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Dr. Bernstein on CBS - Eye on NY

Dr. Bernstein was interviewed by Dana Tyler, host of the television program “Eye on New York” on CBS, for the show that aired on April 17th. The wide-ranging interview was the feature in a 9-minute segment on hair transplantation and hair loss.

Below is a partial transcript from the interview.

Hair Loss – Men vs. Women:

DT: How big a problem is it, men versus women? We heard the statistics but is it worse for one group or the other?

RB: It seems to be worse in women emotionally. Statistically it’s obviously more common in men, but the pattern is very different. When men lose their hair they lose it mostly in the front. And they can start in two different patterns. One is in the temples and in the crown or it can just go front to back. That’s called patterned hair loss and it’s pretty obvious. Women have a more diffuse pattern so it would be many years before you even notice it.

DT: What about the influence we hear, if it’s your mother’s father or your mother’s grandfather was bald then therefore, men, you will be. Is there any truth to that?

RB: Like many myths there is a little bit to it. There is a slight predominance coming from the mother’s side of the family. There is something called an androgen receptor gene, that has been found on the X chromosome, which accounts for the slight difference between inheritance from the mother’s side versus the father’s side. But most of the genetics is on the regular chromosomes, called the autosomal chromosomes, which is the same from both sides. So you can get it from either your mother or your father or your uncles or grandparents.

Early Hair Loss:

DT: Age-wise. Are there certain times – I mean, we talked about earlier in the 30s, but some young men it happens earlier.

RB: It seems that when people start to lose their hair early, it has a tendency to be much more severe. So the people who start to thin around 16, 17 usually become very bald. Time is usually on your side if you have hair into your 30s and 40s, [it’s] more likely you’ll have a full head of hair.

Hair Loss in Women:

DT: Speaking about women and the reasons behind women’s hair loss. A little different than for men.

RB: It’s genetic, as with men for the most part, but there are two different systems. Where in men it’s related to androgens directly, which causes the front-to-back pattern, in women they have another enzyme pathway which kind of evens it out and keeps their hairline longer. Also, because women have a tendency to thin all over, their genetic hair loss can be mimicked by other things, such as diseases that cause hair shedding or thinning — so anemia, thyroid disease, medications such as birth control pills — all those things can also contribute to hair loss, and it seems that those factors are much more common in women than in men.

DT: And then in trying to determine if a woman is going through that, because there are more factors is it hard to figure out why there is the hair loss?

RB: It’s a little bit more difficult [in women]. The main thing that you do is to look at the hair diameters. In genetic hair loss the hairs have different diameters. In [conditions] like anemia, or where there is shedding on medication, the hair comes out at its root. Where people think of hair loss as losing hair, most of hair loss is thinning because the hairs are actually thinner in diameter.

Preventing Hair Loss:

DT: Preventing baldness… is there anything that can be done?

RB: There are… But it’s not what you think. It’s not hats and combs.

DT: Fertilizing your head. (laughs)

RB: There are two medications, main medicines. One is Propecia, or the generic term is called finasteride, and what that does is it blocks DHT. And DHT is what causes these hair follicles to gradually miniaturize, or get smaller, and disappear. And the other is Rogaine, which actually stimulates hair follicles directly. Unfortunately, Propecia can’t be used in women because it can cause birth defects during child bearing years and it can also stimulate breast tissue, but it is very effective in men.

DT: So what does a woman do?

RB: Well, Rogaine will help a little bit. Lasers can help a little bit, perhaps not as much as the initial studies have suggested. And then, once you’ve lost your hair, surgical options are available.

Hair Transplantation:

DT: Hair transplants. I know that’s a complicated procedure. And Dr. Max [Gomez] was talking about the art of it, too, when you’re finding someone. Tell me a little bit more…

RB: The main thing in hair transplants is really to determine who is a good candidate. And the interesting thing is that because of the pattern of [hair loss] in men, men usually have a very permanent area on the back and sides of the scalp. So when you move that to the front and top, it will continue to grow. Because women’s hair loss is more diffuse, the back and sides are not always stable. So, when you’re trying to decide if a woman is a good candidate, you have to make sure that the hair, where you get it from, is going to last their lifetime. And only a small percentage of women are really good candidates for that transplant.

The Future of Hair Restoration – Medications & Cloning:

DT: What about the future? Are you optimistic about new options on the horizon?

RB: First of all, new medications are coming out. Latisse is a medication that can grow eyelashes. And we’ve just started studying it in eyebrow hair, and it seems to grow eyebrows as well. There are studies to see if you can grow hair on the scalp. And it certainly will, it’s just whether it’s practical and how well it works. It probably will be of some benefit.

DT: There always is progress, right?

RB: Right. And then [there are] hair transplants where we can take individual follicles rather than having to take a long thin strip, although that still seems to give you the best volume. And then we’re trying to multiply hair. In other words, the limitation of transplants is always that we don’t have [as much] hair as we’d like. So we’re working on cloning. We’re working on multiplying hair that can actually be plucked from the scalp. So that [the original hair] will regenerate, and you then can get the plucked hair to grow into new hair follicles.

For more interviews with Dr. Bernstein, and other media appearances, visit our Bernstein Medical “In The News” section.

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Robert M. Bernstein, M.D., F.A.A.D., Renowned Hair Transplant Surgeon and Founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in New York, is Studying Four Applications of ACell MatriStem™ Extracellular Matrix in a Type of Hair Cloning, Called Hair Multiplication, as well as in Current Hair Restoration Procedures.

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 15, 2011 – Robert M. Bernstein, M.D., F.A.A.D., Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, has been granted approval by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) to study four different applications of the ACell MatriStem extracellular matrix (ECM) in hair restoration.

Hair Cloning with ACell MatriStemHair Cloningwith ACell MatriStem

Two of the studies include its use in a type of hair cloning, called hair multiplication, where plucked hairs and transected follicular units are induced to generate new hair-producing follicles. The other two areas of study include evaluating the use of the ECM in current hair transplant procedures to enhance hair growth and facilitate wound healing.

Approval by the WIRB allows the researchers to conduct double-blinded, bilateral controlled studies. Controlled studies are the best way to increase the objectivity of the research and insure the validity of the results.

“The medical research we are performing is important because it may lead to hair multiplication as a way to increase a person’s supply of donor hair. In this way, patients would no longer be limited in the amount of hair which can be used in a hair restoration procedure,” said Dr. Bernstein. “Additionally, in the near-term, the extracellular matrix may be able to improve the cosmetic benefit of current hair transplant procedures. We are simultaneously pushing the boundaries of hair cloning methods and follicular unit transplantation.”

Hair multiplication, a variation of what is popularly known as hair cloning, is a procedure where partial hair follicles are stimulated to form whole follicles. These parts can either be from hairs derived from plucking or from follicles which have been purposely cut into sections. Generally, damaged follicular units will stop growing hairs. However, there is anecdotal evidence that an extracellular matrix applied to partial follicles may stimulate whole follicles to grow and, when applied to wounds, may stimulate the body’s cells to heal the damaged tissue.

This new medical research also attempts to show that ACell can improve the healing of wounds created when follicular units are harvested for hair transplant surgery. Currently, in follicular unit hair transplant procedures, a linear scar results when a surgeon incises the patient’s scalp to harvest follicular units. Occasionally, this scar can be stretched, resulting in a less-than favorable cosmetic result. If ECM can induce the wound to heal more completely, the linear scar may be improved. The extracellular matrix may also benefit general hair growth in hair transplantation in that the sites where hair is transplanted, called recipient sites, can be primed with ECM to encourage healthy growth of the hair follicle.

Dr. Bernstein is known world-wide for pioneering the hair restoration procedures of follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Follicular units are the naturally-occurring groups of one to four hair follicles which make up scalp hair. These tiny structures are the components which are transplanted in follicular unit hair transplants.

