Where many researchers are testing gene therapy on bald mice as they hunt for a more effective hair loss cure, Dr. Carlos Wesley is busy examining the scalps of hundreds of human corpses trying to find new hair transplant techniques. His drive to learn more about hair growth has even seen Dr. Wesley invent a new medical device he calls a ‘piloscope’ that is used to extract hair follicles from the scalp.
A better kind of hair transplant?
The piloscope (from the Latin ‘pilo’, meaning hair) is believed to be the first device ever invented to extract hair follicles from the underside of the scalp. The device is inserted through a small incision in the scalp and then manipulated to “suck” follicles from the underside of the scalp.
Wesley hopes that the extracted hair follicles may be re-implanted into a patient’s scalp where they will then begin natural hair regrowth. Current transplant techniques harvest individual hair follicles from the back of the head and re-implant them in areas where hair has stopped growing. This technique can lead to the development of scarring on the scalp – unexpected by many men undergoing the treatment.
Because the piloscope extracts follicles from under the scalp, scarring is significantly reduced. According to the limited clinical trials he has undertaken so far, Dr. Wesley’s new technique is also 45% more effective than traditional follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant techniques.
Still early days
To date the piloscope and Dr. Wesley’s transplant technique have only been tried on a handful of (living) men. There will need to be further clinical trials to decide whether the technique is safe and whether the technique can deliver on its early promises.
Some hair loss experts have already voiced concerns about the piloscope, pointing out that the incision used to insert the device leaves a scar itself. Other doctors and surgeons believe that there may be complications associated with the technique, such as bruising and swelling.
Dr. Wesley has himself already noted a potential drawback with his technique – there are only so many hair follicles that can be extracted before the remaining hair begins to look patchy and depleted too. In that regard, the piloscope technique still has major drawbacks, like all current hair transplant therapies.
At The Belgravia Centre, we specialise in the use of non-surgical treatments for hairloss. Comprehensive treatment programmes, containing pharmaceutical components (Propecia and minoxidil) that are medically-proven to treat hair loss, are a viable option for many men affected by hereditary hair loss. These treatments are non-invasive and can help to regrow hair lost to pattern baldness. They are also usually far more cost-effective than hair transplant surgery.
Furthermore, it is recommended that anyone considering surgical hair restoration should follow a hair loss treatment plan for three months prior to surgery.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.
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