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Wittenborn Plastic Surgery
William S. Wittenborn, MD
Dramatic Results Without The Drama

Hair Transplant

The newest method of hair transplantation is called FUE (follicular unit extraction).  From a surgical standpoint, an FUE hair transplant is a very safe, non invasive procedure.  An FUE transplant is the most beneficial for the patient however, the majority of hair restoration doctors do not offer the FUE procedure because there are nuisances associated with an FUE hair transplant.  First the FUE transplant without the NeoGraft automated device is done manually.  Doing FUE manually is very tedious and time consuming, making the procedure too costly for most patients.  Next, it is difficult to learn the FUE procedure and unless the doctor becomes very skilled there is a risk for a high transection rate of the follicles.  Finally, forceps are used in a manual FUE to extract and implant the follicles which can damage them.   As a result most doctors were not willing to spend the time to learn this procedure and they continue to do the more invasive, faster “strip” or Follicular Unit Transplatation (FUT) surgery.

Now, with the NeoGraft Hair Transplant machine the problems with a manual FUE procedure have been eliminated.  An FUE hair transplant with NeoGraft can be done in the same amount of time as a “strip” hair transplant, reducing the cost of an FUE transplant.  In addition, to reducing the time required for the transplant, NeoGraft uses pneumatic pressure to extract the follicles and implant them as well…”No Touch.”  This eliminates the need for handling the grafts with forceps which can damage them.  Finally, with NeoGraft technology the transection (damage) rate is extremely low.

The FUE hair transplant is minimally invasive procedure. With FUE each graft from the back of the head (donor area) is harvested individually and placed in the thinning or balding areas on the top of the head.  The hair at the back of the head is genetically programmed not to fall out (not affected by the DHT homone).  The NeoGraft medical device is designed to help the doctor offer his patients this latest, most advanced procedure in hair transplantation while overcoming the problems with manual FUE and those of the “strip” method.

With the FUE method there is little bleeding and fewer complications than with the “strip” method.  The procedure is performed with local anesthetic and no intravenous or intra-muscular sedation is required.  With the FUE method no linear scars occur as with the “strip” method which can stretch out over time and be quite visible making it difficult to wear short hair.  With FUE there is no visible scarring allowing the hair to be worn short.  There is little chance with FUE of damage to nerves, causing pain, or damage to major blood vessels.  There are fewer limitations on activities for the first few weeks as with the “strip” surgery.  A complication sometimes seen with the “strip” surgery is a feeling the scalp is too tight from the suturing together of the scalp.  Some times permanent numbness in the area where the piece of scalp was removed occurs.

The NeoGraft medical device has been developed to assist the doctor with the FUE procedure in order to make the procedure simpler, faster and more efficacious. Most important is that the grafts extracted with the NeoGraft contra-angled tool are of excellent quality and remained moist and robust because of the collection canister frequently misting the grafts, unlike when exposed to open air under hot lamp microscopes with the “strip” method.

With NeoGraft most patients are candidates for an FUE hair transplant.  Even though many patients are good candidates for a NeoGraft FUE hair transplant, if they are not seen by a doctor that specializes in FUE with NeoGraft they may not be given advice which is in their best interest.  A doctor who does not offer full disclosure about the benefits of FUE or FUE with NeoGraft is not acting in his patient's best interest or may not know that the NeoGraft device exists.  

Keep in mind not everyone with balding is a good candidate for hair transplantation. If you are in your 20's and  already have significant balding, hair transplantation needs to be approached with caution. If someone is older the amount of final hair loss is already known and grafting can be accomplished with more confidence. A discussion with Dr. Wittenborn will help decide who is a good candidate.

Low level light therapy is also recommended in combination with grafting and medications to help maintain healthy blood flow to the scalp. The light therapy can help promote graft survival, and prevent further hair loss in those experiencing on going losses.

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