While hair cloning has been of great interest to hair restoration physicians and sufferers of common genetic hair loss, the method by which this can be achieved has yet to be determined. The use of ACell’s extracellular matrix to generate follicles is a promising development in achieving this elusive goal. In addition to the longer term implications of using ECM in hair multiplication, its impact on hair restoration will be more immediate if it can be proven effective when used in current FUT procedures.

About Dr. Robert M. Bernstein:

Dr. Bernstein is a certified dermatologist and pioneer in the field of hair transplant surgery. His landmark medical publications have revolutionized hair transplantation and provide the foundation for techniques used by hair transplant surgeons across five continents. He is respected for his honest and ethical assessment of a patient’s treatment options, exceptional surgical skills, and keen aesthetic sense in hair transplantation. In addition to his many medical publications, Dr. Bernstein has appeared as a hair loss or hair transplantation expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Discovery Channel, CBS News, Fox News, and National Public Radio; and he has been interviewed for articles in GQ Magazine, Men’s Health, Vogue, the New York Times, and others.

About Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration:

Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration is a state-of-the-art hair restoration facility and international referral center, located in midtown Manhattan, New York City. The center is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss in men and women. Hair transplant surgery, hair repair surgery, and eyebrow transplant surgery are performed using the follicular unit transplant (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) surgical hair restoration techniques.

Contact Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration:

If you are a journalist and would like to discuss this press release, please email us or call us today (212-826-2400) to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Bernstein.

View the press release at PRWeb.

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Bizymoms.com, the premier work-at-home community on the Internet with more than 5 million visitors per year, has interviewed Dr. Robert M. Bernstein in order to answer readers’ common questions about hair restoration and hair loss.

Below is a sample of the interview:

Q: Who would be a good candidate for hair transplant surgery?

In general, men and women age 30 and older can be candidates, but there are a host of factors that determine if a person is a good candidate…

Q: How does hair transplantation work?

Hair removed from the permanent zone in the back and sides of the scalp continues to grow when transplanted to the balding area in the front or top of one’s head…

Q: What can be done for people dissatisfied with previous mini/micrograft procedures?

If the grafts are too large they can be removed, divided into smaller units under a microscope, and re-implanted back into the scalp (the same day)…

Q: What are the possible harmful effects of Propecia and Rogaine?

The main side effect of Propecia (finasteride 1%) is sexual dysfunction, which occurs in about 2-4% of men taking the drug. Fortunately, these side effects are completely reversible when the medication is stopped. […] The main side effect of Rogaine (minoxidil) is scalp irritation. […] Both Propecia and Minoxidil can produce some hair shedding at the beginning of treatment, but this means that the medications are working…

Q: How many grafts/hairs are needed for hair transplant surgery?

An eyebrow restoration can require as few as 200 grafts, a hairline 800 and a scalp, with significant hair loss, 2,500 or more grafts. An equally important consideration is the donor supply…

Q: What are the advanced hair transplant techniques?

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), where hair is transplanted exclusively in naturally occurring follicular units, is the state-of-the art. […] A more recent means of obtaining the donor hair, the follicular units are extracted individually from the back of the scalp. This procedure, called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) eliminates the need for a line-scar, but is a less efficient procedure for obtaining grafts…

Q: What are the new hair restoration treatments available for men and women?

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) utilizes cool lasers to stimulate hair growth and reduce shedding of hair. […] Latisse (Bimatoprost) is an FDA approved topical medication for eyelash growth.

Go to Bizymoms.com to read the full interview.

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Q: I just read a press release saying that researchers have developed a successful technique to clone hair by using a wound healing powder. To paraphrase, the press release says:

MatriStem MicroMatrix, a product of regenerative medicine, ACell, Inc., is a wound healing powder that promotes healing and tissue growth and has now proven to help regenerate hair in the donor and recipient regions of hair transplant patients. While intended to heal ulcers and burns, Gary Hitzig, M.D. and Jerry Cooley, M.D., have found that its properties offer a broader scope of treatment, including hair cloning. “We’ve made amazing breakthroughs using MatriStem as a hair cloning tool,” said Dr. Hitzig. “We’ve been able to multiply the number of hair follicles growing in the recipient area, and as an added benefit are seeing faster hair growth. This new hair cloning technique also makes hair transplantation surgery less invasive.”

Is this new technique really a breakthrough in hair cloning? And if so, when can we start cloning hair?

A: It appears from preliminary studies that plucked hairs stimulated by ACell are in some cases able to regenerate new hair. Because the hair is placed into the recipient area and is partially derived from cells in the dermis, it is not yet clear whether the hair will be effected by androgens over time or if it will continue to bald.

The research so far is promising and a number of doctors are doing research in this area, including Dr. Schweiger and myself at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration.

For more on the topic, visit our Hair Cloning section, our page on ACell extracellular matrix devices, and answers to questions on Hair Cloning.

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Note from Dr. Bernstein: This article, by my colleague Dr. Rassman, is such important reading for anyone considering a hair transplant, that I felt it should be posted here in its entirety.

Areas of Unethical Behavior Practiced Today
William Rassman, MD, Los Angeles, California

I am disturbed that there is a rise in unethical practices in the hair transplant community. Although many of these practices have been around amongst a small handful of physicians, the recent recession has clearly increased their numbers. Each of us can see evidence of these practices as patients come into our offices and tell us about their experiences. When a patient comes to me and is clearly the victim of unethical behavior I can only react by telling the patient the truth about what my fellow physician has done to them. We have no obligation to protect those doctors in our ranks who practice unethically, so maybe the way we respond is to become a patient advocate, one on one, for each patient so victimized. The following reflects a list of the practices I find so abhorrent:

1. Selling hair transplants to patients who do not need it, just to make money. I have met with an increasing number of very young patients getting hair transplants for changes in the frontal hairline that reflect a maturing hairline, not balding. Also, performing surgery on very young men (18-22) with early miniaturization is in my opinion outside the “Standard of Care”. Treating these young men with a course of approved medications for a full year should be the Standard of Care for all of us.

2. Selling and delivering more grafts than the patient needs. Doctors are tapping the well of the patient’s graft account by adding hundreds or thousands of grafts into areas of the scalp where the miniaturization is minimal and balding is not grossly evident. I have even seen patients that had grafts placed into areas of the scalp where there was no clinically significant miniaturization present. Can you imagine 3,000-4,000 grafts in an early Class 3 balding pattern? Unwise depletion of a patient’s finite donor hair goes on far more frequently than I can say.

3. Putting grafts into areas of normal hair under the guise of preventing hair loss. There are many patients who have balding in the family and watch their own “hair fall” thinking that most of their hair will eventually fall out. A few doctors prey on these patients and actually offer hair transplantation on a preventive basis. This is far more common in women who may not be as familiar with what causes baldness and do not have targeted support systems like this forum. They become more and more desperate over time and are willing to do “anything” to get hair. They are a set-up for physicians with predatory practice styles.

4. Pushing the number of grafts that are not within the skill set of surgeon and/or staff. The push to large megasessions and gigasessions are driven by a limited number of doctors who can safely perform these large sessions. Competitive forces in the marketplace make doctors feel that they must offer the large sessions, even if they can not do them effectively. A small set of doctors promote large sessions of hair transplants, but really do not deliver them, fraudulently collecting fees for services not received by the patient. Fraud is a criminal offense and when we see these patients in consultation, I ask you to consider your obligation under our oaths and our respective state medical board license agencies to report these doctors.

5. Some doctors are coloring the truth with regard to their results, using inflated graft counts, misleading photos, or inaccurate balding classifications. False representation occurs not only to patients while the doctor is selling his skills, but also to professionals in the field when the doctor presents his results. Rigging patient results and testimonials are not uncommon. Lifestyle Lift, a cosmetic surgery company settled a claim by the State of New York over its attempts to produce positive consumer reviews publishing statements on Web sites faking the voices of satisfied customers. Employee of this company reportedly produced substantial content for the web.

