Have you ever had any failures in your practice of transplanting hair? Not just you didn’t fill in a portion here or there. But someone who was devastated?. It seems everywhere I search, doctors only records their successes. I think it is great that HT is often successful and am fully considering one for myself, but am of course afraid that there are people who have gotten a HT from credible doctors, and it made their life miserable.
There are no guarantees in medicine. A doctor can not expect 100% of patients who had transplants to succeed 100% of the time. I’ve met with many patients who have had transplant failures at other clinics and have come to me for help. Many times the failures are produced by doctors who did not have the necessary experienced teams or underestimated the jobs that they took on. Some of the failures are caused by a failure to properly set expectations and when doctors use salesmen to ‘sell’ the transplant, then expectations may not be met because they were set unrealistically high to make the sale and close the deal. In many of these patients, I see graft growth roughly proportional to the number of transplants that they received, but a disappointed patient still sees the process as a failure. We solve this problem by holding open house events monthly where setting expectations and patient education are central to my agenda.
In my practice I have seen a rare failure of grafts to grow. There are many causes of graft growth failure that are not caused by the doctor, some of which include:
- severely atrophic skin in a very bald person
- autoimmune diseases that were undiagnosed (a common cause)
- chronic telogen effluvium and the presence of a variety of scarring alopecias
- severe diffuse unpatterned alopecia (DUPA)
DUPA is a relatively common cause of failures, because the condition is often not properly diagnosed, even though it is easy to diagnose when the donor area is mapped for miniaturization).
So yes, you are correct that doctors do not want to publicize failure. I don’t know of a doctor in any field of medicine that proudly shows off unsuccessful procedures. It is just never good for business. Could you imagine a breast cancer specialist telling how many of his patients died, or a psychiatrist tell his depressed patients how many of his patients committed suicide?
You ended your question with a suggestion that a hair transplant from a credible doctor would make their lives miserable. Modern hair transplants should not make anyone worse off. Even a theoretical complete failure should leave a person to where they were prior to the transplant (less whatever scar was in the donor area, which should be minimally detectable).