Maximum harvest of 2324 FUGs by William Reed, MD
Hair transplantation is a very satisfying procedure both to the patient as well as his doctor. The most common dissatisfaction, however, comes from disappointment in the density achieved with one procedure. The solution, if such dissatisfaction occurs, is another procedure to increase the density, but this roughly doubles the expense for the patient. One procedure has several important characteristics that need to be understood by the patient in order to avoid this disappointment: 1. Common consensus is that the maximum density that can result in reliably good growth is around 40 graft sites / cm2 for 2 and 3 hair FUGs and perhaps 50 / cm2 for the one hair grafts at the leading edge of the hairline. 2. The density achieved from this density is perhaps a 60% dense result. ("Fullness" is more optical than mathematical and is impacted by factors other than just density including hair fiber diameter, color of hair vs the skin color and waviness of hair. "Fullness" is also often more a reflection of "hair mass", i.e., hair diameter, length as well as density.) 3. At maximum density 2800 grafts will cover only approx. 70 cm2 (2800 / 40 = 70). Most people have more than 70 cm that require some coverage as in this case shown here. Therefore, certain areas will have less density than 40 sites / cm2 and the resultant, theoretical 60%. 4. These points mean that one procedure will be more "styling dependent" than, for instance, doubling up the density with a second procedure.
These photos show at 8 months the results of a pattern covering in excess of 70cm2. We were able to obtain a total of 2324 grafts from a maximum harvest that wasn't as long a strip as usual due to decreased density above the ears and a donor density that is somewhat below average (see photo). The strip width was as wide as 1.5 cm. The fullest result possible was imperative due to an important upcoming life event. I would submit that a styling dependent full look will be achieved for this upcoming event in another two months when the hair of the mid frontal forelock grows longer to allow more hair mass to cover the thin area shown in the photos. Looking at the uniformity of the graft growth at the hairline, I think most of the grafts are growing at 8 months. However, there may be some more hair mass from the grafted hairs attaining their longer, optimal lengths. A second procedure may be necessary just for ease of achieving a style that will be durable enough for wind and water.
William Reed, MD
Member, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
View my IAHRS Profile