Evidence Based Hair Restoration…
Today the specialty of hair restoration is on the cusp of explosion. One can open any newspaper and find a number of advertisements promoting hair loss treatments. Unfortunately because of two factors – absence of regulation in this specialty of medicine and lure of easy financial gains has had people (many of them not even doctors) from different specialties entering this domain. The result has been cheap treatments being offered with all sorts of guarantees and poor results. It could be that the implanted hair could be misaligned and misdirected but the bigger concern is significant donor area depletion (poor planning of large sessions with FUE) which leads to what we call a hair transplant cripple. Whether it is recommendation of so called new treatments-stem cells, growth factors or scar less surgery the patient is at a loss to differentiate what is correct and what is not. So how does one know that the advice given to him or her is free from any conflict of interest? How does one choose between FUE and strip harvest?
Strip harvest and follicular extraction are two ways to achieving the same goal. The key in choosing any technique depends upon individual patient expectations and patient properties and also surgeon’s capabilities. Majority of the patients who are eligible for hair transplant are eligible for either of these techniques of harvest.It is up to the surgeon along with patient, to decide ideal candidacy criteria for individual patients. However it is important for a hair transplant surgeon to be reasonably accomplished in both forms of donor harvest.
Today hair restoration is being offered by doctors who are not surgeons and hence most of them would offer FUE only as they do not have the surgical background to perform strip harvest or a trained team with infrastructure to provide strip harvest. However doctors who are performing both techniques will be able to give you the true advantages and disadvantages of either techniques and then let you decide which technique you as a patient would prefer. Generally doctors performing both techniques of donor harvest would be more experienced and they could optimise the number of grafts that can be harvested from a given donor area using both techniques as a combination or sequentially.
To deliver the best possible outcomes to patients, doctors practicing hair restoration should be accomplished in both techniques of donor harvest.