Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
What is Hair Transplant Surgery? Some Terminology:
Hair transplant surgeons occasionally use other terms in lieu of hair transplantation, including “hair transfer surgery” and “hair transport surgery” since a transplant procedure involves the transfer or redistribution of hair from one area to another. Other self-explanatory terms include “hair implants,” “hair implant surgery” Hair loss surgery or “hair implantation” as well as “hair operation.” However, hair operation can technically include other hair restoration surgeries like scalp reduction and hair flap surgeries.
Hair transplant procedures are governed by a principle known as Donor Dominance. This theory was articulated by Dr. Normon Orentriech during the 1950s who is now considered the father of hair transplant surgery. He stumbled upon the basic principles of modern hair restoration during his clinical studies on a skin disease known as vitiligo. When transferring a punch shaped skin graft (which happened to have some hair growth ) from one area to a region affected by vitiligo, he noticed that the hair continued to grow in the new location. In 1952, he was able to apply his observations to a patient who wanted to reverse his hair loss. From his studies and results, he formulated his Donor Dominance theory which states that transplanted hair will continue to maintain their original traits, like color, thickness, texture, and length in their new environment.
In today’s practice of hair transplantation, doctors now transfer hair grafts from the patient’s own scalp to regions of baldness or thinning. Additionally, with the advent of highly specialized advanced FUE devices like Dr.UGraft™, it is now possible to harvest other types of hair follicles, such as hair from the beard, neck, nape legs, chest, back and abdomen. This is advantageous when a larger quantity of grafts is needed to achieve better coverage or when finer hairs are required for recreating natural details needed for eyelashes, eyebrows, and hairlines.
Why Consider Hair Transplant Surgery?
Men and women suffering hair loss often feel shame and embarrassment due to cultural stigmas involving baldness. Anxiety can provoke men and women into feeling self-conscious every time they look in a mirror. People worry that a receding hairline or severe baldness will become their most noticeable feature. Needless to say, doctors recognize hair loss as a source of frustration, nervousness and even depression.
Getting older may be inevitable, but no one should look older than they would like. Fortunately, concealing patchy and thinned-out areas of hair has an easy solution with hair transplant. Modern hair transplant methods now offer a more permanent option to restore full, natural looking, and natural feeling locks. With Dr. Umar’s revolutionary, state-of-the-art techniques using Dr.UGraft, a successful hair transplant with natural results has become easier than ever.
Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Hair Transplant Surgery
The quality of results from a hair transplant surgery will vary depending on the surgeon’s skills. The right doctor will need to successfully extract the right number of grafts to produce desired growth and coverage. Also they will need to create detailed insertions to replicate natural hair growth patterns. To select the best practitioner, it is important to know what information to look for during the hair transplant consultation process.
Outdated Hair Transplant Surgery Methods: A Brief History
Hair transplant surgery has come a long way since it’s first implementation in the 1930s and 1940s. Historically, Japanese dermatologists first developed the original “punch graft” method for transferring hair. However, cosmetic concerns left this procedure in the dust due to results. Patients often had a doll-like appearance after this early surgery, resulting from pluggy looking hair. Other outdated methods include the “flap” surgery, whereby a surgeon twisted a flap of skin from over the ear to the hairline, creating the appearance of hair. Similarly, in a scalp reduction surgery a surgeon would remove bald skin from the head, then stretch the sides of the head which still bore hair to cover the crown area. Because of the invasive nature and scarring, doctors no longer recommend the flap or scalp reduction surgeries.
Advancements in Hair Loss Surgery
After decades of scientific and technological advances, hair transplant surgery has evolved into a relatively pain-free procedure with successful, natural looking results. Doctors and scientists continue to refine many of the unnatural issues from past transplant issues. Refined and more precise techniques enrich each procedure for the best results possible. Today, hair restoration surgeons use two main methods for hair transplantation, including the Follicular Unit Strip Surgery ( FUSS ) and the Follicular Unit Extraction ( FUE ).
How Does Hair Transplant Surgery Work: FUSS Vs FUE
Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS)
Once known as the most commonly practiced method for hair transplantation, surgeons no longer prefer use of FUSS after the innovation of FUE. The FUSS method takes an elliptical strip of hair from the back of the head, and splits it into smaller grafts. A surgeon then places the in the needed area, sewing it to the head. With FUSS, doctors commonly take the grafts from 1 cm above the top of the ears. This inevitably leaves a scar and causes stretching, making the scarring of the donor area highly visible in those who wear short hair.
