What is so great about using a microscope for hair transplantation? I read some ads in the Los Angeles Times which stated: “Dr. X set new standards in hair restoration through the use of the ‘X’ Scope [Doctor’s name removed], an advanced microscope that allows more healthy hairs to be transplanted than ever before”.
At the same time, a second ad appeared which said: “Dr. Y’s new Mantis Microscope allows for greater single-hair dissection accuracy, significantly less donor hair for wastage, high hair growth success and better, denser and more natural results.”
Are you keeping up with Dr. X and Dr. Y?
Dr. X and Dr. Y somehow just came into the modern era in hair transplantation. Please look at the many articles I authored on the use of microscopes for hair transplantation which address the use of the microscope and its value. Most of what Dr. X and Y said is true. The industry standard was set by us in an article written in 1998 which conclusively showed the value at minimizing damage in harvesting grafts by the use of the microscope. What we reported was that the hair yield produced without the microscope was 25% less than the yield with a microscope. These numbers were even more dramatic in individuals with white or gray hair, where the advantages of the microscope showed hair yields from harvested strips were 40% higher than those without the microscope. The lost hairs in the count have almost certainly been tossed into the discarded tissue and were lost value to the patient. In a common idiomatic expression, ‘The baby was tossed out with the bath water’.
The focus for Dr. X and Y in claiming a breakthrough is one of ‘grandstanding’, bringing something to the forefront of importance and trying to take credit for discoveries where none is due. Microscopic dissection has been around since the 1980s’ (first introduced by Dr. Bobby Limmer). We applied the microscope to the follicular units which we defined and published in 1995 to define the standard which is now universally accepted as the golden standard for hair transplantation in everyone’s hands. The ads are largely correct, the use of the microscope is critical for significantly less donor hair wastage, high hair growth success and better, denser and more natural results. This is just what we have been doing for the past 10 years, so there is nothing new here.
So maybe the answer to your questions is: Dr. X and Dr. Y have now finally understood the standard of care and are moving into using it. It’s about time.
FYI: I changed the names of the doctors to Dr. X and Y. Buyer Beware remains the quote for the day.