Thursday, May 15, 2008
Medical Reports: Balding Breakthrough
It could be the Balding Breakthrough men have been hoping and waiting for. It's still experimental, but a doctor in Tampa is using a patient's own blood in hopes of boosting thinning hair in tonight's special assignment report. Seven's Craig Stevens shows us this fascinating new procedure.
WSVN -- Not everyone can rock a bald head like Chris Daughtry, David Beckham or Bruce Willis.
Bruce Hunter: "I know bald is in, and there's a lot of men that like that. For me, I just prefer to have hair."
Bruce Hunter may like hair, but for years he's been forced to shave his off thanks to this bald spot.
Bruce Hunter: "I decided if I'm going to have that bald spot on my crown I'll just shave off all my hair."
He's been looking for something to give him back his youthful locks but didn't want to do something drastic like a hair transplant.
Bruce Hunter: "I was hoping something would come along that would be more magic."
That magic came along when Bruce met hair restoration surgeon Joe Greco. The Tampa doc is the first in the country to see if he can reverse the effects of thinning hair by using a person's own blood.
Dr. Joseph Greco: "We're hoping that we're going to be able to increase the length and the overall aesthetic density of your hair."
Here's how it works. Dr. Greco draws a lot of blood from your arm. Then spins it around in this machine to harvest what's called Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP.
Dr. Joseph Greco: "Platelets contain proteins or growth factors that are little cellular engines that create new circulation and new cells."
He then uses this roller to stimulate areas that are thinning, and injects the growth Platelets there.
Dr. Joseph Greco: "When Platelets become activated they send off little emails and faxes for other Platelets to come to that area, so if we increase the amount of growth factors in a specific area, we can increase new blood circulation, new cells."
So will it work like miracle grow for hair? Back in February Dr. Greco treated only the top portion of Bruce's bald spot. After one month...
Bruce Hunter: "I could feel hair growing and getting thicker, where at one time it was totally bald."
Now three months later, you can definitely see hair is growing there.
Dr. Joseph Greco: "At this point his hair has definitely grown in length. We can say that it's definitely promising."
The doctor will continue to follow Bruce's hair growth over the next year. As for Bruce, he's growing his hair out and even using a little hair spray.
Bruce Hunter: "I think it's going to be an exciting future, and I think you're going to see a lot more men with fewer bald spots."
Craig Stevens: "Again, the doctor wants to point out this is only a clinical trial and more testing will need to be done before it will be cleared for everyone to use. Also, he says this is not for someone who is already totally bald.
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