Successful restoration of the hairlines, scalp or eyebrows is an art. While many people can perform these procedures, having the expertise and experience of a board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Van Vliet, enhances the quality of the outcome. Hair restoration is greatly improved when done by someone who understands the unique characteristics of these very visible cosmetic areas.
What is hair transplant surgery?
Hair transplant surgery is performed to restore hair to areas of the scalp that are bald or that have thinning hair. There are multiple types of hair replacement surgery. Most commonly, these involve hair transplantation, but flap surgery, tissue expansion of the scalp and scalp reduction surgery, are also methods used for hair replacement. Each of these types of surgeries can be used alone, or in combination, to provide the patient with the best possible outcome for hair replacement.
Hair transplantation involves removing small pieces of hair-bearing scalp from a donor site and using them as grafts to be relocated to a bald or thinning area of the scalp.
Types of hair restoration
There are two main types of hair restoration procedures. In the follicular unit transplant method, a strip of skin with hair follicles is removed from the back of the scalp. The hair follicles are then removed from the strip of skin and placed into the recipient site.
With the follicular unit extraction method, individual hair follicles are removed from the back of the scalp without removing a strip of skin. Similar to the other method, the hair follicles are then inserted into the recipient site.
Early Stage Hair Restoration
Like most disease processes, hair loss is a process. Patients will first notice hair thinning, shedding, weakening or changes in texture. If left untreated, this will progress over time into baldness. The good news is that the early stages can be treated non-surgically. Dr. Van Vliet has developed a protocol that can be worked into one’s everyday life to combat these early signs of hair loss. Treatments in this stage include oral and topical supplements, as well as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These treatments are non-surgical, non-invasive, can be done from the comfort of your home, and are safe and effective. Fortifying hair at the early stage can slow or even prevent the progression of hair loss.
Adapting to the protocol and following through is essential to maintaining the strength and longevity of one’s hair. These treatments are preventative and provide long-term results. If the protocol is done properly, the patient will enjoy stronger, fuller, and healthier hair!
Middle Stage Hair Restoration
Patients in this stage have noticeable thinning and hair loss but not quite enough to justify a surgical intervention. They have usually begun to see thinning; it is too soon to known exactly where the thinning will stop. While the goals in the early stage are largely preventative, the goals here are to stimulate the growth and production of dormant hair follicles. Oral and topical supplements, laser light therapy and/or PRP therapy can be beneficial to naturally nourish the hair and achieve the desired restoration.
Later Stage Hair Restoration
There are approximately 50 million men and 30 million women who suffer from loss of hair pattern (receding hair line) or absolute hair loss. These patients need a more aggressive approach. In the past, this has been limited to the traditional “strip method” of hair replacement. However, this procedure can be burdensome on the patient because of the slow recovery time, the loss of feeling at the incision site, the tiny linear scar on the back of the head, or the amount of post-operative pain involved.
Dr. Van Vliet uses the latest technology, including the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique, to restore the hair. The procedure of hair extraction and transplantation has been revolutionized with the most trusted name in the industry, NeoGraft. NeoGraft allows Dr. Van Vliet to perform a next generation surgical technique to deliver the results his patients deserve with minimal to no scarring or down time. Although this involves an in-office procedure, discomfort and recovery are minimal and the results are natural and reliable. Patient satisfaction is of utmost importance. Dr. Van Vliet may also recommend patients in the later stages of hair loss maintain their results with topical or oral treatments following the procedure.
NeoGraft is a new automated hair transplant system which facilitates the harvesting of follicles during a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant, dramatically improving the accuracy and speed over previously used manual extraction instruments. It is the first follicular unit harvesting and implantation system approved by FDA.
NeoGraft uses controlled pneumatic pressure to slide out the graft smoothly, so there is no pulling or twisting that can risk damaging the graft. Your grafts can be re-implanted sooner, keeping them more robust and resulting in a natural looking hairline.
The science behind grafting is simple. Hair follicles are taken from the hair in the back of the head that naturally continues to grow. The follicles that hold your transplanted hair are living tissues that grow cyclically. Once the normal hair follicle has been implanted into the balding area, the grafted hair will stay in place for about two to three weeks before shedding – this is normal and an important part of the new growth process. After shedding, the new growth will begin in 3-4 months and your hair will continue to grow normally. More importantly, your results will look healthy and natural.
FUE is an advanced, minimally invasive hair transplant method which allows for the harvesting of individual follicles from the donor area without a scalpel incision or the necessary stitches, and therefore leaves no linear scar.
The highly ergonomic mechanical NeoGraft system works as a natural extension of the surgeons’ hand, allowing for faster and more accurate harvesting of hair follicles. NeoGraft patients now reach their goal with less time in the procedure room or fewer FUE procedures altogether.
Because FUE/NeoGraft is a minimally invasive procedure, it is a viable option for both men and women looking to restore their own living and growing hair with transplantation.
The reasons to use NeoGraft are simple:
- Is minimally invasive (no stitches or staples required)
- Is natural-looking (no linear scar)
- Causes little-to-no discomfort (no scalpel involved)
- Features quick recovery time (usually just a few days), and some patients can even return to work the next day
- Fewer restrictions on normal daily activities
- Allows for flexible financing (our physicians have options to meet your budget).
Many women suffer from hair loss and are often dismissed by the medical community as hair loss is traditionally thought of as “male problem.” If you are experiencing thinning or loss of hair, you are not alone. Millions of women share this affliction. While male balding is generally localized to the front of the scalp or the crown, hair loss in women tends to be more diffuse. The good news is that hair restoration is equally possible for both women and men. A natural, full head of healthy hair is possible! Dr. Van Vliet would be happy to discuss the therapeutic options in detail and outline a personalized treatment plan.
Thin or flat eyebrows are a very common problem. Restoring a natural arch with the perfect amount of volume requires the expertise of a plastic surgeon. Dr. Van Vliet’s experience in cosmetic surgery and hair restoration can help achieve your goal of having the perfect natural eyebrow. The procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia and only lasts a few hours. The micro hair grafts are meticulously harvested and placed without any suturing or incisions. The results are permanent, natural and cannot be achieved with makeup or tattooing.
Laser and Light Therapy
There are exciting laser and light technologies available to assist with hair restoration. The treatments work by enhancing blood flow to the scalp. This augmented blood flow will strengthen the metabolism in the hair follicles that are currently in the resting stage. Doing so will convert those hair follicles to the active or growth phase, thereby giving a new vigor to the hair. While these treatments are safe, effective, painless and scarless, there are many products commercially available. Dr. Van Vliet can help you navigate through the options, answer all of your questions, and help with incorporating this technology into your treatment plan.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP is a liquid rich in platelets and growth factors extracted from an extremely small sample of your own blood! The blood is placed through a special machine that will eliminate the other cells and plasma in the blood (white blood cells, red blood cells), extracting only a highly-concentrated amount of pure platelets. Platelets release growth factors, which signal your cells to repair damaged tissue and regenerate new tissue, including hair!
Dr. Van Vliet uses PRP technology in all stages of hair restoration. The use of PRP is simple, fast, efficient and delivers meaningful results to those suffering from hair loss! The PRP extracted from your blood is placed directly into the scalp with minimal pain. This is done with an FDA-cleared medical device that is easy to use, quick, and delivers consistent, reproducible results that will assist in restoring a full head of hair!