Drs Farjo Honoured at ISHRS 20th Annual Meeting
10th December 2012
The Bahamas hosted the ISHRS 20th Annual Scientific Meeting in October. For us here at Farjo, the abiding memory will be the honour the society bestowed on Drs Bessam & Nilofer Farjo by jointly awarding them the Platinum Follicle Award at the formal gala dinner event. The award is given annually for outstanding achievement in basic science and/or scientific research as it relates to hair restoration. It is the first time the ISHRS awards a prize to a hair restoration surgeon from the UK, and only the 2nd time the Platinum has been awarded to European surgeons.
Of course up to that point, Drs Farjo as well as Dr Williams, surgery manager Sara Roberts, and senior team leader Julie Edwards took full part in the 4 day event. Dr Bessam attended the Board of Governors meeting as a Past President and the Global Council meeting as the chair of the ISHRS Ambassadors Committee. Drs Nilofer Farjo and Greg Williams also took part in the Global Council meeting as Hair Transplant Forum co-editor and British Association representative respectively.
Dr Nilofer was invited to speak on the subject of cell therapy and cloning at the Advanced Board Review course whilst Dr Bessam was on duty moderating a scientific session entitled Advanced Surgical Techniques II. He will be chairing the Newcomers Orientation session at the 21st Annual Meeting in San Francisco next year after taking part as a host in this event since its inception a few years ago.
The whole conference was a resounding success with a near record number of delegates demonstrating the huge popularity of hair restoration surgery in the world. Every aspect of surgery and medicine as it relates to hair restoration was covered, but amongst the highlights are the following:
- Basic Science lectures by eminent guest scientists: One of the interesting suggestions being the link between wound healing and hair growth. This was the subject of a lecture by Prof Ralf Paus of University of Manchester whom we closely work with.
- Comparing strip or FUT technique with FUE: the general consensus was that more studies and observations are needed to ensure that the quality of results of FUE are on a par with the more reliable and predictable strip or FUE. Also several respected American surgeons have purchased the ARTAS FUE robot with favourable reviews. It gets its European approval next year.
- Cell therapy/cloning: Following Aderans’s purchase of the intellectual work started by Farjo and Intercytex a few years ago, it seems we are still waiting to see if significant progress will take place. Results do look promising but not enough to predict a time if it will happen at all.
- Scalp micropigmentation has advanced sufficiently that it maybe the way to go in selected candidates where hair restoration is not possible. However, it needs the input of hair specialists to ensure a natural and realistic appearance.
- Propecia (finasteride) has courted controversy in the last year or two with internet claims of extended or permanent side effects. Our doctors at Farjo as well as their colleagues worldwide continue to maintain that they do not see this in their practice. This is backed up by every clinical trial on the subject and presentations at the meeting emphasised this. It must be remembered that such side effects can be caused by a long list of factors where the drug is coincidental. Such cases need to be supported but thoroughly investigated to get to the root cause.
- Growth factors (eg in Acell and PRP) and their influence continue to court attention, interest and controversy. Ongoing studies and observations will eventually help determine the value of such applications in relation to hair growth and healing. We will continue to study and evaluate new ideas that can enhance results