It’s been nearly sixty years since the first modern hair transplant surgery was performed by Dr. Norman Orentreich. Since that time, science and medical advances have transformed the surgical approach through Follicular Unit Transfer. The natural-looking results now possible by an expert surgeon like Dr. Rawnsley are astounding and life-changing for the men and women who undergo the procedure.
With the artistic use of Follicular Unit Transfer, Dr. Rawnsley can also provide help to individuals who have had outdated procedures or less-than-satisfying transplant results with other practitioners.
The most common problem among patients who have had hair transplants using outdated procedures is artificial-looking results from overly large hair plugs. In most cases, the most effective approach is to remove the large plugs (graft excision) and recycling them by dividing them into smaller, more natural-looking grafts follicular unit grafts, and then redistributing them back in the scalp in a more natural pattern that follows the natural pattern of hair distribution on the scalp. Follicle Unit Transfer is used to camouflage the areas where the old large grafts have been removed by placing small follicle units with only a single hair at the front of the hairline and followed by follicle units with two or three hairs to fill in any gaps. The holes from the overly large plugs are then sutured to speed healing and to prevent the round, white scars that can result if the holes are left to heal on their own.
Excessive scarring can also be a problem from outdated transplant techniques and poor transplant execution. Scars can be camouflaged with Follicle Unit Transfer (by transplanting hair directly into the scar) or through “scar revision,” where the direction of the transplant scar is changed. In addition, laser treatments, dermabrasion, Cortisone injections, and dermal fillers can also solve certain problems. Each transplant repair is a unique situation, which is why it’s important to consult with an experienced specialist like Dr. Rawnsley, to ensure you get the most effective approach for your particular needs.
While the small-size grafts of naturally occurring “follicle units” and the tiny recipient sites contribute to the natural-looking results of Follicular Unit Transfer, the most critical factor is the proper aesthetic placement by the surgeon. This aspect of the procedure is more art than science, which is why a gifted specialist like Dr. Rawnsley will mean the difference between good results and superb results. It starts with proper hairline design which is based on the individual’s trajectory in the hair loss process, personal goals, hair characteristics, and respect for the aesthetic recreation of natural hair distribution with single hairs only among the frontal hairline with a natural undulating pattern. In placement, a myriad of factors need to be considered including bone structure, race, gender, and age. In addition, the hair must be positioned to grow the proper direction and placed as quickly as possible in appropriate proximity to other hair follicles to ensure follicle survival. When Follicle Unit Transfer is performed by an inexperienced practitioner or one with limited artistic vision serious aesthetic and health problems for the hair follicle can result. While it’s always best to choose an experienced, qualified surgeon from the start, Dr. Rawnsley can help when a mistake has been made. He is the expert that other surgeons look to for solutions.