For the many individuals who suffer from hair loss, Strip Extraction often comes to mind among the top choices when preparing to undergo a hair restoration procedure. It is one of the most popular and effective techniques, dating back to 1988, when Masumi Inaba of Japan introduced the use of a 1 mm needle for extracting follicular units, which are naturally occurring groups of hair. Fast forward one year when this method was successfully performed on patients for the first time by Dr. Ray Woods in Australia.
Though it is an extremely effective and safe method of hair restoration, very few surgeons possess the skills that would enable them to perform Strip Extraction because of the complexity and preciseness that the procedure requires, in addition to the high standard of expertise needed.
From the patient’s standpoint, however, Strip Extraction has many benefits over other procedures performed for hair restoration, including:
• A faster recovery time
• Decreased post-operative pain and discomfort
• Minimal downtime, as the patient is able to resume normal activities within 24 to 48 hours following the procedure.
During the three to six hour procedure, during which the patient remains alert and awake – and can often eat, drink and watch television—the surgeons remove narrow strips of hair once removed the hair is dissected and transplanted individually to areas of hair loss or hair thinning. The hair that encases these strips is then sutured together, and any scarring that remains will be covered with the surrounding hair. Permanent hair growth can be noticed within two to three months; significant growth can be expected within six months and complete hair growth can be achieved in nine months to one year.
The Strip Extraction procedure is less costly than many other hair restoration procedures and allows the physician to work on a larger area of hair in a single session. Additionally, patients may be satisfied with just one treatment, compared to the multiple sessions that other methods may require, though use of medications designed to aid hair restoration, such as Rogaine® and Propecia® can not only prevent further loss of the patient’s hair, but also may minimize the need for subsequent procedures.
The Strip Extraction procedure consists of two steps. The first is when the surgeon removes a strip of scalp, and then under a microscope, extracts individual follicular units. Great care is taken during this process to ensure that no follicular units are damaged.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to Strip Extraction is most apparent in the excellent results often obtained. Generally, this procedure can produce the most natural looking appearance but in less time and at less cost than with some other types of procedures.