“Let the buyer beware” has been placed at the end of many of our posts. Researching your doctor is your responsibility. You must do the necessary research to protect yourself from doctors who claim expertise in the hair transplant surgery field and then can not deliver what they promote.
A gynecologist in Puerto Rico moved to California and set up shop doing hair transplants. Unfortunately, the reviews this woman found online for this doctor lead her to have surgery with him, resulting in horrible complications. I don’t know how much research was done beyond reviews (did she meet patients to see real results in person?), but I feel for this woman and her story should be a cautionary tale for everyone.
I found this video from NBC News in the Bay Area (Northern California), which I’ve embedded below. Warning – The photos shown in the video require a tough stomach.
In California, there are no restrictions on what a doctor can do, so for example, an eye surgeon can legally do heart surgery. This video shows one of the worst complications from what appears to be either an FUE procedure or too many recipient sites in the crown area (either most likely created with a surgical punch). The use of a punch that was too large with sites that were placed too close together would be an obvious cause of this horrendous complication. I have also seen necrosis from strip surgery when the surgeon took out too much scalp and could not close the wounds.
At one of the ISHRS meetings, some doctors reported cases where too many FUEs done too close together produced necrosis of the scalp. Doctors get paid by the graft, so the more FUEs that are performed, the more money the doctor makes. Without details of the surgery, I can not comment on the cause of the necrosis, but the failure of the doctor to recognize patient safety issues in this case is flagellant.
Some complications in the hands of doctors who do not understand what they are doing go as far as death. A hair transplant is a surgical procedure and as such, requires experience with a focus upon patient safety and predictable results. Unsuspecting patients fall victim to the amoral physicians who just look at the patient as another dollar for the picking.