This insightful article was written by Pat Hennessey, the Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog. You can also participate in this discussion by reading the following thread on our hair restoration discussion forums.
I have not heard mention on this forum of the “world famous Fleming/Meyer flap procedure” for a long time. This procedure is radical surgery in which a flap of scalp from one side of a patients head is removed except for the major connecting blood vessels. This flap of hair is then sutured into the patient’s hairline area to create a dense hairline in one surgery.
There are a number of problems and issues related to this surgery. One major problem is that the direction of the hair growth in the flap is typically not natural. The high level of hair density also typically does not look natural, especially when there is a bald area behind it. The front of the flap also has a scar that typically needs to be masked with micro grafts.
Dr. Richard Fleming and Dr. Toby Mayer, who are both highly experienced cosmetic surgeons, are the acknowledged experts at performing this procedure, which is virtually synonymous with their names. Others have tried to perform this procedure and in some cases the operation has failed when the flap failed to heal and the patient experienced necrosis (dead skin/scalp).
I did see that on one hair loss forum a patient wrote –
“The Beverly Hills institute for reconstructive surgery offers a medical procedure called the Fleming/Mayer flap. They cut a one inch wide section of flesh that is SIX to SEVEN inches in LENGTH from the SIDE of your head. They then sew this piece of skin to the front of your head for $10,000. You only get ONE INCH of hair on top of your head. It’s a strip that runs across the top of your forehead. You then can let it grow and comb the hair over the back part of the scalp. More often than not this surgery leaves one ear higher than the other. The hair line looks horrible. It leaves the flesh very white looking in front of the hair line and won’t tan. It’s very intrusive and very obvious. Have you ever seen Frankenstein? STAY AWAY FROM THE BEVERLY HILLS INSTITUTE FOR RECONSTRUCTIVE AND COSMETIC SURGERY.”
Dr. William Rassman also provides a good explanation of this flap procedure on his blog at http://www.baldingblog.com/2005/11/30/is-the-flap-a-cure-for-baldness/