Hair Transplant Techniques: The Lateral vs. Vertical Slit

With the refinement of hair transplants, doctors are paying more attention to the appropriate angle and orientation of the transplanted grafts, and new techniques are constantly emerging and being employed by doctors all over the world. In hair transplants terms, lateral and vertical slits are two different techniques in preparing the recipient sites where the new hairs will be transplanted. Both lateral and vertical slits use ultra fine, often custom made blades to create tiny slits, but the main difference lies in how the slit is positioned.

The lateral slit technique is where incisions are made horizontally, or from right to left, versus the vertical slit, which simply means the slit is made from front to back instead. Lateral slits are also called coronal or horizontal slits, while vertical slits sometimes are referred to as parallel or sagital. Initially, hair transplant procedures were made with almost all vertical incisions. With the introduction of the lateral slit, many doctors have adopted it as they believe it is superior to the vertical slit. Some doctors believe that vertical incisions do not allow for the most natural hair direction.

With the lateral slit technique, hair transplant doctors may have an increased control in the ability to rotate the hair follicles so that they lay out across the scalp. This means that the lateral slit can allow the hair to position itself better by going in different directions and create the illusion of more hair. Lateral slits also allows the doctor to angle the grafts in a way that will look more natural and follow the clients own hair. Advocates of the lateral slit believe that they can ultimately provide more coverage than hairs placed in vertical slits.

While lateral slits are preferred by many highly rated doctors, other doctors don’t agree that lateral slits are superior to vertical slits. And there are studies that suggest that lateral slits are not necessarily any better. As there is no scientific proof that one technique is necessarily better than the other, it ultimately becomes a matter of the doctor’s own preference.

Which hair transplant slit technique is best might just depend on who you ask. Many hair transplant doctors use a combination of lateral and vertical slits, while many other doctors will use only one or the other. In addition to the doctor’s own preference, the method used will often depend on what is best for the individual client.

Photo via Hulpy

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