What is a Graft?

02 May 2018
What is a Graft?

During a hair transplant operation, tiny grafts of skin containing follicles are taken from the regions of donor areas, and relocated to the regions of bald areas. The grafts are put into little holes made in the bald regions using a needle, scalpel or different tool. The holes can be made by using several tools.

Size of the hair grafts and the recipient areas have become smaller in the last 30 years. This reduction in size has turned the hair transplants significantly much more natural.

Hair grafts can survive for some time outside of the human body based upon the way that they are handled and then kept. During hair transplant surgeries of long period, for most effective results, graft handling and safe-keeping is especially essential. Simply because hair grafts are transplanted from one area of the scalp to a different part instead of from one man to another, the grafts aren't unwanted by the human body. There are two crucial advantages. First of all, the physician doesn't need to check a patient to understand if a hair transplant is suitable for this patient and the second is, there are no medicines are required to ensure the growth of the implanted hair.

Hair Graft Sizes

Hair grafts are often split up into 5 categories;

1. Standard punch grafts

2. Slit grafts

3. Minigrafts

4. Micrografts

5. Follicular unit grafts.

Standard punch grafts are 3 to 4 millimeter in size and each graft can consists of up to thirty hairs. Minigrafts are smaller sized, 1.2 to 2.5 millimeter in dimension, and also have 4 to 12 hairs per graft. Slit grafts are very similar to minigrafts but they are rectangle-shaped, instead of circular, because they are cut as lengthy, thin strips instead of being harvested from the head using a punch. Micrografts are much more smaller, around 1.5, 1.0 millimeter or much less in size, with 1 to 3 hairs per graft. Follicular unit grafts consist of single follicular units. These types of natural groupings may have from 1 to 4 hairs each.

Techniques of Harvesting Hair Grafts

There are some popular techniques frequently used to harvest grafts. The first method, invented by Doctor Orentreich, uses a hand controlled punch to remove single grafts which are 4 milimeter. In fact by making very large grafts, there was clearly hair waste because of the damage of follicles around the edges of the punch. 

The large grafts acquired by punch technique, can be converted to minigrafts by slicing them. The donor region can be closed by surgical suturing or this area can be left open. If the donor areas are not closed, they will develop noticeable circular white scars that may turn into visible later. Most surgeons have stopped using these methods.

One more technique utilizes a number of scalpel blades called a multibladed knife. This tool produces multiple thin strips of donor tissue that are consequently sliced into smaller sized pieces. This technique is fast yet still popular. However, this technique may cause considerable harm to the donor tissue.

Another technique, known as single strip harvesting, the donor tissues are taken out as a single, lengthy and thin strip. The benefit of this technique is the tissues are taken from the scalp with the little amount of harm. Dissection is then performed by using a dissecting stereo microscope. This method keeps probable injury to hair follicles to a minimum and makes it possible for preservation of undamaged natural follicular units.

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