Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
Over a year ago, Dr. Umar was presented with a pro bono opportunity to perform an eyebrow reconstruction on a teen who had been struggling much of his life to overcome the cosmetic issues associated with a prevalent congenital nevus (mole) condition, present on the right side of his face since birth.
A congenital nevus develops when benign skin cells known as melanocytes proliferate, creating large, dark areas of the skin that are either flat or raised. Although harmless, when they become highly visible on the face or neck, they can negatively impact an individual’s self-confidence and their social relations. Coping emotionally with how others react can be very stressful, leading to anxiety, depression or self-esteem issues. Some individuals may even act out in unhealthy ways to their emotions.
Support Organizations for Individuals With Congenital Nevus Conditions
Having one or more prominent congenital nevus moles is a condition that is more common than most people realize. This condition affects 1% of babies worldwide, being present on the head and neck 15% of the time.
Support organizations like Nevus.org and Nevus Network have developed as a result. Their mission is to provide informational resources on treatment as well as a sense of connectivity, community acceptance, and understanding for children and families affected by this skin condition.
According to Nevus.org, social situations can be very difficult for individuals who have a mole that covers a mole that covers a large span of their body. They commonly face getting starred at and uncomfortable reactions from others. These responses not only occur with similarly aged peers, but even adults can act immaturely when they see a child with a different appearance due to their nevus.
A New Right Brow Through An Eyebrow Reconstruction With Leg Hair
“Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.” – Roberto Clemente
Dr. Umar is the founder of a non-profit charity organization called the Hair Peace Foundation which offers hair transplant surgeries on a volunteer basis to worthy cases. According to the philosophy of the HPF, hair restoration surgery is not just about vanity. There are many cases where these types of operations become a profound stepping stone to helping certain individuals achieve a chance at a normal life, freeing them from the feelings of shame and self-consciousness of having abnormal hair issues stemming from circumstances like illnesses, accidents, birth defects and poorly conducted surgeries.
Upon learning about this teenager’s congenital nevus condition and his life story, Dr. Umar decided to accept this patient as a beneficiary.
The patient had undergone previous plastic surgery to replace the nevus tissue on the right side of his face with a large skin graft taken from the beard region of his face. This procedure left him without a right eyebrow. And furthermore, he was plagued with the issue of beard hair growing on his right cheek.
Laser For Hair Removal Prior to Brow Hair Restoration
Dr. Umar performed laser for hair removal to permanently stop the hair growth on the patient’s upper face.
He also worked to construct a brand new right brow through an eyebrow transplant operation. Since leg hair more naturally matches the thickness of real eyebrow hair, these follicles were chosen for the donor grafts.
Once extracted, Dr. Umar constructed an entirely new right eyebrow from a completely blank skin surface. He aimed to replicate the symmetry, shape and growth patterns that were displayed in the left eyebrow.
Dr. Umar is the first surgeon in the world to perform eyebrow transplantation using leg hair. Using this type of donor graft is fraught with two main challenges:
- Leg hair has a unique and sharp growth angle at which it emerges from the skin. This makes it difficult for surgeons to locate and surround the actual hair follicle with a regular Follicular Unit Extraction hair transplant punch, which is designed with a very basic cylindrical shape. Using this general tool increases the risk of cutting through the graft, which then becomes unusable and incapable of growing new hair.
- Punches used on the leg should ideally leave an insignificant footprint of redness or scarring which is important for the type of cosmetic healing results that average patients would like to achieve. Many people hope to wear shorts, skirts, and swimwear without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their legs.
Dr. Umar engineered his own FUE extraction device called the Dr.UPunch i ™ (The intelligent Punch) due to the need (across many types of patient cases) to extract different hair follicles from various sources throughout the body and to leave the donor skin without noticeable signs of surgery.
The features of his technology are patented and specifically built to successfully enable these much-needed outcomes, expected by patients.
Eyebrow Reconstruction Offers Patient a New Chapter in Life
Emma Stone once said, “what sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.” A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson further discusses the virtue of turning adversity into a blessing by saying, “ To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
From all his procedures, this teenage patient gradually started to work his way towards a more normal appearance. He can now interact socially from a more confident space. Having to cope with a highly visible birth defect may seem like a huge weight. But really, it has allowed him to hone a major source of strength far beyond what most people would ever come to achieve. This brave young man has now been gifted with a greater inner resilience to be able to stand firm in himself, despite what sets him apart.
His surgeries have collectively worked to lessen the emotional burden that he has been carrying all along. And he can now harness the inner lessons he has cultivated along the way to new areas of life.
What’s Next? Teen Hopes for a Facial Hair Transplant to Create Sideburns
Dr. U Hair and Skin Clinics feels privileged and honored for being able to play a role in helping him move forward with a brighter lease on life. As the next step, this patient has discussed plans with Dr. Umar for a facial hair transplant surgery to create sideburns.
To speak with Dr. Umar further about hair transplantation, individuals can schedule a complimentary consultation.
How can a person suffering from hair loss issues become accepted as a case for the Hair Peace Foundation?
The board of advisors for the Hair Peace Foundation consists of medical professionals and past patients who evaluate candidates based on financial need and how extensive their hair damage is. Those who are selected are then connected with the right surgeon within the HPF network.
Is Dr. Umar the only surgeon who offers procedures with the Dr.UPunch i™?
Dr.UPunchi ™ (The intelligent Punch) is part of a larger family of devices under the brand name, UGraft which includes the Dr.UPunch Curl™ and the upcoming Ultrasonic FUE. As the inventor of these hair extraction devices, Dr. Umar is now making his instrumentation available to hair transplant practitioners worldwide.
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