Repairing hair transplants that fall under Ghost Hair Transplants
Ghosting is a term used when it is assumed a doctor is going to do the surgery, but then the doctor never appears and another individual performs the surgery. Usually, they are unlicensed and not qualified or authorized to perform surgery.
Such cases have become so rampant today due to mushrooming of unqualified hair transplant doctors and unscrupulous centres where doctors do not perform the hair transplants. Yes, ghost hair transplants can happen in a clinic set up where the qualified doctor is nowhere to be seen and the patient is fully sedated hence being unaware that the doctor did not perform the hair transplant surgery.
This case study was presented by Jasvinder Singh, MBBS, FISHRS from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He performed the hair transplant repair on this patient.
Case Study from Dr. Singh
We took on a patient that wished to repair his hair transplant due to unsatisfactory results due to poor growth. See picture above of the results from the Ghost Hair Transplant Clinic prior to his repair.
- Our patient was fully sedated through oral sedatives during his previous hair transplant procedure in another clinic. He fell victim in a legitimate clinic that displayed highly enticing advertisements of cheap rates given. He concluded it was a splendid bargain for restoring hair without realizing that it was highly reckless and did not see the red flags.. He also had expectations the doctor would be performing the procedure. Unfortunately, the end results came down to a damaged donor area with very poor graft survival rate because unqualified persons performed the procedure at the clinic!
- Such cases are difficult and require a lot of expertise & patience to get it right and it’s highly tedious. There are many clinics that produce poor hair transplant results due to a sheer lack of experience and credentials and delegation to assistants that do not have authority to perform surgery in their state or country. Many clinics market heavily and display impressive results that are the results of other surgeons and clinics. Many are involved in ghosting the patient making it appear as if they, the physician, will do the surgery when in fact it is delegated a medical assistant.
Plan and Procedure for Repair
I performed a detailed medical history and did an assessment of the patient’s poor results and understood why the patient was upset and had a bad experience.
I subsequently designed a plan for correction. This included multiple procedures, medication, and hair removal plug and recycling of the misplaced grafts. Once the patient’s head was shaved, I noticed scars and pitting from overharvesting of the donor area and recipient site.
- A revised hair line was designed and documented. I corrected donor scars from the first procedure by replanting follicular unit grafts where they were needed and by adding grafts and correcting the shape of the hairline.
- The recipient area already had some grafts. It was important to identify which of these were worth keeping and which needed to be removed and recycled. The recipient area was severely scarred from the first surgery; hence blood supply could have been poor due to the previous procedure lacking in surgical planning from harvesting to planting without any depth control which may have impaired the underlying blood supply.
The common issues that happen with clinics that Ghost patients: Very low survival rate
- Overharvesting of the donor area causes severe donor area damage and depletion.
- Severe scarring of the recipient area due to wrong tools used and the miserable lack of experience, passion and a conscience. This leaves another issue with regards to the technicalities of implantation into scarred areas
- Too many procedures of lowering hairline was performed without considering the donor denisty, age and suitable hairline according to ethnicity and age, in this case being 40 years of age
Repair work has always been a frequent part of my practice which, as mentioned earlier, has become more rampant in the last ten years. Unfortunately, the amount of people getting “Ghosted” by physicians has been on the rise for pure profitability. These procedures done by inexperienced, unethical, “Ghost Hair Transplant” centres are still on the rise. I believe that this is a lot to do with misinformation, self-research on the internet with zero knowledge and placing priority on cheap prices. Little do people realize that cheap prices are given for a reason. A big sinister picture is behind the scenes!