Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration - Dr. William Rassman
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Columbia BusinessDr. Bernstein is featured in Columbia Business, the alumni magazine of the Columbia Business School, for having “revolutionized the field of hair restoration.” Dr. Bernstein, who received an MBA from the renowned university in 2004, is quoted as having seen an opportunity in 1995 to transform hair transplantation from a procedure using “hair plugs” to one with significantly more natural results. In collaboration with Dr. William Rassman he introduced Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) which, the article notes, is now the “gold standard” for modern surgical hair restoration.

Also mentioned in the article, which is titled “Hair Hero,” are his pioneering work in robotic hair transplant procedures, his receiving the Platinum Follicle Award, and his appearances in the popular media including a feature on Good Morning America.

Dr. Bernstein is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University, where he instructs residents in general dermatology and the specialized art of hair restoration surgery.

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Hair Loss & Replacement for DummiesHair Loss & Replacement For Dummies, written by internationally renowned hair transplant pioneers Dr. Robert M. Bernstein and Dr. William R. Rassman and published in 2008, is one of the best hair loss and hair transplant resources available for the layperson.

Now it is also one of the best resources for the layperson… who owns a Kindle wireless reading device.

The digital Kindle edition of Hair Loss & Replacement For Dummies is available for purchase and download at Amazon.com.

The book dispels the many hair loss myths that proliferate on the internet, runs the gamut of hair loss treatment options, and includes crucial tips on how to avoid unscrupulous hair transplant doctors and potentially harmful products.

For more on the book, visit the Hair Loss & Replacement For Dummies page in the Resources section of our website.

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Hair Loss & Replacement for DummiesJohn Wiley & Sons – creators of the hugely-popular For Dummies series of books – published on December 3 the definitive book on hair restoration: Hair Loss & Replacement For Dummies, written by internationally-respected hair transplant pioneers Dr. William R. Rassman and Dr. Robert M. Bernstein with Dr. Eric Schweiger.

Hair Loss & Replacement for Dummies is filled with important information for men and women of virtually all ages anxious to preserve their full head of hair, put the brakes on balding, or explore the safest and most reliable hair replacement techniques currently available. The book offers readers not only the full gamut of modern-day hair-care options but crucial tips on how to avoid unscrupulous hair transplant doctors and potentially harmful products as well.

Topics include:

  • Getting To Know Your Hair – What Causes Hair Loss; The Devastation Of Hair Loss In Women; Undergoing Hair Restoration Surgery
  • Splitting Hairs – How Hair Grows; Aging Hair; Hair & Ethnicity, Maintaining Self-Esteem in the Face of Hair Loss;
  • Taking Better Care Of Your Hair – Washing & Drying Your Hair Correctly; Avoiding Hair Damage; Caring For Childrens’ Hair
  • Understanding The How & Why Of Hair Loss – Stress & Hair Loss; Environmental Issues; Male Pattern Thinning In Men and Women; Diseases & Disorders That Cause Hair Loss
  • Creative Techniques For Concealing Hair Loss – A Brief History of “Rugs”; Today’s Toupees
  • Taking Prescription Medications For Hair Loss – Being Aware of Side Effects
  • Supplementing Your Diet To Help Slow Hair Loss – Pumping Up Proteins; Minding Your Mineral Intake
  • Hair Transplant Surgery – Do You Really Need A Hair Transplant; Psychological Considerations; Choosing A Doctor; Possible Complications; Heading Home With A New Head Of Hair!

For further reading see the transcript of an interview with Dr. Bernstein about the book, the original press release, or purchase the book at Amazon.com.

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Q: I was looking at the hair transplant photos on the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration website. I noticed that you and the NHI website have some of the same pictures. Did you both perform surgeries on these people? — B.B., Columbus Circle, N.Y.

A: All of the patients that appear on the Bernstein Medical website were operated on by me personally. My own staff assisted me in these procedures.

I worked with Dr. Rassman at NHI from 1995 to 2004. Photos of patients that I operated on during this period may therefore also appear on the NHI website.

