Hair loss is extremely common among men and women; it affects millions in the United States alone. One hair-restoration option is the NeoGraft® Automated Hair-Transplantation System, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It involves a minimally invasive procedure that makes hair transplantation less painful, and reduces post-procedure recovery time.
The NeoGraft system involves harvesting hair follicles for targeted placement in another area of the scalp. Once transplanted, the healthy follicles produce hair that should continue to grow for the rest of the patient’s life.
Candidates for the NeoGraft Hair-Transplantation System
Nearly any man with bald patches or thinning hair can undergo hair restoration with the NeoGraft system, although it is ideal for men who have the following:
- Healthy areas of hair on the sides or back of the head
- Hair loss because of scars from prior surgery
- Androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness)
Men who have hair loss because of trauma or burns are also good candidates.
Ideal female candidates for NeoGraft hair transplantation include those with the following:
- Traction alopecia
- Hair loss from trauma
- Patches of thinning hair or bald spots
- A donor area not affected by androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness)
Other good candidates include women who have had cosmetic surgery, and want to replace hair that has been lost around the incision sites.
The NeoGraft Hair-Transplantation Procedure
NeoGraft hair transplantation is gentler than traditional hair-restoration surgery, which involves removal of a large strip of hair and skin from the back of the head. Although traditional hair-restoration surgery is still performed, it is invasive and usually leaves prominent scars.
The NeoGraft system involves using follicular unit extraction (FUE), a surgical procedure in which hair is transplanted in individual follicular units. Each unit consists of one to four hairs that have been extracted from the donor area for placement in areas that need hair. The hair follicles are removed and placed using pneumatic pressure, which eliminates follicle-damaging pulling and twisting. The procedure is performed using local anesthesia.
Advantages of the NeoGraft Hair-Transplantation System
Advantages of using the NeoGraft system rather than methods that remove a large strip of hair include the following:
- Recovery is faster and more comfortable
- Sutures are not necessary
- There is no linear scar from the harvest area
Another advantage is that the complications (bleeding, or damage to the nerves and blood vessels) associated with the “strip” method are rare.
Results of the NeoGraft Hair-Transplantation System
According to system manufacturer NeoGraft Solutions, Inc., “Once the hair follicle has been implanted into the balding area, the grafted hair will stay in place for about 2 to 3 weeks before shedding. After shedding, the new growth will begin in 3 to 4 months; this is normal, and an important part of the new-hair growth process. After that time period, the hair will continue to grow normally.” Although results of the procedure should last for the patient’s lifetime, because hair loss continues post-transplant, maintenance treatments, including additional transplants and/or drugs that prevent hair loss, may be necessary.