Hello, I’m Kim Jin-Oh, the director of NHI(New Hair Institute)
Today, I’ll explain about how to minimize damage on the area of transplant during hair transplant surgery. As you know, hair follicles are taken from the back of the head. To transplant the collected follicles, holes for the follicles for transplantation is needed.
So such holes are made. In this process if the blood vessels or the tissues are damaged the probability that the transplanted hair will grow may decrease. This is called the survival rate of hair follicles. In the worst scenario, the tissue could get necrotic. So it’s a very careful task.
Let me explain to you the two ways to improve the survival rate of grafts and reduce side effects.
First, solution of tumescent is injected into the area of transplant. Inserting tumescent solution is a good way to avoid the above mentioned damages and side-effects and increase the overall survival rate of hair follicles. Doctors call this solution Tumescent Fluid. The meaning of the root word of Tumescent’s is to inflate.
This fluid plays the role of temporarily inflating the area between the dermal layer and the subcutaneous layer. Normally, Lidocaine which is a type of anesthesia and Epinephrine which is a type of vasopressors are added into the saline solution when injecting. So it has anesthetic and vasoconstricting effects which helps to reduce bleeding. Because it constricts and then inflates vessel damage can be reduced.
Moreover, if the hair transplantation is done during area inflation, high density may be achieved when the area constricts after.
The second way is to limit the depth of incision when making the hole. The length of hair follicles normally varies between 3-6mm depending on the patient. Thus, if the tool used to m ake the holes are too long, the holes may become unnecessarily deep which will usually cause more damage. The subcutaneous layer can get damaged.
Generally, inner skin is relatively less hard than the outer skin so it is much more vulnerable to damage. The more blunt a tool that makes the hole, the more likely the skin is damaged. Therefore, new and sharper tools should always be used.
Also, the skin is slightly pressed while making the holes. Because of this, the depth of the hole may turn out to be deeper than the doctor had predicted. For example, let’s say the doctor had only planned to insert it up to three millimeters, if he presses too hard and pushes the skin deeper than that, the insertion may become deeper. So there are some doctors who make the tool about 0.5mm shorter.
In summary, although it may vary slightly depending on the doctor, there are two ways to minimize damage on the area of transplant.
1. First, injecting tumescent fluid into the operating area.
2. Second, is to control the depth of the incision.
I have introduced these two main ways.