Getting a Hair Transplant Do Your Homework, Urges San Diego Surgeon

hair lossAs techniques improve, more people are considering hair transplants, says San Diego County plastic surgeon Dr. Richard A. Chaffoo (, and he cautions this ever-growing number of patients to carefully research physicians first because there are only a handful of qualified specialists and surgical staffs performing hair restoration surgery in the U.S. and worldwide.

“It’s important to understand that there isn’t a specific medical organization that certifies doctors who offer hair transplant surgery,” Dr. Chaffoo says. “My advice is to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with advanced training and experience in all aspects of hair and scalp reconstruction and repair.”

The American Hair Loss Association notes, “The field of surgical hair restoration is completely unregulated by both the government and the medical community. In the U.S. any licensed physician can legally perform hair transplant surgery without any prior surgical training or accreditation of any kind.”

That requires diligence on the part of the patient, says Dr. Chaffoo, who established La Jolla Hair Surgery Center as the first hair restoration center in the U.S. operated under the direction of a triple board-certified plastic surgeon and a board-certified dermatologist.

The facility also features a highly trained surgical team to support the intricate microsurgery involved in hair restoration procedures.

The popularity of hair transplant surgery has increased in recent years, partly because of the number of celebrities who are choosing to undergo the procedure as well as advances in techniques, Dr. Chaffoo says.

The publicity highlights the refined techniques now available to men with male pattern baldness, such as the NeoGraft hair restoration system.

In the San Diego area, Dr. Chaffoo says his patients considering NeoGraft automated hair transplants are impressed by before-and-after photos they see when they come in for consultations. The grafting technique doesn’t require an incision, so it doesn’t result in scarring.

“However, patients shouldn’t think that because the process is automated that any physician can get good results,” Dr. Chaffoo says. “Even though the number of facilities offering NeoGraft is rising, patients should ask physicians about their overall experience with hair transplant surgery and ensure they are board certified in plastic surgery.”

Only plastic surgeons, he says, are specifically trained to consider both the medical and aesthetic factors of hair restoration surgery, including natural hair growth patterns.

Dr. Richard Chaffoo of La Jolla Hair Surgery Center ( is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon and a leader in hair transplantation methods. In addition, he has a thriving practice in breast augmentation, facial rejuvenation, and body contouring, serving patients at his offices in La Jolla and Murrieta.

Dr. Chaffoo is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, and American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. His background includes a postgraduate fellowship at Stanford University in facial plastic surgery, which was accredited by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).

He is the only board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego County who has completed such a fellowship. He also completed an advanced postgraduate fellowship at U.C. San Diego. He has lectured extensively and has had numerous articles published in peer-reviewed professional journals.

At his practice in La Jolla, he works closely with Dr. Susan Stuart, a respected dermatologist and laser specialist.