In the Life Of: Bessam Farjo

My morning starts with…

I’m an early riser! I think you have to be with this job. I get up at the latest by 6am, leave the house by 6:45am and start seeing my hair transplant patient as early as 7:30am. My days are different to most other people who work in aesthetics, as I will only work with one patient per day. Once they’ve arrived, I’ll prepare them for the transplant before going into the operating room. Then I proceed to give the patient the local anaesthetic injections, followed by removal or harvesting of the donor hairs. When this is done, I go to the recipient area and create the slits or holes in the scalp that will each receive an individual hair graft. The technical assistants then continue with the work and will place the grafts into the sites (cuts) I pre-created. I’ll continue to be involved in the procedure as I’ll be getting updates from the team throughout and I go in to check on the patient several times. If I took on more than one person each day I don’t think that they would receive the right amount of attention needed when undergoing a surgery like this.

In between checking on the patient I’ll be carrying out consultations over Zoom, which typically takes about 30-40 minutes each. I allow this amount of time because I like to make sure they have all the information they need and it also lets me work out whether I can give them what they want. I’ve noticed a significant rise in the number of people who are interested in both surgical and non-surgical hair transplants following COVID-19, and we are receiving a much higher number of enquiries. Although people are saying it’s because of the ‘Zoom Boom’, for hair transplants I think it’s simply because people are having more time at home. After the surgery, there is a long recovery time and now people have more opportunity to do this privately. Because a lot of the people that contact us aren’t suitable for the procedure/ don’t require a doctor’s opinion, we have a team who speak to these potential patients and screen them before they can then have a consultation with me, in which I ensure they are suitable for the transplant.

Once the transplant is finished…

The procedure can take up to eight hours, and once the transplant is complete I will go in and double check that everything has been done correctly. Specifically, I’ll be making sure that the hair placement and angles are correct, and ensuring that the patient has no pain or bleeding. My staff will then give the patient post-procedure instructions and I like to personally walk them out of the building, so that they can ask me any questions and I can make sure they are okay. I also always give them my personal phone number so that they can contact me if they’re concerned about anything, but we do always schedule a routine follow-up. On a good day, the patient will end up leaving at around 5:30/6pm, but we then have to sort out all the paperwork and tidy everything up, so I don’t usually finish work myself until around 7pm.

Once I get home, I like to chill out, have dinner, watch TV and just be with my wife and kids. I tend to keep the evenings as relaxed as possible so that I can unwind after a busy day, and I typically go to sleep at around 11pm.

My Mondays are different…

Two years ago, we made the decision to only be in theatre and doing operations from Tuesday to Friday, simply because of how time consuming it is. I still work on Monday, but I dedicate the day solely to business matters, for example seeing accountants and lawyers – or speaking to the Aesthetics journal! It means I can focus on these things properly. Knowing that I have a more relaxed Monday makes Sunday night much more enjoyable too! I’m also involved with lots of other projects aside from my work at the Farjo Hair Institute, for example being co-founder of the International Trichology Congress, managing biotechnology company HairClone, or being involved with hair biology research which requires a lot of meetings.

I’m constantly looking for advancements in the sector that can benefit our patients, and it’s something that’s important to me personally. I experienced hair loss when I was younger, but at the time the quality and level of techniques used for hair transplantation were nowhere near what they are today, and it did little to help me. Although it was hard to come to terms with, it helps me now to put myself in my patient’s shoes and relate to them.

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