Neografting | Procedure, Recovery, Cost, and Considerations
The field of hair restoration is always on the cutting edge.
Combining artistry, science, decades of experimentation, industry leaders are in a never-ending search for the next great thing that will restore and protect healthy hair.
But like any enterprise, not all trends are what they seem. You’ve got to look beyond the buzzwords and determine whether a new tool or technique is really a leap forward or just a repackaging of an existing idea.
With NeoGraft technology, the jury is still out – is this a revolutionary method of hair restoration or something we’ve already seen before?
Let’s do a deep dive on Neografting and get the story straight. We’ll cover the concept, the procedure, and what you can expect in terms of recovery and results. Here we go.
What is NeoGraft?
You may have seen NeoGraft marketed heavily in the past few years, claiming to be the latest and greatest advancement in hair restoration technology.
Is NeoGraft actually something new and unique? Here’s what you need to know about the technology and the business behind it.
At its core, NeoGraft is a piece of technology involving a large center console and a handheld device used to extract and implant follicle units, just as one might expect from most hair transplant techniques.
There’s no doubt that the NeoGraft equipment looks and feels like next-generation machinery. The design is sleek, the handpiece feels heavy and solid, and it’s relatively easy for technicians to get a grip on the technology in a relatively short period.
In a world where hair transplants are becoming more popular and widespread, it makes sense that more clinics would be interested in something like NeoGraft, especially since the product has been marketed so aggressively in the industry.
A big reason why NeoGraft has gained so much traction in recent years is the striking similarity to a hair transplant method known as Follicular Unit Excision or FUE.
Beyond the actual NeoGraft machinery, there is a highly coordinated business strategy that many clients deserve to know about.
While the NeoGraft technology is perfectly functional and capable, it’s the approach taken by the company that might raise some questions and concerns.
Firstly, the NeoGraft strategy is to target clinics behind the curve on technology and need an all-in-one upgrade to make them more competitive in the market.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but the problem is the claim that NeoGraft can compensate for lack of technique or experience with hair transplantation and that technicians can perform these operations just as easily and efficiently as seasoned experts.
In other words, NeoGraft claims to be a “quick and easy fix” for clinics that want to get into the hair transplant market but might not have a deep roster of experienced surgeons waiting to fill those essential roles.
The consequence of this is an industry that lacks fundamentals and may not deliver the best possible service to clients. This isn’t to say that NeoGraft can perform quality hair transplants, but what matters more is the person controlling the machine.
The NeoGraft Procedure
While FUE requires technical and expensive instruments and high standards of training, NeoGraft claims to simplify and accelerate the process with proprietary technology. Here’s how the procedure works and what clients can expect along the way.
The NeoGraft procedure begins by targeting healthy hair from the donor area of the scalp, which is typically found on the back of the head close to the neck. These healthy and durable hairs make the best and most permanent grafts for the scalp.
Within every NeoGraft instrument is a small tube containing a circular blade capable of piercing and gripping tissue from around the follicle units of the scalp.
The system involves a series of pressurized tubes and pedals controlled by technicians to maximize efficiency and reduce the risk of transaction (damage to the follicles).
The actual extraction method for Neografting requires the user to push down and “punch” the hair-bearing skin to remove a follicle unit from the subcutaneous layer of the skin. Once the skin “core” is extracted and contained within the tube, the deep-rooted follicle is then pulled and extracted in full.
It’s much closer to a “point-and-click” experience for users compared to a traditional FUE procedure or something requiring more inputs and variables.
Surgeons and techs will typically extract hair in a consistent pattern so that the skin on the donor area can heal more evenly and so they have a wide range of different follicle units to work with.
For example, some units may contain just one usable hair, while others will have three or four.
Follicles will also have slightly different angles and compositions based on where they lie in the scalp, and this helps surgeons decide where they should be placed in the donor area.
Once follicle units are extracted and consolidated in a dish or solution, technicians must then dissect and process them for implantation to the donor region.
Not only is the NeoGraft machine capable of extracting these units, but the same equipment can make incisions on the scalp and graft units with impressive speed and accuracy. This is an undeniable advantage of the technology, provided it’s in the right hands.
The implantation process uses the same mechanism as the extraction, making a cylindrical hole in the skin that is just deep and wide enough for a new follicle unit to be introduced. Grafts are hand-selected by the surgeon to be implanted for aesthetic appeal and lasting results.
When the NeoGraft is operated by a trained professional, the process is relatively fast and requires less time than a typical FUE procedure. A few doctors around the world such as Dr. Jae Pak of Jae Pak MD Medical in Los Angeles are able to work at the same pace and precision without the aide of NeoGrafts. Doctors with this level of expertise and experience are difficult to find though.
However, compared to a Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) technique, Neografting is not quite as efficient, nor can it be used for long mega sessions involving thousands of grafts per session.
Of course, many factors come into play when undergoing a hair transplant procedure of any type. As we’ll discuss in the final section, clients must consider a wide range of variables when selecting a type of procedure for their goals.
The NeoGraft procedure typically takes anywhere from three to six hours per session. Patients can usually drive themselves home that same day if they’re feeling lucid and haven’t taken any medications that could interfere.
When recovering, the process and timeline are essentially the same as FUE, requiring at least one full week of complete rest and no physical activity. Be sure to reach out to your clinic with any questions about aftercare protocol or if there are any unusual developments in your recovery.
The first few days will be when some bleeding and scabbing occur on the donor and recipient regions, and clients must resist the urge to touch or scratch these areas to maximize the healing rate.
Within a week, redness and swelling will reduce almost entirely, and most discomfort and irritation will subside as well.
In the next several weeks, clients can return to work and normal physical activity, and there will be an official follow-up meeting with the surgeon to track progress. Hair will fall out from the donor area shortly thereafter, but it will grow back more fully and completely in the following months.
To maximize the results of Neografting or any other hair transplantation procedure, clients should also consider taking medications, making lifestyle changes, or taking other recommendations from hair restoration specialists to keep their new hair long and strong.
Is NeoGraft Right for You?
There’s a lot to like about the NeoGraft technology, but the entire philosophy and business model have some flaws that can’t be ignored. Here’s our final assessment of Neografting and some parting words to help you make the best decision moving forward.
Technique Matters Most
Even if you’ve done only basic research on hair restoration surgery, you’ve probably realized that technique and experience are the main factors in hair transplant quality and client satisfaction.
This is the primary issue with NeoGraft technology and others like it. There is no substitute for the steady hand and the artistic vision of a highly trained surgeon who has been performing these procedures for years.
Don’t be misled by advertising and other flashy marketing tactics. NeoGraft technology can be effective when used by the right people, but you won’t be getting the top-quality hair transplant in many cases.
Find the Right Surgeon
Let’s say you are eager to try Neografting, but you don’t want to risk being the subject of a first-time technician’s hair transplant experiment – that’s understandable!
In this case, make sure you put in the research when selecting a surgeon and clinic. This can’t be emphasized enough: go with a Board Certified M.D. surgeon when dealing with NeoGraft, and make no exceptions.
During a consultation, explicitly ask and make sure a qualified surgeon will be performing your procedure and nobody else. This is vitally important for protecting yourself and your investment.
Start the Process Today
NeoGrafting can be done well when in the right hands, and the technology has its advantages. However, nothing compares to top-notch FUE surgery performed by industry-leading surgeons.
Schedule your consultation with Jae Pak, MD today, and take the first step on your hair restoration journey.
Hair Restoration Surgery Program | Mass General
Truth About NeoGraft | McGrath Medical