The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is the leading authority on hair loss treatment globally. The not-for-profit medical organisation represents 1,200 members across the world and aims to ensure that all hair loss treatments and surgeries follow the highest standards of medical practice and ethics.
When performed by a licensed and trained medical doctor, hair transplants are a safe solution to hair loss. However, research has uncovered an abundance of transplants being undertaken by unqualified technicians, meaning disaster for unaware patients.
What is Fight the FIGHT?
After the influx of reports from negatively affected patients, the ISHRS launched the Fight the FIGHT movement. FIGHT stands for Fraudulent, Illicit & Global Hair Transplants, and these occur more frequently than you can imagine. The findings and research uncovered that patients are currently being misled by clinics that are advertising false claims, low prices and ‘guaranteed results’. However, these results can take the form of unnatural hairlines, scarring, infections, poor hair growth or wrong direction growth.
How do illicit hair transplants occur?
These horrific results can occur anywhere. In some countries around the Middle East and Asia and some within Europe are brazenly performing hair restoration treatments without the appropriate medical licenses and training. However, in places like the US, Canada, and Australia, clinics can perform illicit treatments with more subtlety. Plastic surgeons, dermatologists or other physicians can purchase devices that perform one step of the hair transplant procedure. Then, to keep themselves out of any medical strife, the physician will hire a technician to perform most of, or all, the treatment or surgery. While the patient has sought the practice of a licensed professional, the actual treatment is being performed by a technician who is marketed as an “expert” in hair transplants. In reality, these technicians are unlikely to have any professional medical training or education.
How to identify illicit practitioners
The surge of hair restoration clinics in recent years has seen a rapid increase of botched hair transplants. Hair restoration surgery is a highly specialised procedure that should only be carried out by a licensed professional. Some of the risks of being seen by the ISHRS include:
- Donor area overharvesting – a ‘moth-eaten’ appearance of the donor area with scarring and reduced density.
- Donor area necrosis – too many holes created too close together can compromise the blood supply to the skin and leave areas of dead tissue with no hair.
- Unnatural results – training and education include hairline design training, without that knowledge patients can be left with an unnatural looking hairline or hair growing in odd directions.
- Surgical infections – severe scalp infections will require antibiotics.
When researching, patients are urged to verify whether the clinic and physician are covered by malpractice insurance if anything goes wrong. Question the education, training, and experience not only of the physician but anyone that will be involved in the treatment. Each person participating in the procedure should be licensed by their state.
How to find licensed practitioners
To ease the minds of patients and those looking into hair transplants, the ISHRS has compiled a list of registered physicians to ease any worries regarding finding the right surgeon for any hair loss restoration treatments.
Dr Peter Paraskevas of Paras Hair Transplant is registered as one of ISHRS’s preferred doctors in Australia. The ISHRS holds global conferences to keep all practitioners informed of latest developments, devices and reinforce the medical ethics involved. The conferences provide continued medical education to those physicians specialising in hair transplants and showcase the latest information on the treatment of hair loss. He attended the most recent ISHRS Conference in Bangkok this year to ensure he is up-to-date with all knowledge on hair loss treatments.
You can find him at Paras Clinic in Melbourne and Sydney clinics. Paras Clinic is a nationally accredited day procedure centre where hair transplants are performed by a fully-qualified hair restoration surgeon. The clinic boasts a premium, high-tech facility where patients receive comprehensive care from the initial consultation through to surgery aftercare.
At Paras Clinic, all measures of safety and hygiene adhere to the highest state health standards and are designed to prevent infection. The clinic follows the strict regulations set out by governing bodies relating to procedure, management, and follow-up, ensuring that all patients obtain quality care and achieve the best possible results.