Hair Loss is no fun
Surgical hair replacement is the only permanent solution for hair loss. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is the latest, state-of-the-art hair restoration procedure superseding Mini/Micro Hair Transplants, Flap Surgery and Scalp Reduction. It is the only treatment that provides a full, natural looking head of hair.
Follicular Unit Transplantation is only possible through the use of the Stereo-microscope. The Stereo-microscope is used to dissect the follicular units, which grow in naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs. The microscope ensures accurate and undamaged dissection.
The benefits of Follicular Unit Transplantation are immeasurable. The ultimate benefit for the patient is the creation of the most natural hair transplant possible. The Stereo-microscope makes it possible to trim away the greatest amount of epithelium (top layer of skin) from the follicular unit graft.
This produces significantly smaller grafts than mini and micro grafts which can then be placed in tiny puncture sites situated closely together. The growth of the transplanted hair often starts sooner and is generally considerably faster as a result of less shock to the follicular units and the scalp.
Cloning and gene therapy may very well be the ultimate treatments for hair loss. Cloning would allow hair transplant surgeons to have an unlimited amount of available donor hair, which would be surgically implanted using current Stereo-microscopic techniques. Gene therapy could “turn off” the actual gene that causes hair loss. Unfortunately, we are not yet technically able to clone hair follicles or modify genes.
It will probably be many years, perhaps not in our lifetimes, before these procedures are perfected. In the meantime, highly motivated and dedicated surgeons will continue to perform Follicular Unit Transplants. The only permanent solution to hair loss.
Contribute to a cause
The donor area, located on the sides and back of the scalp, generally 1 cm wide and anywhere from 2 to 25 cm long, will be marked, trimmed and anesthetized. All the while you will be relaxing comfortably while watching a movie of your choice.
Dr. Pistone will then make a single-blade elliptical excision removing the donor strip. The donor area will be closed using sutures or staples which are generally removed in seven days. Sometimes, in special situations, dissolving sutures are used. Dissolving sutures do not have to be removed. The resulting scar will be minimized and easily concealed by your own hair. The method of donor hair removal practiced by Dr. Pistone, allows for constant adjustment of the angle of incision to avoid damaging the adjacent hairs. It makes most of the hair available for transplantation.
Arrangement is key
The next step is to carefully dissect the donor strip. The donor strip, under the extreme magnification of the stereoscopic microscope, is dissected into miniature slivers. This requires a great deal of skill, manual dexterity, training and expertise, all prerequisites of Dr. Pistone’s medical team. The slivers are then meticulously segmented into follicular units avoiding damage or transection to the adjacent hairs, the sebaceous glands and the hair roots. Dr. Pistone, employing this technique, is able to harvest up to 30% more hair and increase the survival rate of the transplanted hair exponentially. This is essential. We all have only a limited amount of donor hair-none of which should be wasted.
Grafting the follicles
Once the grafts have been carefully prepared using stereo microscopes, they are ready to be transplanted. Specialized instruments are used by Dr. Pistone to create tiny little slits-no bigger than a pin prick. These tiny little slits are artistically created by Dr. Pistone always cognizant of angle and direction in order to mimic the natural hairline. A follicular unit graft is then skillfully inserted-neatly and snuggly tucked-into the newly created opening. The grafts are so small and are placed into such minute pin prick sized slits, that there is minimal blood circulation disruption. This allows for the graphs to be densely packed, again, in order to mimic the natural hairline.
More about Follicular Unit Transplants
A strip of scalp is surgically removed and the individual hair follicles are created into natural hair grafts by Dr. Pistone and a skilled technician. The strip removed is taken from the safe or the permanent zone of the scalp where hair follicles are resistant to hair follicle miniaturization or balding. The procedure in its entirety is done under a local anesthetic with light sedation if requested by our patient. Most patients can enjoy watching TV or relax with headphones listening to music on their phone or MP3 player.
The follicular unit is a very distinct area, so preservation of the area during the graft dissection is meant to maximize growth. During the FUT procedure, after hair is removed from the back of the scalp in a single strip, stereo-microscopic dissection allows the individual follicular units to be removed from this strip without being damaged.
Follicular Unit Transplantation enables the hair transplant to look natural both at the individual follicular unit level, and the overall graft distribution. Since scalp hair normally grows in follicular units of one to four hairs, with the FUT it ensures that each graft will be almost identical to the surrounding follicular units. When the transplanted follicular units grow hair after a transplant, the results of the transplant will appear completely natural.
Hair grows in tiny bundles called "follicular units" well-formed structures in the scalp. A follicular unit consists of one to four terminal or fully thick hair follicles. Each follicular unit also contains one to two fine vellus hairs, sebaceous (oil) glands, a small muscle, tiny nerves, blood vessels, and a fine band of collagen that surrounds the unit (the perifolliculum). A follicular unit is a hair bearing structure of skin, which must be kept intact to ensure maximum growth. In genetic balding, healthy terminal hairs are gradually replaced by hairs of smaller diameter and length referred to as miniaturized hairs. These miniaturized hairs eventually fall out.
Our office offers the two most common proven surgical techniques in hair restoration surgery, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUT is also known as the strip procedure. It is the most common surgical hair restoration technique using naturally occurring groups of 1 to 4 hairs, called follicular units. FUT is an advanced hair transplantation procedures that produce a natural appearing hairline and overall appearance.