The topic of graft survival in hair restoration often spawns lively discussion. Many times there is a preoccupation with the relationship between graft survival and harvesting method (more specifically, strip harvesting with microscopic dissection versus follicular unit extraction). Donor harvesting is only part of the equation though.
Recipient site creation and graft placement are also factors that effect graft survival. A minimally invasive approach to the recipient area is hugely beneficial. Sites created with small custom-made blades tend to heal rapidly. Since these recipient incisions require less time to heal, blood circulation to the grafts is quickly reestablished. In other words, minimizing trauma to the scalp helps promote optimal graft survival.
While all patients heal differently, the benefits of refined recipient site creation and graft placement is often seen in the condition of the scalp immediately post op. The incisions typically appear clean with negligible irritation and scabbing. On the other hand, larger recipient sites will often leave the scalp visibly traumatized, bruised, lacerated, and/or heavily crusted to due excessive bleeding. Although the condition of the scalp immediately post is by no means the final result, the relationship between recipient site trauma and graft survival should be noted.
Dr. Rose and other fine hair transplant surgeons have recognized the advantages of a minimally invasive surgery in the recipient area. Tiny customs cut blades, as small as .7mm in width, are used to promote rapid healing and higher survival rates. Incidentally, many physicians find that using custom cut blades allows them to achieve higher densities and a better aesthetic result overall.
Below are immediate post-operative photos of one of Dr. Rose’s patients. This individual received 2,100+ grafts in order to restore his frontal hairline. As you can see, the grafts were distributed over a small area. Regardless of the relatively high density, the discrete incisions are clean and precise, and the newly placed grafts are flush with surrounding scalp.