did you start performing hair transplants?
performed my first transplant in 1993, and
have done so exclusively through to the
did you get interested in doing FUE or HairXfer.
had a conversation with Spencer Kobren about
nine months ago during which he asked me
what I thought about FUE and Dr. Woods.
I told him that I never heard of Dr. Woods
and that the idea of moving individual grafts
from the donor site was absurd. After a
lengthy conversation, and an exhaustive
reading of HLH forums, I was able to learn
quite a bit about FUE in a short period
of time and slowly came around to the idea.
October of 2002 the ISHRS held their annual
meeting during which Dr. William Rassman
gave a lecture, complete with video, on
the subject of FUE. He was very articulate
in defining his experience but, more importantly,
he pointed out the obstacles he was running
into. He then challenged the audience to
take up FUE on their own and to solve the
problems. My imagination was fired and I
did my first FUE one day after my return
to New York. I did indeed run into the same
exact problems that Dr. Rassman encountered
and came up with several methods to overcome
them. In order to further my FUE education
and to gain corroboration for my techniques,
I contacted Dr. Rob Jones of Toronto. He
was the only FUE practitioner who would
speak with me and interested in sharing
information. He gave me invaluable insight
into the work he had done so far and encouraged
me to keep improving the techniques I was
long have you been doing it and how many
patients have you performed it on?
have performed FUE on over 50 patients and
have not stopped doing them since October
of 2002. Most of these patients were standard
strip patients who volunteered to let me
perform anywhere between 50 to 500 FUE's
in addition to FU's. Other patients are
those who have large donor scars and want
them filled in. I even have one patient
upon whom I rebuilt eyebrows with FUE and
will be doing a second such patient in August.
the average number of grafts you do per
a strip case I will average about 1800 FU's
per surgery, but will usually max out at
3,000 FU's There is no average number for
my FUE patients.
believe you have developed some custom tools.
Can you tell us about them and what they
produced several tools and techniques to
overcome the obstacles that Dr. Rassman
defined during his lecture in October 2002.
One such tool I termed a "perforator"
as it's function is to perforate the lower
dermal layers to allow for the safe and
quick release of the target FU from the
skin. This simple device ranges in construction
from a single spike to a multi-spiked device
that slides deep into the skin. I have already
posted the drawings from the first Patent
are several more devices I have been experimenting
with that are even less obvious than the
"perforator" and I will likewise
make that information available as my patent
attorney allows. I can tell you now that
another tool I have been experimenting with
for the past 3 months may allow almost any
newcomer to perform 500 FU extractions in
about an hour and a half with few to no
transections. If this device proves to be
consistently successful it will change the
industry of hair transplantation as we know
you going to be making these tools available
to other doctors?
All the tools and techniques are available
to ALL doctors NOW. I will not hold back
information that could help potential patients.
I have shared information with Dr. Jones,
Dr. Wolfe, Dr. Rassman, Dr. Baumann, and
many other doctors interested in seriously
practicing FUE. During the Arkansas meeting
in February I brought a video of my perforation
technique for all to see. I was able to
show in a five minute presentation that
with the right techniques, FUE could be
a practical ALTERNATIVE to strip, if not
just an adjunct. The marginalization of
FUE began to breakdown as more and more
doctors asked how to start using it in their
you going to be focusing on HairXfer (FUE)
exclusively from now on?
will not focus exclusively on FUE until
more data is in. I want to see the long
term results of this new surgery before
I fully commit. The problem with FUE, compared
to strip, is that it is far more technically
demanding and so the price for such surgery
remains high, not to mention how much longer
it takes to do a surgery.
newer techniques and instruments become
available, the price will fall and more
patients will opt for this procedure. For
now, strip surgery is probably the most
reasonable choice. It is a proven technique
and leaves very little donor scarring for
most patients. Unfortunately, the emergence
of the newer FUE technique has confused
many patients who are not sure which way
to go. I would still get a strip procedure
today as it is the most practical and proven
method, but the future of FUE is quite bright
and will probably command the full attention
of my practice in the years to come.
much do you charge per graft?
per graft for hairline FUE's (because these
need to be further divided under the microscope)
$10 per graft for hair behind the hairline
(further dissection is not necessary IF
it is densely packed).