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New System Could Tell The Cowboys From The Experts

By Dr Greg Williams 

With our surgeons meeting new patients every day and hearing their reasons for undergoing hair transplant treatments, we know that there is a wide spectrum of people coming through our doors, whose past experiences can vary.

While some will approach us for purely cosmetic reasons, a proportion are booked in after having so-called ‘botched’ or out-dated procedures. These cases may have involved patients going to under-qualified surgeons with little experience or even to someone who is not medically qualified at all.

Today, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has launched a consultation to clean up the cosmetic surgery industry, including a call for a new system to certify surgeons for each procedure. If given the go-ahead, it will mean that people can make an informed decision about the quality of the surgeon before they have a procedure.

Although we wholeheartedly back this consultation, we’re conscious that for any certification process to work, it would need to be mandatory and policed. Patients should have a go-to list of qualified, regulated surgeons who are up to the job.

As president of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) – I was selected to work with Health Education England advising the Department of Health on qualifications for medical professionals to carry out non-surgical cosmetic interventions and hair restoration surgery.

The scheme’s objectives echo those of the RCS, in that our industry desperately needs proper regulation for hair transplant surgery. While a small minority of practices give the rest of us a less than favourable reputation, patients deserve to know how to tell the cowboys from the experts.

With the consultation still in its early days, we’ll be keeping close eye on its progress and what it will mean for the future of hair restoration – hopefully, it’ll mean that we can get to the root of any problem areas in our industry.

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