Progress in Hair Restoration: Smaller Sites, Better Results
By Emina Karamanovski
Often times I get asked what is the newest thing in hair restoration. There are two major progresses made in the last ten years. One helped improve the density and naturalness of the transplanted hair, and the other improved scarring in the donor area.
Progressively, we started trimming extra tissue off of our grafts and made them fit into smaller sites, which produced better results. Smaller sites cause less overall trauma to the scalp, and thereby allow for quicker and easier healing. Smaller grafts make smaller scabs, which are easier to camouflage during recovery. Finally, because the sites and grafts are smaller, a bigger number of follicular units can fit per square centimeter without damaging blood supply.
To decrease visible scarring in the donor area, a trichophytic technique is used during standard strip harvesting and smaller instruments are used during follicular unit excision. If the donor area is managed correctly and the healing is good, the hair can be harvested with either technique without leaving easily detectable scars.
I remember when I started working in hair transplantation. We were three assistants and we would do small sessions. When we moved up in the graft numbers from 120 to 200 grafts per patient, we were nervous and would mentally prepare for those ”big cases”. These days we have 5 assistants and do 2500 – 3000 grafts in one session and consider it a normal day. It fascinates me to think about the progress in speed and efficiency we have made over the years.