Please let us know if you have questions about setting up your first appointment with Dr. Donovan. These are some of the most commonly asked questions we get.
1. Do I need a referral?
A referral is not needed as our clinic is private. However, should your physicians wish to send us a referral note, we will send them a summary of your visit. If you wish to have a referral package to give to your physician, you can download it here
2. I see your clinic requests me to have blood tests. I can't get them because I don't have a family doctor. What should I do?
Don't worry. Blood tests are helpful to have ahead of time as most of our patients have seen other physicians as a first step in evaluating their hair loss. If you do not have any blood tests from the last 1-2 years, Dr. Donovan will order them for you after he meets with you. You can read more about this in the following links
3. Should I wash my hair before my appointment ?
Don't worry about the timing of your hair washing. If you washed your hair the same day, that is fine. If you washed your hair 5 days ago, that is also fine. The most important thing is to simply make note of WHEN you washed your hair as that information will be important to Dr. Donovan.
4. Can I book a PRP treatment the same day as my initial appointment?
Generally, no. You will need to meet with Dr. Donovan first in order to make sure that Dr. Donovan agrees that this is the right treatment for you. If for some reason you believe PRP is the best choice and you feel you want to have it done, we suggest that you set up a phone or skype consultation with Dr. Donovan beforehand so that when you come into the office you are ready for your PRP treatment. Simply let the office know that you would like a remote consultation before coming in for PRP. This is particularly important for patients coming from out of town.
5. Can I get a biopsy same day as my initial appointment?
Usually a biopsy must be scheduled for another time. We set aside 35-40 minutes for your initial consultation and usually there is not enough time for the biopsy (i.e 15-25 minutes) the same day as Dr. Donovan has another patient to meet with after your appointment. We strive to run on time in our clinic and limit any delays (i.e. running behind) as many patients are coming from far away and may have flights to catch. If for some reason you know ahead of time that you wish to have a biopsy or your dermatologist or hair surgeon has recommended that you see Dr. Donovan for the purposes of a biopsy, please let us know ahead of time (at least 3 weeks) so that we can adjust the schedule to accommodate a biopsy.
6. Does the fee for the appointment cover the treatment?
No, the appointment fee covers the fee for Dr. Donovan's professional advice. Many treatments are either prescription or over the counter. If a prescription is required, Dr. Donovan will give you a prescription.
7. Will I receive a summary of my diagnosis and treatment plan? Will my doctors?
Yes, you will receive a summary of your diagnosis and treatment. We will send a summary to your doctors as well - but only if you give us permission to do so. Please be sure to come to your appointment with your doctor's correct spelling, as well as their address and fax number.
8. If my appointment is at 10 am, should I arrive early?
We would advise to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your appointment to simply fill out some general information about your name, date of birth and address.
9. Is there parking located close by?
Parking is available around the area. There is very limited parking behind the Fairmont Medical Building but it often fills up quickly in the morning. There is also parking off Willow Street in the parking garage next to our building.
10. Is there a fee for follow up appointments?
11. How many appointments will I need?
The number of appointments depends on the diagnosis of the person's hair loss as well as which physician will serve as the primary physician for your hair loss. For example, patients with androgenetic alopecia are typically seen every 9-12 months. Patients with scarring alopecia may be seen every 3-6 months. Patients receiving steroid injections for alopecia areata or scarring alopecia may be seen every 1-3 months.
12. I understand that I don't need a referral from a doctor to see Dr. Donovan. But if I do get a referral, is the fee reduced?
No, the fees are the same regardless of whether a patient has a referral. We are a private clinic and do not bill MSP or your provincial health plan.
13. Is there an age requirement?
Dr. Donovan sees patients with hair issues from newborn to elderly. There is no age requirement.
14. How long of a wait is it to see Dr. Donovan? Is there a wait list or cancellation list to have my appointment moved up?
We work to limit waiting times. The wait is generally 3 months. We do have a wait list. In order to be placed on the wait list, please let our office know that you wish to be put on the cancellation list. We will require that your file is "complete" in order to add you to our cancellation list, meaning that we have
a) received your questionnaire
b) received your blood tests
c) received your photos (front, top sides, back). You can send them by e-mail, regular mail or upload them when you complete your questionnaire.
15. What is the success rate of treatments?
The success rate depends on the diagnosis of the person's hair loss. For example, a patient with a patch of alopecia areata has a 90 % chance of regrowth with steroid injections. A male with androgenetic alopecia has a 40-50 % chance of improvement or stabilization with finasteride. A patient with lichen planopilaris has a 40-65% chance of stopping their disease with hydroxychloroquine and steroid injections. As you can see, it all depends on the diagnosis of the person's hair loss.
16. Where do I go to get my blood tests completed?
We recommend that anyone with hair loss see their family doctor as a first step. Your family doctor may then order various screening tests for your hair loss. Your family doctor may refer you to a dermatologist if additional assistance is needed. If you do not have any tests, don't worry, Dr. Donovan will order them after your appointment. You can simply go to a nearby lab with the requisition form he will provide.
17. What is the cancelation policy?
We require a full 48 hours in order to avoid the cancellation fee of the full appointment fee.
18. When do I pay for the appointment?
For appointments in the office, you can pay for the appointment after the appointment. If for any reason, you wish to pay before, that is acceptable, but not necessary. There are circumstance where an appointment is paid before hand. For example, an individual who is having the appointment fee paid by another individual may pay before hand. This would include a child, for example, who is brought in by a caregiver and the appointment is being paid for by the parent. All patients having remote consultations (skype, phone, FaceTime) are required to submit payment no later than one week before the appointment.
19. What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept cash payment, debit and payment by most credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX).
20. Does the clinic offer appointments with additional levels of privacy?
Please contact the office directly with the specific request. We are generally able to accommodate with advanced notice of 4-6 weeks.
21. If I normally wear hair fibers (like TOPPIK) should I remove this before my appointment or is it okay to wear to by appointment?
Please make sure all fibers are washed out of the scalp well before your appointment. If you feel that you need to wear these please let us know. We will likely ask you to reschedule your appointment. There should be NO FIBERS in the scalp in order for Dr. Donovan to properly assess your scalp. This request is for your benefit so that you can have a thorough assessment. Please choose an appointment date and time that allows you to come without camouflaging products in your scalp. If you are rushing from a meeting to your appointment and must have your fibers in during the meeting, this may not be a good day to schedule and appointment with Dr. Donovan.
22. I have decided to bring my blood tests to the appointment rather than email or fax them ahead of time. Should I come early?
Please come 15 minutes early so that we can photocopy your test results. The results will be reviewed by Dr. Donovan during your appointment time. Should you wish Dr. Donovan to review your results ahead of time, please email, fax or mail them so they arrive 24 hours before your appointment. Dr. Donovan reviews all patient files the day prior to the appointment. If you choose to bring results on the day of the appointment, they will only be reviewed during the appointment.
23. Dr. Donovan would like me to return for a scalp biopsy. Do you have advice on how I should prepare and the kinds of things I will need to do afterwards?
If you are planning on having a scalp biopsy, please take time to review these simple pre and post procedure instructions.
A scalp biopsy is a 20 minute procedure that allows Dr. Donovan to obtain a few hairs (and the surrounding skin). This specimen will be sent off to the pathologist for further evaluation. The procedure is very safe and should not be a cause for worry for you. Some minor tenderness can occur for a few days in the area where the biopsy was taken. Dissolving stitches will be placed in the area - it takes approximately 6-8 weeks for the stitches to dissolve fully. A small scar will be present permanently in the area where the biopsy was taken.
You may wish to review these helpful educational blogs as well