Hair Transplant Techniques in McLean, Richmond, VA & Washington, DC
Dr Lindsey performs ultra refined, state-of-the-art hair transplantation using the most advanced, cutting-edge techniques which create consistent, natural and undetectable results. Below is an explanation of some of the techniques which allow such results to be achieved.
A megasession is simply another way of saying “very large numbers of grafts in one procedure.” The actual number of grafts a megasession refers to is variable from clinic to clinic, but at Lindsey Medical, PC we define it as a procedure exceeding 2,000 grafts in one sitting all the way on up to 5,000 grafts.
In the typical megasession, single hair grafts are placed into the first centimeter of hairline to ensure the most natural transition from the forehead into the new hair. Behind the new hairline, 2 hair grafts are placed to make the hair look thicker on the top, and then 3 hair grafts are used in the zone behind that to also add to the thickening effect. The result is a properly balanced and natural looking hair restoration.
The benefits of megasessions cannot be overstated- reduces the number of surgeries a person may need to enjoy a significant cosmetic difference as well as reducing the price of the overall hair restoration plan in general. Nothing has advanced the field of modern hair transplantation more than the introduction of competently performed megasessions.
In order to perform proper megasessions, a hair transplant clinic must have a “mega” staff. Preparing and manipulating thousands of tiny hair roots is a considerable challenge and requires a truly experienced and trained TEAM of technicians as well as a meticulous doctor. When you’re interviewing HT clinics to perform YOUR procedure, make sure to find out how many FULL TIME technicians they have on staff and how many will be guaranteed to work on you and you alone during your procedure.
When you are discussing the most modern and effective techniques of hair transplantation, one must include a discussion of lateral slits. This innovation was created and introduced by Dr. Jerry Wong and Dr. Victor Hasson of Vancouver Canada and was ignored for years until the introduction of custom cut blades (see dense packing) and procedures exceeding 2,000 grafts in one session (see megasessions).
Before grafts were placed “laterally” (slits made with head and tail in the direction of ear to ear) they were placed “vertically” (slits made with head to tail in the direction of front to back). Placing grafts vertically served the hair transplant industry very well for years. In fact, it had benefits that lateral slits just didn’t offer. However, with the advent of smaller blades, smaller more well refined grafts, and denser packing, the advantage flipped from the vertical slit to the lateral slit. Here’s why:
Until follicular unit grafting, all grafts were cut rather chunky into obsolete mini and micrografts. That is, a lot of extra tissue was kept around it because it was easier to produce a graft this way and it provided extra protection for the graft when being handled. But when grafts started to be divided down to much smaller follicular units it became obvious that the natural anatomy of the follicular unit was flat and that the hairs tend to grow out of the graft in a straight line with one follicle laying next to each other like picketing on a fence.
So like shingles on a house, the best way to maximize the coverage of the scalp was by orienting these grafts so that they lay flat on the scalp. The opposite analogy is that when they are placed in the vertical orientation, it would be like stacking the shingles of a house edgewise on their side. If this were to be done, one would need 20 times as many shingles to cover the house.
Another analogy is to take a book and put it on the table in such a way as to cover as much of the table as possible. You could balance the book on it’s edge and cover maybe a few inches (vertical orientation) or, you could lay it flat on the table(lateral orientation) and cover a far greater area.
Dense packing is a relatively new concept in hair transplantation and was really only made possible through the introduction of new machinery designed to allow the surgical tools to be customized to the size of the graft rather than the other way around
Because the size of the instruments can be made so much smaller than before, the grafts can be placed much closer together without hurting the skin or blood-flow underneath, thereby allowing for a much thicker result. Before the introduction of such surgical equipment, dense packing was not an option because the size of the recipient sites into which the grafts were placed were prohibitively large.
When dense packing is combined with megasessions, you have a formula for providing the greatest amount of hair, with the thickest possible result, with the greatest possible coverage, with the least amount of trauma to the skin, in the fewest number of procedures possible. That’s a mouthful, but it’s worth reading TWICE before you interview hair transplant doctors for YOUR procedure.
All clinics should use microscopes for every aspect of graft preparation and you as patients should always make a point of asking your HT doctor if they do indeed use these wonderful devices. Most clinics do NOT use them, or they only use one or two so it is not out of place for you to ask this of your HT doctor.
Microscopes are expensive, clunky looking devices that are a pain in the neck for any new technician to learn how to use. They are also invaluable tools that when utilized properly, allow for the production and refinement of the very finest grafts possible for your hair transplant procedure.
