Hair Transplantation - Dr.Arvind Poswal Interview

Dr.  Arvind Poswal is a hair transplant surgeon based in Delhi and an expert in hair restoration procedures.  A graduate of the elite Armed Forces Medical College, Dr. Poswal has invented several innovative techniques including FUSE that has advanced the field of hair restoration. He is also the world’s first doctor to perform beard hair to scalp transplant by FUE technique. A noted teacher, he has been actively involved in educating the next generation of doctors on the hair restoration procedures. Students from several countries come to India to train under him and learn his advanced techniques. He is a recipient of several awards; the latest being 'the best hair transplant surgeon award' last year. This is short interview on hair transplantation. If you have any further questions you can contact Dr. Arvind through his website

For several reasons many young men are losing hair. There are several treatment options including drug therapy with finasteride and minoxidil. When should the option of surgical hair transplantation considered?
Hair loss occurs in the form of rapid, moderate or slow process. Hair Transplant is advisable when hair loss has stabilized or slowed down..

Is there any age limitation for undergoing hair transplantation?
There is no age limit for undergoing hair transplant. However for the very young people, it is advisable to delay the hair transplant till such time as their hair loss has stabilized or slowed down.

Hair transplant recipients have to take finasteride and minoxidil pre and post transplant. There are some concerns about the sexual side effects of finasteride in young men. What is your opinion on this?
Yes, there are always adverse effects of medicines and the same is true with Finasteride. That’s why I always consider the use of medicines as optional. The patient and doctor should weigh the benefits verses adverse effects before starting such medical therapies.

Some studies show that the angle of hair in the harvest site and angle of implantation in the recipient area can affect the success rates of hair transplantation. Does persons with curled hair have different success rates that those with straight hairs?
No. There is no difference in the success rate of the hair transplanted as long as the same has been performed in a correct manner.

Normally the hair for transplant is harvested in the occipital area. You have been pioneering beard to scalp transplant. Is there any specific advantage in the beard to scalp transplant? How does beard to scalp transplant compare to the occipital area to scalp transplant in the long run?
Beard hair is very thick and robust. It is also resistant to hair loss. Since beard hair is 2-3 times more bulky/coarse as compared to scalp hair, transplanting beard hairs close together enmasse is not recommended. Dr. A's clinic recommends mixing facial hair with scalp and other body hair. Facial hair is an excellent choice to conceal scarring from strip procedures. Hairlines and temple areas should use finer scalp/body hair instead of facial hair. It is important to view beard hair as an additional donor resource rather than as an alternate donor while planning the hair transplant.

Increasingly females are also losing hair. What are the hair transplant options available for females?
Females usually have a different type of hair loss than men.  Male pattern baldness uncovers parts of the top of the head. However, the sides and back of the head are usually covered with healthy balding resistant hair follicles. Female pattern baldness is different. In most cases, they do not have large areas of stable balding-resistant hair follicles. The sides and the back of their scalp hairs tends to thin just as the front and top of the head do. The DHT affects most of the areas of their scalp. There is a very small percentage (about 5%) of all women with baldness problems who are good candidates for the hair transplant surgery. For example, women with mechanical or traction alopecia (prolonged stretch on the hair follicles like when using tight rollers or wearing hair in tight braids etc). These women usually have an area of their hair that is unaffected. If they do, they can have hair transplant procedures.Some women have cosmetic surgery and suffer hair loss around the incision sites. In these cases, hair transplant surgery can help. Similarly women having pattern of hair loss similar to male pattern baldness and women who have suffered trauma from accidents or burns can benefit from hair transplant.

Artificial hair transplants are also being done. When is artificial hair transplant considered?
We do not recommend artificial hair implants. As per our knowledge, they have not been approved by the FDA for use in treating baldness.

Some types of alopecia are difficult to treat. How successful is hair transplantation is cicatricial alopecia?
Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia may occur as a result of surgical incisions or traumatic injuries, Discoid lupus erythematosus, Burns and blistering disorders which causes the inflammation and destroys the hair follicles and replace it with scar tissue and leads to the permanent hair loss. The cicatricial alopecia can be effectively treated with hair transplant surgical methods as long as sufficient donor is available.


What the advances that are happening that may change the outcomes in hair transplantation in the future?
The future advances are as follows - 
1. Hair Multiplication/ cloning: In hair multiplication, hair follicles are taken from the back of the scalp, which are then multiplied in the lab and then injected into the balding area. The scientists are working over this for years and till today no significant breakthrough has been achieved.
2.Facial/ Beard to scalp hair transplant:  Facial Hair - to - scalp transplants are ideal for patients with advanced hair loss.  When coupled with existing donor supplies, facial hair gives patients more graft placement options.   These options include aggressive hairlines, conservation of scalp hair and greater density.  Facial hair can substitute scalp hair, which is ideally suited for the frontal region.  In addition, thick facial hair mixed in with thinner scalp hair results in a very natural look.  For patients with large graft requirements, a facial hair transplant makes perfect sense.
3. Body hair Transplants - FUSE (Follicular Unit Separation Extraction) is a method of extracting individual hair follicles with microsurgical precision but without scalpel and stitches.  Body hair provides an additional source of hair for fuller, denser hair restoration results.

Does you clinic offer training for dermatologists in hair transplantation?
Yes. In fact, basic qualification for learning hair transplant is MBBS and we have trained doctors from various fields of allopathic medicine over the years.

Contact Information
Dr. A's Clinic
A-9, First floor
Chittranjan Park
New Delhi-110019
Ph: (011) - 41637162

Thursday, February 10, 2011
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