The picture below shows a magnified region of one of our current patient’s strip scar. After receiving multiple strip procedures from other doctors, he had been left with a very wide strip scar (4 cm thick) on the back of his head. Due to his much depleted scalp donor area, he elected to undergo body hair transplantation (BHT) into his existing strip scar. He responded particularly well to beard transplantation. Subsequent to this, Dr. Cole added chest hair to the scar. Dr. Cole pre-treated the scar with PRP prior to placing the grafts into the strip scar. Two weeks following his transplant to the strip scar, he returned to the office to have the scar re-injected with PRP and to have the strip scar micro-needled. Dr. Cole also injected the strip scar with ACell at this time. The patient returned again 3 weeks later for further evaluation and for one more treatment with PRP. The attached photo shows that, just 5 weeks after his procedure, the patient already has very good growth of chest hair in the strip scar. The very short hairs in this photo depict newly growing hair in the strip scar.
Other points to consider include the following: Dr. Cole pre-treated the entire scalp with PRP prior to the procedure 5 weeks ago. Dr. Cole transplanted predominately body hair (from the chest, abdomen, and beard) to the scalp. Dr. Cole also treated the area with a small amount of scalp hair, though the amount of scalp hair was very limited due to the reduced donor supply. Dr. Cole placed abdominal hair in the CIT extraction sites on only one side of the scalp- a procedure he calls CIT farming. Dr. Cole pre-treated all of the CIT farming sites with PRP prior to placing grafts into the extraction sites. All areas, including the extraction sites on the scalp, were treated with PRP. Dr. Cole also treated the chest area, and parts of the abdominal area, extraction sites with PRP at the time of the procedure.
The patient had a very good overall response following his first procedure of body hair; the response, however, was most successful with beard hair. On his 5-week follow-up from his second procedure, the scalp areas that were pre-treated with PRP all showed some early growth, but no more than 10% of the grafted amount, and it was sparse. The donor area scar, however, exhibited a much higher yield. It is impossible to say at this point, but perhaps the injection of ACell two weeks after the transplant improved the yield in the donor area scar. The donor area sites treated with PRP and CIT farming also showed a much better response at 5 weeks.
We will continue to follow this patient as we are very interested in the potential PRP has to improve the yield of body hair. BHT yield has been quite variable over the years. Some patients get very mediocre growth, while others seem to do much better. Perhaps the PRP will improve the results in those who did not fare as well from previous BHT procedures. We will also continue to monitor the results of our patient’s donor area scar that was injected with PRP and ACell. We can’t say for certain whether these impressive results are attributable to ACell, PRP, or some combination of both, but the unusual degree of growth seems promising. Today, we removed more beard hair and treated the extraction sites with both ACell and PRP. Dr. Cole also injected parts of the scalp recipient area, treated 5 weeks ago, with additional ACell. We will monitor the response of these treatments over time.
One other interesting result occurred with the patient’s chest hair extraction sites: these areas were treated with PRP following BHT removal, and our patient reported that the sites healed in just 2 weeks. In his last procedure, the extraction sites took 2 months to heal. His abdominal extraction sites continue to heal, and are healing more slowly than his chest extraction sites healed. We did not treat all the abdominal extraction sites with PRP because his anesthesia wore off before we could treat the abdominal area fully.
One additional note on PRP: A study completed by our Korean CIT licensee, in which patients agreed to have PRP applied only to one side of their head, showed that the PRP-recipient side showed faster hair growth than the control side. Again, we don’t want to jump to premature conclusions but the results of this side-by-side comparison are certainly compelling. Our clinic in Atlanta did not participate in this study.