Before the use of microscopes, technicians did not need to use magnification because the grafts were so big and contained many hairs. While it was indeed easier to produce grafts back then, the results were often “pluggy” and unnatural. To increase the natural look of a transplant, it was determined that it was best to use many smaller grafts rather than a few larger ones. As the grafts became smaller, they became harder to see, so dissecting microscopes were introduced into hair transplant clinics.
Like megasessions, this new innovative use of microscopes for hair transplantation was shunned, rejected, and maligned as an unnecessary waste of money and time. Most of the clinics that shared this wrong-headed view are (thankfully) now out of business. The ones that are holding on won’t be around for long. The undeniable truth is that a clinic cannot perform dense pack megasessions on a routine basis without microscopes. Thankfully, more and more clinics are gaining an appreciation of the benefits of high magnification and are now including microscopes in their practice.
If the clinic you are interviewing can’t show you at least 6 microscopes that are obviously being used on a day to day basis I would recommend you walk right out the door. Just ask any doctor you are interviewing for a tour of the procedure area DURING a procedure. Most clinics will be more than happy to escort you through. If they resist your request, you know what to do.
At Lindsey Medical, PC we use the very best dissecting microscopes available known as the “Mantis”. Not only this, we have specially modified our scopes to make preparation of your grafts even higher in quality. The scopes we use are approximately 5 times more expensive than the next level of dissecting microscope, but we have found this extra investment to be well worthwhile in terms of quality and consistency.
Microscopes are so important to the practice of hair transplantation that Dr. Lindsey actually visited the factory that produces these high end scopes and worked with engineers to customize these scopes specifically for his hair transplant practice.
You deserve the very best hair transplant possible and few tools are as valuable as high quality microscopes to prepare your grafts.
Quality control is at the very heart of Lindsey Medical, PC and is something we’ve always taken very seriously. But you probably have no idea what is specifically meant by quality control, so we will detail our more significant “QC” measures here for you to learn about and compare with other clinics
- High resolution photos are taken before, during, and after your transplant and made available to you. This acts as documentation that Lindsey Medical, PC performed the procedure as agreed upon by you and Dr. Lindsey.
- With the permission of you, the patient, we will offer to digitally hide your face and put these photos up on the internet for the world to see and evaluate. This sort of transparency is virtually unheard of in most hair transplant clinics. Of course if you don’t want your photos shown to anybody under any circumstances your absolute privacy is respected.
- All medications and pre-surgical preparations made by staff are cross-checked and initialed for accountability.
- All technicians are in-house and work exclusively for Dr. Lindsey. Their character and attitude are pre-screened by Dr. Lindsey himself to insure that only the best professionals with the best work ethic work on your scalp. We never use “visiting” or “traveling” technicians like most clinics do. We believe this is not only an unethical practice, but probably an illegal one as well in many instances. No stranger will ever be employed temporarily to work on any Lindsey Medical patient ever -an unfortunate yet rampant practice in most HT clinics that should be regulated and stopped.
- Occasional last minute staff absence is a reality of life that we at Lindsey Medical, PC believe should not be overlooked. Why should the quality of your procedure be diminished because of the sudden illness of a technician who was scheduled to assist in your procedure? To address this issue ALL procedures at Lindsey Medical, PC are overstaffed to insure you the finest possible surgery with no decrease in quality even if a technician calls in sick or has car trouble. This extra measure of quality control is non-existent in most other hair transplant clinics.
- All staff utilize the highest quality microscopes available today to prepare your grafts. These microscopes are 5 times more expensive than the average microscope to insure that the technician has the absolute best tool available to prepare your new hair. By using such high end equipment we minimize fatigue which directly increases quality-especially during large megasessions.
- Graft preparation is made under microscopes modified with video cameras that allow each technician’s work to be digital recorded and viewed. Viewing of recordings are performed randomly by Dr. Lindsey and senior staff for evaluation purposes. We have found this particular method to be very useful in sharing tips among staff which helps to sharpen and improve every technician’s overall skill.
- Other modifications to our microscopes that have been made by Dr. Lindsey allow for improved visualization of grafts during “difficult” cases that standard microscopes just don’t have. For now these modifications are proprietary as Dr. Lindsey pursues patents on these innovations.
- Video feeds of microscopic preparation of grafts are coupled to our in-house network for real-time viewing by Dr. Lindsey.
- While grafts are being placed into the recipient site one technician who is not placing is assigned to watch and evaluate those that are. Placement is also monitored by video and reports are thus verified.
There is much more quality control pertaining to the more mundane aspects of a medical practice at Lindsey Medical, PC but the above stands out as unique in both general medical offices and hair transplant offices. When you interview your HT doctor, ask about their version of these quality control measures.