Hair Transplants on the NHS

Hair Transplant surgery is not provided for free by the NHS and cosmetic surgery rarely is covered by the publicly provided healthcare. There are, however, a wide variety of private or independent clinics that do provide the service. To find a good private practitioner you can start by visiting your GP, who might be able to recommend a specialist in dermal cosmetic surgery, and they might also know of a cosmetic practice which has a strong relationship with your local NHS Health Trust or you can visit the website of the British Association of Aesthetic practitioners. The BAAP is a group of surgeons who have undergone rigorous testing and training, and all are registered with the General Medical Council, who ensure all its members are proficient and well-trained. This high level of regulation ensures you receive the best possible care when you undergo your hair transplant surgery.

Why aren’t hair transplants provided on the NHS?

The NHS governing body, NICE, uses a variety of criteria to assess whether a procedure should be conducted on the NHS. There is a difficult balance of cost to benefit, which has to take into account both the potential positive effect on the patient against the time and funds invested by the government. Most cosmetic procedures, which provide clear psychological benefits to the person who has received treatment, are not funded as it is not a life-saving or enhancing treatment. NICE offers as wide a coverage of procedures as it can, within its budget and scope, but both time and money are required for surgery which can save lives, which doesn’t allow the NHS to provide care for those who wish to improve their physical appearance.

How the NHS can help with your hair transplant

While hair transplants aren’t actually provided for free on the NHS, your GP may be the place to start your research and enquiries into hair transplants. Your doctor may give you extensive information on the right procedure for you, and can advise you on any steps you might take towards treatment and guide you towards the best procedure for you. They might also be able to refer you to a plastic surgeon or cosmetic practitioner who specialises in the field. Also, although hair transplants are not seriously invasive surgery, they ought to be considered as the last step after any alternative topical or non-invasive treatments have been trialled. It is also important to have your hair loss examined for any underlying cause to ensure that the treatment you receive is the most appropriate for your condition. It is extremely important when undertaking any surgical procedure to be aware of all the advantages as well as the risks involved. A good consultation with both your GP and your plastic surgeon is essential to ensure you receive the best possible care and treatment throughout this process. It is also helpful to discuss any after care or side effects you might need to be aware of, so that you achieve the full potential of your treatment.

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