One of the most important stages of follicular unit transplantation is the preparation of the grafts. When the grafts are prepared, it is vital that the entire follicular unit is kept intact, as this will maximize the survivability and growth of the hairs. The intact follicular units also provide for the most fullness for an end result, as they contain the most hairs per graft. In order to prepare the grafts correctly, Dr. Gabel has a team of highly trained and experienced assistants to carefully perform this vital function.
Once the donor hair is harvested from the scalp, the strip is immediately bathed in specialized holding solution called HypoThermosol, which has been scientifically shown to optimize graft survivability. The average donor strip is approximately 1.5 cm wide and a variable length depending upon the number of follicular units needed for the case. There are approximately 70 – 100 follicular units per square cm of donor tissue, which varies widely between areas of the scalp and between patients. Therefore, if Dr. Gabel is performing a 2,000-graft case, the donor strip will be approximately 1.5 cm wide and 13 cm long.
Stereo-microscopes are utilized to subdivide the donor strip into small wafers of tissue called slivers. The microscopes are needed to divide the tissue at the exact point of the spaces between the follicular units to avoid the risk of any transection or damage to the grafts. This results in slivers of hair bearing tissue with multiple follicular units. Next, one of our highly experienced assistants will subdivide the slivers of tissue into the native follicular unit grafts. Each sliver will contain follicular graft of all sizes (1-hair, 2-hair, 3-hair, and if available 4-hair follicular units), which are then sorted into graft bundles according to the amount of hair they possess. The grafts are stored in HypoThermosol at a specific temperature, which assures maximum survival until they are placed into the recipient sites.
The success of any hair transplant is highly dependent upon the skills of Dr. Gabel and his staff. Dr. Gabel has some staff members who have been at his side for over 15 years. They are highly experienced and skilled in the science and art of hair transplantation, and are dedicated to a career in the hair restoration field.