What to tell patients who will lose their hair
Many oncologists and surgeons cite the question “Will I lose my hair?” as most commonly asked when prescribing chemotherapy or cranial surgery. This indicates that a patient’s self-image is just as important to them as their physical condition.
As a doctor, the most important way you can help a patient cope with their hair loss is to educate them.
Knowledge is power.
In this case, it’s the power to be proactive about their self-image during treatment and recovery. Patients who aren’t comfortable with losing their hair can be helped by sharing the information needed to find an acceptable cosmetic solution.
- Depending on their condition and/or treatment advise the patient as to when they can expect to lose their hair. This helps them to be mentally prepared for when their image changes; and to be proactive regarding an MHP System. MHP Systems are custom solutions that take time to design and manufacture, so the sooner they are consulted by a yourHAIRx technician, the better. Encourage the patient to start shopping for an MHP System as soon as possible. The most effective MHP Systems take time to create; waiting to shop until hair loss occurs will be emotionally distressing for the patient. Poor Planning also makes it difficult for MHP Designers and technicians to produce realistic result on such short notice.
- Be sensitive to their emotional state and concern for the change in their appearance. Most patients won’t express how much the Idea of hair loss truly bothers them.
- Provide them with take home literature to help them cope with hair loss. You’ll likely be recommending literature about their diagnosis and treatment. Contact us for free copies of our booklet (Coping With Medically Related Hair Loss). You may include our booklet with your patients literature, or you can refer them directly to yourHAIRx.com for detailed information as well.
- Write a prescription for a Medical Hair Prosthesis. This is the generalized technical name for a wig or hairpiece prescribed for medically related hair loss. The patient will need this prescription to file a reimbursement claim with their insurance company; Note on the prescription that the MHP is prescribed “for the mental well-being of the patient”, Also give them the ICD-9 code for their hair loss.
Make a recommendation
If you often work with patients who lose their hair, develop a relationship with companies like yourHAIRx who specialize in hair replacement for medically related hair loss. Your recommendation can and will give a patient a great deal of comfort during treatment and recovery.