ACell + PRP in Hair Transplant Surgery
Introducing a therapy designed to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism is a great way to supercharge the effects of hair transplant surgery.
ACell® is a regenerative medicine company that develops products designed to facilitate the body's ability to repair itself at a cellular level. ACell’s MatriStem® technology is an extracellular matrix (ECM), which is a protein complex that acts like a scaffold for new tissue growth. Hair restoration surgeons like Dr. Robert Niedbalski in Tacoma, Washington, combine ACell with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for injection into the scalp during hair transplant surgery and is also used as a holding solution for grafts before they are transplanted back into the scalp. This treatment combination will promote healing and improve graft survival.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a concentrated portion of your own blood that is used to promote healing in the body. After obtaining a blood sample from you, we spin it down in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of blood. The PRP is combined with ACell to create a potent blend of healing and growth factors that will enhance the results of your hair transplant.
During a hair restoration procedure utilizing ACell + PRP, Dr. Niedbalski will make multiple small injections into the upper scalp layers, from hairline to crown, and the donor area. There is no pain during this process because the scalp has already been numbed for the hair transplant procedure.
The benefits of adding ACell + PRP to a hair transplant procedure include:
- Faster healing period
- Greater comfort during healing
- Stabilization of hair loss
- Improved hair quality for native hair
- Minimize scar tissue formation
Nonsurgical ACell + PRP Therapy
At Northwest Hair Restoration, we also offer ACell + PRP therapy as an early intervention nonsurgical solution to prevent additional hair loss. Dr. Robert Niedbalski is a pioneer in the use of regenerative medicine techniques such as ACell+PRP for the treatment of genetic hair loss in its early stages.
ACell + PRP works at the cellular level to repair and remodel damaged tissues, including miniaturized hair follicles. PRP is loaded with growth factors that promote the rapid development of new blood vessels and improve follicular cell function.
When injected into the scalp, the combination causes miniaturized hair follicles to become healthier and larger, producing more robust hair growth.
Men and women over the age of 18 who are in the early stages of genetic hair loss benefit the most from ACell + PRP therapy. Regular treatments with ACell + PRP keep more hair on your head by protecting targeted hair follicles from starting the miniaturization process and renewing those that have already started to decline.
An ACell + PRP treatment takes about 60 minutes to complete. First, we obtain a blood sample that is specially processed to produce the PRP. Next, we will administer a local anesthetic to completely numb the scalp treatment area. You can also request a sedative prior to the anesthetic. Once your scalp is numb, Dr. Niedbalski will administer the ACell + PRP mixture via a series of injections into the areas of concern.
Recovery from ACell + PRP therapy is typically uneventful. There are no visible signs of the injections after the treatment. In most cases, the post-treatment discomfort is minimal and is easily managed with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. Occasionally, you may experience some mild swelling of the forehead a few days after the injections. This is normal and will resolve within a few days. Avoiding vigorous activity after the treatment will minimize the risk of any swelling. Most people go back to their regular daily routine a few days after treatment.
Response to the treatment depends on how aggressive and extensive your hair loss is. Often the best result is the prevention of further decline in hair density. There are many patients who respond with improvement in the density of their hair. It typically takes between 4 - 8 months before any new hair growth is seen. Hair may continue to thicken over a period of 12 - 15 months. Repeat treatment intervals are clinically determined by Dr. Niedbalski during one of your follow up visits. The typical interval between treatments required to maintain the benefits of ACell + PRP therapy is 18 - 24 months.
While you will typically see significant improvement with just a single treatment, Dr. Niedbalski may recommend a series of ACell + PRP procedures to optimize hair growth, depending on your expectations for results, the nature of your hair loss progression, and your overall response to the treatment.
“I would like to thank Dr. Niedbalski and his entire staff for the very professional and superb hair restoration services. This is my second procedure; the first was completed in 2006. As with the first procedure, Dr. Niedbalski provided very comprehensive pre-op assessment and advice. The first procedure was excellent and his staff superb in making me feel comfortable during the process and assured of positive results. I followed the doctor’s directions to the T, and post-op recovery was smooth, and the results were excellent.
I couldn’t imagine a second procedure could go smoother than the first, however to my great surprise, the second procedure that I completed in October 2011 hands-down surpassed the first experience. The doctor met with me pre-op and provided an extremely thorough evaluation and discussion on the newest procedures and advances in hair restoration. He provided a very thorough explanation of a new process utilizing ACell + PRP and proposed a hair restoration plan and approach within weeks after the procedure was completed.
