Old photographs of Laurel Lacy capture more than memorable moments. Little did Lacy know snap shots in time would chronicle her life-long struggle with hair loss. "It's at the point now that it is noticeable and I do want to address the problem," said Lacy. Lacy is hoping a new injectable treatment will do the trick.
"They're not looking for miracles. If they've got a little bit of improvement they've got hope," said Dr. Daniel McGrath. McGrath is one of a handful of surgeons in Texas performing the innovative procedure known as ACell PRP.
Here's how it works. First, McGrath draws a few large vials of blood from the patient. The platelet rich plasma -- or PRP -- is separated from the blood -- and combined with an FDA approved powder known as ACell. After the patient's head is numbed using a local anesthetic, the "liquid gold" as McGrath calls it, is injected into various parts of the scalp. Micro needling then tells the dormant hair follicles to wake up. "That's what turns it on. That's what stimulates it to bring in stem cells and activating factors the growth factors," added McGrath. Making existing hair stronger -- and in many cases -- sprouting new growth. "It's been shown to stimulate stem cells to reproduce similar types of cells where it's placed," said McGrath. The entire procedure takes about an hour and there's little to no down time.
"They're up and back to their normal activities the same day and return to full activities the day after," added McGrath. Before and after pictures seem to show a significant improvement in the patients' hair over the course of several months. Lacy is hoping for a similar outcome so she can replace her old photos with new ones featuring her new hair. "I'm very excited about it actually," added Lacy.
By Alex Boyer