Articles| 11-06-18

Why is it important to have a consultation?

 

Why is it important to have a consultation?

The consultation might feel like a waste of time. Just talking, no treatment. Something that takes time. We are however convinced that the consultation is very important both for us, and our patients.

We only want to treat patients who, we believe, will get a great result from treatment, and we don’t want to take any medical risks. Therefore, it is essential we get to know our patients before proceeding with treatment. This applies to both PRP and hair transplant procedures.

Identify causes of hair loss

The consultation is free and takes about half an hour. It starts with the patient completing a health questionnaire, which gives us the first indication of anything we might need to know about them.

Then we talk to the patient. ’’Why are you here, tell me about any problems you’ve experienced’’. We want to understand the causes of the patient’s hair loss. Have they been taking any medication? Suffered from any illnesses? Been affected by dengue fever or a cancer? Anaemia or thyroid issues? Suffer with stress? Mental issues? All these little puzzle pieces are important, as we can only propose a solution once we know the cause of the hair loss.

From the patient’s perspective, they need answers to their own questions that might have worried them for a while. ’’Why am I losing so much hair? Is there any cure for me?’’ In our experience, we find that many patients are suffering from stress and anxiety. That is unnecessary. By letting them know what their hair loss is caused by and what can be done about it, it makes many people feel much calmer. Removing the stress impacting on the hair has a positive effect on the hair itself. Therefore, handling patient concerns is an important part of the treatment.

The most important thing, is that the patient feels comfortable. If the patient says after the consultation, ’’I’m scared of needles, it’s too expensive or I don’t think I’ll get good results’’ that’s ok. A consultation doesn’t have to lead to treatment. Our goal is that the patient should leave the consultation feeling a little wiser and more knowledgeable.

During consultations it is important to manage the expectations of the patient. If these are wrong, the result will be wrong also. During the consultation we also discuss the number of treatments, the expected results and the price.

Microscopic camera

In addition, an important part of the consultation is the microscopic camera survey. By being able to enhance our view by up to 200 times, we can study the patient’s scalp. The camera shows how much hair the patient has lost and what the hair loss looks like. Whether the follicles remain, if they are alive or dead, and so on. The camera helps us to explain the extent of the hair loss in an educational manner, and the patient can see it for themselves.

Often we see hair follicles that would normally produce a bunch of strands only produce one. Or maybe the hair follicle has started producing thinner, shorter and more brittle strands.

Consultation – even more important with a hair transplant

If the patient is having a hair transplant, the consultation is even more important. We need to explain what conditions the patient has, what the outcome could be, and the risks involved. It is also important to discuss what happens during and after treatment. How long the patient needs to be away from work, how long they should avoid exercise and how often they are to wash their hair the way we need them to. No point is too small to discuss.

Different people have different options from a hair transplant. This is important to mention during consultation. Some have a lot of hair on the neck, in which case we can move a lot of hair. Others don’t have so much, which means we can’t move as many. Some people have very thin hair, which means we need to take more. Blonde hairs are less visible when compared to dark thicker strands, again meaning we need to take more.

We all have different conditions, everyone is unique. Therefore, it is unnecessary to talk about the number of strands and how many grafts need to be made. It is better to talk about the patients goals for the procedure.

We can’t treat everyone

There are some patients we cannot help, and if that is the case, they will be advised at the consultation. We would never recommend a treatment that wouldn’t lead to better results.

We send many patients to health centres to undergo a thyroid function test, or to have their iron levels managed. We sometimes recommend CBD psychology to help with stress management. In some cases, we can work in conjunction with some hair conditions, but sometimes PRP treatments or hair transplant will have to wait until more acute problems have been addressed.

We are honest

We are always honest. It is very important to be. You might even be told that we cannot help you, or at least not right now. We might tell you that you will need to go to hospital for blood tests to check your iron levels before we can help with your hair loss. We honestly tell you how we can help you. We will often present you with different options, and then it’s up to you. After your consultation, you will go home to think about your options. If you have any questions, you can call us or you can decide not to proceed.

Online consultations

If you live in a different city and have problems travelling to us, an online consultation can be an option, or in any case, a first point of contact. However, before any procedure, we will want to see you in person.

We are quite restricted with online consultations. It is difficult to determine the extent of hair loss through online images. It is also hard to determine the hair quality. Is it thin? Curly? How many follicles do you have on the back of your head? How many hair strands are in each follicle? We won’t be able to complete the microscopic camera examination, and can’t give you all our expertise.

We really feel a patient misses out with an online consultation. They have no opportunity to ask all their questions, and they might be worried about their hair loss. We prefer to talk in person with our patients, and discuss different solutions together.