Knowing How To Perform Strip Surgery - A Dying Art

While FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction/ Excision) is currently the most requested method of hair transplant surgery in the field, understanding the nuances and having the ability and the infrastructure to perform strip hair transplant surgery can be extremely beneficial to repair patients, or any patient who simply does not make a good candidate for FUE. IAHRS accepted member Pradeep Sethi, MD of Mumbai, India sits down with Spencer Kobren to discuss.

Pradeep Sethi, MD: We have more than 4,500 patients, me and wife together.

Spencer Kobren: Right. And that's incredibly impressive. When I spoke to John Cole, the way the IAHRS works is when we get a full endorsement, especially from a guy like John Cole, a physician, John doesn't compliment anybody.

Pradeep Sethi, MD: He's a role model to me.

Spencer Kobren: Yeah. He will not compliment anybody that doesn't deserve a compliment. He said, "Both these guys need to be a part of the organization." And my first question was, does he meet the 500 case minimum prerequisite? And he came back with, "I have 4,500 cases." And that was pretty impressive, I have to say. So how many years?

Pradeep Sethi, MD: We are like Spencer, started in 2010. And for last seven years, we had only doing hair restoration, we have left the rest of our cosmetic practice. We are basically dermatologist. We hire out all our cosmetic practice. I realized that we should only do one thing to excel in that.

Spencer Kobren: Right.

Pradeep Sethi, MD: For last seven years we are doing only hair restoration. Me and my wife, both together.

Spencer Kobren: Now you're currently doing both, you're offering strip and FUE, correct?

Pradeep Sethi, MD: No. We used strip, we use it for one to three years. Then I realized, no, we should be doing only FUE. Because strip was regular surgical and patients are not accepting the invasiveness of the procedure.

Spencer Kobren: Right. But the fact that you did perform strip at least for two years means that, at the very least, if someone comes to you who's already had a strip procedure. Who, you know, you understand what the complications are, what you're dealing with, what you're looking at. You have that experience where a lot of physicians today have never had any strip experience. They never had the infrastructure of their practice to do strip surgery.

Spencer Kobren: So at least, you know, it's important in my mind, that physicians... and listen I know John Cole is a purist now. And you guys are obviously doing all FUE. But the fact that you have the ability, if needed, to perform a strip-

Pradeep Sethi, MD: Yeah.

Spencer Kobren: Is invaluable.

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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.