In short, yes. Hair transplant surgeries are generally safe as long as you select the right clinic and doctor to perform your surgery. The safety of hair transplant surgery comes down to experience, specialization and artistic ability.
Many clinics sell clients on grandiose expertise and then have assistant technicians perform most or all of the surgery, instead of the head surgeon. Their pseudo-rationale is that because they are overbooked and the surgeon doesn’t have the time to give each patient his or her full undivided attention, that medical mediocrity is somehow acceptable. Worse still, some doctors are non-hair restoration specialists but advertise total surgical competence in the field.
At Modena Hair Institute in Newport Beach, Dr. Yazdan does all of his own surgeries. He is involved in every step of the process from pre-op diagnosis to post-op maintenance and care. He only books one surgery per day so that he can make sure every single patient gets the best result possible.
An FUE surgery, or follicular unit extraction, involves grafts being punched out of a donor site and transplanted into the recipient site. Dr. Yazdan commands each punch for an FUE procedure and the punch size is a great deal smaller than most clinics. He uses a razor thin 0.7 or 0.8 mm punch size, whereas other practices generally use a 1.2 mm punch size. Larger punches create more scarring and sometimes damage the surrounding healthy hair.
Hair growth is not always in a straight line and the follicles are not always found growing straight back in the scalp. An experienced doctor will be able to look at the hair and tell the direction and the angle in which the hair is growing. This is paramount when doing the punches for an FUE surgery. Instead of punching a straight hole and cutting right through an angled follicle, they can identify and adjust to the hair growth. Thus, there are lower transection rates and higher yields.
Creating a recipient site for the new follicle to be inserted entails selecting an area where hair needs to be placed and then outlining that area. The doctor makes small incisions in the recipient site, where the grafts will be placed. The graft size must match the incision size perfectly. If the recipient sites are too large the grafts will easily fall out. Conversely, if the recipient sites are too small, the grafts will not fit inside.
Dr. Yazdan also does not cut or split grafts to increase graft number, thereby reducing the total cost of the procedure. Cutting and splitting grafts is needlessly expensive and can lead to decreased survival of the transplanted hair. A follicle could easily be cut during this process as well as dried out. Follicles are extremely sensitive, so the less they are manipulated the better.
A strong medical team is always needed and the surgical team selected by Dr. Yazdan has been with him for nine years. Yazdan and his team continually refine their method and optimize safety and effectiveness
The safety of FUE transplant procedures, therefore, heavily depends on the experience and expertise of the guiding physician, their operating method, and the nature of their instrumentation. Don’t risk your scalp – do thorough research and stick with masters in the field of hair transplantation.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.