i just had a FUE procedurefor 1500 grafts a few days ago. I am very worried now because of some mistakes that took place during the surgery. I overheard the surgeon making comments like ” How come i insert in follicle with 3 hairs, but 1 hair is left outside?” Eventually, the problem is caused by her assistant failing to insert the graft properly into the special insertion tool. I think the affected grafts are quite an an amount cause she took some time to find out the cause of the problem. I dont dare to question her as i am scared she might be offended. I also didnt know if the surgeon did took out the “wrongly inserted” grafts and reinsert it back properly. If that is case, how much will it affect the grafts survival rate??
Thanks a million!!
It sounds like the team used the Choi Implanter, which is as instrument that makes the recipient site and puts in the hair at the time the instrument is withdrawn (see image at right). It requires proper insertion of the graft into the instrument and it takes considerable dexterity to do this. These instruments are used throughout Asia and Europe, and in the hands of many doctors, the grafts often do not grow for a number of reasons, including:
- Improper insertion of the hair graft into the instrument
- Placing the grafts too deeply into the recipient area
- Trimming problems in preparing the grafts for the instrument with removal of the hair growth centers
- Graft drying, as it may be in the air for more than the 10-20 seconds it takes to kill the graft
I have seen a fair number of failures in this technique. I never understood why the surgical teams in these countries did not develop the ‘manual’ skills used in the United States, where the results may be more predictable. This instruments work in the hands of a few who developed the needed skills to overcome the above problems, but the use of these instruments suggests to the novice doctor that placing grafts into the recipient site is very, very, very simple.
I always say that doing a hair transplant is conceptually simple, but getting a successful hair transplant whatever technique or instrument the doctor uses will be seen in 8 months when the results are evident, one way or the other. A successful transplant is the sum of a whole ‘lot of steps and techniques’. The picture of the instrument shown here suggests simplicity, but by the time 8 months have gone elapsed and if there is poor graft growth, the doctor has your money and the rest can be just a nightmare of dashed hopes.
With regard to your other points, you can be meek and take the failures that may occur, or you can be proactively aggressive and let the doctor know of your dissatisfaction or your concerns. Be direct with your doctor and his/her answers should likewise be direct and to the points of your concern. In California, the state medical board or the courts protect patients. You indicated that you live in Singapore, and because I’m not familiar with the laws there, I don’t know what recourse you have.