The hair transplant physician community has developed wonderful technology that could never have been imagined 20 years ago. The results of modern hair transplantation have produced many satisfied patients and the connection between what we represent to our patient and what we can realistically do is impressive today. Unfortunately, a small handful of physicians have developed predatory behavior that is negatively impacting all of us and each of us sees this almost daily in our practices. Writing an opinion piece like this is not a pleasant process, but what I have said here needs to be said. According to the American Medical Association Opinion 9.031- “Physicians have an ethical obligation to report impaired, incompetent, and/or unethical colleagues in accordance with the legal requirements in each state……”

Rassman, WR: Areas of unethical behavior practiced today. Hair Transplant Forum Intl. Sep/Oct 2009; 19(5) 1,153.

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New York Times - Hair TransplantThe New York Times interviewed Dr. Bernstein for a full-length article on hair loss and hair transplant options for women interested in hair restoration. The article – titled, “Tricks and Transplants for Women’s Hair Loss” – covered modern hair transplantation techniques, hair transplant costs, camouflage techniques, and more.

Read below for some excerpts of the article:

Exploring Your Options:

Hairstylists, impressed with how realistic the “new” transplanted hair looks, recommend doctors to clients who are tired of hiding their hair loss with layers or high- and lowlights. “I’ve seen bad jobs,” said Seiji Kitazato, the creative director at Frédéric Fekkai on Fifth Avenue, who refers clients to a few surgeons. “But now you can’t even tell.”

Still, not every woman of the millions who suffer from hair loss is a candidate. Underlying conditions, including anemia and thyroid problems, that are temporary, treatable or affect the scalp rather than the hair, must be dealt with before a transplant can be considered. If a transplant is ruled out, sufferers must rely on wigs, hairpieces or styling tricks.

What’s more, “most medications can cause hair loss, some more frequently than others,” said Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, a clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University who has a restoration center in Manhattan.

A transplant is an option only for a woman who has a thick enough area of hair from the back and sides to “donate” to a more paltry part of her scalp. But many women don’t experience this kind of localized balding; instead their entire head of hair thins out during menopause or as they age.

Buyer Beware:

So the incentive to treat any and all comers is high. “It’s a big problem,” Dr. Bernstein said. “You shouldn’t go to someone who will give a transplant to anyone who walks in the door.” If your condition is not properly assessed, you could permanently shed more hair after surgery than you gained, he warned, or if the hair transplanted wasn’t stable, “it would disappear.”

Before Hair Transplant Surgery:

If you’re suffering hair loss, see a dermatologist first, not hair transplant surgeons, said Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, a dermatologist in Manhattan who specializes in hair restoration. After determining a cause, dermatologists can offer advice about options from the medical to the surgical. Many women with hair loss try Women’s Rogaine, a solution with 2 percent minoxidil that is applied to the scalp, twice daily. Others prefer Rogaine’s foam for men, because it has 5 percent minodixil, dries quickly and feels less greasy. (But even the women’s formulation warns to discontinue use if facial-hair growth occurs.)

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Fox NewsDr. Bernstein discusses the technique of follicular unit hair transplantation in a Fox News segment on hair loss and hair transplantation. In the video, he discusses the use of the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) procedure to correct hair loss and camouflage scarring that resulted from the surgical removal of a large skin cancer on the patient’s scalp. You can see this patient’s before and after photos in our Women’s Gallery.

Watch a 1-minute video clip of the program:

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Dr. Bernstein, pioneer of Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation, was a featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In addition to discussing his hair transplant technique, Dr. Bernstein showed Oprah and Dr. Mehmet Oz the results of a hair transplant on one of his patients. They also showed a video montage of Dr. Bernstein performing a hair restoration procedure.

Please read the full Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration press release below:

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 7, 2008 – The Oprah Winfrey Show features Dr. Bernstein discussing his pioneering follicular unit hair transplant procedure, focusing on the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques for hair restoration. The Oprah Winfrey Show aired Tuesday, October 7th at 4:00PM EST on ABC.

Dr. Bernstein is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York. He is recognized world-wide for his pioneering work in the treatment of hair loss. Dr. Bernstein is known for developing the revolutionary Follicular Unit Transplantation procedure for hair restoration.

Dr. Bernstein with Dr. Oz and a Patient on the Oprah Winfrey ShowDr. Bernstein with Dr. Oz and a Patient on the Oprah Winfrey Show

After introducing Dr. Bernstein to Oprah, Dr. Mehmet Oz (health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show) presents video footage of Dr. Bernstein performing a hair transplant and then invites the patient live onstage to be inspected by Oprah. In addition to engaging with the audience about baldness and hair transplant procedures, Dr. Bernstein examines a person from the audience who is experiencing early hair loss using an instrument known as a densitometer.

The densitometer is a self-contained, portable, device that houses a magnifying lens for viewing hairs close to the scalp. The idea behind densitometry is to determine the degree of miniaturization, or shrinking of the hair’s diameter, which contributes to hair loss. This information is used to evaluate whether the patient is a good candidate for hair transplant or medical treatment, as well as to predict future hair loss.

“Follicular Unit Transplantation is a procedure where hair is transplanted exclusively in its naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs. It is the logical end point of over 30 years of evolution in hair transplantation surgery,” explained Dr. Bernstein. “However, this by no means implies our work is complete. We are obsessed with making the procedure as perfect as possible.”

View the original press release at PRWeb.

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Columbia University Medical CenterColumbia University Medical Center has awarded Dr. Bernstein, Clinical Professor of Dermatology, a “Certificate of Appreciation” for sustained contributions to the academic programs of the Department of Dermatology, Columbia University. Please read below for the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration press release and a transcript of an interview with Dr. Bernstein on receiving the honor:

Press Release:

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 2, 2008 — Columbia University Medical Center awarded their Certificate of Appreciation to Robert M. Bernstein, MD, founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration for his sustained contributions to the academic programs of the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University.

Dr. Bernstein specializes in hair loss and hair transplant surgery. He was instrumental in developing the Follicular Unit Hair Transplant procedure, now considered the most advanced technique for surgical hair restoration. This procedure has revolutionized modern hair transplantation, with its unique ability to mimic natural hair growth patterns in the scalp.

In the past, multiple, small procedures were an inefficient way to restore a person’s hair. Using these new techniques, we now have the ability to transplant 3000 or more follicular units safely in one session.

“With respect to medical feasibility, follicular hair transplant surgery is significantly different from traditional grafting,” notes Dr. Bernstein. “In the past, multiple, small procedures were an inefficient way to restore a person’s hair. Using these new techniques, we now have the ability to transplant 3000 or more follicular units safely in one session.”

The complex nature and microscopic scale of the Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation procedure require superior surgical precision. Dr. Bernstein is well known for his surgical skill and talent; he has been named in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” list 9 years in a row.

In addition to his world-renowned skill in the field of hair replacement surgery, Dr. Bernstein is also acclaimed for the care that he provides for his patients. Dr. Bernstein and the rest of the staff at the Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration aim to provide their patients with the best possible care and comfort during their hair transplant procedure. Their award winning website www.bernsteinmedical.com is recognized for providing outstanding health information.

Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of medical research and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

About Dr. Bernstein:

Dr. Bernstein is the most widely published author on the subject of Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation, with over fifty articles, editorial reviews, books and textbook chapters. His landmark scientific papers are considered to be seminal works in the field of hair transplant surgery. In addition to a busy surgical practice, Robert M. Bernstein, MD, is Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York. He lectures both nationally and internationally on the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss and treats patients from all over the globe at his state-of-the-art surgical facility in mid-town Manhattan.

Interview:

Interviewer: I am here today with Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, founder of the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. Dr. Bernstein is the recipient of the “Platinum Follicle Award” the highest honor given by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. He has been chosen as one of New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors in New York” for nine consecutive years. Good morning Dr. Bernstein.

Dr. Bernstein: Good morning.

Interviewer: Dr. Bernstein, I understand you have recently been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from Columbia University in New York.

Dr. Bernstein: Yes, I have been teaching at Columbia for 25 years. I was very honored to receive it.

Interviewer: Could you tell us about it?

