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Posts Tagged ‘donor scar’

Is Gene Therapy a Solution for Hair Loss?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

stem cell therapy hair restoration

In the past 30 years, alternate types of therapy for enhancing wound repair have been mentioned. For this entry, I wanted to talk about the cutting-edge areas of stem cell therapy and gene therapy in wound healing. When it comes to gene therapy, it was first put into practice for treating congenital defects. Now, it is a fresh alternative for affecting wound repair. To speed up the process of wound closure, genes encoded for growth factors or cytokines revealed the greatest potential.

Most gene delivery systems have roots in viral transfection, naked DNA application, high pressure injection, or liposomal vectors. Embryonic and adult stem cells posses an extended self-renewal ability with the capacity to differentiate into various tissue types. Different types of sources, such as bone marrow, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue, skin and hair follicles, have been used to separate stem cells to speed up the healing response of acute and chronic wounds.

Not too long ago, the grouping of gene and stem cell therapy has come to the forefront as a potential option to care for chronic and acute wounds.

For potential hair transplant patients, this breaking development about gene and stem cell therapy in hair restoration is fantastic news because a rapid healing from stitches in the donor area would make for a much quicker and painless procedure. There are all kinds of different types of hair loss, but, if a hair loss sufferer undergoes a hair transplant, it would be imperative that his stitches would heal quickly.

Source information was provided by the following authors: Branski LK, Gauglitz GG, Herndon DN, Jeschke MG.

Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Hospitals for Children, Galveston, TX 77550, United States.

When Can I Resume Contact Sports after a Hair Transplant?

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

contact sports after hair transplant

We have a patient who is very physically active. He had a hair transplant procedure and was concerned if he could continue competitive mixed martial arts in the next 3 weeks. “Do you think my head will be okay if I’m doing that? Is it high risk for new transplant hair or donor scars?”

By the time the patient has his mixed martial arts competition it will be over 3 weeks after his hair transplant procedure. At this point hair grafts have already settled and healed and the donor area is closed. The only real concern is putting too much tension on the edges of the healing donor wound. This may cause the wound to widen or stretch.

Most physical activities are fine and should not pose an issue to the donor scar but we do suggest avoiding any sports that may add tension or possibility of stretching until after 1 month from your surgery. The donor scar should be stronger and able to handle any additional stress as you would have normally. However, we do suggest a period of at least 3 months for all aggressive sports just to be safe but that is definitely up to your own personal discretion.

Hair Donor Scar Revision with BOTOX Injection for the Best Results

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

botox for hair transplantIn a recent email, a patient is going to undergo an additional hair transplant and scar revision.  He had done some research in regards to the use of BOTOX injections to help reduce the width of his scar and wonders where and why would you use BOTOX injection, how many units or CCs, and whether it would benefit him.

BOTOX injection has been recently introduced to hair transplant surgery for the prevention of scar stretching.  There have been a number of patients that have been studied but the research has a very limited number of test subjects.  The main purpose of the research was to help compare the effects of BOTOX injection on scar width.  One side was treated with BOTOX injection while the other is left alone and the results are recorded during their post hair transplant surgery follow up visits.

It is hard to conclude what the best dosage of BOTOX would be in and around the donor wound because of the limited findings reported.  In a recent blog titled Botox Can Reduce Widening of Hair Transplant Scars found in US Hair Restoration Blog, BOTOX helps minimize tension present around the edges of the wound.  This action helps collagen mature and the scar wound to form completely.

More studies need to be done to get a much more conclusive answer in regards to the number of units needed and how often BOTOX needs to be reapplied.  Because of this, the amount of BOTOX injection needed must be determined by the individual surgeon.  This can also change based on the length and size of the hair transplant donor scar.  As a note, the injections should not be placed within the first week of post surgery due to the acute inflammatory reaction caused by surgery and should be repeated in 4 month intervals.  Muscles tend to get their strength back within or after that time frame.

Donor Scar After Hair Transplant

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Hair restoration surgery through follicular unit transplantation is the golden standard for hair transplants to date.  This procedure is designed to fully recreate a natural looking hairline and add density or restore lost hair caused by male or female pattern baldness.  The only concerning factor of this technique is the scar that remains after the procedure is complete.  Men especially whom have had hair restoration surgery have wondered and asked how short can their hair really be to avoid seeing or even noticing the scar and if there is a way to avoid such a scar?

The linear scar that is left after a hair restoration procedure through strip technique is really inevitable but can be made less visible depending on your hair transplant surgeon.  Most facilities that do hair transplant practice a technique known as trichophytic closure for their patients.  Trichophytic closure is a technique used where hair follicles will penetrate through the donor scar which, in turn, minimizes its visibility and detect ability.  This can be compromised if the scar ends up stretching or widening.  Another study conducted has shown that BOTOX can be used to prevent further stretching or widening of the donor scar and must be applied by a professional physician for best results.

The length of a person’s hair is really up to the patient or their stylist’s best disclosure. Most donor scars are minimal and undetectable but in most cases anything shorter than a #2 clipper (1/4″ buzz cut) may make the scar visible.

The only other option available to minimize scarring is through a different hair transplant technique called follicular unit extraction (FUE). This technique is done by selectively extracting follicular units and refining them for hair transplantation.  The result is undetectable and the downtime is even less than that of follicular unit transplantation through strip technique. This procedure can also be used to fill in existing scars where hair use to grow or the donor scar area. Findings on this type of procedure were originally published when conducted on patients with neurological scar revision.