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Dr. Cole uses a storage solution known as HypoThermosol which costs over $1700 for 3 liters. Other doctors do not invest as much in the care of their grafts and use normal saline, costing just $44 for 12 1000 cc bottles. Dr. Cole also uses his own self-designed storage device, the Hypothermopro, to chill grafts down to 0°C to 4°C and maintain this temperature for over 8 hours. The Hypothermopro is a large investment at over $7000. Most doctors, on the other hand, chill grafts simply by placing a Petri dish containing simple saline on ice.
Graft storage is important for graft survival. Maintaining constant low temperatures in the proper storage medium with free radical scavengers may reduce the harmful effects of anaerobic metabolism, ischemia reperfusion, and apoptotic inhibitors (all of which can damage the viability of grafts).
Many elements are important for a successful hair transplantation. One of the most overlooked is storage mediums: how grafts are kept outside the body. The truth is that there is no set standard for how grafts are stored and this can a great amount of damage to the graft.
All human tissue begins degrading after it is taken out of the body. The major reason is lack of oxidation and nourishment: tissue grafts outside the body begin ischemia, or begin cellular deterioration due to via lack of blood flow. The end result is cellular death, or when the graft's cells die and the tissue becomes damaged, complicating the transplant itself and decreasing its chance of survival. For this reason, hospitals and clinics involved in any graft collection must consider two elements of storage.
Temperature can greatly effect ischemia by slowing down the metabolism: the human brain's ischemic tolerance at 37 degrees Celsius is six minutes but at 17 degrees Celsius it is nearly 60 minutes. The same applies to all bodily grafts, though ischemic tolerance depends on the body part.
Holding mediums is also tremendously important. These suspend the grafts and offer any number of benefits, depending on the type, but the ultimate goal is to halt any deterioration of the follicular grafts.
Hospitals and clinics range tremendously in the holding mediums they use and their temperature. Generic storage mediums include normal saline, phosphate buffered saline, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). While adequate, there is a number of more advanced solutions that also make decent holding solutions due to their composition, nutrient content, or ability to oxidize the graft.
A premier clinic with a global reputation for excellence, Forhair makes the point to use one of the best holding mediums available. Our variant uses liposomal, a storage medium known for its ability to transfer nutrients, drugs, and oxygen and transfuses it with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound clinically proven to oxygenate the skin, encouraging blood flow and nutrition, and therefore also better preserving follicular grafts. Few clinics use such a high-quality holding solution but our research indicates it helps decrease the chance of follicular transection, or when follicular transplants do not grow after a procedure.
Temperature is less challenging to achieve but it also requires special equipment. Dr. Cole has designed an Electric Chilling Device that pumps cooling propylene glycol to maintain grafts at a constant temperature. The ideal temperature is still up to speculation, as little clinical research has gone into finding the optimal temperature for hair follicles. Kidney transplants, however, show that 10 degrees Celsius is better than 5 degrees Celsius, which in turn is better than 0.5 degrees Celsius. As mentioned, though, going too warm can damage the follicle. Learn more about how we store grafts by contacting us today!