The lateral slit technique, used in combination with custom-sized openings, creates the opportunity for larger graft numbers, higher density, and more natural results.
Once the donor harvest has been completed, individual follicular units are refined under high-power magnification. The follicular unit grafts are then inserted into openings made in the scalp. The two most common techniques used for creating these openings are the sagittal technique, which is also known as the vertical technique, and the lateral slit technique, which is also known as the coronal technique.
Sagittal grafting is the more common technique used by physicians to make openings, but this method can have notable disadvantages. Hair implanted using this method can stick straight up and give a see-through appearance. Even a quick glance at such a hairline will lead one to conclude that the hair looks unnatural and thin.
1. Grafts placed with the lateral slit method look more natural and have a tendency to provide an illusion of greater hair density than vertically placed grafts.
2. Lateral slits allow excellent control of the graft exit angle in the recipient site. Hair planted at a close angle to the balding scalp helps create an appearance of greater density and better scalp coverage.
3. Another benefit of graft angle control is the ability for the surgeon to create a "shingling" effect which allows surrounding hairs to layer over each, thereby providing greater visual coverage of the thinning scalp.
4. Even at close inspection transplanted hair using a meticulous lateral slit technique should look virtually identical to natural hair.
5. Patients with advanced hair loss patterns often require more hair than is available in their donor site. The lateral slit technique is ideally suited here as more sagitally implanted grafts are required to give a comparable illusion of density.
6. Better illusion of density with fewer grafts via the lateral slit method helps optimize donor preservation for possible future surgical needs.
Custom Sized Openings
The final result also depends on how the graft openings are made. Individual follicles and grafts can vary in size. Openings specifically customized to accommodate the dimensions of each individual graft are required to assure the highest quality result.
Dr. Konior prefers using custom sized blades to perfectly match graft and opening size. Precise openings with this method allow for accurate placement between existing hairs and minimize disruption of the local blood supply. This precision-oriented method reduces the risk of shock loss, assures a higher graft survival and produces a nearly undetectable look almost immediately after surgery. The meticulous integration of transplanted hair among existing hair also allows for higher density and a more natural result.
To contact our Chicago area office in Oakbrook Terrace for a preliminary assessment of your hair loss, complete the virtual consultation form or call us at 630-932-9690.