By Dr. Joseph C. Gallagher
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There are new advances in hair transplantation that have significantly advanced the specialty recently. The most important of which is the use of the Stereo Microscope in the retrieval and dissection of the hair follicle grafts.
There are a number of physicians including myself who have incorporated exclusively the stereo microscope into their practices after careful clinical studies. I use it to prepare each and every follicular unit. As most people explore the area of hair transplantation they become aware that hair follicles and shafts do not grow from the head one by one, but rather in follicular units consisting of one to five hairs. This includes the pilosebaceous structure which lubricates the hair shaft but also is part responsible for hair growth. These follicle units must be preserved intact during dissection to insure survival and growth. The old methods of dissection involved minimal magnification of .5x to 3x. With the level of magnification employed by the stereo microscope (20x), full appreciation of this delicate follicle unit can be realized. Using the lesser magnification it is possible to transect through portions of this follicular unit rendering it useless to the hair transplantation process causing a waste of precious hair.
The use of the Stereo Microscopic Follicle Recovery System ensures that the pilosebaceous structure is preserved intact. Hair follicle units as small as one hair for the hairline region can readily be utilized. Larger hair follicle units of 2-5 hairs may also be harvested in their entirety. This translates into a number of positive results for the patient. The first is greater viability and survival of grafts. The utilization of the stereo microscope is the most accurate method of obtaining the highest quality hair follicle unit grafts. We attain a growth rate in excess of 110%. This is due to the fact that we also retrieve and utilize the resting hairs from the donor site. These hairs would otherwise go unseen and wasted with lesser magnification. In addition, many patients have lowered hair density, have had multiple procedures with resulting scar tissue, or have a greater degree of baldness. The use of the stereo microscope is imperative with these candidates as each and every available hair follicle must be accurately retrieved and fully utilized. In addition, since excess tissue is trimmed away from the grafts, the resulting follicle grafts are smaller. Therefore smaller incisions are needed allowing for dense packing of grafts. Patients are therefore completed sooner and are generally happier because the hairs are replaced exactly the way they come out of the scalp, resulting in a completely natural look.
The Stereo Microscopic Follicular Recovery System is the most precise method for dissection and preparation of grafts in Hair Transplantation. It is the standard by which other means will be measured.
Dr. Joseph C. Gallagher
Medical Director of the Gallagher Medical Institute