View Full Version : Hair Transplants - Transection vs. Yield

05-25-2009, 01:13 AM

I would like to make certain that I understand the difference between transection and yield in hair transplantation, and the relationship between the 2 (if there is one).

First, I understand that transection is the unwanted damaging and/or cutting of grafts during hair transplantation. For example, this might occur in strip surgery during the extraction of the donor strip tissue. Or, this might occur during recipient incision creation if an existing hair follicle is poked. Is this the correct definition of transection? Also, if yes, clearly transection is NOT desirable. What are the measures that doctors take (good doctors, such as IAHRS doctors) to minimize transection? I have heard of such measures as "single blades" for extraction of donor strips, but I am not certain what this is, or how it compares to any other ways of extracting donor strips. Is there any way to quantify typical transection rates, let's say during strip surgery? How many grafts are actually damaged typically? How high must transection rates be in order for it to become a negative issue in hair transplantation?

Second, I understand that yield refers to the percentage of transplanted grafts that actually grow. For example, if 100 grafts are transplanted, and 97 of them grow, then the yield is 97%. Is this correct? If yes, what are typical measures taken by good doctors (IAHRS doctors) to maximize yield?

Finally, is there any relationship between transection and yield? For example, if a graft is inadvertently transected, can it still be transplanted, and will it subsequently grow? Or is it doomed?

Thanks for any time spent on these questions. I am gearing up for hair transplant surgery #2 in my near future and I appreciate the opportunity to thoroughly understand this. As a hair loss dude, assuming I have my definitions right, I want minimum transection and maximum yield. I'm sure all hair loss dudes want this! :)


Dr. Glenn Charles
05-25-2009, 07:18 PM
Your definitions of transection and yield are very good. I think there may be a correlation between the two. Doctors who are not doing everything in their power to minimize transection rates probably are not performing other parts of the procedure correctly and therefore not getting a very high yield percentage.
There are several methods used to lower transection rates. They include, but are not limited to using single blades vs. multiblades, using tissue spreaders vs. blades to separate strip from surrounding tissue, and most importantly taking your time and using high powered magnification. Depending on where the graft is transected determines whether or not it will grow when placed into the recipient site. It has been proven that there is more than one method in hair transplantation to minimize transection and generate a very high yield.

05-26-2009, 08:19 AM
Dr. Charles:

Thank for again for your time and generosity in answering my questions! At some point along my education process in hair transplantation, I had the epiphany that when undergoing hair transplant surgery, we are actually reducing the number of hairs on our head. Even if transection is limited to 1 single hair and yield is 99.5%, there is a net reduction in the number of hairs on our heads. But hair transplants give us the illusion of a full head of hair thru the cosmetic redistribution of the hair.

Thank you again for your time and generosity!