Some Patients Have to Graft More
12th June 2010
Whilst in between consultations today I received an email from a recent patient of mine, enquiring as to why some men have to undergo 2-3 operations to receive the same number of grafts he had received in one. This is a subject that can often prove very confusing to patients as they try to differentiate between the number of grafts and the number of implanted hair follicles, and how many operations they should expect to have.
There are only a selection of surgeons (myself included) who are capable or maybe willing to do 3000 or more grafts in one operation. This is due to a variety of reasons – both technical and commercial.
Surgeons need to be skilful and experienced enough to efficiently fit sufficient number of grafts per sq cm in the target area to achieve good density after one procedure. This can also be dependent on various factors including the quality, size, density and elasticity of the donor area, which all differ from patient to patient.
A hugely defining factor may be that the area on one individual cannot support harvesting the numbers of hair follicles as my enquiring patient received, and therefore would need multiple operations for complete satisfaction. Everyone is different, and having say, 3000 grafts can mean anything between 3000 and 7000 implanted hair follicles.
Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers here – everything is relative to the individual and the surgeon performing the procedure. Patients need to discuss with their surgeon (at length) their expectations and the reality they should be able to expect with surgery by that particular doctor.