What risks or dangers are associated with NeoGraft?
Doctor Answers 12
Risks and dangers associated with NeoGraft
The real risks and what I see commonly is Doctor's who do not specialize in Hair Restoration surgery purchasing a Neograft and having unlicensed technicians (Called NeoGrafters) performing the entire surgery. This is a very common practice in Neograft clinics and something to watch out for. Also, most Neograft cases I see come into my clinic, it seems that the largest punch is used (1.2mm) to make the surgery easier leaving scarring in the back of the patients scalp. In comparison, I do most of my FUE cases with a 0.7mm punch which minimizes any scarring and leaves me with small grafts which can be placed closer to each other giving a much more natural look and density.
I would be much more concerned regarding these risks.
What medical risks are associated with a NeoGraft procedure? YES...ALWAYS.
Any medical doctor or practice who tells you there are zero risks to a surgical procedure is not being honest with you.
The NeoGraft is simply a tool that a physician, or more likely a technician, uses to perform a technique of hair restoration called Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE. Regardless of whether FUE procedure is done with the NeoGraft device, the ARTAS robotic hair restoration system, or with a manual biopsy punch, there are inherent risks to performing surgery on the scalp.
With any form of FUE procedure, hundreds or thousands of puncture wounds in the scalp are created with any/all FUE devices in the donor area. In the recipient area, hundreds/thousands of tiny, but *through the skin* incisions will be made. In each of the areas, the skin is breached hundreds/thousands of times.
This results in a variety of possible complications. Please keep in mind that a surgical practice without any complications from surgical procedures is like a unicorn; it simply doesn’t exist.
In the hands of experienced and dedicated hair restoration surgeons, there are typically no complications. However, NeoGraft is being marketed heavily to cosmetic surgeons, med spa owners, and physicians of every variety with zero experience in the field of surgical hair restoration. I see practices popping up all over the country; medical offices who perform other types of cosmetic surgery or merely Botox and injectables are acquiring the NeoGraft device and piggybacking on the marketing efforts of the NeoGraft corporation. The rate of surgical complications will clearly increase at such practices, as the experience in the field of hair restoration surgery is limited.
Complications/adverse reactions from any hair restoration procedure, NeoGraft or not, include, but are not limited to the following:
- post-operative swelling
- post-operative bruising
- infection of the head and scalp
- over-harvesting of the donor area
- permanent numbness, though not common in dedicated centers
- shock loss (eg: telogen effluvium), also not common in dedicated centers
- hypertrophic scarring (both donor and recipient area)
- keloid scarring (both donor and recipient area)
- adverse reactions to the anesthetic used (as in, decreased heart rate from the numbing agent, often lidocaine). These are often drug interactions. Your treating physician should carefully review the medications you are currently taking.
- there are others; your physician/surgeon is ethically bound to talk about and review with you every and all possible risks of any and all surgeries performed on your body for the duration of your life.
Bottom line: there are risks to any form of surgery. No exceptions. Hair restoration, whether performed with a scalpel or a device like the NeoGraft device, is associated with all the risks of any form of cutaneous surgery. All trained and experienced surgeons know this as a non-debatable fact.
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Specific to the NeoGraft procedure, risks include:
- raised scarring
- numbness over transplantation sites
- over harvesting at donor site
- poor transplantation uptake