Finding the best hair transplant possible is the first goal of near anyone researching the procedure. Sometimes this means following a strategy of gradual sessions. The patient in these hair transplant before and after photos is a great example of such. Quality matters too, of course, and we'll be covering exactly how to enjoy the best results possible.
Differences Between FUE Hair Transplant Variants
Most look for the best option for the best price when shopping around for a FUE hair transplant. Unfortunately, this is a misnomer. Those that opt for budget procedures often put up with unconvincing results and repair work. Hair transplants do not have long-lasting side effects but if botched the results can be quite unsightly and embarrassing. Patients don't need the best FUE hair transplant in the world to ensure a stellar outcome, though. With time, the cost has gone down so that excellent surgeons can comfortably offer transplants to a wider berth of patients.
As FUE gains greater prevalence different variants have cropped up. They primarily fall within four categories; robotic, automatic, mechanical, and manual. While boasting impressive technology, robotic and automatic FUE both fall short in results. Robotic and automatic FUE’s success rate, the number of follicles that take root, is around 90% at best. Both procedures are also more likely to leave noticeable scarring. Manual and mechanical FUE, meanwhile, depends more on the surgeon’s skill: experts often have success rates of 95% or higher. Dr. Cole himself boasts a success rate of over 97% using Cole Isolation Technique (CIT®).
CIT® In Comparison to Regular FUE
Dr. Cole’s variant of FUE hair transplant, CIT® has numerous advantages over regular manual and mechanical FUE. Minimally invasive, it causes less next to no visible scarring and recovery is typically faster. Further, this benefit enables donor follicles to regenerate; unique among FUE variants. The application of ACell enables around 40% regeneration. This means for every 1,000 extractions around 400 donor follicles regenerate. The only transplant option to offer a net increase in total hair coverage, CIT® is particularly advantageous for those maintaining donor supply. This, in turn, enables patients to undergo future procedures for maintenance.
Surgeon Skill and Experience
Just the type of FUE hair transplant can make a difference, so does selecting a surgeon with the right skills and experience. FUE’s prevalence is far greater than in the past. This increase includes surgeons who undergo the proper training and gain experience, of course. It also, however, includes surgeons with less scruples. Regardless if accidental or not, botched hair transplants can lead to noticeably bad results. Patients need to exercise best practices when finding a surgeon, including:
- Valid education and training
- Good patient references
- Endorsements from valid trade organizations
- Presence within the industry
Paying attention to such facets enable most patients to find a reputable clinic. Experience matters too, with the most in-demand surgeons often having a track record of at least 10,000 patients. Reviews should be positive, with references available to talk with the patient.
Hair Transplant Clinic Quality
Right along with the technique and surgeon, the clinic’s quality matters a great amount. Patients should expect the same sterile environment as a hospital, with the procedure team adequately trained and experienced. Utensils should be adequate, particularly those used in the procedure. Transplant punches are of main concern.
First, all punches dull after around 1,000 uses; manual re-sharpening is impossible, so reputable clinics toss or recycle them after dulling. Second, brand quality differs. Dr. Cole has designed a line of punches and other hair transplant-related utensils under the brand Cole Instruments. These products are actually some of the sharpest punches available, thereby decreasing the chance of transection (damage to the follicle upon extraction). Along with punches Dr. Cole has also designed and continues to improve, mechanical punches and other accouterments that help ensure a shot at the best hair transplant in the world. They, in fact, are some of the most widely used utensils by physicians worldwide.
FUE Hair Transplant Recovery
Great results also require the care of the patient. Recovery from FUE hair transplant, particularly CIT®, doesn’t actually require much time. However, careful follow-through of recovery instructions is vital to help ensure the best results possible. Everything from touching the implantation site too often to sun exposure can cause transplants to fall out or otherwise die. Most clinics recommend baby shampoo during recovery but there are options designed to help foster procedure recovery. One such option, Hair Cycle, is by Dr. Cole and includes products that protect the scalp and hasten recovery.
Gradual CIT® Procedures: A Case and Point
Over the years this patient has followed a strategy of regular CIT® procedures. His overall goal was to maintain the appearance of his hair as it recedes. This strategy can often prevent hair loss from progressing to the point of becoming noticeable. Even though surgeons transplant hair recession of non-transplant hair can take place.
Of course, the surgeon’s skill and experience matter a great deal when planning gradual transplants. A pioneer in the field, Dr. Cole specializes in the medical protocol decades ago. This is one reason, among many, why he was producing natural-appearing results during a time when most other doctors were placing unacceptable and unnatural looking plugs and mini grafts.
This full-face photo represents Dr. Cole's early strip work from 1996. Our patient later returned in 2007 for 1,000 grafts by means of Dr. Cole's early CIT patch procedure. Last week, our patient mentioned to me that even upon close examination, the lady who regularly cuts his hair could never tell he had work done. Luckily, the strip scar from the '90s procedure was very thin. In 2007 procedure Dr. Cole placed a small number of grafts into his scar.
Then on December 12, 2014, he returned for an additional 1392 grafts. 731 of these grafts were placed in his frontal area, 276 into his crown, 235 were used to reinforce his temple points, and 150 grafts were arranged in the thinning areas of his eyebrows. For this reason, we included the 4x4 image of his crown to illustrate how the viewing angle affects the appearance of density.
2x2 Temple Points and Eyebrows
Patient results - photo 1
4x4 Temple Points and Eyebrows
Patient results - photo 2
Natural Hairline Maintained 18 Years
Patient results - photo 3
Crown After 18 Years
Patient results - photo 4
Crown After Close Up
Patient results - photo5
Patient Results - Full Face
Patient results - Photo 6 - Final (full face)
Full Face Hairline Closeup
Patient results - Photo 7 - Final - Close Up