Consumer Alert Regarding the Dangers of Unlicensed Technicians Performing Hair Restoration Surgery

ISHRS_350The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS), a not-for-profit medical association focused on medical and surgical outcomes excellence in the field of hair restoration, recently issued a consumer alert warning patients of the risk of having hair restoration surgery performed by an unlicensed technician. Scott A. Boden, M.D., a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ABHRS), applauds this push to educate patients on the importance of assuring that only the physician and other licensed personnel perform hair graft extraction and make all incisional sites for hair graft placement.

A growing number of spas and medical offices that do not specialize in hair restoration are using unlicensed technicians to perform all or some aspects of hair restoration surgery. This puts patients at risk for misdiagnosis, unnecessary or ill advised surgery which jeopardizes patient safety and outcomes. There may also be a risk that unlicensed technicians may not be covered by malpractice insurance.

ISHRS strongly recommends that only a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant practicing within the scope of his or her license perform hair restoration surgery.

"It is critical to seek a qualified, Board Certified physician who personally performs the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure. In Connecticut and in many other states, it is not only unethical, but illegal for non-physicians to perform skin surgery including follicular unit extraction." says Dr. Boden.

The ISHRS and Dr. Boden, recommend that patients ask the following questions when considering a hair transplant to ensure patient safety and best hair restoration results:

  • Who will evaluate my hair loss and recommend a course of treatment? What is their education, training, licensure, and experience in treating hair loss?
  • Who will be involved in performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?
  • Will anyone not licensed by the state be making incisions or harvesting grafts during my surgery? If so, please identify this person, explain their specific role and why they are legally permitted to perform it.
  • Is everyone involved in my surgery covered by malpractice insurance?

Scott Boden, M.D.

Dr. Boden has been performing hair restoration surgery for over 10 years and has offices in Harford, Connecticut. He is medical director of the Hair Restoration Center of Connecticut and he has completed a preeminent Hair Transplantation Fellowship, accredited by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS), one of less than 250 surgeons in the world to have achieved this distinction. Dr. Boden serves on various committees of both the ISHRS and ABHRS and has presented his work at many of the ISHRS International Symposiums over the years.