Dr. Ron Shapiro is widely recognized as one of the most respected hair restoration doctors in the world. This is a sentiment shared not only by patients that perform hair restoration research but also by his peers and colleagues in the industry. In fact, Dr. Shapiro is so well regarded that hair restoration doctors I’ve worked for in the past have identified Dr. Shapiro’s hairline style as being a direct influence on their own approach to hairline reconstruction. Dr. Shapiro has such a great reputation that he is asked to speak and/or present at every major hair transplant conference and workshop available every year, worldwide. To date he’s participated in over 40 conferences around the world.
I’ve known Dr. Shapiro off and on for the past ten years or so as I’d see him at conferences and we’d have the occasional phone discussion regarding various mutual issues. It was not until 2015 however that I was really in a position to spend some time with Dr. Shapiro and this was at the 3rd Annual Mediterranean Workshop in Istanbul, Turkey. In fact, we were talking so much I decided to pull out the video camera and a friend of mine helped me to record an interview with Dr. Shapiro that captured some of what we were discussing.
I spent more time with him, and his wife, after the interview and it was nice to get to know him. My initial impressions of Dr. Shapiro, after spending a few hours with him over the course of several days, was that he’s a thinking man with the wheels in his head constantly turning. This to me is the mark of someone that always pushes himself and his reputation and accomplishments reflect this. It was at this time that we initially started chatting about working together in some capacity.
Fast forward to the ISHRS meeting in Chicago in September, 2015 and yet again we spent some time chatting about various issues and we more or less cemented the idea of a collaboration. As with all of the Hair Transplant Mentor™ partner doctors I told him it wasn’t going to happen without a proper review so as of February, 2016, that is exactly what happened. I hopped on a plane and headed to Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit the office of Dr. Ron Shapiro.
The majority of my review will be in video format with the first of my hair transplant documentary videos about Dr. Shapiro showing the basics of where patients stay and how to get to the clinic. I do this for all of my doctors because I know that when patients travel to a new city, or country, to get a hair transplant it helps to have a measure of familiarity with their surroundings ahead of their visit. I’ve got several more videos to produce so stay on the lookout for those.
The two things I was most anxious to see when I arrived to Shapiro Medical was Dr. Shapiro making his recipient site incisions for hairline placement and to see how fue hair transplant surgery is performed at the clinic as well. I wanted to see the hairline work being done because of Dr. Shapiro’s reputation for hairline work. It was very interesting and I’m glad I was able to see him in action firsthand. As is the case for all of the doctors I work with, the FUE procedures at Shapiro Medical all include doctor only FUE scoring and extractions. Dr. Shapiro doesn’t believe in technician extraction as having a doctor perform the surgery gives a higher degree of precision for the surgery, a stronger level of accountability, not to mention it is essentially illegal for technicians to perform surgery. Regardless of what you may read or hear, FUE is surgery. I’m happy to say that I was not only happy to see these and other aspects of hair transplant surgery at Shapiro Medical but I was also able to spend time with the patient of the day and document his surgery from start to finish. I’ll be sharing multiple videos showing the surgery soon.
Two more points about Dr. Shapiro that I feel are worth sharing are in regards to his photo and video presentations and the quality of his hair restoration surgeries in general. Readers that are familiar with my writings know that I’m very serious when the subject of photography and videography come up and how they are used to document results of hair restoration doctors and clinics. In the past I was fairly critical of Dr. Shapiro’s clinic because they used flash photography for their documentation and I’ve spoken numerous times about how this is unrealistic for presenting results. However, that was in the past and I’m happy to report that Dr. Shapiro has not only eliminated the use of flash in his hair restoration photos but he has a room that is 100% dedicated to photographic and video documentation, complete with professional tripod, lights and a proper background. I was super happy to see this and Dr. Shapiro now has a fantastic setup for documenting his results. You’ll see this in the videos to come as well.
Hair restoration doctors all perform their surgeries in a similar fashion with some variations that are based on how they learned and how they tried (if they tried) to improve themselves with new techniques and by basically asking themselves if there is a way to do things that is better. I’ve learned over the years that a clinic does not have to adhere to a specific protocol to get fantastic results that make their patients happy. It doesn’t matter if hair restoration doctors use needles or blades for recipient site creation; it doesn’t matter if they routinely shave the patient’s recipient zone or if they allow it to be normal length and it doesn’t matter if a doctor uses handheld motorized FUE punches or if they use manual FUE punches using only their thumbs and forefingers to score a graft. There are numerous clinics that use various techniques to get great results. The one thing that DOES matter however is how they treat their patients and one part of this evaluation is how clean the facility is and how patients are protected from infection. This is a big deal to me because I’ve seen first hand how sloppy infection prevention protocols can lead to patients having chronic and long lasting infections that have lead to poor growth. Not only that but I’ve seen chronic and long lasting infections that could have been potentially life-threatening. I have vowed to never work with a clinic that does not take infection prevention seriously and it is one of the guiding ideals of my journey in this industry. It is part of why I review clinics first hand because I know what is proper and what is not and when I see things I don’t like I say so. That is why I’m happy to report that I believe Dr. Shapiro runs a first rate clinic. Having unfettered access to the clinic and watching him and his team do what they do showed me that this is a place I could have surgery myself, just like all Hair Transplant Mentor™ clinics. I know that some people reading this would assume this to be the case with Dr. Shapiro but like I’ve been saying, if I’m going to work with a hair restoration doctor I have to be able to say I’d personally have surgery with that doctor myself or my recommendations regarding that doctor are meaningless. After having spent time observing Dr. Shapiro, I’m happy to say that he can work on my scalp any time.
Dr. Shapiro offers world class follicular unit strip surgery, including megasessions of 4000 grafts or more in one day. He also performs excellent handheld motorized FUE using a new oscillating micro-motor developed by Dr. Jean Devroye of Brussels Belgium which utilizes a blunt (not dull) punch. Shapiro Medical is also one of the best tricopigmentation clinics in North America with high level training received from Milena Lardi and Beauty Medical of Milan, Italy which is the home of tricopigmentation.