Dr. Bernstein: The certificate is for the contributions that I have made to the academic programs of the Department of Dermatology.

Interviewer: You specialize in hair replacement and hair transplant surgery, and you were instrumental in developing the Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation procedure. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about this procedure and how you came up with the idea?

Dr. Bernstein: Sure. The Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation procedure is based on the discovery that in humans, hair does not grow singly as one commonly thinks, but rather, in tiny bundles of one to four hairs. We call these bundles follicular units. While evaluating patients for surgery using an instrument called a densitometer we could easily visualize these naturally occurring groups. It just made sense to perform the entire transplant using these tiny follicular units, as it would allow us to most closely mimic nature. We found that it also would enable us to safely transplant thousands of grafts in a single session and, for the patient, to complete the hair restoration as quickly as possible.

Interviewer: Interesting. I understand you not only use your knowledge in practice, but you are the most widely published author on this subject.

Dr. Bernstein: It is through publishing in medical and scientific journals that we can best share our ideas with our colleagues and ultimately improve patient care.

Interviewer: Is there a website where listeners can find these papers and learn more about the procedure and other information about hair loss?

Dr. Bernstein: Yes. If they go to the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration website they will find links to all of my medical publications. The site has my blog and a lot of other useful information for persons who are experiencing hair loss.

Interviewer: Well, again congratulations, it was good to have you on the program.

Dr. Bernstein: Thank you.

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The website of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, a state-of-the-art hair transplant facility in Manhattan, was recently recognized by the World Wide Web Health Awards as one of the Internet’s best resources. BernsteinMedical.com was acknowledged for outstanding health information, based on accuracy, usability, and overall quality.

With over 30,000 unique visitors a month, the Center’s website has helped potential hair transplant patients from all over the world make educated decisions regarding their hair loss, including preventative medications and possible surgery.

“One of the most popular features of our website is the Hair Transplant Blog. It allows users to send in their questions and get clear, concise answers,” says Dr. Bernstein. “I try to clear up as much of the misinformation about hair restoration as I possibly can.”

Nearly two thirds of American males experience some measurable form of hair loss by age 35, according to the American Hair Loss Association. With millions of men and women seeking reliable information, Dr. Bernstein recognized the need for an informative, easy-to-navigate hair restoration resource on the Web.

The World Wide Web Health Awards is organized by the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials. These Web-based health awards are an extension of the HIRC’s 14-year old National Health Information Awards (NHIA), the largest program of its kind in the United States.

Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, located in midtown Manhattan, is designed to deliver state-of-the-art hair transplant surgery. Dr. Bernstein is world renowned for his pioneering work in Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation and Follicular Unit Extraction. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Bernstein is Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York.

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Dr. Bernstein took part in a PRWeb podcast about hair transplantation in June 2007. Stream the discussion below or read the transcript:

Announcer: PRWebPodcast.com, visiting with newsmakers and industry experts.

Mario: This is Mario from PRWeb, and today it is a real pleasure to have with us Robert M. Bernstein, M.D. Dr. Bernstein is Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University, and founder of New York City‑based Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. Dr. Bernstein, it’s a pleasure to have you here on PRWeb.

Dr. Bernstein: Nice to be speaking with you.

Mario: Give us some understanding, sir, of your practice, the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. How long have you been around, where you guys are located, what is it you do there, please?

Dr. Bernstein: Bernstein Medical has evolved over the last ten years. It was set it up to do a specific procedure that I pioneered called “follicular unit hair transplantation.”

In this procedure, we dissect out hair follicles from the back of the scalp, exactly the way they grow in nature, so we are now able to perform hair transplants that essentially mimic nature.

This procedure is used by doctors around the world in hair restoration procedures. Our NY Hair Transplant Center is in midtown Manhattan and has been specifically designed for performing this hair transplantation technique.

Mario: You recently co‑authored an article, Dr. Bernstein, that appeared in the “Medical Journal of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery”. Now, you are well read and interviewed all over. This must be a bit exciting, something that was positive for you and your clinic. Tell us about the article, what it touched on, and some of the things that would be important for our listeners.

Dr. Bernstein: It sure was very exciting. The hair transplantation procedure has been around for many years, but a lot of it has been too much of an art and not enough of a science. What we’ve found is that doctors sometimes make these very general judgments about how bald the patient is going to become, how much hair they may need for the hair transplant or for the restoration.

We’ve found that by using a procedure called “densitometry”, where the hair is looked at under high magnification, we are able to get much more specific and useful information, both on the extent of how much someone is going to lose their hair, and also whether they are going to be a good candidate for hair restoration surgery.

One of the things that we’ve found is that when people start to thin, the hair first changes diameter before it’s lost, and this change in diameter may not necessarily be seen by the naked eye or be observed by another person.

But if you clip the hair very short and look at the base of the hair follicles under very high power, 30X magnification, you can actually see these very subtle, early changes, and these changes will anticipate future hair loss.

When we’re trying to decide whether a person should have hair transplant surgery, we can actually look at the donor area in the back and sides of the head, and see how stable these areas are. For example, someone that is becoming very bald, if the back and sides of their head show no change in the hair diameter, or no miniaturization, then we know that they may have very good hair for hair transplants; where a person with a similar degree of hair loss, whose sides and back are not stable, may not be a good hair transplantation candidate.

In a sense, by being able to measure things now, we’re able to have a much better sense of whether people are going to become very bald, possibly the rate of change of their hair loss, and then if they do need surgery, such as a hair transplant, we’re able to give much more specific information about what actually might be done.

Mario: We’re speaking to Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, M.D., an Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University, and founder of New York‑based Bernstein Center for Hair Restoration.

Dr. Bernstein, give us some contact information where we can learn more about your services, and be able to end up taking advantage of them.

Dr. Bernstein: The best information can be found on our web site. The web address is www.BernsteinMedical.com.

Mario: Dr. Bernstein, it’s been a pleasure having you here on PRWeb podcasting with us. The best of luck to you, and congratulations again for that article in the “Medical Journal of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.”

Dr. Bernstein: Thanks a lot, nice talking to you.

Announcer: Produced by PRWeb, the online visibility company.

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New Hair Transplant Center in NY - Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair RestorationBernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration has moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility in mid-town Manhattan. The office is centrally located in the Park 55 building at 110 East 55th Street.

The new office is specially engineered for performing our pioneering follicular unit hair transplant procedures and innovative corrective surgery with custom surgical suites for patient comfort and operational efficiency.

The full Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration press release is below:

State-of-the-Art Hair Transplant Facility Opens in Mid-Town Manhattan

Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, led by pioneering hair transplant surgeon Robert M. Bernstein M.D., has completed construction of their new state-of-the-art surgical facility in midtown Manhattan.

Occupying the entire 11th floor at 110 E. 55th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), this sleek new office has been designed exclusively for performing Dr. Bernstein’s pioneering surgical procedure known as Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation.

The only facility in New York designed specifically for Follicular Unit Transplantation; Bernstein Medical’s new center boasts the latest techniques in hair restoration. Special features include ergonomically designed equipment used by the surgical team to make the painstakingly detailed process of stereo-microscopic dissection go smoothly and efficiently. New techniques, such as vibratory anesthesia, custom surgical chairs and special lighting, maximize patient comfort.

In his seminal publications, Dr. Bernstein introduced a novel method of hair restoration surgery which recognized follicular units (groups of naturally growing hair follicles) as the ideal way that donor tissue should be used in hair transplant procedures. FUT, as it is popularly referred to, is now considered by many to be the single most important advance in surgical hair restoration in the last decade.

On the new center Dr. Bernstein stated, “Though our previous Manhattan location and our New Jersey facility both have had the latest technologies and instrumentation, it has always been our dream to design a surgical facility that had Follicular Unit Transplantation in mind from its architectural conception.”

Working closely with his architecture and interior design team, Dr. Bernstein oversaw all aspects of the project from its inception to insure that this new environment would be one to put patients at ease. From the use of natural sunlight and soothing colors, to the shapes of glass, stone and wood, all design elements were chosen to maximize the patient experience.

