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Beware of the Crooks in the Hair Transplant Industry

This is a non-commercial website. Please ignore any advertising you might see.
Ads are placed by Angelfire in exchange for providing free space on the web.

Any statements I make on this website are my opinion.

"Buyer Beware" Links:

Bosley Medical Violations
The world's largest chain of hair transplant clinics has been slapped with fines, put on probation, or barred from practicing medicine in 20 states. QUOTE: "Bosley Medical has been the subject of numerous patient complaints, lawsuits and violations relating to their advertising, medical procedures and business practices". A "must-read"!

N.Y. Daily News story: "A Hair-Raising Tale of Deceit"
Exposé about how a New York hair transplant clinic hired an off-duty Brooklyn Sanitation Dept. worker to help perform hair transplant surgery in their clinic. This news story appeared in the New York Daily News on June 18, 2000.

"MHR Problem" website
A "gripe" site about one person's negative experiences with the clinic "Medical Hair Restoration"
QUOTE: "The results I got from MHR are absolutley terrible nothing what they promise you. The hair never grow, I went for 3 follow ups but there was no new hair growing. Stay away from Medical Hair Restoration or you will be sorry."

"The Top Ten Things to Avoid"
Buyer Beware. Common "red flags" to watch out for (and avoid).

"The Trouble with Hair Transplants"
One patient's negative experiences with hair transplantation. QUOTE: "My experience in talking with and meeting other hair transplant patients is that it is extremely rare to speak to a transplant patient that considers his result a success.  The vast majority of  patients experience poor to marginal coverage and continue to search for a solution to their hair loss."

"Hair Transplant Disaster"
Another dissatisfied patient's website. QUOTE: "This site contains pictures and information about hair transplant surgery that was performed on me by Long Island Medical Associates (now in business as Hitzig-Schwinning Medical Group) in New Jersey and New York."

Why Scalp Reductions and Flaps are a bad idea
QUOTE: "Buyer beware! In my opinion these are outdated procedures that place the patient at an unacceptably high risk of cosmetic deformity."

Hair Transplantation Associated with Various Complications.
QUOTE: "Careful planning and meticulous surgical technique can reduce the risk of some, but not all, complications following hair restoration surgery...Scar widening in the donor area is another problem that can occur in some patients no matter who the surgeon is or what technique is used. Scars up to 1 cm in width develop in approximately one of every 50 patients even when the case seemed routine."

Chapter 1: "The Business of Hair Loss"
from "The Hair Replacement Revolution: A Consumer’s Guide to Effective Hair Replacement Techniques"
by Dr. James Harris and Dr. Emmanuel Marritt.
Chapter 1 details how the hair transplant field became polluted with crooks and quacks.
QUOTE: "...some time in the early 1980s, the balance in the field of hair replacement changed, and the number of people trying to take advantage of hair clients grew, eventually appearing to constitute the majority in the field."

California Passes Laws Designed to Protect Cosmetic Surgery Patients from Fraudulent Advertising
QUOTE: "The increasing popularity of hair transplant and cosmetic surgeries has prompted California to legislate new laws effective January 1, 2000. Governor Gray Davis has signed into law three bills intended to protect Californians from deceptive physicians and misleading before-and-after photos for cosmetic surgery."
Laws like this would not be necessary, if there was not a serious problem that needed to be addressed. California is a good start, but what about the other 49 states?

"I Got Butchered!!! Bad Hair Transplants Testimonials"
Just a tiny fraction of the hundreds of negative testimonials found on the internet. Many of the other websites listed here also have their own "negative testimonials" page. Note that I do NOT agree with the statement on this page that "The majority of the patients are satisfied with the results." In my opinion, the majority of hair transplant patients are NOT satisfied with their long-term results, but most men are too embarrassed to complain.

Recommends an approach of positivity and acceptance, NOT surgery or hair pieces, as a response to hair loss. I wish I had access to a site like this, when I was younger! In my opinion, NOTHING available for hair loss works as well as acceptance with a positive attitude.

So You're Going Bald...
Logical and intelligent website about the many pitfalls of Hair Transplants, as well as comments about hairpieces, and great general advice about how to cope with hair loss.
QUOTE: "At one point or another in your pre-surgery consultations, you may hear the physician say “you must have realistic expectations”. Translation: you must lower your expectations. You want the hair transplant to be a Mercedes-Benz, but you’re more likely to get a Chevrolet, and you take the risk of ending up with a Yugo."

"Hair Transplant"
Website advocates new laws and stricter law enforcement, to protect the public from hair transplant crooks and quacks.
QUOTE: "Until there are regulations in place there will be no real chance for a patient to get justice for what was done and no protection prior to undergoing these procedures. The crimes will continue with virtually no ramifications for the doctors and they know it."

Lawsuit and Legal Links:

Medical Malpractice Overview by Ivan Bakhurin, MBA, and Bradley Wolf, MD
Recommended Reading. This article on Hair Transplant malpractice lawsuits was published in a professional medical journal for the benefit of doctors, but unhappy hair transplant patients (and their lawyers) should also find it helpful.
from Hair Transplant Forum, Volume 12 Number 6, November/December 2002

Litigation against the L.I.M.A. hair transplant clinic
Law offices of John Gianfortune. At one time there were over 150 lawsuits pending against Long Island Medical Associates (Dr. Gary Hitzig and Dr. John Schwinning). That number is now closer to 100.

