Harvesting Options in Hair Transplant Surgery
I was returning from speaking at a conference devoted to all areas of treating hair loss including the Capillus laser cap, medical therapies, and hair restoration surgical procedures.
An advertisement of the plane showed two pictures of the back of a men’s heads that had hair transplants. Both heads were shaven closely to the scalp. The one on the left clearly depicted a linear surgical scar and the one on the left with no such scar.
The company paying for the ad was one selling a surgical device, which assisted the surgeon who performed an FUE (follicular unit excision)-type procedure. It truly was an unfair representation of the strip harvest technique because the patient had his donor area shaven.
Dr. Lopresti and I at Leonard Hair Transplant Associates (LHTA) offer the two surgical methods in harvesting grafts to be transplanted in areas of thinness or baldness for our patients: the Traditional or Strip Technique and the ARTAS® Robotic System or FUE technique. Both provide excellent aesthetic results for our patients.
With the Traditional method, a hair-bearing strip of skin is surgically removed from the donor area in the back of the head. The area is sutured together and one’s own hair immediately covers the stitches on surgery day. Once healed, there typically is a pencil-line thin scar left there, which is always covered by hair if it is left long enough to do so. Every single patient is told during his or her complimentary consultation at LHTA that, with this method of harvesting, they will need to have their hair kept long enough to hide this scar forever. How long depends on that specific patient’s healing and hair characteristics; however, it tends to be—more or less—about a half inch in length.