Dr. Bernstein has been named for the seventh consecutive year as one of New York Magazine’s Best Doctors for his pioneering work in 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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Gotham Magazine - November 2006The November 2006 issue of Gotham Magazine featured Dr. Bernstein in their article on cosmetic surgery and hair transplantation. Read below for a selection from the article, titled “A Cut Above,” which includes the portion about Dr. Bernstein.

Gotham Magazine / November 2006 Issue
A CUT ABOVE

by Beth Landman • Illustration by Barbara McGregor

Once the province of wealthy older women, cosmetic surgery has gone mainstream, with everyone from teenage girls to investment bankers and politicians going under the knife, needle, or laser in the name of aesthetic self-improvement.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO AGING GRACEFULLY?
Some of us do value natural beauty at any age, of course, and bemoan the prevalence of what can be considered extreme vanity. However, an increasing number of us see nips, tucks, and injections as reasonable measures to take in order to stay “fresh and competitive in a youth-oriented society,” as one of the converted put it. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of surgical cosmetic procedures performed has more than doubled in the past 10 years; and, due to the rising popularity of Botox and a wide range of injectibles, the incidence of non-surgical treatments has increased by 726 percent.

Many of New York’s leading physicians have been at the forefront of the beauty battle, developing new techniques and technology while defining the field’s cutting edge. Here’s a rundown of who to see before you snip, suck, fill, or implant.

Dr. Bernstein
The shameless plug: We all know that bad hair plugs can be spotted from across a room, so this job should not be left to chance. Bernstein, who founded the Bernstein Center for Hair Restoration, has made great headway with what’s called “follicular unit transplantation.” Instead of using single plugs, he works with clusters of hair that continue to grow in natural patterns. The results appear more natural, and his patients need fewer sessions than with the traditional method of hair transplant surgery. Dr. Bernstein is researching the possibility of cloning hair so that individuals will have an unlimited supply of donor follicles. “The idea is to clone them and inject them into the scalp,” he explains.

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The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has named Dr. Bernstein the ‘Pioneer of the Month’ in their official publication, the Hair Transplant Forum International.

Below is the article that appeared in the publication announcing Dr. Bernstein as the recipient of the honor. Dr. Bernstein is also a member of the society.

Hair Transplant Forum International
September-October 2006

Pioneer of the Month – Robert M. Bernstein, MD
by Jerry E. Cooley, MD Charlotte, North Carolina

Pioneer of the Month – Robert M. Bernstein, MDThe term “follicular unit transplantation” (FUT) has become so firmly embedded in our consciousness that we often consider it synonymous with hair transplantation in general. Surgeons new to the field may be unaware of its origin and how the concept evolved. In the 1980s, many separate clinics were developing total micrografting techniques to improve the naturalness of hair transplantation. In 1988, Dr. Bobby Limmer began developing a technique consisting of single strip harvesting with stereomicroscopic dissection of the hair follicles within the strip, which he published in 1994.

After observing histologic sections of scalp biopsies, dermatopathologist Dr. John Headington coined the term “follicular unit” in 1984 to describe the naturally occurring anatomic groupings of hair follicles. In 1995, a surgeon just entering the field of hair transplantation became aware of these natural “follicular units” and came to believe that they should be the building blocks for all hair transplants. His name was Bob Bernstein.

From 1995 to 2000, Bob and his colleague Dr. Bill Rassman articulated the rationale and benefits of FUT in dozens of publications and numerous lectures. Doubtlessly, Bob’s extraordinary effort advocating FUT in public forums during that time was critical to FUT’s rapid evolution and acceptance among surgeons.

Bob was born in New York City and raised on Long Island, New York. For college, Bob headed south to Tulane University in New Orleans. Next, he went to medical school in Newark at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He then went on to a residency in dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he served as chief resident.

Bob performed some punch grafting procedures in residency and a few more when he started his cosmetically focused dermatology practice in 1982. Not liking the results, he didn’t perform another transplant for 12 years. In the summer of 1994, Bob saw a patient of Dr. Ron Shapiro for a dermatologic problem. Impressed with the results of the surgery, Bob began speaking with Ron about the changes in the field. Ron encouraged him to attend the next ISHRS meeting in Toronto, which he did. While there, he saw several of Dr. Rassman’s patients presented and was greatly impressed.

Soon after, he was in Bill’s office observing micrograft “megasessions.” One of the things that caught Bob’s attention was Bill’s use of the “densitometer” to quantify the patients’ hair density. Bob noticed that the hair surprisingly grew in small groups. Bill half jokingly told Bob that he should give up his dermatology practice and go into hair restoration and invited him back for a second visit. On the 5-hour plane ride to Los Angeles, Bob thought about the potential of only transplanting those small groups he saw with the densitometer, and wrote the outline of a paper entitled, “Follicular Transplantation” (published that same year). The second visit with Bill confirmed his interest in hair transplants and, in particular, developing this idea of FUT. He quickly transferred his dermatology practice to a colleague and joined Bill’s group, the New Hair Institute (NHI).

Over the next 10 years, Bob authored and coauthored over 50 papers on FUT addressing issues such as quantifying various aspects of FUs among patients, racial variations, graft sorting, as well as hairline aesthetics, corrective techniques, the use of special absorbable sutures, and FUE and its instrumentation. One of the concepts he emphasized was the recognition of Diffuse Patterned Alopecia (DPA) and Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA), which were originally described by Dr. O’Tar Norwood. Bob helped raise awareness that patients with DUPA and low donor density are not surgical candidates. For all of his many contributions to the field, Bob was awarded the 2001 Platinum Follicle Award.

Branching out in other directions, Bob decided to go to business school and received his MBA from Columbia University in 2004. He did this to learn how to better streamline the day-long hair transplant sessions and improve general management of his growing staff. In 2005, Bob formed his own practice, Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. Looking to the future, Bob says, “I am excited about the accelerated rate of technical changes to the hair transplant procedure. This is due to an increasing number of really clever minds that have entered the field. Almost every aspect of the surgery is being tweaked and improved upon. It goes without saying that cloning will be the next really big thing—but I think it will take longer to develop than some are promising.” On the down side, he notes, “A concern I have is that, as hair transplant practices grow into big franchises with large marketing campaigns, many people are being directed toward surgery rather than being treated as patients with hair loss in need of an accurate diagnosis, medical treatment, emotional support, and surgery only when appropriate.”

Bob met his wife, Shizuka, who was born in Tokyo, when she was opening a dance studio in the East Village section of New York. She now owns a day spa in midtown Manhattan. Bob has three children; two are in college: Michael, 22, is studying mixed martial arts and foreign language; Taijiro, 21, is majoring in theoretical math. His daughter, Nikita, 12, is in 7th grade and plays on the basketball team. In addition to going to Nikita’s games, Bob enjoys skiing, piano, chess, basketball, philosophy, and music history.

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The following are excerpts from a recent interview with Dr. Bernstein. The oral text was modified for readability.

Part 1

Hair Loss in the Younger Person

More Hair Loss Q&A

Interviewer: I brought a fair number of questions related to aspects of androgenetic alopecia and hair transplantation, but I will also ask you some questions regarding two other types of hair loss, like alopecia areata and cicatricial alopecia. Most of our listeners are fairly educated about the different hair restoration options available to them, so I’ll tailor my questions primarily for this type of audience.

The first question that I want to direct here is the dilemma that many young people face when they’re losing their hair and are considering getting a hair transplant. They typically don’t know the degree to which their hair loss is going to progress. When you’re in your 20s and 30s, you want to have a decently low-running hairline and you want to have a crown that looks full. But given that you don’t know how far your hair loss is going to go, how would you address this scenario for people in that age range?

Dr. Bernstein: That is the main problem with treating younger people. We don’t really know how they’re going to progress. It is so important to wait, usually until the person is 23 to 25 before you can really get a sense of how much hair loss they are going to lose. And even at that age it’s sometimes very difficult to tell. That’s even after considering things such as family history.

