What's the advantage of NeoGraft over manual follicular unit extraction?
Back in the 80s and early 90s, we would actually harvest larger groups of follicular units with a large punch device, or as a strip technique. And now with the NeoGraft system, one of the advantages it offers is that it uses a very small punch, sometimes as small as .8 millimeters, so it's really tiny. You use loupes to do the procedure. It will harvest the follicular unit out, and we take that follicular unit and immediately place it into a saltwater solution, a bathing solution, so that it doesn't dry out or desiccate, and there's really minimal manipulation of that follicular unit. Then we'll actually use those follicular units and transplant them into the bald recipient areas. So the advantages for the NeoGraft are that, number 1, it's much less invasive than the older strip technique or the older, manual FUT or FUE techniques.
Second of all, there's much less manipulation of the follicular units, or the hair follicles. What that means is there's a very high graft survival rate. Anywhere from 95% to 98% of those follicles that were transplanted will grow permanently.
Third of all, it's a more superficial technique, so it doesn't invade deeper into the tissue. There's much less discomfort for patients. We've had patients come in, they've had a strip technique, and they were like, "I'm a little nervous, you know, it wasn't that great of an experience from before." After they've had our procedure, they're like, "Wow, that was pretty easy, that wasn't bad at all." And finally, there's really no perceptible donor scar. That's important for patients. As you know, men today especially tend to wear their hairstyles shorter. We see some military patients, and so you don't want a scar going across the back of your head if you can avoid it. The problem with the manual techniques that we used before, and certainly the strip technique, is that you are much more likely to get a scar that was noticeable, kind of from ear to ear on the back of the head. And the scar would also cause some thinning of the hair around it, making it even more noticeable. It would also deplete the donor hair. You know, we're trying to maintain maximum preservation of our donor area because we want the hair to grow naturally and thick enough in the back area so it avoids any thinning out. And then we can also go out back and harvest later on. And then, I think our survival rate for grafts is so high because there is minimal manipulation, and those follicles are immediately brought into a saline solution. We know from studies that if follicular units or grafts are left to dry out, then their survival rates are reduced.