by Dr. Dan McGrath
In recent years there has been a tremendous amount of buzz in the hair transplant industry about a procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction. Commonly referred to as FUE, this is the process of removal of the donor hair that is to be used for the transplant process, literally one graft at a time. The process has gained popularity for several reasons, not the least being the fear that many patients have of the strip excision for harvesting donor hair. Despite the fact that strip excision is the gold standard for the procedure many patients are fearful of potential scarring.
It is very important to understand exactly what the difference is between the two procedures. With any hair transplant procedure you must harvest hair from the donor area in the back of the scalp. How you harvest this hair is the only difference between an FUE vs Strip Excision procedure. The rest of the transplant process and results are exactly the same. In the FUE process a very specialized tool is used to extract the grafts and the tool that is used is completely up to the surgeon and his or her personal preference. There are several devises on the market that work very well, I for one use both Neograft and a device called the Safescribe Motorized FUE Extractor.
The video below shows how FUE hair transplantation is performed using the NeoGraft Hair Transplant System
Now why does any of this matter? Why am I going on about boring details of types of surgical instruments and different types of harvest methods for hair transplantation?
Well enter Neograft which is a machine that is used to perform the extraction process for an FUE procedure, but if you were to perform an internet search on Neograft you would be led to believe that it is a evolutionary new automated procedure for hair transplant surgery.
The Neograft machine has been aggressively marketed to many physician practices across the country with the promise of an easy and profitable method for the non hair transplant trained physician who are trying to increase their bottom line, but yet don't have the surgical hair restoration experience and training or the know how to put together a successful hair transplant practice.
As an experienced hair restoration surgeon who has performed a full one year fellowship in hair restoration surgery and is certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons I am aware of all the detailed skills that goes into a good hair transplant procedure. These are skills that are not acquired in a weekend course, Quality hair restoration comes from an experienced team and that team should have an experienced physician leader.
Hair transplantation is a relatively easy but highly work intensive procedure that requires a surgeon with good surgical and aesthetic skills. Each patient is different and brings special needs and cosmetic goals. This is not a procedure that you want performed by an inexperienced team of surgeon and technicians.
The Neograft machine in the proper hands is a wonderful tool but in the wrong hands it is a bad hair transplant waiting to happen. FUE hair transplantation has increased in popularity and the Neograft machine in my hands provides an efficient and cost effective method for FUE harvesting. It is not the machine though but rather the physicians skill level that will assure you the excellent results you deserve.
Questions you should ask when considering NeoGraft FUE Hair Transplant Surgery in Austin TX
- Is your doctor specifically board certified in hair restoration?
- Where did your training come from?
- How much training have you had?
- What percentage of your practice if hair restoration?
- How many years have they been doing FUE’S?
- Why do you list only a couple, if any, before and after pictures?
- Are they your cases?
- How many cases have they done?
- Do you have at least 20 past patients I can speak with? (days, months, years ago?)
- Who drafts the hairline?
- What portion of the procedure do they actually do, if any?
- Who is doing the actually work?
- Who is determining how I am going to look the rest of my life?
- Is this an MA medical assistant or a doctor or surgeon?
- Do they work for you as an employee or are you splitting the fee for using your facility to do their work?
- Do they fly in as a contractor and have no liability when it comes to my results?
- What guarantee do you provide, natural appearance, graft count, viability, success?