My experience the second time around was absolutely phenomenal. Dr. Niedbalski and his staff were extremely professional and provided the best medical services I’ve ever received from a doctor. I elected to have the ACell + PRP process along with the hair restoration. Compared to my first procedure, the healing time of the second was half the time of the first. That alone is worth having the ACell + PRP process done at the same time. Another striking change as a result of ACell + PRP is in the donor strip site healing and final look. At the fifth day post-op, my donor site was well into the healing process and the lack of a scar-like material was evident.
Dr. Niedbalski uses a process that enables hair to grow from the donor site, making it very hard to detect. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Niedbalski and his entire staff. From first contact with his administrative assistants to experience with the doctor and his surgical team, the experience was hands down the best I’ve ever had for any medical procedure and I’ve had a few major procedures in my 58 years. I look forward to my third and final procedure. I wish I had not waited 5 years for the second procedure but will not repeat that mistake for the third procedure.
There are a lot of doctors providing hair restoration services, so finding a good one is a must. Finding one that is reasonably priced and excellent is even harder. Dr. Niedbalski meets those requirements hands down. There is no question; Dr. Niedbalski and his staff will be the ones providing those services for me.”
~ Tim, Anchorage, Alaska
“I just wanted to report about my ACell hair and eyebrow procedures. The first night, I had a serious all-over headache and didn’t sleep well the early part of the night. I applied ice on and off. On the second day, the pain subsided, and my eyebrow area was slightly swollen – not enough that anyone would see (a baseball cap helped), and no bruising at all at any time. On the third day, the puffiness and swelling dropped down below my eyes. On the fourth, there was a little puffiness under eyes, but by the fifth day there was nothing at all. I attribute it to your good advice.”
~ Female patient with thinning eyebrows before (top) and after (bottom). Follow-up was only two months after ACell + PRP therapy.
ACell + PRP FAQ
When ACell wound-healing powder is suspended in a PRP concentration and injected into the scalp, the ACell activates adult stem cells in scalp tissue. It utilizes the body’s own tissue-regeneration mechanism to stimulate growth centers in the hair follicles, strengthening miniaturized hairs.
Yes. During your consultation, Dr. Robert Niedbalski will listen to your goals and expectations for treatment and assess the status of your hair loss. Based on this information, Dr. Niedbalski will create a treatment plan customized to meet your hair restoration goals and expectations. Although ACell + PRP as a stand-alone therapy for hair loss may not the best option for every person, it is very successful when combined with surgical and/or nonsurgical treatments.
Men and women over the age of 18 are candidates for ACell + PRP therapy. Individuals who are early in the progression of hair loss can benefit because ACell + PRP protects their existing hair from future loss and can renew dormant hair follicles to replenish hair density. Ultimately the goal in these situations is to postpone or prevent the need for surgical hair restoration.
Individuals with more advanced hair loss considering surgical hair restoration will benefit from combining ACell + PRP with surgery. ACell + PRP technology improves the outcome of a surgical transplant by yielding increased graft survival, improved donor scar healing, and decreasing surgical recovery time.
ACell + PRP therapy protects hairs at risk for additional shedding, renews shrinking hairs for improved growth, and restores hair quality and quantity for patients with thinning hair.
ACell + PRP is applicable for:
- Male and female hereditary hair loss
- Alopecia areata
- Hypotrichosis (decreased hair growth) of the eyebrows or beard
An ACell +PRP treatment is an option for patients who’ve had surgical hair restoration previously and who:
- Want to increase hair density without more surgery
- Want to maintain their hair without using medication like Propecia or Rogaine
ACell + PRP therapy appointments are typically available about one week out. ACell + PRP appointments require only 60 minutes for a full scalp treatment, and 60 minutes for an eyebrow treatment.
New hair growth becomes visible in most cases within 4 - 6 months after an ACell + PRP procedure. Hair continues to thicken over a period of 12 - 15 months. These results last for months and even years before regression may begin to occur. Note that in some cases, a positive result means less hair loss.
However, maintaining an active follow-up relationship with Dr. Niedbalski will ensure an up-to-date comprehensive plan so you will know when it is time for another procedure to keep your hair growth thriving.
Find out more about the cutting-edge use of ACell + PRP therapy as a nonsurgical treatment for early hair loss or as a supplemental treatment with hair transplant surgery by contacting Dr. Robert Niedbalski at Northwest Hair Restoration of Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane, Washington, at (253) 572-2949. You can also use our convenient online appointment request form.