If you’re one of the many who see hair loss or thinning every time you look in the mirror, you may feel powerless. Most hair loss is caused by genetic factors, hormones or amedical condition. In some cases,the cause is unknown.
Category: Hair Transplant Surgery
Watch Dr Russell Knudsen, Sydney Hair Transplant Surgeon, on The Project, speaking out about unregulated cosmetic surgery and the risk to Australians. Dr Knudsen explains how critical is it for all procedures, no matter how minor, to be performed in a safe and qualified medical setting.
In recent years there has been an explosion of “low cost” hair transplant clinics offering large procedures at very low cost. This is partly the result of “cosmetic medical tourism” in low-cost countries but also due to unscrupulous business people entering the field and minimising, if not eliminating, the role of the doctor.
Stories abound of people travelling overseas and only briefly seeing the doctor for the administration of the local anaesthetic prior to the procedure. The doctor is then never seen again!
What this means is that the whole procedure is carried out by “surgical assistants” whose training or qualifications are never stated. Indeed, most of these assistants have no nursing background and may be performing illegal actions by cutting the patient’s skin. In addition, to save cost, there are clinics that have multiple patients being operated on in the same room! This is highly unsafe as cross contamination is highly likely. As well, some of the results coming from these clinics are very poor in both design and execution.
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (www.ishrs.org) has taken the lead role in publicising the dangers posed by this non-medical model of rogue clinics and the authorities are starting to act in some jurisdictions with criminal charges being brought against clinic owners allowing illegal performance of hair transplantation by non-medical personnel in their clinics.
The ideal model, which is practised in the Knudsen Clinics, is to have both the consultation and the surgical procedure performed by the doctor. Only the doctor is allowed to cut the skin. Only the doctor is allowed to make the surgical plan. The assistants are there to assist the doctor. Even the ARTAS robot is controlled by the doctor in our Sydney Clinic.
One of the reasons the cosmetic tourist model exists is because patients confuse the difference between a product (the hair transplant) and the service (the performance of the hair transplant). The result is going to depend upon the skill of the doctor (and his assistants). Make sure a doctor is going to be the person performing the hair transplant.
A new technique called Scalp Micro-Pigmentation has recently been developed that has an exciting future in the range of therapies that we can offer for hair loss or patients with scarring of the scalp.
The idea of using a pigment tattoo to help camouflage scars on the scalp is not new. The problem with previous techniques is that the tattoo faded to blue or green over time and the pigment often “bled” into surrounding skin to give a “paint” effect which was not natural. Recently however, the development of newer, non-metallic pigments, together with the development of a specific technique to place pigment dots into the middle layers of the skin has revolutionised the concept. The use of non-metallic pigments is crucial as it will allow patients to have MRI scans if they are needed.
The outcome of the SMP technique is to produce the appearance of shaved hairs. This can be applied to any scarring of the scalp with matching of pigment colour to natural hair colour. This means any patient with donor scars from previous hair transplant surgery may achieve good camouflage of the scar with this technique. In most patients the SMP will last from 2-4 years before needing a refresh.
In addition, women suffering from Female Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss) can have the illusion of extra density created by providing SMP to the upper scalp. This eliminates the need for topical camouflage products which need to be constantly used.
The Knudsen Clinic is proud to announce that SMP will be available from mid-2017 at our Hair Clinics.
Hair transplant surgery restores healthy hair to the upper scalp, says hair loss specialist Dr Russell Knudsen.
Read more about Treating Mens Hair Loss
Introducing a game changer in hair transplant surgery. Dr Russell Knudsen is the first surgeon in the southern hemisphere to offer the Artas Robot for improved results in hair transplant surgery.
More about this Hair Loss Treatment
Currently the only ARTAS System in the southern hemisphere – the cutting edge technology in his machine is set to revolutionise the hair transplant process by providing a more precise and less invasive extraction technique than a human hand working a scalpel.
Read About the Hair Transplant Robot
Dr Knudsen has been honoured to receive The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) highest privilege, The Manfred Lucas Award.
Dr Knudsen has been recognised for distinction in the field of hair restoration surgery and sharing his skills and knowledge on hair loss and for his commitment to the highest ethical standards throughout his career as a hair transplant surgeon. Read more.
There has been a lot of publicity in recent times about a possible new treatment for hair loss (of any cause) that is called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). This is argued to be a “stimulation” therapy for hair loss. The theory is that the multiple skin growth factors that live inside platelets (the blood cells responsible for clotting) can be utilised to stimulate hair by “cracking open” the platelets after the patient’s own blood has been centrifuged (spun down). These growth factors are then re-injected into the scalp in areas of thinning hair.
The idea has been around for a while but the evidence for hair stimulation has not been strong. We do know that PRP is helpful with wound healing but it is less clear which thinning patients might benefit. One of the problems is that the technique has no stringent set of rules and different centrifuges produce different results. Current research is directed at assessing whether higher concentrations of growth factors produce a stronger stimulating effect on weakened hairs.