Summary of Medical Malpractice Law by State
This lawfirm specializing in "Med-Mal" gives an overview of the malpractice laws in all 50 states.

Find a Medical Malpractice lawyer
Directory of "med-mal" law firms based on location. One of MANY such directories available on the web.

Recurring Problems in Plastic Surgery Lawsuits
"The Doctors" is a company that protects doctors from medical malpractice claims. This article outlines some of the common reasons why plastic surgeons get sued (and why they can sometimes lose).

Roger HAASE v. C. Wayne STARNES, M.D.
Litigation against a hair transplant surgeon.
"Surgical scalp reduction, hair transplantation, and infections as a result of such procedures, are not matters that lie within the common knowledge of jurors. Thus, expert testimony is necessary."

Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Malpractice: Frequently Asked Questions
Short excerpt from "The Court TV Cradle-to-Grave Legal Survival Guide".

Malpractice lawsuit against Cleveland Hair Clinic
A woman who went to the Cleveland Hair Clinic for liposuction developed "necrotizing fascitis" (flesh-eating disease) and won a large setlement against the Cleveland Hair Clinic and CHC owner Victor Leonhard.
New website that has information about poor results, and possible legal action.

Take Part in a Class Action Lawsuit Against Hair Transplant Ripoffs
Did you have a negative experience with Hair Transplants? Submit details about your experience and help clean up the festering rot in the Hair Transplant Industry, the most corrupt medical specialty in history. You may even see some financial reimbursement.

New Advancements in Hair Transplant Surgery:

I do NOT recommend hair transplants, but for anyone who insists on getting one, I would ONLY choose the less-invasive techniques described in this section.

The Woods Technique
Website for Dr. Woods and Dr. Campbell, who invented and popularized the new method of harvesting individual Follicular Unit grafts. This revolutionary technique does not require "strip excision" (see section of website on strip excision for information on the typical "donor strip" approach still used by most other doctors). THE LEAST-INVASIVE SURGICAL PROCEDURES ARE ALWAYS PREFERRED! Dr. Woods and Dr. Campbell pioneered this breakthrough technique in the mid-90s and they have the most experience doing it, by far.

Comparison of Woods Technique (FUE) vs. Traditional Strip Excision Transplant
This chart explains why the FUE (non-strip) technique is logical advancement over the older methods.

Body hair - A new viable source of donor hair
Using the new FUE method of harvesting grafts one-by-one, it has been discovered that body hair transplanted into the scalp will take on the characteristics of scalp hair. This new development brings a ray of hope to the thousands of desperate "repair" patients who have been damaged by previous crude techniques.

Corrective Surgery Links:

Hair Transplant Repair
"Repair work or corrective procedures, are specialized surgical techniques designed either remove or camouflage unnatural results from previous surgical hair restoration surgeries... These are the stories of 3 men who have all taken different routes to getting their unnatural results repaired."

"Corn Row Correction" by Dr. Vogel
Article discusses the "coring method" of correcting pluggy grafts. I think the coring technique is outdated, because it is too crude of an approach for most cases. However, patients who need corrective surgery should understand "coring", so that they will be able to make an informed choice.

"Hair Transplant Repair" by Dr. Blaine Lehr
Another explanation of the coring strategy for corrective surgery.
"Each hair repair case is different and patients are warned that it may take multiple sessions to obtain a natural appearance. In some particularly bad cases, complete naturalness may not be obtainable, but significant improvement should be."

General Information About Hair Transplants:

I do NOT recommend hair transplants, especially the way that 98% of them are being done. See my section on STRIP EXCISION for information on how most transplants are done. These links are for general information for anyone who insists on getting a hair transplant.

General information about hair transplants, especially for the complete novice.
"In today's procedure-dominated medical industry, many doctors make decisions based upon their own economic interests rather than considering what is in the best interest of the patients. Therefore, it is crucial that you take the time to educate yourself about both, the hair transplant procedure and the physician who will perform surgery."
Covers a wide variety of treatments for hair loss, including Hair Transplant issues. Lively forums.

Medical Issues and Consumer Awareness Links:

Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions.

"Off-Topic" Links:

FTC: The Role of Advertising in the Free Market
Speech by FTC commissioner that outlines the FTC's view on advertising standards, deception, fraud etc.
Non-profit advocacy group that devotes itself entirely to helping people who have been damaged by LASIK surgery. There are many similarities between the Hair Transplant and LASIK industries: Both are outpatient elective surgeries that use salesmen to hype the surgery to patients, both have problems with false advertising and outdated surgical techniques. Both fields have thousands of patients who have been permanently damaged by their surgeons. LASIK surgery is still under 10 years old, and yet Surgical Eyes has already sparked tremendous progress in the LASIK field. Commercial Hair Transplantation is over 40 years old, but as of yet there is not a similar advocacy group for the hundreds of thousands of patients who have been damaged by a hair transplant.

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