Hair Transplants: Researchers Say CO2 Lasers Make Hair Transplants Faster and Easier

LOS ANGELES, Calif (May 5, 1998) — Hair transplantation was the most popular cosmetic procedure for men in 1997, according to statistics compiled by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Nearly 83% of the 61,023 total number of hair transplantations were performed on men. Now, according to a study presented at the ASAPS annual meeting in Los Angeles, a new method using the CO2 laser may make hair transplantation faster and easier with a more natural result.

The 50 patients in four centers who participated in the study were treated with an ultrapulsed laser on the left scalp and a traditional scalpel on the right scalp. The laser was modified with special software and hardware for the transplantation. Hair counts, bleeding, time to create the sites, time to plant the grafts, and effect of laser heat on surrounding skin were evaluated. At 6 months, biopsies were obtained and the quality of the hair growth was assessed. Standardized photographs--globally and of specific sites--were taken throughout the study.

Plastic surgeon Barry E. DiBernardo, MD, of Montclair, NJ, who authored the international, multicenter, controlled study, cites less bleeding, less "compression" (shrinkage of the grafts from the natural inward force of the scalp), and less "pop-out" (inward pressure of surrounding scalp causing the new grafts to raise up and become uneven on the surface) among the statistically significant results. "Biopsies showed minimal scar formation, which negates the concern of heat from the laser affecting the skin," adds DiBernardo.

The CO2 laser is effective in reducing many of the tedious, time-consuming aspects of hair transplantation, says the investigator, which is another benefit to patients.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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