How does the procedure work?
This is a MEDICAL procedure, so a consultation with Dr. Barusco is required to make sure you are a candidate for this treatment.
On the day of the treatment, you will be offered to take a light sedative by mouth, or not. Most patients choose to take a little sedative, but in that case, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure is completed.
We have a dedicated room just for this. You will be very comfortable. A small amount of blood will be drawn for the PRP, and a “mini” liposuction will be performed UNDER LOCAL ANESTHESIA to harvest the fat from your abdomen or love handles. The fat is removed through very small cannulas and very small incisions, so there is no need for stitches. The amount of fat we need is small, so normally there is no cosmetic improvement with this liposuction procedure. The liposuction will be performed by Dr. Barusco himself.
Next, the blood and fat that have been removed will then be processed in the same room. While Dr. Barusco and the staff process the fat and blood and extract the platelets and the stem cells, you will be relaxing. Your scalp will then be anesthetized with local anesthetic, and Dr. Barusco will inject the SVF, the stem cells and the PRP into your scalp. After a quick hair wash, you will go home. The entire procedure, from start to finish, will take approximately 3 hours.
What is the recovery time?
You need to take it easy and wear a spandex for 48 hours, while the liposuction area heals. You may return to work on the following day if your work does not involve heavy physical activity. There may be slight tenderness in this area, but a mild analgesic will minimize any pain. After 48 hours, you may resume your normal activities.
Will I have any scars?
The only scars will be on the abdomen, where the liposuction is performed. They are very small, usually the diameter of a pencil eraser. You may have 1 or 2 of these scars, depending on how much fat we need to harvest.
How long until I see benefits?
Your hair will start responding in a few months after the treatment. Usually, it takes 3-4 months to start seeing results from the treatment, and about 12 months for full benefit. During your follow-up visits, we will be tracking results with you.
How do I know if I am benefiting from this treatment?
We will take pictures of your hair prior to the initial treatment. Both regular pictures and microscopic pictures of your hair will be taken. Also, we will take measurements of your hair mass by using a device called HAIRCHECK. At each subsequent visit, we will repeat these measurements.
Is this treatment guaranteed to work for me?
Results vary from patient to patient and, of course, there are no guarantees with any medical treatment. But current research data suggests that most patients respond positively from this treatment. Patients report fuller, thicker hair a few months after the treatment.
Will I have to repeat the treatment?
Normally, you do not have to repeat the stem cell injections. However, most patients opt for having a single “boosting” application of PRP every year or two, to keep their hair healthy.
What are Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) and Stem Cells?
Stem cells are basically immature cells that, under the right conditions, can transform themselves into any tissue in our bodies (muscle, tendon, nerves, etc.).
Basically, there are 3 types of human stem cells: embryonic (which come from embryos), umbilical (obtained from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby) and adult stem cells. We ONLY utilize YOUR OWN adult stem cells; We don’t use embryonic or umbilical stem cells.
Adult stem cells may be obtained from bone marrow and body fat. Fat tissue from the abdomen and/or the love handles is easily obtained and is very rich in stem cells, so it is the ideal source for this procedure. The stem cells are removed as a mix of fat cells and stromal tissue (collagen, blood vessels and other elements), hence the name Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF); After removal, they are concentrated, then purified and given back to you on the same day, during the same procedure, right in our office.
Once injected in your scalp, the mix of PRP, Stromal Vascular Fraction and Stem Cells will then signal your hair follicle cells to grow, which will improve the quality and thickness of your hair.
Can I combine PRP/SVF/Stem Cells with a hair transplant procedure?
Yes. Data suggests that when performed in conjunction with a hair transplant procedure, PRP/SVF/Stem Cells can improve healing and growth of the transplanted hairs, in addition to helping the native hairs that the patient still has but that are getting thin.
Is this treatment a substitute for Surgery, Finasteride, Minoxidil, Laser or other hair loss treatments?
No. This treatment works best when combined with other treatments. Dr. Barusco will discuss this during your consultation. In our practice, we see many patients who are not candidates for hair transplant surgery (they are too young, don’t have enough hair loss yet, women with early hair loss, etc.), and they may benefit greatly from PRP/SVF/Stem Cell therapy.