Even with the FUSS innovation of using the trichophytic closure method, whereby hair grows through the scar tissue, the problem of unsightly stretched scars remains a vexing issue for the recipients of FUSS. In trichophytic closure, the surgeon cuts a 1mm ledge of the outer layer of skin for use as an edge on the donor site before closing the wound. This ledge creates a sort of overlap between the two flaps of skin, somewhat akin to an envelope. Doctors use this method in an attempt to minimize scarring, though it cannot prevent the formation of a hair transplant surgery scar or disfigurement. Indeed, many patients continue to develop noticeable scars after undergoing the trichophytic closure method.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Basic FUE VS Advanced FUE
Receiving a hair transplant using the follicular unit extraction, or FUE, involves revitalizing the balding areas on the head or body one unit at a time. The FUE method takes individual hair follicular grafts, or units, from the back of the head. One-by-one a surgeon cuts around each follicle using a specialized machine and removes them. As the procedure uses only 0.8-1.2mm punches, this modern method has become the most preferred, as no linear scarring results from it.
There are two types of FUE: Basic FUE, utilizes the hair from the middle of the back and sides of the head. Doctors often perform basic FUE using robotic hair transplant surgery, which often yields unnatural-looking results.
By contrast, the advanced FUE by Dr.UGraft method also allows for the use of hairs from the body, beard and nape regions in addition to head hair. Advanced FUE by Dr.UGraft also marks another breakthrough. The procedure has proven very efficient when it comes to extraction of very tightly kinked Afro-textured hair—a hair type once thought untreatable with FUE. Basic FUE tools had inefficient and inconsistent results when it comes to using nape, body hair, and tightly curled hair.
The video below profiles the use of hair transplant surgery for men:
Understanding Hair Transplant Yield: FUE Hair Transplant Surgery VS FUSS Hair Transplant Surgery
The video below illustrates what to expect with the yield (how many grafts grow from the implanted follicles) in FUE. It also contrasts the results of FUE hair transplant versus follicular unit strip surgery hair transplants:
While the FUE method becomes more and more popular, results of the procedure ultimately depend on the skill of the surgeon. Only an experienced and highly qualified surgeon should perform the technique, as it requires more time and intensive labor for best results.
Getting to Know the Advanced Dr.UGraft FUE by Dr. Umar
Why Choose Advanced FUE with Dr.UGraft? :
The video below details some of the most impressive features of Dr.UGraft :
Salient features of Dr.UGraft advanced FUE technology that make this modern method better than basic FUE tools include:
A patented punch
Called the Dr.UPunch rotor, this innovative tool uses a cutting axis that cuts away from the follicle. This offers advantages, which include:
- Less transection (graft damage), resulting from the innovative cutting motion of the Dr.UPunch
- Bulkier grafts with more tissue, which helps ensure graft survival and hair regrowth
- Inverted wound edges which leads to faster, better wound healing.
Patented Punch tips
These textured punch tips gently pull the graft as it separates from its tissue attachments before releasing it (watch above video for illustration). This means the graft angulation beneath the skin is less of a factor, which makes Dr.UPunch a more versatile instrument. The tool itself, rather than the operator, assist in navigating the unseen course of the grafts under the skin. When it comes to very curled hairs—the kind of hair used body hair grafts and found in the scalp of most afro-textured haired individuals–these factors offer a major advantage. Unlike the Dr.UGraft method, basic FUE tools typically record a higher graft damage rate.
A fluid irrigation system
This impressive innovation delivers a steady drip of fluid to the incision wound site. This ensures that:
- The grafts stay hydrated between the time of graft scoring and actual removal. During this time interval, drying forces and other damage can cause follicle death. This fluid irrigation system innovation addresses an issue with FUE long considered a vulnerability in the transplant process.
- The dripping of fluid also reduces the friction between the punch and skin, thus reducing tissue drag and punch misalignment. This, too, helps ensure the health and survival of the graft.
