Is NeoGraft the Best Hair Transplant Method?
Doctor Answers 42
Experience of Your Surgeon is *Much* More Important Than Any Method or Machine Used.
NeoGraft has done a tremendous amount of marketing, and I see physicians who have never done a hair transplant around the country acquire this machine, piggyback on the marketing done by NeoGraft, and start to offer this complicated, and permanent procedure to the public. In much of the country, the doctor will simply hire a technician (the going rate for a NeoGraft tech in Atlanta is $70/hour) to perform the procedure. It should be noted at this point that hair restoration technicians have the same exact medical training requirements as grass cutters: absolutely none. The physician only need sign the papers and be on the premises. No joke. So, whether using the NeoGraft, or the much more advanced ARTAS robotic hair restoration system, or any other device, including a 50 cent 1mm biopsy punch, it is the experience and dedication of the surgeon and his team that will determine the outcome.
Hair Restoration is it's own specialty now. There's a global society (the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and a Board. Choosing a surgeon 100% dedicated to hair restoration is paramount. If "NeoGraft" suddenly appears on a long list of other procedures a physician offers, I would be wary, as it is unlikely that the physician has a full-time, highly-trained team of hair restoration technicians, and is just hiring one of many "hired gun" technicians that will arrive at the office, and do the procedure for $70 an hour. There are hundreds of subtleties and nuances in hair restoration, and assuming that because a physician now offers NeoGraft, in addition to all the other procedures offered, will be competent and excel at hair restoration surgery is simply foolish. Look at the experience and dedication of the surgeon who will be performing the surgery, and make sure technicians are not actually the ones who will be performing the surgery. Also make sure the physician you choose is actually a trained surgeon. The majority of hair restoration "surgeons" are, in fact, not trained in surgery at all, and hold no board certificates in any surgical specialty whatsoever, so examine your physician's credentials carefully. You should feel perfectly comfortable asking for a copy of the surgeon's resume to review. Look for many years of dedication exclusively to hair restoration, not just cosmetic surgery in general.
This problem is so rampant and common that the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the global community of physicians practicing hair restoration, issued a consumer alert about this issue. I see patients every month who had a hair restoration performed by a technician with the NeoGraft device presenting to our office asking for help; asking me to repair the unnatural looking hair transplant results. This is often very difficult, and occasionally impossible. Because as we say in this specialty, "the good thing about hair restoration is that it's permanent. The bad thing about hair restoration is that it's permanent." Consult with more than one surgeon, make sure he or she is actually a trained surgeon, and get a feel for who you think will be the best for you. A machine absolutely does NOT guarantee good, or even acceptable results.
Having placed over 500,000 grafts with the device, automated FUE has proven to be a superior alternative to decreasing the morbidity associated with strip surgery. You must consider the experience of the physician using the device. It has a steep learning curve and in the right hands, much like many other procedures, offers a safe alternative to the conventional strip method.
NeoGraft Device for Hair Transplant
Note that since I first answered this question two years ago, I have started to use Neograft as one of the devices for FUE procedures, along with our own E-Fue System. The role of the surgeon in any hair transplant procedure is invaluable for assuring a natural-appearing result, for it is the surgeon who makes the recipient sites and does the hairline design and makes other key treatment decisions.
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NeoGrafts verses Other Hair Transplant Instruments and Technologies
Instruments that address these shortcomings include the manual SAFE System which uses a two-step sharp-blunt dissection technique and doesn’t rely on suction and the ARTAS Robot which has these advantages and also use a robotic image-guided system to minimize human error.
Best Hair Transplant Method
FUE Hair Transplant with Neograft vs without
Neograft is essentially FUE harvest with a dental drill combined with suction extraction. Very few hair transplant specialists use the pneumatic device to implant and as such this aspect is more of a gimic. Other power assisted devices exist which are are also modified dental drills or dermabraders. The key feature is to avoid transection of the grafts which is best accomplished by using the sharped punches and careful handeling on removal. This can be accomplished just as well manually if not better than with the use of the suction device. The future may be with Robotics however robotics does not eliminate the potential for transection as there is no tactile feel with a robotic device.
Is neograft the best?
I prefer to use small punches (so patients heal better and I extract only hair follicles) and extract my grafts manually and place them in chilled hypothermosol solution.
I think Dr. Ken Anderson's response to this question is one of the best I have seen. Very few "Experienced" Hair Restoration Surgeon's use a Neograft, and most of the ones that did stopped using it shortly after they started seeing the negative aspects of the device.