[singlepic=22,170,100,,right] Over the past few years that Dr. Steve Gabel has been recommended on the Hair Transplant Network, I have gotten to know him and his ultra refined work. I have come to regard him as being highly ethical and a likable straight shooter who works hard to provide his patients with excellent hair transplant results at modest cost.
So I was not surprised to find while visiting his hair restoration clinic that he and his staffs’ truly ultra refined hair transplant procedure was outstanding from start to finish.
I also had the opportunity to see a few of his hair transplant patients in person and their results were very natural. These patients were very pleased with their results and their entire experience. To view their before and after photos visit our hair restoration forum.
I was very impressed with the great attention to detail and care that Dr. Gabel and his staff showed at every step of the procedure.
Dr. Gabel took ample time to carefully remove the donor strip in sections in order to avoid follicle transection (severing follicles) and any damage to the underlying tissue, blood vessels and nerves. He adopted this careful donor strip removal from the expert surgeon Dr. Ray Konior of Chicago.
Dr. Gabel then performed a trichophytic closure that included using subcutaneous sutures (internal sutures in the tissue under the skin). These internal sutures pull the underlying tissues beneath the skin together so that the second external running suture simply closes the skin with minimal tension. Since tension is a leading factor in scarring, the low tension on the scalp’s skin consistently produces pencil thin donor scars.
His donor removal and closure on average takes almost a full hour. Dr. Gabel’s strong prior surgical background is evident in his skilled donor removal and closure. In my opinion, the combination of internal and external sutures is optimal for both minimizing scarring and potential patient discomfort.
On the day of my visit the patient had very good donor laxity and Dr. Gabel was able to remove a strip from ear to ear that was as wide as 1.75 centimeter at the back of the head and tapering to 1.3cm on the sides.
This donor tissue was carefully trimmed by Dr. Gabel’s experienced staff under microscopes. The quality and refinement of the grafts appeared to be excellent. His staff is capable of trimming and placing over 4,000 follicular unit grafts during a single session.
Patient did not want to shave his recipient area so the hairs in this area where left long. Dr. Gabel chose to make the graft incisions in and around this existing hair sagitally (parallel to the underlying hair follicles) so as to minimize trauma and transection of these existing follicles.
Dr. Gable credits much of minimally invasive incision technique and careful graft orientation to Dr. Alan Feller, who mentored and encouraged him to perform a truly cutting edge procedure from day one of his career.
However in the areas without pre-existing hair he made lateral incisions (incisions perpendicular to the angle of the hairs normal growth) using tiny custom cut blades. In general Dr. Gabel prefers to make lateral (perpendicular) incisions. He is very meticulous about controlling the angle and direction of the incisions so that they replicate the natural direction and pattern of the hairs.
He used blades as small as 0.70 to create incisions for the single hair grafts and 0.90 for the three and four hair grafts.
Dr. Gabel is very hands on and typically places many of the grafts along with his staff.
In the surgery I observed the patient received 3,203 grafts in both his frontal hairline area, temporal points and crown for a total of 6,519 FUs (594 singles, 2274 doubles, 323 triples and 12 four hair grafts).
The surgery began at 7:30 am and was completed at 7:00 Pm. In my opinion, this surgery exemplified high quality ultra refined follicular unit hair transplantation.
To learn more about Dr. Gabel view his recommendation page on the Hair Transplant Network