Hair Restoration Innovator Patents New Hair Transplant Method that Improves Results
Hair transplant pioneer and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University Dr. Robert M. Bernstein and his colleague Dr. William R. Rassman have received a U.S. patent on a new method that improves the aesthetic outcome of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedures – the type currently used in half of all transplants performed world-wide.
The key invention is the addition of a delay between the creation of recipient sites and the insertion of harvested hair follicles into those sites.
The delay allows the healing process to commence before grafts are inserted, resulting in increased success of the transplant and an improved outcome.
On receiving the patent, Dr. Bernstein said:
“Since FUE techniques are used in half of all hair transplant procedures around the world, this simple modification to the FUE protocol can improve the aesthetic outcome for thousands of patients.”
As Follicular Unit Extraction increased in popularity and became widely adopted by surgeons, Dr. Bernstein investigated ways to streamline the hours-long procedure.
This simple modification to the FUE protocol can improve the aesthetic outcome for thousands of patients.
The standard FUE hair transplant procedure involves extracting follicular units – tiny naturally-occurring bundles of one to four hair follicles – then creating recipient sites and placing the follicular unit grafts into those sites.
Dr. Bernstein found that by making recipient sites before harvesting follicular units and adding a delay before implantation, three important things are achieved by the surgeon:
1) Decrease the time in which grafts are outside the body, minimizing the risk of damage to the grafts
2) Facilitate the placement of grafts, making it less likely that they are injured in the insertion process
3) Allow the early phases of the healing process to naturally complete, resulting in a more stable, “fertile” site supplied with oxygen and nutrients essential for graft survival.
As a result of this simple procedural modification, more grafts survive the transplant process, and the patient’s cosmetic outcome is improved.
Dr. Bernstein introduced the concept of “pre-making recipient sites” into medical literature in a 2012 publication in Hair Transplant Forum International, has discussed the idea extensively, and presented findings at the 2015 ISHRS Annual Scientific Meeting.
However, this is the first time he has patented a hair transplant technique.
“Pre-making” recipient sites is a protocol that should be followed during all FUE procedures, including robotic-assisted Follicular Unit Extraction using the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System (Robotic FUE).
It is also applicable in hair multiplication and hair regeneration techniques that are being studied as a way to provide an unlimited amount of donor hair for hair restoration purposes.
Dr. Robert M. Bernstein is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York; renowned hair restoration pioneer; and founder and lead surgeon at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration.
His more than 70 medical publications have fundamentally transformed the field of surgical hair restoration and he has received the highest honor in the field given by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).
Dr. Bernstein has been featured on: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Doctors on CBS, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, Univision, and many other television shows. He has been interviewed by GQ Magazine, Men’s Health, Vogue, Columbia Business, The Columbia Journalist, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.