- The fluid film between the punch tip and skin creates a water-seal. This feature enhances the vortex used by the Dr.UPunch Rotor to gently extract the graft.
A foot pedal-activated fluid flush mechanism
This feature helps flush out impacted grafts from the tip of the punch. This means:
- Less handling of the impacted grafts as opposed to basic FUE where a surgeon grasps impacted grafts with a forceps risking graft damage.
- Greater efficiency, as the operator of Dr.UGraft would not need to interrupt the procedure for the sake of removing impacted grafts, making the procedure more efficient and reducing potential complications.
- Dr.UGraft technology has no need for depth control, as the Dr.UPunch tool already factors in for the shape of hair follicles.
Dr. Umar has made pioneering advances in the field of FUE and, over the years, has worked towards making FUE hair transplant mainstream. His advancement within the field has led to a category of FUE that goes beyond the basic use of head hair donor for minor baldness in fairly easy cases. Thanks to the development of Dr.UGraft, hair transplant has a whole new realm of possibility.
Basic follicular unit extraction limits the surgeon to using only the head donor supply. This restrictive donor pool does not have the ability to meet the needs of severely bald patients. With advances made by Dr. Umar in Dr.UGraft, the donor pool expands to include beard and body hair. As a result, Dr. Umar has performed transplants of 20,000 – 25,000 Dr.UGrafts in several severely bald patients. Needless to say, Dr.UGraft BHT has astonishing outcomes:
Specialized transplants, such as eyebrow and eyelash transplants, have long had the stigma of looking unnatural. Traditional head donor hairs are often too coarse and poorly match the natural characteristics of eyebrow or eyelash hairs. Using the advanced FUE by Dr.UGraft, Dr. Umar can scout the body for the best matching hair to use a donor, and thus create more natural looking eyebrows and eyelashes.
Dr. Umar presents the first in the world ever performed body hair (leg hair) to eyelash transplant:
Transplanted hairlines have often had obvious signs of surgery. Even with good efforts, using coarse head donor hair exclusively often results in a harsh looking hairline and temples. Using Advanced FUE hair transplant by the Dr.UGraft, Dr. Umar uses the finest hairs from the nape of the neck or even the legs and arms as donor hair. This technique imparts the kind of softness that makes for an undetectable hairline and temple points.
This video details the world’s first leg hair to hairline transplant:
Dr. Umar uses nape hair to build an undetectable hairline and temple points in this video:
Tightly curled Afro-textured hair FUE:
When transplanting Afro-textured or otherwise tightly wound hair, most basic FUE tools have failed or remain inconsistent, often returning massive transection rates. Dr. Umar has invented a tool specifically for performing FUE in even the kinkiest hair with consistency. With this new invention, all Afro-textured hair can have an FUE type transplant without the need for pre-testing. This breakthrough represents the crossing of the last major frontier in the field of FUE hair transplantation. The invention of the patented Dr.UPunch Curl works to cancel out the difficulty caused by tight curliness and tough scalp skin.
This video documents a case of Afro-textured hair transplant:
A culmination of innovations:
The best hair transplant surgery services in Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the world, should take advantage of all these innovations. Dr. Umar has also repaired the worst botched hair transplant surgeries in the world. He also frequently gets referrals from other hair transplant doctors for this reason.
The video below details a case where Dr. Umar used the Dr.UGraft to repair scarring from previous botched surgeries:
The Donor Dominance Theory & Dr.UGraft: New Evidence
Dr. Umar’s modern hair transplant techniques represent the evolution of previous methods of trial-and-error hair surgeries. In the 1950s, dermatologist Norman Orentreich opened doors to more modern transplant procedures with his donor dominance concept. The donor dominance concept presents a theory that hair taken from a dominant area, such as the back of the head, and placing it in the front will continue to grow with the same characteristics it had before. In other words, the hair will grow at the same rate, have the same texture, coarseness, thickness regardless of where its situated after transplant.
Dr. Umar’s work in hair transplant surgery has taken the donor dominance theory one step further. Evidence uncovered by Dr. Umar points to the role of recipient co-dominance. In terms of transplanted hair, this means that the hair will retain some of its original characteristics and take on qualities of hair that grows natively in the new area. That offers promising news to hair transplant recipients, as hair transplanted with a method like Dr.UGraft will actually look more natural over time.