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Densitometry - Hair Transplant Forum International - March/April 1997To give hair restoration surgeons more precise diagnostic information in their evaluation for patients considering hair transplants, Dr. Bernstein uses the techniques of densitometry and video-microscopy to analyze the scalp under high-powered magnification.

The technique gives important information on hair density, the composition of the patient’s follicular units and the diameter of their hair shafts. The new instruments give doctors vital information for making decisions about whether patients are candidates for hair transplant surgery, the amount of donor tissue needed for the hair restoration, and to help them better predict how the results of hair transplants will ultimately look.

For more information, please see Dr. Bernstein’s publication on densitometry, a podcast on hair transplantation that discusses densitometry, and the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration press release on the news below:

Baldness Detection Devices Featured in Medical Journal

Hair Transplant Forum International publishes new article on hand-held instruments used in hair loss detection and planning for hair transplants.

The lead article in the March/April issue of the journal published by The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) focuses on the latest tools available for assessing whether or not a person experiencing hair loss is a good candidate for hair transplant surgery.

The cover story: “Densitometry and Video-microscopy” written by Robert M. Bernstein, M.D. and William R. Rassman, M.D. explores the often overlooked diagnostic practice of analyzing the scalp under high-power magnification. Getting an extreme close-up of hair patterns at the base of the scalp allows hair transplant surgeons and dermatologists a chance to not only screen candidates for appropriateness for surgery, but can also predict future hair loss patterns.

Dr. Bernstein, founder of the New York based Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, is known for his pioneering work in new hair transplantation techniques. When asked why he thought the article was given so much prominence in the Hair Transplant Forum, he suggested that “these simple hand held instruments should be essential tools of the hair transplant doctor.” He cautioned that without precise measurements doctors run the risk of performing surgery on persons who may is not suited for this procedure.

Dr. Bernstein has authored over 50 papers on hair transplantation including some of the most influential research on techniques used to repair badly performed hair transplants. In his seminal publications describing Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), Dr. Bernstein introduced a brand new method of hair restoration surgery which recognized follicular units (groups of naturally growing hair follicles) as the ideal element of donor tissue to be used in hair transplants. FUT is now considered to be the state-of-the-art in surgical hair restoration.

Dr. Bernstein and his colleague Dr. Rassman began utilizing the Densitometer to determine specific hair characteristics such as hair density, and changes in hair diameter that are important in both determining who are potential surgical candidates for the new hair transplant procedures and who may respond to medications.

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), a non-profit organization of over 700 hair restoration doctors, publishes Hair Transplant Forum to keep the Society abreast of the most recent developments in the field of hair transplantation.

Dr. Bernstein is known to the general public from his appearances on NBC’s Today Show with Matt Lauer, CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Discovery Channel and other nationally syndicated programs.

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Q: Dr. Bernstein, I was reading about a densitometer on your website. What is it and what is it actually used for? — Z.A., Westchester, NY

A: The hair densitometer was introduced to hair restoration surgeons by Dr. Rassman in 1993. It is a small, portable, instrument that has a magnifying lens and an opening of 10mm2.

To use it, the doctor clips the hair short (~ 1-mm) and the instrument is then placed on the scalp. The doctor counts the total number of hairs in the field, looks at the number of hairs per follicular unit and assesses the diameter of the hair, looking in particular for abnormal levels of miniaturization (decreased hair shaft diameter caused by the effects of DHT).

The densitometer can increase the accuracy of the diagnosis of genetic hair loss by picking up early miniaturization.

It can also better assess a person’s donor hair supply, thus helping to determine which patients are candidates for a hair transplant.

Densitometry has helped us define the conditions of diffuse patterned and unpatterned hair loss (DPA and DUPA) and help to refine the diagnosis of hair loss in women.

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PRESS RELEASE

World renown hair transplant surgeon introduces a new surgical tool that improves the way hair transplantation can be performed.

New York, NY March 21, 2006

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) InstrumentIn a new article appearing on the cover of Hair Transplant Forum International, the official publication of The International Society of Hair Transplant Surgeons (ISHRS), pioneering hair transplant surgeon Robert M. Bernstein MD, along with his colleague Dr. William R. Rassman, recently revealed details about a “New Instrumentation for Three-Step Follicular Unit Extraction.”

