Follicular Unit Extraction Megasession
In April 2004 we transplanted 1901 follicular unit extraction grafts, making it our largest case yet and a move toward establishing the FUE Megasession as a standard offering for our patients.
|FOX™ Megasession: 1 Day After (April 2, 2004)|
This case is important for a number of technical reasons. First, the almost clear white hair is unusually difficult to see. To address this problem, we dyed his hair black the morning of the surgery. Second, we had to clear our schedule to provide for an uninterrupted procedure. Total concentration and thoughtful planning before and during the procedure is critical to its success. This particular patient was totally committed to our approach, making the entire process worthwhile. The grafts were trimmed and sorted by size as they were removed. All of the grafts were removed with better than 95% yield.
How Many Over How Long:
We have long believed that for the FUE technique to become mainstream, it must become highly organized and specialized. We have never liked the approach offered by some of our colleagues; performing daily and sequential 500 graft surgeries. Reports of such surgeries have blanketed internet chat groups, but beware. Wounds are potential culture mediums for bacterial growth. Adding new wounds near these culture mediums can cause complications. In addition, we do not like to submit our patients to successive days of anesthesia, something required for sequential small session surgeries.
|FOX™ Megasession: 11 Days After (April 12, 2004)|
One must not discount the impact of wounds and below the skin scaring on future FUE procedures. Simply, as each graft is removed scarring will occur. Adjacent follicular units as well as future yields in future sessions may be impacted by these scars unless the doctor moved out of the permanent zone. Many doctors promote FUE as a ‘scar-less’ surgery yet it is clear that such procedures can not be ‘scar-less’. Although small and pinhole like, FUE scars are visible when the donor area is clipped very short or shaved. Every patient must be fully aware of the tradeoffs between traditional linear scarring and FUE scarring.
The Future of the FUE Megasession:
Large FUE sessions have become routine for some doctors who decide to specialize only in this procedure. We remain skeptical however, that this type of procedure is for every patient (it certainly costs more than traditional strip harvesting) especially in non-caucasians who have had previous hair transplants, in Asians who have lower density hair concentration and in most Africans. We also remain skeptical that every surgeon will be willing or able to develop the special skills required or commit the type of time and concentration required and too many surgeons will extend the surgery into the non-permanent zone to push the numbers higher to make more money for themselves.
The Megasession is being routinely performed in our offices. We often show one of our FUE patients at our open house events. Please check with our office if you plan on coming to an open house to be sure that a patient will be present.