Medical art combines medical knowledge, mastery of current surgical skills and techniques, as well as a keen eye, enabling the accurate reproduction of what occurs naturally. Unfortunately, many hair restoration patients assume that artistic ability is a given, resulting from education and practice of established surgical techniques.
Art and surgery, however, are separate skills which must be taken into consideration when evaluating a doctor for your hair restoration. Unfortunately, a large part of Dr. Cole’s practice consists of repairing patients who have fallen victim to doctors with little or no artistic sensibilities.
FUT Surgery in a Nut Shell
To illustrate the critical component of artistic hair restoration surgery imagine with me, for a moment, the quality of result that an art restorer would produce if he followed the methodology of a strip hair restoration doctor. After the preliminary preparation the art restorer would carefully remove a strip of paint layer from the canvas. He would the utilize the correct colors of the original paint material to touch up the damaged area on the painting.
With a hair restoration strip surgery, the strip is removed, dissected, and the unused tissue is discarded. Nothing is placed back in the donor area and the edges are drawn tight with suture. Even if there was no scar, at all, this procedure causes distortion of hair direction and a loss of the naturally-occurring gradation of hair shaft diameter. And it gets worst. Strip surgeons today boast of mega sessions of 8,000 grafts, which results in even greater cosmetic problems in the donor area.
As a further illustration, to confirm this, let’s have a look at the following photos of our patient who went in for repair surgery in October 4th, 2012. Notice that he wears his hair fairly short and the strip’s scar is easily concealed by the donor area hair. There does appear, however, to be a rather abrupt termination of natural hair diameter gradation and density. Let’s shave these areas down for a closer look. Needless to say, the scar becomes obvious. This example is one of the better scars a patient should expect who opts for this legacy surgical option. Unfortunately, even a very good strip scar is unacceptable to the vast majority of patients. By the way, this is the work of a large, well-known hair restoration practice.
Upon closer examination it becomes evident that not only the natural hair shaft diameter gradation has been disfigured, but the direction of hair growth has assumed an unnatural configuration. As I have just illustrated by the previous art restoration example, with strip surgery you solve one problem and, at the same time, create another.
Dr. Cole’s Opinion of FUT and the TRiC Affinity Closure
This surgical method has never been wholeheartedly embraced by doctors with a strong motivation to provide the very best aesthetic outcome for their patients. What about the TRiC affinity closure? Does that solve some of the strip scar issues?
“Trying to create closures are not a solution for strip surgery,” says Dr. Cole. “They are a sales gimmick in my opinion and if you’re a guy who’s not comfortable with the probability that you’ll be that unlucky guy that gets a strip scar because it’s embarrassing, well then stay away from the TRiC affinity closure.” Dr. Cole continues, “Part of the issue is when you transect hair follicles you going to kill them. There’s an example of a hair that was bisected purposefully to create this trophy closure, and the first thing you notice is that this is a scar that is perceptible, you know that he’s saying we see very little hair growing through it. But you do have this one little hair that’s sort of an island in the middle of this scar and if you reach in there and you grab it and you pull on it very gently, y’know, pluck it, just easing it out you say that this hair, it’s not even a lot. It’s dead hair. And so that’s what happens to quite a few of the hairs in the TRiC affinity closure. You just kill them. And then once you kill them they elongate a little, and then basically, they just hang there in the scar until either somebody pulls them out, like I just did, or your body’s reaction around the graft is to form a pimple, that you pop, and the hair comes out.”
Major Benefits of FUE
Hair transplant tools and associated technologies have moved forward considerably in the last 10 years. FUE, in the right hands with the finest surgical tools provides great and numerous advantages for the patient undergoing hair restoration.
- Number one -There’s no strip scar.
- Number two -The doctor is not limited to using only hair within a small strip -the doctor can use the finer hair available in the greatly expanded resource of donor area to create the most natural appearing hairline possible.
- Number three -FUE, or more specifically, Dr. Cole’s method reffered to as CIT does not cause distortion of hair growth angles or destroy the natural hair shaft diameter gradation that is seen occurring naturally at the back of a virgin scalp and strip surgery does.
- Number four -CIT is a far less invasive procedure than strip surgery.
- Number five -Current state-of-the-art hair restoration includes PRP and ACell. Used in conjunction with CIT, PRP and ACell have shown promise in preliminary studies by Dr. Cole and other doctors in accelerating new hair growth as well as minimizing hypopigmentation at the donor sites.
We showed you a relatively good good strip scar. Now let’s take a look at a severe strip scar. If that weren’t enough, let’s take a look at one doctor’s interpretation of medical art. There are only a handful of doctors who the have the skills to attempt such a repair. Dr. Cole here in Atlanta is one of them. So far this patient received 7970 grafts, mostly from the chest and beard area. This is a work in progress and the patient will return soon for additional work.