The Future of Hair Transplant Surgery
The genetic age has brought new hope to patients with every ailment. For men and women suffering hair loss, hair cloning has become one of the most exciting developments in the hair transplant world. Researchers in the field hope to one day remove the limitations placed on transplant methods by the donor area. Using a single biopsy punch to restore hair to the entire head, the fear of running out of donor hair can be eliminated.
At present, however, hair cloning remains a hope rather than a scientific reality. Geneticists and hair surgeons still face enormous hurdles in developing gene therapy or cloning technology that will limit its effect to only hair on the head. While research continues into cellular transplants and stem cell cloning techniques, Dr.UGraft offers the reality of full hair restoration in the present.
Publications: Current Issues in Hair Transplantation
Advanced FUE with Dr.UGraft has challenged many “norms” that have long guided hair transplant doctors. As a pioneer of advanced FUE, Dr. Umar has authored several ground breaking manuscripts in scientific medical journals. His work has caused a paradigm shift in the core principles of hair transplantation and sparked a sensation of a new discussion. Examples of his academic work include:
- JAMA Dermatology: Leg hair for hairline and temple creation
- Annals of Plastic Surgery: Severe baldness restoration and severe hair transplant repairs, using head and body hair donors
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery GLOBAL: leg hair for eyelash transplant
- Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD): Body hair for eyebrow creation
- Dermatologic Surgery: Nape hair for eyebrow creation
- Aesthetic Surgery Journal: Redefining what constitutes the safe donor area of the head and use of nape hair in creation of undetectable hairlines and temples
Dr. Umar’s Advanced FUE Hair Transplant Surgery In Los Angeles by Dr.UGraft in the News
Dr. Umar’s groundbreaking work on hair transplantation has not gone unnoticed by the media. The success of Dr.UGraft, and of Dr. Umar’s own research have featured in several highly rated news reports. Among them, articles include:
- The New York Times:: Leg hair for hairlines
- The New York Times: Eyebrow transplants
- MSNBC News: Body hair to head transplants
- Good Morning America – ABC News: Eyebrow transplants
- ELLE magazine: Eyebrow transplants
- The Hollywood Reporter: Leg hair and BHT – body hair to head transplants
- CBS News: General hair loss discussions.
To get more information on hair transplant surgery, use the button below to get started on a free online consultation with Dr. Umar today.
Hair Transplant Surgery Los Angeles Frequently Asked Questions:
Dr. Umar’s work sounds fascinating. Do other surgeons use Dr.UGraft method?
At present, nobody else in the world can claim to have as much experience with Dr.UGraft as Dr. Umar himself for one simple reason: he invented it! Though other doctors have shown interest in utilizing Dr.UGraft method, Dr. Umar personally holds a patient on the surgical machinery. Patients flock from all over the world to his Los Angeles office to seek hair restoration surgery with Dr.UGraft.
How much is hair transplant surgery with Dr.UGraft ? How much does hair transplant surgery cost?
Cost varies from patient to patient, depending on the area requiring transplant, and the number of Dr.UGrafts required to restore hair. If cost is a factor for a patient, Dr. Umar can develop a treatment plan that will take expense into account, while still providing the best results possible.
I’ve undergone previous hair transplant surgery in the past with unsatisfying results. Can Dr.UGraft help me?
Yes! Dr.UGraft has become just as well known for its ability to repair botched hair transplants as it has for its success in restoring hair. Even if other surgeries have depleted donor area on the head, or left unsightly scars, Dr.UGraft can help. Dr.UGraft hair transplant surgery uses hair from all over the body, vastly expanding the donor area. Furthermore, Dr.UGraft has shown great success at transplanting hair to conceal scarring. Dr. Umar has corrected numerous surgeries botched by other doctors with great results using Dr.UGraft.
Does hair transplant surgery hurt when performed with Dr.UGraft?
Dr. Umar performs Dr.UGraft procedure using only a local anesthetic. Following hair transplant, post surgery he can prescribe pain medication so that patients can enjoy maximum comfort. Healing from the surgery begins immediately and can take up to a month to complete. Hair growth after hair transplant surgery begins thereafter and can take up to a year to reach full results.
Have more questions about the hair transplant process? Use the button below to ask Dr. Umar.