Dr. Mejia recently spoke at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery in Hollywood, FL. His topics were “Diagnosing and Managing Male and Female Androgentic Alopecia and Non-Androgenetic Alopecia Treatments: When to Biopsy and or refer. Below is a recap of his presentation.
Many people embrace being bald and can live under the mantra that “bald is beautiful”. For many other people, their hair is fundamental to their confidence and the burden of hair loss is great. For these patients, hair restoration or a hair transplant utilizing follicular unit transplants or follicular unit extraction may be an option. Many patients would rather have a hair transplant without surgery if it is possible. In these situations, we attempt to grow hair with laser caps or low level laser treatments in combination with medical therapy. However, a good patient history and clinical diagnosis is essential to ensuring the best possible treatment for the patient. The majority of cases in women are often caused by telogen effluvium, or shedding, and when possible it should be a priority to reassure the patient that everything WILL BE OK!! Patients often experience telogen effluvium 3 months after experiencing stress. For these patients, their hair will come back! In these cases they do not need the Neograft or ARTAS or any other type of laser implants. They do not need to visit Hair Club for men or women as the hair will naturally regrow on its own.
There are many different types of hair loss diseases and it is important for any physician to be able to recognize these diseases. One of these diseases, on the verge of epidemic, is lichen planopilaris. These diseases have treatment plans, but a physician inexperienced with them must be able to know when it is necessary to biopsy or refer a patient to a specialist.
There are many alternative treatment options to androgenetic alopecia when a patient prefers a non-surgical solution. Products such as cosmetic camouflage, micropigmentation, and hair systems are growing in popularity and should be discussed as a possible treatment plan. Other solutions, such as laser therapy and PRP injections are garnering greater and greater support and research but are still relatively experimental and patients should be educated on the fact that these treatments are still new and may or may not lead to hair growth.
When a hair transplant is the best treatment for a patient, it is essential to give a realistic consult. Patients often need multiple surgeries to reach their expectations and that must be conveyed.