- NeoGraft is a surgical device designed to automate the FUE hair transplantation process.
- The benefits of NeoGraft include more natural-looking results, less pain and scarring, and a shorter recovery time.
- NeoGraft is generally more expensive than other options due to the high cost of the machine and the training required to use it.
Hair restoration technologies and procedures have developed significantly over the past two decades, giving plenty of hope to those in search of long-term solutions.
One such technique is the NeoGraft hair transplant procedure, during which a machine is used to aid in the follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplantation process.
NeoGraft bills itself as a highly effective, minimally invasive procedure that can be done without leaving scars in the area from where hair is harvested.
Here’s what you need to know about this innovative approach to hair restoration.
What is NeoGraft?
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is one of the most popular hair transplant procedures. Though it’s relatively new, its popularity has grown significantly over the past 15 years — in 2004 just 7% of transplants were FUE, but in 2014 it accounted for nearly half of all transplants.
This shift is due to the increasing number of surgeons and patients who are choosing FUE over over an older procedure known as follicular unit transplant (FUT), or strip harvesting. FUE’s main selling point is that it produces less scarring, since the hair follicles are grafted one-by-one rather than in strips.
NeoGraft is an FDA-approved machine that’s used during hair transplant surgery as a less invasive version of follicular unit extraction.
At its core, the NeoGraft system was designed to help surgeons perform hair replacement surgery more easily, more accurately, and in less time.
During FUE hair transplant, a plastic surgeon harvests individual hair follicles from the back of a patient’s head and places that donor hair at the transplant site, where the patient wants new hair to grow. Traditionally, this process has been performed manually, making it a costly and time-consuming approach.
NeoGraft addresses some of these challenges, effectively allowing surgeons to “automate” the process rather than manually extract and implant hairs one by one. The NeoGraft FUE machine is able to do this by using pneumatic pressure controls to extract the complete hair follicles using needles and punches.
As such, NeoGraft hair restoration is sometimes referred to as “automated FUE.”
What are the benefits of NeoGraft?
Unlike manual FUE techniques, the automated version doesn’t take an enormous amount of time or skill, so more doctors are able to offer the service. Importantly, a NeoGraft patient doesn’t need to be put under general anesthesia, so the procedure is more safe as well.
That said, many of the benefits of NeoGraft are benefits of the FUE hair transplant system in general.
For one, NeoGraft results don’t come with the dreaded linear scar on the back of the scalp that’s commonly associated with the FUT method.
“The main advantage of NeoGraft is the lack of a donor scar, which is especially important for men who want to cut their hair short,” says Cleveland plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Goldman. According to Goldman, NeoGraft patients also tend to enjoy more natural results.
“NeoGraft offers flexibility for any hair style of your choice, short or long,” confirms Dr. Himanshu Shah of Signature Plastic Surgery in Henderson, NV, adding that the procedure doesn’t leave any numbness where the donor hair is harvested.
Another great aspect of NeoGraft is that the results appear relatively quickly. After just a couple of weeks, scarring should subside and reveal natural looking hair growth.
On the flipside, the NeoGraft hair restoration procedure is one of the more expensive options. But for those who can afford it, the higher cost may be worth it.
How long does it take?
NeoGraft FUE hair transplants generally take less time than manual FUE, which takes about eight hours.
Procedure length varies depending on the number of grafts that need to be harvested. In the case of patients with only lightly thinning hair or a few balding areas, NeoGraft is much less time-consuming, and typically takes between three and eight hours to perform.
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) notes that, because follicles are taken in “bulk” through the strip method (requiring a scalpel incision that may be quite prominent), FUT can be done more quickly than FUE, usually in about four hours.
However, there are many more drawbacks to FUT than there are to any FUE technique.
What is recovery like, and how long do results last?
One of the best parts about the NeoGraft FUE system is that it doesn’t require general anesthesia or any kind of sedation, only local anesthesia; most patients experience minimal pain or discomfort during the procedure. Still, a week or two weeks of recovery is to be expected.
Immediately after the procedure, there may be some swelling and bleeding. And for about two weeks the recipient sites will start to scar — this is a sign of healing, and an important step of the process. NeoGraft says that after about 10 days, your hair transplant will look natural and be virtually undetectable.
NeoGraft hair transplant results, as well as most types of hair transplant surgeries, are typically considered permanent because they allow the new follicles to grow and regrow indefinitely.
How much does NeoGraft cost?
With most kinds of hair transplants, surgeons often charge per graft (bundles of hair follicles), with the average person requiring about 1,800 grafts. Note that most surgeons will give discounts for more grafts.
To help you get a better idea of how NeoGraft stacks up to other popular hair transplant procedures, let’s look at the average cost of each procedure side-by-side.
- NeoGraft (FUE): $5 to $12 per graft; $9,000 to $21,600
- Manual FUE: $2.50 to $8 per graft; $4,500 to $14,400
- Regular FUT: $2.50 to $6 per graft; $4,500 to $10,800
Is it right for you?
Good candidates for NeoGraft are those who still have a decent amount of coverage. In other words, it probably isn’t the best choice for patients who have gone fully bald and are hoping to regain a full head of hair. On the whole, though, NeoGraft a versatile choice that meets the needs of most patients.
“Good candidates are men and women who are suffering from hair loss and are looking for a minimally invasive solution that offers more natural looking results,” says Shah.
Goldman points out that there are some scenarios for which NeoGraft may not be the best fit.
“All patients are candidates for NeoGraft if they are otherwise hair transplant candidates,” he says. “But this and other techniques are more technically complex for patients with more advanced hair loss, revision patients [meaning those who have already undergone a less than successful hair transplant procedure], and African American patients.”
The best way to determine which hair transplant procedure is best for you is to consult with a hair restoration specialist. For most candidates, NeoGraft brings measurable benefits, though its high cost may be a deterrent for some.
» Speaking with a professional will help you understand the pros and cons in the context of your specific needs. Ask a cosmetic doctor for advice and schedule an appointment using Zwivel’s free online consultation tool