A problem with treating a younger person with surgical hair restoration is that they often want things that are unrealistic. A person in their 20s is what we call “backward-looking.” They’re looking to when they were a teenager and they want their flat hairline back and all their old density. But hair transplants are forward-looking. We need to consider what they’re going to be like in ten or twenty years – not how they looked in the past.

A density and a transplanted hairline that would be appropriate for someone older, is obviously not going to be satisfactory for someone that is younger, so it’s really best to wait on hair transplant surgery. Fortunately, there are some other good hair restoration treatments, such as medication, and that’s what the focus should be on in a younger person.

Interviewer: A lot of people are in that situation and are considering hair transplants. I guess the hard thing to do is convey to them your point that they really should be forward-looking instead of backwards-looking and maybe they will have to settle for a somewhat higher one than they originally thought so that it will be good on the long-term.

The Donor Area in a Hair Transplant

With regards to the donor area, it’s sort of been spread as gospel that hair from this area is completely immune to thinning and hair loss. Is this really the case? For instance, there are people in their 50s and beyond who still have relatively thick hair in that area, the donor area still appears thinner than it was when they were younger. I look at my own father, for instance, as an example. His donor area is obviously still relatively thick, but he has less hair in that area. So when you’re young, and you transplant hair from that area, can you expect some of those transplanted hairs to fall out?

Dr. Bernstein: The donor area in hair transplantation, for most people is, in fact, permanent in that the hair that is transplanted will remain. What happens, though, is that in the course of one’s lifetime, that hair will change in quality. So the hair actually thins out over time. It’s not miniaturization in the sense that hair that’s being lost to genetic hair loss is miniaturized, but there’s a change that we call “senile alopecia” where the hair changes in diameter. It is more of a uniform change than we see in typical androgenetic change and so over time the donor area and, therefore, the transplanted area as well, will appear thinner.

That said, it’s still important to identify the fact that some patients will actually lose a significant amount of hair in the donor area. We call those people DUPA or diffuse unpatterned hair loss. What that means is that the androgenetic related process that is occurring on the front and top of the scalp is also affecting the back and the sides. It is really important to identify those patients because those with DUPA are not candidates for hair transplantation, since the hair transplants are only as good as the hair in the donor area. If the hair in the back and sides thins or falls out over time, so will the transplanted hair.

DUPA or diffuse unpatterned hair loss can be identified by Densitometry. Essentially what that is, is clipping a little bit of hair from the donor area and seeing if there are changes in hair shaft diameter at a young age. If the miniaturization (decrease in hair diameter) exceeds about thirty percent, it’s very suggestive of this type of hair loss. It’s also much easier to pick up this condition when someone is a little older, which is another argument for not performing a hair transplant on someone who is too young.

Interviewer: So how long does it take to determine if someone will have extensive hair loss and possibly not be a good candidate for a hair transplant. I mean, when you first take the initial sample, how long do you have to wait before you check again to see if it actually happens?

Dr. Bernstein: Generally, the first thing that a young person will notice is decreased hair volume. They will complain “I feel like I have less hair” or “when I go to the barber, he says I’m thinning,” or “when I run my fingers or comb through my hair, it seems like its thinner”. At this point, it is usually easily confirmable on densitometry. We can find increased miniaturization in the donor area. And this can sometimes occur as early as 14 or 15 years old. So it really can occur very early and, unfortunately, those patients are usually going to become very bald – usually at a young age.

The good thing is that if you have very thin hair all over, it often doesn’t look as bad as having dense hair on the back and sides with a bald top. So even though people with diffuse unpatterned hair loss can lose lots of hair, they actually don’t do so badly since their hair is uniformly thin. And they sometimes respond well to medications, such as Propecia. Although this is not a permanent cure, it may at least get them through the critical years of their teens and early 20s.

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Hair Transplant Blog - Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair RestorationDr. Bernstein’s Hair Transplant Blog is a new medical web log (aka “blog”) that is helping the online community handle the challenges of going bald.

Selected as one of New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” for the ninth year in a row, Dr. Bernstein answers questions at the following website URL:

www.BernsteinMedical.com/hairtransplantblog/

His replies cover over 30 categories ranging from commonly asked questions on “male pattern hair loss” and “when to have a hair transplant” to more scientific issues on specific surgical techniques.

The Hair Transplant Blog serves as a clearinghouse for important concerns of both men and women suffering from hair loss. “I consult with many patients each week in our New York and New Jersey facilities who are so distraught about the state of their hair loss that some can barely function. There is so much information available about baldness and its treatment on the internet that it is difficult to tell exactly what is true. I spend a lot of time just clarifying false, or partially correct, ideas. This misinformation just serves to exacerbate the problem.” Dr. Bernstein says “This Blog is an outgrowth of these consultations. In the Blog, I post answers to the questions that patients bring to my office or submit via our web site.”

Question are answered by Dr. Bernstein in a concise, but easy to understand way. He covers a wide variety of subjects; including new hair replacement techniques, hair transplant repair, medical therapies and interesting diagnostic problems.

The expert medical perspective in the Blog has received the attention of editors for many popular blog directories such as GetBlogs, and Answers.com. Being a featured blog has allowed people from around the world to have a better understanding of hair loss and the process of surgical hair restoration.

Dr. Bernstein has been recognized worldwide for his pioneering work in surgical hair transplantation. His landmark publications on Follicular Unit Hair Transplants, which give results that mimic nature, and Follicular Unit Extraction, a non-invasive hair replacement technique, have earned him international recognition and make him one of the foremost authorities on hair restoration in the world. Known to audiences from his appearances on NBC’s Today Show with Matt Lauer, CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR’s The People’s Pharmacy, The Discovery Channel and other nationally syndicated programs, Dr. Bernstein has been providing answers and solutions for hair loss from his Manhattan facility for over 20 years.

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Hair transplant surgeon Robert M. Bernstein M.D. was recently interviewed on the National Public Radio program The People’s Pharmacy. Invited to speak about hair loss, Dr. Bernstein offered insights about the causes of hereditary baldness and it’s solutions, including hair transplantation.

The show was entitled “Dealing with Hair Loss” and addressed issues such as the importance of hair to our sense of well being.

The full hour radio interview was filled with informative facts about male pattern baldness, cultural attitudes toward hair loss and surgical hair restoration. For example, Dr. Bernstein was asked about his pioneering work in follicular unit hair transplantation and host of other questions ranging from the causes of hair loss to the psychological effects of balding. Here is one exchange from the interview:

Moderator: How one can tell the difference between hair loss from hormonal imbalances and common baldness?

Dr. Bernstein: Measuring hormone levels alone, although important for medical management, does not necessarily reveal whether the cause of the hair loss is actually hormone related or is genetic. The diagnosis is made by examining the scalp and looking at the hair under close magnification using an instrument called a “Densitometer.” If the hair shafts are of different calibers, this is relatively diagnostic of female patterned genetic hair loss and in this case hormone levels are often normal. Hormonal changes or imbalances, on the other hand, may cause alterations in hair texture (such as in thyroid disease) or a generalized shedding that can occur after childbirth (called telogen effluvium). In telogen effluvium, the hair can l actually fall out in clumps – you can literally get handfuls of hair, but the hair often returns over time. In genetic hair loss, however, it is not a question of the hair falling out any faster, but the hair being replaced with thinner, finer hair in each hair cycle, until the hair gradually disappears.

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Follicular Unit Forum - Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair RestorationFollicular Unit Forum is unique in that it affords visitors an opportunity to anonymously ask questions about the “ins and outs” of hair transplant surgery, of those who actually have had the state-of-the-art Follicular Unit Hair Transplant procedures.

Questions are posted to people who have actually undergone hair restoration procedures. Individuals who are considering a surgical solution to their hereditary baldness are able to search through “threads” or conversations that will answer their most pressing concerns such as; what to expect before, during and after a hair transplant, and what kind of procedure one should have.

