Indicated in case of average or even low hair density, or no acceptance of shaving by the patient.
Transplanting micro-grafts (1 to 4 hair follicular units) from the donor area (back and sides of the head) spared by alopecia to the recipient area, affected by alopecia.
Use of magnifying-loupes for the surgeon to work in augmented reality
SURGICAL PROCEDURE STEP BY STEP :
1. Local anesthesia of the sampling area (donor area)
2. Harvesting of follicular units (grafts) : a strip of scalp is shaved or not (option long hair) and then extracted with a bistouri / scalpel in the donor area.
3. Suturation of the area of extraction of the strip with absorbable suture, so the stitches fall spontaneously after two weeks.
- The technique of trichophytic closure allows hair from the donor area to regrow through the scar, so as to conceal it.
- When suturing is done well, by a good surgeon, even without trichophytic closure, the linear scar is thin and discreet (0-2 mm wide), but in many patients it has been observed a large scar, thick, and often painful.
- Some surgeons voluntarily limit the width of the strip (1 cm) to obtain a fine scar (no tension between the edges to be sutured).
4. Conservation, cutting, and sorting of grafts:
- The strip is then placed in a preservation solution, and cut manually (by the medical team) into thin slices of 1 to 2 mm, and in follicular units (1 to 3 hairs or 4), using a bistoury with several blades and a stereoscopic microscope / magnifying glasses.
- This is a crucial step that must be performed quickly (by a large team, minimum of 4 experienced assistants and nurses) as the result of the operation depends on the quality of the prepared grafts (risk of loss of grafts 15 % to 30% in case of bad spliting).
5. Implantation : the follicles (grafts) are implanted in the recipient area of the scalp (often shaved to faciliate the procedure):
- either with micro clips (at the location of the micro incisions made previously with a micro blade or a fine needle)
- or directly (without micro-incisions) with a pen-implanter also named "Choï implanter" (requires more handling).
- The whole procedure takes usually 2 hours for 500 / 600 grafts, 4 hours for 2000 grafts, 6 hours for 3000 grafts...
- Maximum in one session : usually 4500 grafts, sometimes up to 6000 if the best conditions are met...
More infos about STRIP technique : read more..