What Is Autologous Micrograft Transfer
- Official NeoAsia Singapore and South-East Asia Certified Trainer for Regenera Activa (one of the devices that is able to perform Autologous Micrograft Transfer)
- Speaker on Autologous Micrograft Transfer technique using the Regenera Activa Protocol at Malaysian Society of Aesthetic Medicine
- Speaker on Autologous Micrograft Transfer technique using the Regenera Activa System at Asia Cosmetic Dermatology Conference (organized by Persatuan Dermatologi Malaysia)
- Trainer for Workshops to demonstrate the Regenera Activa Bedside Point of Care Hair Restoration Protocol in Hanoi and Ho Chih Minh, Vietnam
- Speaker for NeoAsia x Regenera Science “Meet The Expert” Webinar, Topic: “The Regenera Activa”
- Speaker for Regenera Science Webinar, Topic: “Treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss using Regenera Activa”
- Speaker for Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress 2022, Monaco, Topic: “Introduction to Regenera Activa AMT”
- Speaker for Regenera Activa AMT Webinar, Topic: “What went wrong with your Regenera Activa procedure?”
- Speaker and Workshop Trainer for AK Dubai for DubaiDerma 2023, UAE, Topics: “Introductory demonstration of the Regenera Activa AMT technique” and “What went wrong with your Regenera Activa procedure?”
How Does Autologous Micrograft Transfer Work?
How Does Autologous Microcraft Transfer Work?
How do I know if I am suitable for Autologous Micrograft Transfer?
Many options for hair restoration can result in confusion as to which procedure is the optimal one for you. To identify if you are suitable for Autologous Micrograft Transfer, we always start with an initial consultation with one of our hair loss professionals.
- What goes on in the initial consultation? – A subjective history-taking will be done where you will answer questions about your personal journey with hair thinning, past medications or medical procedures, family history of baldness, and lifestyle factors (such as diet, exercise, and stress). After that, an objective assessment will be done where your hair is examined under a high-powered microscope specially for hair diagnoses, called ‘trichoscopy’. This diagnostic tool helps to confirm the suspicions of hair loss causes, and provides our hair loss specialists with an accurate picture of your hair and scalp condition. This paves the way for accurate treatment.
- Who are those typically suitable for Autologous Micrograft Transfer? – This treatment will greatly benefit both men and women who want to avoid undergoing a surgical procedure like hair transplant where possible, but are already experiencing areas of hair thinning.
If you are deemed suitable for the Autologous Micrograft Transfer procedure, your doctor will inform you of the areas that can be restored with this procedure. The areas that are likely to do better with other forms of treatments (e.g. hair transplant surgery or medications) will also be explained.
How is the procedure performed?
Step 1 – Hair Analysis
Our dermatologist will do an in-depth hair analysis, which is the initial consultation part. [Read above: “How do I know if I am suitable for Autologous Micrograft Transfer?”]
Step 2 – Sample Extraction
Samples, or ‘grafts’ are extracted from near the back of the scalp. This area chosen is important, as sample extraction may form deep punctures that possibly heal with some scarring. The extraction is performed in a sterile operating theatre in-clinic. While lying on your side, local anaesthesia is injected to the donor sites, and a small area (roughly the size of a fingernail) will be shaven down to skin. The shaving allows for extraction of hair and skin grafts.
Step 3 – Solution Preparation
These ‘graft’ samples are then placed in a ‘regeneration’ unit to be processed, which helps to isolate the cells with regenerative capabilities. This breaks the larger tissue down into 50-micrometre sized fragments called ‘micrografts’. This micrograft suspension now contains viable hair follicles, mesenchymal stem cells, and cell-signalling growth factors. It should look extremely dense and non-see through, which indicates an adequate concentration of regenerative cells and molecules.
Step 4 – Solution Application
This rich solution is reintroduced on areas with hair loss to begin initiating the regenerative process of hair follicles. The depth of injection is important to ensure that the follicular bulge and dermal papilla (areas which contain stem cells that signal hair growth) are targeted.
Hence, to make sure that you are in good hands, the doctor that performs this procedure needs to be familiar with hair follicle anatomy and practise their speciality in the field of hair loss procedures – this ensures safety, treatment efficacy, and greater results satisfaction for you.
Autologous Micrograft Transfer – Zero Downtime
The Autologous Micrograft Transfer procedure offers several benefits while also being generally safe and effective. One such benefit is that it has zero downtime! Unlike hair transplant surgery where you may need to set aside 5-7 days before being able to continue most of your daily activities, you will be able to walk out the door right into the next thing on your schedule after a Autologous Micrograft Transfer treatment.
It is also a relatively fast procedure that you do not need to clear your entire day’s schedule for, involves fast tissue preparation, and has minimal discomfort. Aside from being a one-time procedure, it is also minimally-invasive and uses stem cells from the patient’s body for the treatment which makes it a safe choice.
Another plus side is that if you are a suitable candidate, Autologous Micrograft Transfer acts almost immediately to activate dormant hair follicles. Results can be seen within 30 days, compared to medications like finasteride and minoxidil which may take up to half a year to show tangible results. Some results you may see from Autologous Micrograft Transfer are:
- Thicker hair growth
- Hair grows faster
- Density improves, covering sparse areas of your scalp
Can Autologous Micrograft Transfer Be Combined With Other Treatments?