The focus of this new online health resource is Follicular Unit Transplantation and Follicular Unit Extraction, two procedures that are universally considered to be the most up-to-date approach to surgical hair restoration. Follicular Unit Transplantation is a surgical technique that transplants hair in naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs. These groups (called follicular units) are taken from a single donor strip of skin and dissected using a microscope. Follicular Unit Extraction is a method that obtains the tiny follicular unit grafts from the donor area by using an instrument which removes them one-by-one directly from the scalp.

Patients who have received hair transplants with undesirable results (such as the typical pluggy “dolls hair” look) can also benefit from monitoring the site. FollicularUnitForum.com has posts from patients who have had unnatural looking grafts removed and re-implanted in a more natural way – as follicular units – to produce the most best results.

“We wanted to create a consumer-to-consumer forum that exclusively addressed the topic of Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation – the procedure that is now considered to be the gold standard in surgical hair restoration” said Robert M. Bernstein M.D., founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration and sponsor of the site. “There are some great forums for hair loss out there but we felt that there was room for one that was created specifically for people who had done their preliminary research but now wanted to hear more first hand experience with FUT or FUE”.

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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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Follicular Unit Transplant - Surgery of the Skin - Dr. BernsteinSurgery of the Skin: Procedural Dermatology; published in 2005 by Elsevier-Mosby and Edited by Robinson, Hanke, Sengelmann and Siegel; is monumental work that covers the entire spectrum of dermatologic surgical procedures. In the editor’s words, the goal of this 872 page textbook is:

“To capture the art and practice of dermatologic surgery at the beginning of this century.”

It is to be used as the core surgical textbook for dermatologic training programs. The book is divided into four parts: Part I – Basic Surgical Concepts, Part II – Essential Surgical Skills, III – Aesthetic Surgical Procedures, and IV – Special Procedures.

The text covers a wide range of subjects on aesthetic surgery, including liposuction, chemical peels, Botox, soft tissue augmentation, laser hair removal, laser skin resurfacing, leg vein treatment, blepharoplasty, face lifts and, of course, hair transplantation.

Dr. Bernstein was honored to write the section on hair transplantation that covers the historical aspects of the field, patient evaluation and surgical planning, operating room set-up, surgical techniques and how to maximize the cosmetic outcome of the hair transplant.

The focus of Dr. Bernstein’s chapter is on Follicular Unit Transplantation, the technique that has changed the face of surgical hair restoration over the past decade. The chapter discusses strip harvesting, follicular unit extraction, the use of anesthetics, ways to optimize density and ensure the naturalness of the procedure, as well as a host of other important topics. The textbook may be purchased at Amazon.com.

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Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology: Hair Transplantation - Elsevier Saunders“Hair Transplantation” is one in a series of medical textbooks published by Elsevier Saunders. The textbook — part of a series entitled Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology — is written by Robert S Haber and Dowling B. Stough and edited by Jeffrey S. Dover. “Hair Transplantation” offers a step-by-step, practical guide to performing cutaneous surgical procedures.

The book’s editors selected Robert M. Bernstein as a major contributor, writing in two chapters. As pioneer of the advanced surgical hair restoration procedure known as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), and as Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University, Dr. Bernstein was uniquely qualified to provide medical professionals with insight and training on the state-of-the-art in hair transplant surgery.

Dr. Bernstein is lead author of the chapter entitled “Follicular Unit Transplantation” and co-author of “Follicular Unit Extraction”. The text details how to best achieve natural results, donor area diagnosis, aesthetic principles, tumescent technique, and more.

The purpose of this volume in the Dover series is to cover the tenets of hair transplant surgery by considering the philosophy, basic science, and techniques in a practical clinical text.

Succinctly written and lavishly illustrated, “Hair Transplantation” presents current, to-the-point guidance with a focus on procedural how-to’s and offers step-by-step advice on proper techniques, pitfalls, and tricks of the trade.

“Hair Transplantation” is shipped with a comprehensive DVD, containing video clips of techniques and procedures, as well as the hints and tips for surgical hair restoration. It features a wealth of color illustrations and photographs that depict cases as they appear in a hair restoration practice.

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“Good Morning America” interviewed Dr. Bernstein in their two-part series on hair transplant surgery. View a clip of the video here:

Read the full transcript:

Charles Gibson: In a two-part series this week, “The Bald Facts,” we are looking at what works and what doesn’t in hair replacement.

And first up, we want you to meet Charles Teacher, a real estate executive who for 30 years has been a guinea pig for every kind of baldness remedy there was. Let’s look at his struggle through the years.

Charles Teacher: It was very restrictive. You’re always patting it down, looking in the mirror to see that it’s not sort of showing. It’s a really difficult way to live.

Charles Gibson: Charles Teacher should know. He’s been studying the latest trends in baldness for three decades. His hair started thinning when he was just 26, and back then he tried that bastion of hope, the comb-over.

Charles Teacher: I still had hair then. You couldn’t see that I was bald, but I could see I was very thin. It really is this fear of being unattractive to women. I suppose it is a certain amount of vanity in terms of how you look, but most of it is this fear of being rejected.

Charles Gibson: So even at an early age, he began wearing a toupee and bemoaning his genetic fate. His father had male pattern baldness. Would he spend the rest of his life worrying which way the wind blew on the golf course? Then came 1977 and the heralding of the hair plug. Charles Teacher was first in line for the surgery, and what a surgery it turned out to be.

Charles Teacher: Most of the plugs didn’t take and the few that did were in the front in a very bad hairline. It looked stupid.

Charles Gibson: This was the hairline of those old plugs, right across his forehead, so he went back to his toupee. He had a curly rug when styles were curly, a grayer one as he grayed, and he wore his hairpiece to bed. Even his wife never saw him without it.

Charles Teacher: She never saw me without the hairpiece for 30 years until I had the consultation with the surgeon who is doing the transplant and I removed it off like that.

Charles Gibson: The consultation was with hair transplant surgeon Robert Bernstein who recommended Teacher go bald, just a better bald, moving hair around to give him more on top. He demonstrated with before and after pictures of former patients. Teacher signed on and had the old plugs removed which would be added on with the rest.

Years ago in transplants like Charles Teacher’s, the surgeon removed small circles of tissue from the back of the head where hair growth is stable, then to transplant those clumps of up to 30 hairs, the surgeon would remove a matching circle of tissue from the top of the head and put in the graft. It worked, but it didn’t look natural.

Dr. Bernstein: That has always been the problem, that grafts that were done 25, 30 years ago are still around. So really the idea is not just to get the hair to grow. That’s the simple part. The challenge is to do it in a way that looks natural.

Charles Gibson: Now Charles Teacher’s best hope, single follicular unit transplants. The surgeon removes a strip of hair-producing tissue from the back of the head and separates it under a microscope into units of one to four hairs, the way hair grows naturally. The surgeon then makes tiny incisions exactly where and at what angle he wants each hair to grow and then implants it.

Teacher decided it was worth a try, even though it would cost thousands of dollars. Now he wants to burn his old toupee for one of the best results of all, to go swimming with his new grandchild, carefree.

Charles Teacher: I really feel that I’ve been given a new lease in life in many ways. It sounds silly, but just to be normal, just to be normal.

Charles Gibson: We’re joined by Charles Teacher, sans toupee, and the man who helped to get rid of it, Dr. Robert Bernstein, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University.

Good to have you both here. Why go through all this trouble? Why not just be bald?

Charles Teacher: I think it’s because I started with a hairpiece when I was rather young, 26, and I just didn’t have the guts to take it off. I think I felt a bit like Samson and Delilah, should we say, you know, if I lost my hair, I’d lose my strength or my personality.

Charles Gibson: And you’re pleased with this.

Charles Teacher: It’s just awesome.

Charles Gibson: Dr. Bernstein, is his hair actually growing? I had always heard that you can transplant hair, but you can’t make it grow.

Dr. Bernstein: No, actually, a transplant will continue to grow. He has to get haircuts just like it’s his normal hair.

Charles Gibson: Are there good candidates and bad candidates for this?