Dr. Bernstein is known throughout the world of medicine as author of the landmark publication; “Follicular Transplantation” which described a new hair replacement transplant technique in which he was able to transplant hair exactly as it grows – in naturally occurring groups called follicular units. That paper, together with two dozen other major publications, has revolutionized the way hair transplants are now performed – moving away from “doll’s hair” like plugs and into the realm of natural, undetectable hair patterns.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a further refinement of this technique where follicular units are literally removed, one-by-one, directly from the scalp. In the traditional procedure, a strip of tissue is removed from the back of the head and placed under a microscope in order to remove the follicles.

The latest FUE instrument design is based upon Dr. J. A. Harris’ concept of using a blunt tool to prevent damage to hair follicles during extraction. The new device improves on the old method by re-conceiving the shape of the tool’s edge in order to minimize injury to hair follicles. “Our new instrument is made in the shape of a cylindrical tube with a bull-nosed edge. This allows us to capture the entire follicular unit (naturally groups of 1-4 hairs) without damage to the hair bulbs.” We also found that the incidence of buried grafts decreased significantly with the new instrument from about 9% to 1.8% with this new device” said Dr. Bernstein from his Center for Hair Restoration in New York.

In a recent study conducted by Leever Research Services, it is estimated that over 360,000 patients sought help from doctors for their hair loss last year. With ground-breaking work by surgeons like Robert M. Bernstein M.D., the impressive aesthetic results from new hair transplantation techniques are helping men and women who suffer from baldness to get a renewed outlook on their lives.

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Follicular Unit Transplantation - Dermatologic Clinics“Dermatologic Clinics” is a quarterly review with comprehensive, state-of-the-art information by experts in the field of dermatology. The industries most highly knowledgeable medical professionals provide current, practical information on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the skin. Each issue of Dermatologic Clinics focuses on a single topic. The July 2005 issue, entitled “Advanced Cosmetic Surgery”, published an article authored by Robert M. Bernstein M.D, and co-authored by William R. Rassman M.D. entitled “Follicular Unit Transplantation: 2005.”

In their article on FUT, the authors helped the dermatologic community to better understand the best practices of surgical hair restoration. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) focuses on recognizing that the follicular unit is a discrete, anatomic and physiologic entity, and that preserving it through stereomicroscopic dissection is the best way to ensure the natural appearance of the hair restoration. Dr. Bernstein explains why this major step has brought hair transplantation into the twenty-first century.

This chapter also points out that the issues yet to be resolved in hair transplantation include determining the maximum density and number of grafts that can be used safely in a single session, deciding whether it is preferable to pre-make recipient sites or immediately place grafts into sites as they are made, and defining the precise role of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

The authors conclude by stressing that the essence of providing the best care for hair transplant patients rests on proper patient selection, establishing realistic expectations, and using non-surgical management for young persons who are just starting to thin. When surgery is indicated, Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation is the ideal hair restoration procedure.

Read the publication Follicular Unit Transplantation: 2005

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Q: I was wondering why you chose two years as the amount of time one should wait to judge the effectiveness of Propecia. Have you had patients who only saw results after that long? Why does Merck say 3-6 months and Dr. Rassman at New Hair say 6-8 months? I know these numbers aren’t arbitrary, but I’m just wondering what the logic is behind this and how does this relate to planning a hair transplant? — I.P., Hempstead, Long Island, NY

A: The Merck data showed that over 90% of patients had peak response at 1 year and this has been my experience as well.

Most patients show the most dramatic response between 6 to 12 months with some getting additional benefit up to two years. Prior to 6 months, the results are quite variable and there may even be a net loss due to shedding during this period, as the Propecia (finasteride) stimulates a new anagen cycle.

If one is planning to go on Propecia before a hair transplant to minimize any shedding from the surgery and to prevent future hair loss, one should start the medication at least one month prior to the procedure.

If one wants to use Propecia for the purpose of possibly avoiding hair restoration surgery, then one needs to wait at least a year to see if there will be enough regrowth.

Finally, if one is younger (i.e. in the 23-25 age range) one should be on Propecia for at least two years to give it every possible chance of working and see its maximum benefit before considering a hair transplant.

