Warning: Unlicensed Providers Illegally Performing SmartGraft & NeoGraft

Illegal Hair Transplant Treatments | RefinedMD, Los Gatos + San Jose

Warning: Unlicensed Providers Illegally Performing SmartGraft & NeoGraft

Hair restoration isn’t what it used to be—and that’s a great thing. RefinedMD is one of the few clinics in the area offering both SmartGraft and NeoGraft to instantly get you back to growing your own hair. Both procedures use the follicular unit extraction (FUE) approach, which drastically minimizes linear scars. The only difference between the two is that SmartGraft is largely automated, which allows for the extraction and storage of grafts with a hand-held device. NeoGraft is a more manual approach, which allows for more customization but can also take a little longer. For the vast majority of patients, they are awake during the procedure and feel no pain (which allows them to communicate and watch the process easily).

Finding the Right Practice For Hair Transplantation

It’s no surprise that FUE has quickly become one of our most popular procedures for treating hair loss. By individually “transplanting” one hair follicle at a time, there’s no need to shave your head or undergo an extensive recovery period. FUE is trending, with both SmartGraft and NeoGraft gaining fans around the world. However, with great demand comes illegal FUE “technicians” who are providing botched transplant surgeries. Unlicensed “providers” might claim to be doctors or otherwise tout credentials they don’t hold. Sometimes they are assistants at genuine FUE clinics, but operating a sort of “side hustle” and performing illegal surgeries. It’s a reminder of why it’s so important to do your due diligence when selecting an FUE provider.

There has been a recent surge in these unlicensed providers preying on patients who are looking for unbelievable deals. Many of these operations have been exposed in southern California and Las Vegas, but it’s possible to find them anywhere. In most cases, physicians who really are licensed to perform FUE bring on assistants as a means of speeding up the process and seeing more patients.

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), hair restoration surgery is at a historic high. There were nearly 600,000 surgical hair restorations performed in 2016, which is a 60 percent increase from 2014. Both SmartGraft and NeoGraft are excellent choices for many patients who want truly natural results using their own hair. However, not doing adequate research when choosing a clinic and doctor can lead to disastrous and dangerous results.

Not only should a transplant doctor be properly licensed to perform the transplant surgery, they should also be highly experienced and reputable. Only the doctor should perform all parts of the surgery, from beginning to end. Technicians should never be in charge of any of the actual surgical aspects of the transplantation. Practice extra caution when you’re explicitly watching the SmartGraft or NeoGraft process, as these are the two types of transplantations that are most often associated with illegal surgeries. Since SmartGraft and NeoGraft are in many ways much easier and less invasive than traditional hair transplants, this makes sense. Irreputable doctors and those who are unlicensed but looking to make quick cash are simply more attracted to the comparatively lower risks of FUE—but there are still plenty of dangers to the patient when FUE is performed illegally.

In a lot of situations, there’s a bait and switch when it comes to these shady operations. Sometimes the real doctor will briefly greet the patient or start the procedure, only to let their assistant take over. This leads to severe risks of infection, cysts, severe scarring, failure of hair regrowth, and a low rate of graft survival. Ensuring the transplant “takes” is critical to a successful procedure. Since FUE takes weeks for results to show (as the hair needs to regrow), patients might not be aware of their botched procedure until months later.

Schedule Your Consultation

Every surgery, even a minor one like FUE, is still a surgery and will require medical decisions to be made—often quickly—that only a specialized doctor with the skills and experience in FUE for hair loss can provide. Adjustments during surgery are sometimes necessary, and the correct medication needs to be administered. You don’t want to leave any of these tasks up to an assistant. To schedule your FUE consultation with the area’s leading, licensed, expert, contact RefinedMD today.