by promoting member education, international collegiality, research, ethics, and public awareness. For more information and to locate a physician, visit www.ishrs.org.