Dr. Brandon Ross uses one of only two ARTAS robots in San Diego County to perform a state-of-the-art hair restoration surgery. The robotic-assisted follicular unit extraction procedure is the latest advancement in the field of surgical hair restoration. Dr. Ross is an expert is hair restoration surgery, with over 13 years of experience in the field. The ARTAS system enhances his ability to provide for the precise extraction of follicular units from the donor area of the head (back and sides). Using advanced software, the ARTAS system allows Dr. Ross to map every hair follicle in the donor region and accurately select exactly which follicles he would like to implant to the balding area.
Another great option for follicular unit extraction surgery is a handheld device called the Devroye Hybrid Tornado Punch. We feel this unit yields far superior grafts than similar handheld devices, such as NeoGraft, because it avoids suction-stretching and rotational flaying of the follicles when harvesting. Using this device, Dr. Ross carefully selects and removes individual follicles from the back and sides of the head. Unlike with the ARTAS-assisted surgery, the handheld device allows for a larger sized surgery because all areas of the donor region are suitable for harvesting follicles. While Dr. Ross can attain tremendous results with this method, the duration is longer because of the lack of automation.
For those patients that desire a maximum number of transplants, but also a have a desire to utilize the most advanced technology, a combination surgery is the best option. For this method, Dr. Ross uses the ARTAS robotic technique to extract follicles from the mid-occipital region of the scalp, moving forward laterally. He then uses the Devroye handheld device to reach the additional areas in the donor region that the ARTAS machine is unable to reach (upper and lower occipital regions, temporoauricular areas).
In the hands of an experienced surgeon, the traditional strip method of surgery can lead to excellent natural results. Dr. Ross has performed thousands of surgeries with millions of grafts and attains excellent results with this method. With a FUT procedure, a strip of tissue is removed from the back of the head, which is subsequently dissected under microscopes into single follicles for the transplantation.
Dr. Ross now offers stem cell therapy for the treatment of hair loss. Stem cells are healing cells that can divide and proliferate into new tissue- including hair follicles.Stem cell therapy is non-surgical and non-invasive, with no down time afterwards. Most importantly, this form of treatment may be effective for many hair loss patients who have traditionally been poor candidates for hair restoration surgery because of poor donor hair or the global hair loss pattern seen in some forms of female pattern loss. Treatments are equally effective for men and women.
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is another treatment option at La Mesa Medical Hair Restoration. Like stem cell therapy this treatment is non-surgical, non-invasive, and has no down time.
PRP therapy involves drawing the patient’s blood and using a centrifuge to isolate the platelets and their associated cytokines and growth factors (the PRP).
The platelet rich plasma is then injected into the thinning areas of the patient’s scalp, which promotes healing and hair growth. While this method of treating hair loss gained more attention in recent years, Dr. Ross was conducting studies on the benefits of platelet rich plasma for hair loss as far back as 2007.
Propecia (finasteride): The drug Propecia (FDA approval in 1997) has shown to be effective at slowing down or halting the process of hair loss caused by male pattern baldness. It does do by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-Alpha Reductase, which is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. The working theory is that most, if not all, hair loss due to male pattern baldness is a result of DHT binding to its receptors on susceptible follicles and inhibiting their growth. Since DHT receptors are mostly found on follicles on the top of the head, this is the area where the DHT causes the hair to fall out. Propecia lowers the total body DHT levels, thereby reducing the inhibition caused by DHT (double negative equals a positive). The end result is less hair loss for most males.
Rogaine (minoxidil): Rogaine (FDA approval in 1988) is the only other medication which has gained FDA approval for the treatment of hair loss. It is available as a clear liquid solution, and more recently as a mousse-like foam, which is applied directly to the scalp twice daily. This medication has proven to be safe and well tolerated. Minoxidil was used to treat hypertension prior to its use as a treatment for hair loss. Its ability to reduce hair loss and grow small hairs was subsequently seen as a side effect. After this discovery, it began being marketed as a hair growth medicine in its topical form. While minoxidil can stimulate increased blood flow to the scalp, this is unlikely to be the mechanism by which it grows hairs. The more likely scenario is that it activates some cellular receptor which still remains a mystery. Unfortunately, the hairs which may grow as a result of applying minoxidil are usually very small and have a tendency to shed soon after the medication is stopped. On a more positive note, minoxidil can be used to treat female hair loss in addition to male pattern baldness.