Hair Transplant Terms: What Is Transection?

In the hair transplant industry, transection refers to the potential damage that can occur to the hair follicles during the hair transplantation. More specifically, transection is when there is damage to the lower portion of the hair follicle, often the hair bulb, which will prevent it from generate new hair. And this damage greatly increases the risk that the follicle will not grow, or survive, once transplanted. Luckily, most hair transplant clinics work hard to keep their transection rates as low as possible.

There has been much discussion on what an acceptable transection rate should be, as well as transection rates between different hair transplant techniques. For instance, some hair transplant experts claim that there is less of a transection rate with a strip procedure, while other experts claim that the newest automated hair transplant tools, such as the NeoGraft, CIT and Safes scribe systems, have the lowest transection rates. While the transection rate at many hair transplant clinics is usually lower than 5%, it is also possible for it to be much higher than that. There have been reports of clinics that have up to a 50% transection rate, which of course is unacceptable by industry standards. Some clinics pride themselves in having only a 2% transection rate.

While each and every hair transplant clinic have their own transection rate, and perhaps only they will ever know what it really is, preventing transection ultimately becomes a matter of training and skill. An inexperienced doctor would simply have a higher transection rate than someone who knows exactly how grafts should be harvested and implanted. Using the latest and most refined microsurgical tools also plays a role in keeping transection rates low.

There are several steps a hair transplant clinic can take to ensure that their transection rate is as low as possible. First and foremost, a hair transplant clinic needs to have very high standards in order to keep their transection rates low. And in addition to having a very skilled and experienced team on hand, regular quality controls should also be conducted, to make sure that as many hair follicles as possible are being used to their full potential. Lack of staff, poor technique, no quality control and sloppy work are all factors that can contribute to a higher transection rate.

So why is the transection rate so important? Because donor hair should not be wasted. No one has an unlimited donor supply. The hair transplant doctor simply re-distributes the hair that is already on the clients scalp, and this hair must be preserved as well as possible. Transection is a serious issue that must be taken seriously, and an ethical doctor will work hard to keep his or her transection rate down. Anyone who is considering a hair transplant, and especially those with a limited donor supply, should make sure that the clinic they are consulting is committed to keeping their transection rates as low as possible.

Photo via pfroilan

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