As communities around the world grapple with how to safely reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has established suggested protocols for resuming hair restoration practices and offers patients guidance in finding hair restoration clinics deemed “COVID-protected facilities,” it notes in a media release.

“While in many ways COVID-19 has changed everything, the safety of our patients has always been a driving factor in our practices so the adjustments being made now to prevent transmission of this new virus are built on a strong foundation of controlling infection.The ISHRS COVID-19 Task Force has worked diligently to establish best practices in tandem with governmental guidelines to allow our members to safely reopen their practices and help patients struggling with hair loss find effective surgical and non-surgical solutions.”

— ISHRS President Francisco Jimenez, MD, FISHRS

The ISHRS’s general recommendations for practice reopening includes following members’ national/local governmental health authority guidelines, practicing strict social distancing, and using appropriate PPE, masks and sanitation. ISHRS members are also advised to adhere to strict universal precautions for infection control and utilize comprehensive COVID screening tools and laboratory testing before patients can enter practices.  

[ RELATED: Worldwide Demand for Effective Hair Restoration Procedures Continues to Increase, Per ISHRS Survey ]

Guidelines Help Protect Patients

In addition, the ISHRS Guidelines for Patients Seeking Hair Restoration Surgery outlines recommendations to help protect patients from getting infected with COVID-19 and inform them of possible modifications that should be expected in hair restoration physicians’ practices. Of importance, the ISHRS stresses making sure the patient’s selected surgeon is the one performing the surgical steps of the procedure—rather than delegating it to unlicensed technicians or non-physicians.

To combat the growing problem of fraudulent, illicit clinics performing hair restoration surgery on unsuspecting consumers, the ISHRS recently started the public awareness campaign Fight The FIGHT, which stands for Fight the Fraudulent, Illicit & Global Hair Transplants, to address the alarming problem of non-physicians illegally performing hair restoration surgery around the world.

“It’s critical that patients do their homework to ensure they are selecting a COVID-protected facility and that their surgeon will be the one performing their hair transplant and not a technician.Membership in the ISHRS is not easy to obtain, and members attest to the highest ethical standards which translates to consistent, optimal results for our patients.”

— Francisco Jimenez, MD, FISHRS

[Source: International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery]