Triple Therapy: The gold standard in hair transplants
LIVIN' & LOVIN' - Tetta Matera () - May 16, 2012 - 12:00am

Trust the beauteous, charming and hardworking Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo, cosmetic dermatologist to Manila’s A-listers, to introduce the latest in hair transplant technology, Triple Therapy. The first of its kind in the Philippines and exclusive to Dr. Aivee Aguilar Teo’s Skin & Laser clinic at The Fort, Triple Therapy is the crown jewel of the clinic’s newly launched Hair Restoration Center which will feature the latest cutting-edge methods in hair restoration and transplantation.

“We invited Dr. Jose Crisanto, a hair transplant specialist with 20 years of experience at the Elliot and Thomas Medical Group in New York, to lead our clinic’s hair restoration department,” shares Dr. Aguilar-Teo. The affable Dr. Crisanto, who was performing a hair transplantation procedure when we met, brings with him an unparalleled expertise and an aesthetic eye that is critical in “drawing” the hairline that is most suitable to each individual client. He said that it is one thing to know how to transplant the hair and it is another to make the hair look natural. While other hair loss treatments cannot promise a personalized and natural appearance, Dr. Crisanto and Triple Therapy together can. “We saw the demand for hair transplant not just among men but also women so we wanted to provide the best for our clients and that also means utilizing only customized, top-of-the-line instruments and equipment made in the US for Triple Therapy,” assures Dr. Aguilar-Teo.

I, for one, have never had concerns about thinning hair but I know of male and female friends who have tried all kinds of products and available hair loss treatment to restore the healthy thickness of their hair but always with varying and often disappointing results. Triple Therapy just might be their answer.

I spoke with Dr. Aguilar-Teo and Dr. Crisanto about this breakthrough Triple Therapy.

PHILIPPINE STAR: How would you describe Triple Therapy?

DR. JOSE CRISANTO: Triple Therapy incorporates Growth Factor stem cell therapy, the latest hair transplantation techniques and the newest laser hair restoration therapy into one complete hair loss treatment. In the first phase, we draw some of your blood, process it in a special centrifuge and harvest the Growth Factor stem cells, an important component of the blood that promotes stimulation of a type of cell that results in hair growth. The second phase involves the removal of a small strip of hair from the back of your head under local anesthesia after which a team of highly experienced nurses proceeds to extract each and every hair follicle from it. The site of the transplant is then carefully prepared, measured and drawn to identify the shape and angle of where the hair is to be implanted. The final phase requires a series of non-invasive low-level laser treatments that will stimulate the implanted follicles by photobiotherapy and increase cell energy production.

The process sounds intimidating, even scary; is it painful?

No, not at all. In fact Triple Therapy requires very little downtime, it is almost bloodless and is an outpatient procedure. While it is a tedious process, patients are given local anesthesia that allows them to move around and take short breaks between implantations. Patients who want to sleep through the whole process are given mild sedatives but are required to have medical clearance prior to the procedure.

How much blood do you need to extract from a patient?

Very little, only about 20 cc of blood.

How long does the Triple Therapy last?

It is approximately an eight- to nine-hour procedure for the first and second phases; the third phase, a series of laser treatments begin two weeks after hair implantation.

How do you make the transplanted hair look natural?

Our hair does not grow all in the same direction so I study the growth pattern of the hair of every client around the site of transplantation and then “draw” the lines for the transplantation accordingly so when the hair grows it blends and falls together with the rest of the hair that was there before. It is never “one size fits all.”

Is Triple Therapy for everyone?

Triple Therapy is ideal for both men and women with minimal to substantial hair loss but not those who have completely lost their hair. Since it is a natural process and the cells are harvested from the person’s own body, there still has to be some presence of hair in order for the treatment to be possible.

Does that mean you cannot use hair from other parts of the body like the chest?

DR. AIVEE AGUILAR-TEO: Unfortunately not, because the hair texture is different in various parts of our bodies; since we want a natural result, we only use hair we can strip off from the back of the head.

How long is the strip of hair that you excise from the back of the head?

DR. CRISANTO: No more than two to three inches; while stitching is required, the wound heals easy and over time the hair grows back over the scar.

How much hair can you harvest from one strip?

It varies but on average we are able to get about 30 hair follicles for every one square centimeter so it is quite substantial.

Can Triple Therapy be used in other parts of the body?

DR. AGUILAR-TEO: Yes, the eyebrows. With this therapy, women no longer have to undergo those unnatural-looking eyebrow tattoo procedures.

What if some people just refuse to have any kind of surgery involved in hair transplantation? Can they still consider Triple Therapy?

DR. CRISANTO: It then becomes dual therapy; we skip the second phase and go directly to laser treatment after the Growth Factor Stem Cell is extracted from the blood and injected directly into the affected area. It is also very effective but of course, I will always recommend the Triple Therapy.

What about those who have had previous (outdated) transplant procedures done and are not happy or would like to improve the appearance of their hair, can they have Triple Therapy?

DR. AGUILAR-TEO: Absolutely! We call it “reformation” when we repair former hair transplants.

How long before you see the results?

DR. CRISANTO: By the second week patients can see hair growing where the hair was transplanted but depending on the length and the style of a person’s hair, it could be from around eight weeks.

You said the laser therapy is done after two weeks from the hair transplantation. How many sessions do you require a patient to undergo?

We ask patients to undergo 20 sessions of 20-minute laser therapy spaced regularly and within weeks of each other. By the way, just to let you know, our Hair Restoration Center is the only medical restoration facility to employ this patented process of Rotational Photo Therapy (RPT) as standard protocol for all hair transplants.

Are there any post-procedural do’s and don’ts after Triple Therapy?

DR. AGUILAR-TEO: Not really. We do recommend patients to use certain types of hair products that are commercially available but other than that you can treat hair transplanted via Triple Therapy like all natural hair. You can have them colored, permed, blow-dried among other things.

How much will the procedure set me back?

For the Triple Therapy on the head, it can range from P150,000 to P300,000 depending on how much hair needs to be transplanted; for the eyebrows it is about P60,000 to P80,000. For the dual therapy, we are talking about P50,000 to P100,000.

* * *

I counted five medical staff working with Dr. Crisanto during the hair transplantation; three nurses where patiently separating and sterilizing each and every hair follicle, one nurse was supervising while Dr. Crisanto was performing the procedure with his head nurse of 20 years assisting. Wow! For an almost bloodless outpatient procedure, that is one powerhouse of a team. I was impressed.

I asked the patient undergoing the hair transplantation while I was conducting the interview how he felt during the procedure; he managed a smile and said, “I don’t really feel any pain at all.” He was completely lucid, even joking around while Dr. Crisanto was “poking” at his head. Aren’t you feeling antsy spending all that time lying down on the bed, I further asked? “I’ve already had a few ‘several minutes’ break to eat and stretch,” he said matter-of-factly. Now, that’s a dream of a cosmetic procedure.

* * *

For more information on Triple Therapy and other Skin & Laser procedures, visit the Aivee Aguilar-Teo M.D. main clinic at the second floor of East Building, Forbestown Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig or call 403-3245 / 556-2533. You may also visit at Asian Hospital & Medical Center, Room 417-422, Medical Office Building, Filinvest Alabang or call 771-9252.

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