Another possible line of research involves combing PRP with an extracellular matrix product that acts as a scaffold to assist the effect of the growth factors. Further research is needed in this area.
At best, current evidence is inconclusive that PRP is as effective as other stimulatory products such as minoxidil or techniques such as low level laser therapy.
The six most common asked questions in a hair loss consultation
1. Do hair transplants work?
YES, YOU CANNOT REJECT YOUR OWN HAIR. THEY GROW NORMALLY AND REMAIN HEALTHY IF PROPERLY SELECTED.
2. What supplements do I need to take to stop my hair falling?
NONE. NONE ARE PROVEN TO WORK.
3. Are there any side-effects with the medication?
SIDE EFFFECTS ARE DOSE DEPENDENT SO, USUALLY, THERE ARE NOT ANY.
4. Will my hair completely regrow back from medication alone?
USUALLY NO BUT IT MAY IMPROVE.
5. How long do I have to take the medication for?
AS LONG AS YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HAIR.
6. Have you had anything done yourself?
NO BUT I DO NOT SUFFER FROM HAIR LOSS BUT I AM TRYING LOW POWER LASER THERAPY TO IMPROVE DENSITY
If you have more questions you would like answered about hair loss and how we could help with a solution to your hair loss, please book a hair loss consultation.
Strip harvesting’s rationale is to harvest all the donor hair is the area selected. If we choose hairs from the safest donor area, then we can be more confident that the hair transplant surgery results will last. This makes it a proficient harvest of the safest area.
Now consider FUE’s (follicular unit extraction) harvesting rationale, where the technique only uses partial removal of hair from the donor area. Only 25-35% of the available hairs are harvested, as over-harvesting leads to a variation in the density of the donor area compared to the rest of the hair. In extensively balding areas this becomes a concern but is unlikely to be a problem in small cases.
How do we deal with this potential issue? In my opinion, considerably bald, young patients should be urged to sustain long-term medication to limit future possible hair loss.
I do not believe that choice of strip harvesting or FUE changes any contra-indications to transplantation, but it may impact relative contra-indications to surgery. Consider a young man, developing extensive balding, who also has thinning from the nape of the neck. The restriction of existing donor area will reduce the number of ‘safe’ donor grafts that could be extracted by FUE whereas; a greater number of grafts could be taken from the safe donor area by strip harvesting (FUT). In this instance, more grafts could be achieved by strip harvesting than FUE.
I just recently came back from the Asian Association of Hair Restoration Surgery Annual Meeting in Seoul – Korea. The meeting was well attended with 250 surgeons there to find out the most up to date information concerning hair loss treatments.
Of particular interest to me were the talks referencing the influence of the recipient site on the growth rate of the transplanted hair. Original research was performed in Korea more than 10 years ago and showed the surprising result that, contrary to our initial belief, the body site where the transplanted hair is placed influences and changes the future growth rate of the hair.
The relevance of this result is that hairs in different areas of the body grow at different rates. When using scalp hair to reconstruct eyebrows the transplanted hairs initially grow at the scalp hair rate (three times faster than the eyebrow rate of growth). This means that the new transplanted eyebrow hairs need to be trimmed regularly because they grow much longer and quicker.
Over time the surrounding eyebrow skin influences the transplanted hairs and they slow down a lot to more match the growth of normal eyebrow hairs. More interestingly, if the transplanted hairs are removed from the eyebrow and then re-transplanted in to the scalp again, they begin to speed up their growth rate again! Simply amazing!
Another benefit from this research is that it proves that certain body hair can successfully be used to replace lost hair in the scalp and over time these body hairs will resemble natural scalp hairs in their appearance and the hair regrowth rate. Despite these compelling results, body hairs should only be considered as a last resort when there aren’t any more usable scalp hairs available to use as donor hairs.
A recent trend for male patients is the desire to wear short hair after surgery. With this we have received many enquiries at our Sydney Hair Loss Treatment Clinic about whether this is possible. The good news is that this can be achieved because the modern donor technique overlaps the donor area skin edges while stitching allows hair to grow back through the scar. This is called the trichophytic technique and almost always creates an excellent result that is almost undetectable, even with a very short number 2 cut!
Some patients request the ability to shave their head after the hair transplant surgery. This is a bit unrealistic however no matter which technique is used for the hair transplant. All surgery creates scarring to a certain degree but the modern techniques that we use minimise the visibility in both the recipient hair area (the balding area) and the donor hair area. Our website has more information about Hair Loss Treatments and Hair Transplant Surgery. If you have any questions about this or would like to chat to us, please feel free to visit our Sydney Hair Loss Clinic or call us on 02 9363 9308.
We will provide regular updates on new information relevant to hair loss treatment. The latest news for people with thinning hair is that Minoxidil is now available in a foam solution (Rogaine Foam) from the chemist or our Clinic in Sydney. It is less irritating than the lotion and just as effective! Our Sydney Hair Loss Treatment Clinic will be closed from December 24 till 10th of January. Merry Xmas to our patients. Dr Knudsen will be available on his mobile for existing patients.