Read more about taking Propecia before a hair transplant
Read more about Propecia (finasteride)

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Dr. Bernstein receives the Surgeon of the Month award given by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. Read the statement on the award that appeared in the Hair Transplant Forum International, the society’s official publication:

Hair Transplant Forum International 1997; 7(1): 16.

Surgeon of the Month: Robert M. Bernstein, M.D.

It has been my policy, since taking over as Editor of the FORUM, to nominate a Surgeon of the Month in each edition. Rather than give further honors to those illustrious member of our profession who have had frequent mention over past years, I have tried to seek out those who have much to contribute in the future. Recent editions have honored a Mexican, an Australian and two South American surgeons. On this occasion, we return to the USA, to pay homage to a young dermatologist who has contributed a great deal in a few short years since entering the hair transplant field. – RS

Dr. Robert M. BernsteinRobert M. Bernstein, MD, is Medical Director of the New Hair Institute Medical Group in New York. He is Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the college of Physician and Surgeons of Columbia University, and an Associate in the Dermatology Service at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where he teaches dermatologic and laser surgery, and hair transplantation. He is also an attending physician in dermatology at Englewood Hospital and at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.

Dr. Bernstein received his MS degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1978, and was the recipient of the Dr. Jacob Bleiberg Award for Excellence in Dermatology. He received his dermatologic training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he served as chief resident.

Dr. Bernstein is board certified in dermatology, and in his private practice, has a special interest in cosmetic dermatologic surgery and laser surgery. Dr. Bernstein has served as Chairman of the Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee of the Department of Dermatology at Englewood Hospital, and was Co Director of their annual dermatology seminar for 10 years. Although he trained in hair restoration surgery during his residency, and performed hair transplantation and scalp reductions when he started private practice, he soon abandoned both procedures when he was not satisfied with the results. He observed the evolution of the procedure for many years until, after seeing the work of Dr. William Rassman and others performing large sessions of small grafts, he decided to re enter the field. Dr. Bernstein soon joined Dr. Rassman at the New Hair Institute to devote his time solely to hair transplantation.

Dr. Bernstein introduced the concept of “follicular transplantation” in an article published in 1995 in the International Journal of Aesthetic and Restorative Surgery, which recommended that in all hair transplantation, the implants should consist of only the naturally occurring follicular units. The anatomic follicular units, seen clinically as the patient’s natural hair groupings, are different for each individual, and these differences should be reflected in the transplant plan. He has been a strong advocate of using follicular transplantation for the best possible cosmetic result, and has encouraged his colleagues to use this approach in both his writings and lectures.

Dr. Bernstein was born in New York City in 1952. He is married to Shizuka, who is a medical aesthetician, and they have two sons, Michael (age 12), and Taijiro (age 11), and a daughter, Nikita (age 2 1/2). Dr. Bernstein’s hobbies include skiing, basketball, piano, ballroom dancing, and chess all of which he enjoys with his family.

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An Idea Whose Time Has Come - O'tar NorwoodThe following is a portion of “An Idea Whose Time Has Come,” an editorial written by O’Tar T. Norwood, MD — founder of the Norwood Classification System for Hair Loss — and published in the May/June 1997 issue of “Hair Transplant Forum International”:

I just returned from visiting Dr. Bob Bernstein in New York, and was impressed with his operation and even more impressed with his thoughts, observations, and insights into hair transplant surgery. He applies scientific methods to his work, is academically honest, and has an almost eerie instinctive knowledge of hair transplant surgery. Of course he has Dr. Bill Rassman to work with, but it is still remarkable. Dr. Bernstein is best known for introducing follicular transplantation to hair transplant surgery, an idea Bob Limmer has been pushing for ten years with the use of the binocular microscope, but no one would listen to him. Dr. Limmer, however, never used the term follicular transplantation. Using the microscope, you automatically dissect the follicular units. It can’t be avoided if done properly.

To read the full article, visit “An Idea Whose Time Has Come” in the Hair Restoration Papers section of our website.

Reference
Norwood O. “An Idea Whose Time Has Come,” Hair Transplant Forum International 1997; 7(3): 10-11.

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