Neograft Hair Restoration
It’s a pretty uniform statement that no one wants to lose their hair. Through the years I have seen people go to wigs, weaving, coloring the scalp (to make the hair look thicker), and other temporary measures. The ideal goal, however, is permanent, natural looking, thicker hair, and the only way to achieve this is with a hair transplant. The problem has been, until now, that a hair transplant is a big procedure and often they look like sprigging the yard with grass—except the hair doesn’t spread like grass. The only way to acquire the hair to transplant has been (until now) to remove a large strip of hair from the back of the scalp where the hair is thick. This required the addition steps of closing the wound with either sutures (stitches), or more commonly, staples. Such scars are often obvious, painful, and leave much of the scalp with numbness. In addition, this obviates wearing your hair short.
The next step is painful for the people doing the transplant! The strip of scalp has to be tediously dissected down to “plugs” with very few hairs per plug, and this can take hours. Finally, the plugs have to be inserted into the pre-planned recipient areas. Generally, the hair falls out of the plugs and then re-grows at about two to three months. On the other hand, if properly performed by someone with lots of experience, it can give a very natural appearance.
Years ago, when I first started my practice in plastic surgery, I performed several hair transplants by this technique and it was uniformly disappointing to the patients and to me, so I stopped doing them. I even went to a few courses on the subject and picked up alternative surgical procedures like scalp reduction, which is basically surgically removing the bald area, and I did a couple of them. This is not a bad technique in very select people, but it leaves a significant scar. If the person becomes balder, the scar is more conspicuous—sometimes very conspicuous, and that’s bad. So I gave it up—until now.
So what’s the new technique? It’s automated and it’s done with a new machine called the NeoGraft. The equipment, with the use of vacuum, removes micro-grafts from the back of the head, each graft containing 1, 2 or 3 hair follicles, and then inserts them into the desired recipient scalp. The advantages are: no scar, minimal numbness, better “take” of the grafts, more natural appearance, a shorter procedure time and up to 2,000 grafts at one sitting, which is enormous. In addition, no dressing is necessary and patients who have had both techniques done say it is “night and day” more comfortable and the down-time is minimal compared to the strip method. With the NeoGraft, I expect the hair transplant procedure will become much more commonly performed in both men and women.
What is NeoGraft™?
NeoGraft™ is a new automated device which facilitates the harvesting of follicles during a Follicular Unit Extraction
(FUE) and implantation hair transplant procedure, dramatically improving the accuracy and speed over previously-
used manual extraction instruments.
What is an “FUE” hair restoration?
“F.U.E.” or “Follicular-Unit Extraction” is an advanced, “minimally-invasive” hair transplant method which allows
for the harvesting of individual follicles from the back of the head (donor area) without a scalpel or stitches, and
therefore leaves no linear scar.
What are the main benefits of FUE over the traditional “Strip Method” or linear harvesting?
It is well-accepted that FUE transplants can heal faster and more comfortably than linear-harvest techniques which
the physician uses a scalpel and removes a strip of scalp requiring stitches and a 6 week recovery time. With the
minimally invasive technique FUE, the patient can return to work in a couple of days and once healing is complete,
the patient has the option of wearing a very short haircut without the worry of a tell-tale linear scar. Without the
need for stitches, downtime is shorter with fewer activity restrictions post-operatively.
What are some benefits of NeoGraft™ over manual FUE techniques?
The highly ergonomic mechanical NeoGraft™ device 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.
Who is a good candidate for FUE using NeoGraft™?
Patients who would like the option of wearing a very short haircut in the back or sides of their scalp, or those who
want the least amount of activity restriction (e.g. athletes) after their hair transplant procedure, may be good
candidates for FUE with NeoGraft™. FUE can also be used for ‘scar camouflage’ procedures for patients who have
had prior “Strip” procedures, as well as for body hair transplants.
What are the major cost differences between FUE and linear-harvest hair transplant procedures?
The fee structure for FUE hair transplant procedures reflect the more detailed and intricate nature of those
procedures compared to those performed with a linear harvest strip method but in most cases is very similar in
Are the final transplanted ‘results’ any different with FUE/NeoGraft™ than those achieved with linear
Results are similar. FUE procedures, by default, yield grafts that contain mainly one, two, three, or four follicles
called “follicular units.” Strips or linear harvests, are removed from the back of the scalp and are then
microscopically dissected by a team into grafts of one, two or three follicles, would also yield similar ‘follicular-unit’
grafts. Provided that in each case the grafts are implanted with care, artistry and precision into the recipient area,
the final transplanted results with FUE would be similar, if not identical, to those accomplished with a linear harvest.
The difference is not in the area of hair growth, but how the donor area is harvested either by a strip of scalp or by
small individual graft extractions. Using the FUE Technique, leaves no linear scar.
Is FUE/NeoGraft™ suitable for both men and women?
Yes. 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.
Do I have to get a total ‘buzz cut’ to have an FUE/NeoGraft procedure?
No, if your hair is long enough, harvesting using the FUE/NeoGraft can be done by shaving small areas which can be
covered by your other, existing hair.
Am I a good candidate for a procedure using FUE/NeoGraft?
The best way to determine whether you are a candidate for hair transplant using FUE/NeoGraft is a one-on-one
consultation with your doctor.