INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF HAIR RESTORATION SURGERY “ISHRS” ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING
13th -16th November 2019
The ISHRS is the principal academic forum at which current and novel science (relevant to the treatment of hair loss) is presented and peer reviewed. Scientists and hair surgeons from all parts of the world attend in an effort to ensure that no patient is deprived from the benefits that their disciplines have to offer.
The consultants from HRBR have been involved with this society since its early days. The Bangkok meeting this year was attended by Mr. Maurice Collins, HRBR’s Medical Director, Dr Dmitri Wall, HRBR’s resident Dermatologist as well as Aoife Curran our Nurse Manager and Nicola Murray our Director.
Much of the conference focused on dealing with the black market in hair transplantation that has evolved in recent years. With little regulation in the industry, the doctors of the ISHRS are making efforts to educate patients on what minimum standards to expect with regards to their treatment. Every doctor at the conference had stories of repair work they had carried out on patients that had been deformed as a result of this issue. Much of their focus was on transplants being carried out in Turkey by completely unqualified people, the were reports of taxi drivers and waiters being recruited to carry out transplants there.
There was a renewed emphasis on Scalp Micro Pigmentation “SMP” at this year’s conference. This is the use of ink to tattoo an area of hair loss to give the illusion of more hair. This can be beneficial for patients that may have limited donor hair. HRBR have avoided SMP to date as the results have been mixed and the safety of the inks had been questioned. It appears that both technique and the equipment offered have developed in the past year and as such this is an area which the team will research further in 2020.
There was a discussion on the treatment of female hair loss, which Dr Wall contributed to. He holds one of the largest clinics worldwide in the treatment of female hair loss. Conditions he sees in this clinic include female pattern hair loss, alopecia areata and frontal fibrosing alopecia “FFA”.
There is interesting work being done on treatments to stimulate growth of hair in a bald scalp including the use of Stem Cells and Exosomes. While the studies are in their very early stages, it will be interesting to see where this goes and whether another treatment option may be possible for those suffering from pattern hair loss in the future.
Holding solutions used to hold grafts while outside of the patients scalp during the procedure and in the first 48 hours following the procedure continue to be discussed at these meetings. At HRBR ATP is used both during the procedure and in the initial hours following the procedure. This has led to increased growth for our patients at 6 months following surgery. HRBR remain the only clinic in Ireland using ATP.
The use of Platelet Rich Plasma “PRP” was discussed and there continues to be a lack of both scientific and anecdotal evidence on its benefits with regards to hair loss. In fact, Dr Ramon Grimalt, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Barcelona, noted that in his studies he found no visual improvement in his patient’s hair loss. HRBR will continue to look into this technique and its potential benefits.
The team at HRBR will continue to liaise with their medical and scientific colleagues from all over the world to ensure the best and most up to date treatments are offered to our patients. We will also only ever offer treatments that we have seen scientific evidence of their efficacy. Our association with the Charles Institute of Dermatology at University College Dublin will assist us in research, ensuring our patients have the most cutting edge treatment options available to them when they attend HRBR.
For now, the only scientifically proven treatment options for patients suffering from pattern hair loss remain the two FDA approved medications and hair transplant surgery.
While the future is exciting and we hope some of these new treatments options may be effective for our patients, these treatments are some time off. For patients it remains important to research your options, seek qualified medical advice and avoid sales people when considering how to treat your hair loss.