The Hair Peace Foundation recognizes that hair transplant surgery can mark a pivotal new chapter in the lives of certain individuals struggling with extremely severe forms of cosmetic disfigurement. On behalf of the organization, founder, Sanusi Umar MD accepted a new pro-bono opportunity to perform an eyebrow reconstruction for a young man with a large facial congenital nevus.
The Effects of a Congenital Nevus on Childhood and Self Esteem
A congenital nevus results when melanocytes (which are benign pigment-containing cells) multiply rapidly forming very noticeable and dark patches of skin. These regions can be either raised or flat. About 1% of newborns throughout the world are affected by this condition. In 15% of these instances, the congenital nevus occurs on the head and/or neck, as in this particular patient.
In most cases, having a large facial mole does not adversely affect one’s health. However, it can have a devastating impact on a person’s emotions, psychology, and overall self-esteem. Children often feel like they don’t fit in. They typically experience being constantly stared at. In worse cases, they can also be made fun of or bullied. Surprisingly, support organizations like Nevus.org report that even adults can be the perpetrators of insensitive, hurtful words or actions.
Our physical appearances largely affect how other people perceive us which in turn impacts our confidence. Individuals with noticeable birth defects are given a unique learning experience to cultivate a solid sense of self and worth, from within, despite looking very different. While this builds enormous inner strength, patients like this young man still have a yearning to fit in and feel like everyone else.
Dr. Umar’s Eyebrow Transplant with Leg Hair Reconstructs A New Right Eyebrow From Ground Zero
This patient was born with a congenital nevus covering much of the right side of his face.
He underwent plastic surgery which positioned a skin graft from the beard area to replace the dark patches of skin. However, this procedure left him without a right eyebrow, up until his late teens when he met Dr.Umar.
Dr. Umar is the first hair transplant surgeon in the world to perform eyebrow restoration using leg hair, using specialized technology that he invented to safely remove body hair follicles. This procedure was published in the highly esteemed medical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open.
Unlike head hair, which is very thick and grows indefinitely, leg hair is a far more accurate match for eyebrow hair. Also, it is able to remain at a short length. These characteristics of leg hair were extremely important for this patient’s case, as the chief goal was to reconstruct the right eyebrow from a bare surface so that it would mirror the left one. This is quite different from most other eyebrow transplant procedures where patients with sparse brows on both sides strive for better density and definition.
Laser Hair Removal for Patient’s Right Cheek
The skin graft taken from the patient’s beard region achieved a more normal looking skin coloration. However, as he reached adolescence, thick beard hair started to grow on his right cheek.
Prior to the eyebrow transplantation, Dr.Umar permanently removed the hairs with laser treatment.
The Dr.UGraft ™ Hair Transplant Device for Leg and Body Hair Extractions
Leg and body hair grows at very sharp angles whereas head hair emerges from the scalp, closer to ninety degrees. The highly acute configuration of non-head hair cannot be addressed with conventional punch tools without the risk of severing the follicle.
Also, leg and body donor surfaces receive more exposure as most people like to wear shorts, short sleeves and swimwear. They don’t receive the level of concealment offered by regular head hair.
Dr. Umar’s patented invention, the Dr.UPunch i™ is uniquely engineered to safely extract all types of hair angles, leaving behind no noticeable redness or scarring.
This special tool offered this patient the promise of a very accurately constructed right eyebrow. Additionally, his surgery would leave his leg donor region looking virtually untouched, as it did prior to surgery.
Here are before and after photos of the patient’s eyebrow transplant with leg hair, performed by Dr. Umar.
The use of leg hair grafts allowed the thickness of hair on the left and right sides to closely match. Also, Dr. Umar carefully inserted the follicles to resemble the growth patterns and length of the left eyebrow.
Dr. Umar’s Eyebrow Reconstruction Marks a Pivotal Turning Point in Teen’s Life
Thanks to this highly specialized eyebrow transplant procedure using leg hair, this patient no longer has to feel self-conscious about having just one eyebrow. At his age, individuals are continuing to learn how to relate to others, forming crucial and lasting emotional patterns.
With two eyebrows, this patient is able to feel much more like everyone else, giving him far greater social confidence to interact with his peers.
Next Hair Transplantation Steps
Dr. Umar and this young man are now discussing plans to construct sideburns on the right side of the face.
The Hair Peace Foundation feels honored to have helped this patient embark on a brand new chapter in his life through the right type of eyebrow reconstruction. Hair transplant surgery, in general, is often regarded as a nice-to-have. But, as this story shows, it can profoundly liberate a person on an emotional level and how they experience the world. We hope to bring more light to such stories, not only to share the make-over side of these experiences but also as reminders for us all to be compassionately aware of the humanity within each and every person we come across.
Frequently Asked Questions – Eyebrow Reconstruction and Hair Transplant Surgery
How does the Hair Peace Foundation select pro bono candidates for hair transplant surgery?
The Hair Peace Foundation has a board of advisors whose members consist of hair restoration doctors and previous patients who select candidates on the basis of financial need and the extent of cosmetic damage they face. Upon selection, the candidates are then referred to an appropriate specialist within the Hair Peace Foundation’s network of hair transplant surgeons.
Besides leg hair, what other hair grafts can be used for brow transplantation or eyebrow reconstruction?
Any area of the body which produces fine hair, resembling brow hair, may be used as grafts for eyebrow transplant surgery. Nape hair, armpit hair and even pubic hair can be considered for donor follicles. With the versatility offered by the Dr.UPunch i™, patients can often choose their area of preference.
Are procedures using the Dr.UPunch i ™ only available at Dr. Umar’s clinic?
The Dr.UPunch i ™ (as well as other devices in the Dr.UGraft™ advanced FUE hair transplant system) is being offered to surgeons across the globe. These capabilities of these devices are in the process of becoming widely available to patients.