What to expect during your consultation

Hair replacement surgery is an individualized treatment. To make sure that every surgical option is available to you, find a doctor who has experience performing all types of replacement techniques-flaps and tissue expansion as well as transplants. Look elsewhere if your doctor tells you that he or she has perfected one technique that can "do it all."

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your hair growth and loss, review your family history of hair loss, and find out if you've had any previous hair replacement surgery. Your surgeon will also ask you about your lifestyle and discuss your expectations and goals for surgery.

Medical conditions that could cause problems during or after surgery, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars, should also be checked by your doctor. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke or are taking any drugs or medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.

If you decide to have hair replacement surgery, your surgeon will explain anesthesia, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and cost involved. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor any questions.

Make sure you understand your surgeon's plan-which procedures will be used and how long each will take. Ask your doctor to give you an idea of what you will look like after the procedure or, in the case of grafts, after each stage of treatment.