It is generally safe to combine Autologous Micrograft Transfer with other treatments. In fact, combined with the right treatment, Autologous Micrograft Transfer can be even more effective. The types of treatments that can be combined with Autologous Micrograft Transfer are:
- Low-level laser light therapy (improves circulation and activation of hair follicles)
- Topical hair growth solution (stimulates the hair to enter the anagen/growth
- Hair growth supplements (increases antioxidant levels in the body for hair health)
- Anti-hair fall shampoos (provides a healthy scalp environment)
Another great side effect of Autologous Micrograft Transfer treatments is that it may actually help reduce the dosage of some other hair growth treatments, like DHT-blockers. DHT-blockers help to prevent miniaturisation of hair follicles in male or female pattern baldness.
What happens after the procedure?
- Duration of procedure – The duration of Autologous Micrograft Transfer takes between 45-60 minutes to be completed, with no downtime after.
- Immediately post-procedure – The dressing on the area of extraction should remain there for 24 hours to allow the wound to heal and prevent any entry of bacteria. After 24 hours, you can then shampoo your hair and remove the dressing on your own.
- 1 week post-procedure – The wounds over the extraction site will heal on their own and some hairs will start growing out from them by the end of 1 week.
- 3-4 weeks post-procedure – You will notice shedding of the ‘miniaturised’ or weak hairs around this period. Do not worry if there is shedding happening! Those stem cells are signalling the hair follicles to enter into a new anagen/growth phase. The shedding may last for 2-4 weeks or even up to 6 weeks if you have been started on minoxidil. This shedding typically will not make your hair appear thinner.
- 1 month post-procedure – A review appointment will be scheduled to follow-up on the degree of improvement by using clinical photography. A programme of low-level laser light therapy will be performed on the day of the review to optimise growth and increase activation of the hair follicles.
- 3 months post-procedure – New, stronger hair would have grown over the treated area. Another review will be scheduled for clinical photographs to be taken again, for hair growth comparison. Another session of low-level laser light therapy will be performed at that point, as part of the new revised protocol based on latest Autologous Micrograft Transfer research.
It is important to note that results do vary between patients and treatments. Other than avoiding any pool activities or submerging yourself in the sea for a week after the treatment, there are no major cautionary restrictions to follow. However, lifestyle changes post-treatment are also important. If you want to ensure good scalp health in general for strong and healthy hair, take care of your diet and nutrition. Certain foods are shown to be better for a healthy scalp, especially those rich in zinc, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids. Managing your stress levels will also go a long way in preventing any long-term hair loss.
What happens after the procedure?
The initial assessment is very important for women experiencing female pattern hair loss.
Some female pattern hair loss patients may NOT be immediately suitable for the procedure. Taking a holistic approach, all other factors will need to be addressed first (addressing concurrent medical conditions, nutrition optimisation, etc.) before considering a hair transplant surgery where needed.
- Female pattern hair loss is a far more complex condition than male pattern hair loss. While genetics and hormonal factors play the main role in male pattern baldness, it may not be so in female pattern baldness. In females, hormone levels may be identified as normal but hair loss may still occur. Hence, we need to look at lifestyle, nutrition, stress, and perhaps even conduct a blood test to identify what is contributing to hair loss.
- Even the classical signs of balding will differ from men and women! In females, it may resemble a ‘Christmas tree’ pattern at the top of the head where the middle parting lies. This means that a diffuse form of hair thinning starts to occur there, eventually getting wider and wider with more scalp visibility.
- However, other conditions may also result in this patchy thinning – things like telogen effluvium, or even hair loss from medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). As such, the clinical diagnosis may be challenging and may require further testing to identify if Autologous Micrograft Transfer will produce optimal results for the female candidate.
If you ARE a suitable candidate, you may need to consider that:
- Autologous Micrograft Transfer may need to be repeated on a more frequent basis than men. This will be affected by your age, hormonal profile, family planning status, and genetics. There are, however, some combinations of treatments that can be used to prolong the effects of this regenerative treatment, which will be discussed with you.
- Autologous Micrograft Transfer may not be able to target the entire area of thinning. This is because a large area of diffuse thinning often occurs in female pattern hair loss, and attempting to spread the ‘micrograft suspension’ across all areas will just dilute the effects of the cell growth factors. For optimal aesthetic benefits, this regenerative concoction will be utilised in areas that have the most obvious thinning only.
Of the hundreds of cases that have been done in Terra Medical Clinic, a patient-centric approach to this treatment based on considerations of the aesthetic profile and client expectations provides higher patient satisfaction for women!
This depends on the severity of the hair loss and whether other hair loss treatments have been prescribed in combination with Autologous Micrograft Transfer. Generally, the effects of Autologous Micrograft Transfer last about 1 year and it is recommended that repeat treatments are done yearly to give the best chance for the hair to develop fully. A combination of treatments targeting the various causes of pattern hair loss can help to extend the lifespan of the procedure.
Minoxidil (oral OR topical) should be stopped for 1 week before the procedure.
Finasteride (oral) can and should be continued.