Dr. Bernstein: Yes. And actually people that wear hairpieces are sometimes tricky because their baseline is a full head of hair, so one of the important things that we had to discuss in the first consult was what his expectations were and whether he realized that a transplant wouldn’t give him the fullness of a hairpiece, but of course, it would look much more natural.

Charles Gibson: That’s why you lose the line, you’re still bald to some extent, but it’s a better kind of bald.

Dr. Bernstein: Yes.

Charles Gibson: Single follicular unit transplants is such a mouthful, but basically it’s saying you’re just transplanting a hair two or three at a time.

Dr. Bernstein: Right. In the old days, hair was planted in little clumps and then it was divided into small pieces but arbitrarily. Now we transplant hair exactly the way it grows in nature, and hair normally grows in little tiny bundles and they’re called follicular units.

Charles Gibson: I don’t know if it’s dirty trick, but we have a camera behind you because in the back of your head, you’re going to have a second procedure now.

Charles Teacher: Yes, we’ll have a second procedure actually this morning. I think that we’ll leave the back and probably just reinforce the front so that it –- I mean, you don’t really see the back of your head, you’re only worried about how you appear in the mirror.

Charles Gibson: Right. How much does it cost?

Charles Teacher: I haven’t told my wife. Can I give that a miss?

Charles Gibson: Well, I’m sure Dr. Bernstein, he’ll probably say something.

Dr. Bernstein: We charge about $5 a graft.

Charles Gibson: About $5 a graft, which is one, two, three, four, five hairs –-

Dr. Bernstein: That’s right.

Charles Gibson: — per time. So that gets rather expensive. I mean, we’re talking about $10,000, $15,000 for a total procedure?

Dr. Bernstein: Yes.

Charles Gibson: Which insurance does or does not cover?

Dr. Bernstein: It usually does not.

Charles Gibson: But you probably spent that much in toupees over the time.

Charles Teacher: Absolutely. You know, so $2,000 or $3,000 a year with the toupees and the hairdresser worrying every week, you know, yeah.

Charles Gibson: Gotta ask. You’re a little thin on top yourself, yet you haven’t done this.

Dr. Bernstein: Everybody asks me that. It just doesn’t bother me. And I think it’s important being a doctor that people, when they come to see me, they don’t feel compelled that they have to have the transplant, that they’re here because they want to. And that being bald is okay.

Charles Gibson: So the title, if somebody’s interested in this, is follicular unit transplant.

Dr. Bernstein: Yes.

Charles Gibson: All right. Dr. Bernstein, thanks very much. Charles Teacher, thank you very much.

Charles Teacher: Thank you.

Charles Gibson: Good to see you. Good luck with the procedure today.

Charles Teacher: Thank you.

Watch more videos on hair transplantation and hair transplant repair in our Hair Restoration Videos section

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Dr. Bernstein received the 2001 HairSite.com award for excellence in hair transplantation. Here is the statement they made in giving Dr. Bernstein the annual award:

Dr. Bernstein is one of the most sought after hair transplant surgeons in the United States. He is one of the very few in the industry who is still involved in scientific and clinically related hair restoration research while engaging in hair transplant practice.

Dr. Bernstein is the author of numerous scientific journals related to hair restoration, currently the most widely published author on the subject of Follicular Unit Transplantation. Since HairSite was founded in 1997, we have no received one single email or correspondence from a dissatisfied patient of Dr. Bernstein.

Dr. Bernstein’s passion in hair restoration research has substantially elevated the standards in hair transplant industry over the years. Dr. Bernstein is also named one of the best hair transplant doctors by New York magazine and is the recipient of the 2001 “Platinum Follicle Award” at the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery 9th Annual Meeting in Puerta Vallarta Mexico.

Dr. Bernstein performs surgical hair restoration at his offices in New York, NY and Fort Lee, NJ.

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By Cheryl Guttman
Contributing Editor

Cosmetic Surgery Times (May 1999)

Cosmetic Surgery Times - May 1999New York — Follicular unit hair transplantation offers many advantages, but hair transplant surgeons continue to debate whether it is worth the effort.

A recent paper that clearly differentiates this hair transplant technique from the older technique of mini-micrografting cut to size is a step toward resolution of this controversy, while a new implanting device minimizes some of the time intensiveness of the hair transplant procedure may further popularize follicular unit transplantation, said Robert M. Bernstein, M.D.

The paper, entitled “Standardizing the Classification and Description of Follicular Unit Transplantation and Mini-micro-grafting Techniques,” was co-authored by Dr. Bernstein and 21 other hair transplant physicians.

“We felt it was necessary to clearly define follicular unit hair transplantation and mini-micrografting cut to size,” explained Dr. Bernstein, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. “Follicular unit transplantation has many theoretical advantages although there have been no well-controlled studies to confirm its benefits. Having standardized definitions of these hair transplantation techniques will allow us to make valid comparisons of them.”

Dr. Bernstein said the elements defining follicular unit hair transplantation include exclusive transplantation of hair in its naturally occurring individual follicular units, use of single strip harvesting, and division of the donor strip into naturally occurring follicular units with the aid of a dissecting stereomicroscope, a hair transplant technique originally introduced by Bobby Limmer, M.D.

In contrast, a multi-blade knife can be used for donor strip harvesting in mini-micrografting, while subdivision of the strip is achieved using transillumination with magnification.

Grafts Defined by Size

Grafts of specific sizes are created, but they are defined by the number of hairs or amount of tissue they contain and not by follicular unit.

Dr. Bernstein said that all of the differences between the two approaches in terms of harvesting and graft preparation translate into advantages for follicular unit hair transplantation. He explained that donor strip harvesting with a multi-blade knife results in transection of follicles and also breaks up the follicular units that are found randomly in the scalp. A significant number of the fragments produced with this hair transplant technique may not grow, and those that do tend to be finer in quality than intact hairs.

“This is important because hair shaft diameter is as great a contributor to the cosmetic impact of surgery as the actual numbers of hairs,” noted Dr. Bernstein. The differences in technique for dividing the donor strip into individual grafts also favor outcomes with follicular unit hair transplantation.

Follicular unit transplantation preserves the integrity of individual follicular units while dissecting excess skin.

Since larger grafts created for mini and micrografting may contain hairs from adjacent follicular units along with the intervening tissue, they will have a higher ratio of tissue to hair than a follicular unit transplantation graft containing an equal number of hairs. Consequently, mini-micrografting often requires a larger wound for graft placement and can result in surface change along with less hair density.

The potential for growth of both larger and smaller grafts may also be reduced in mini-micrografting since the splitting of follicular units produces trauma that may affect graft viability.

While graft preparation for follicular unit hair transplantation remains time intensive, implantation is being facilitated by a new device, the Rapid Fire Hair Implanter Carousel, designed by William R. Rassman, M.D., Los Angeles. This disposable instrument automates the hair restoration processes of site creation and implant placement and reduces grafting time.

The implanter has a rotating, reloading circular cartridge containing 100 slots for graft insertion. After the cartridge is filled, the grafts are covered with normal saline, and the device is refrigerated. At the time of the hair transplantation surgery, the cartridge is loaded onto the implanting device, which has a sharp point at one end to pierce the scalp and an activation button at the opposite end, explained Dr. Bernstein.

When the hair transplant surgeon presses the activator, the device creates a tiny slit in the scalp and places the graft at the full depth of the recipient hole. The cartridge automatically advances to the next position and is ready for use at the next site.

Dr. Bernstein said this method increases the speed of the hair transplantation process, avoids damage to the grafts that can occur with manual manipulation, and reduces bleeding. Dr. Bernstein has a financial interest in the Rapid Fire Hair Implanter Carousel.

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Dr. Bernstein - Cosmetic Surgery Times - May 1999“We felt it was necessary to clearly define follicular unit hair transplantation and mini-micrografting cut to size,” explained Dr. Bernstein, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. “Follicular unit transplantation has many theoretical advantages… having standardized definitions of these hair transplantation techniques will allow us to make valid comparisons.”

Dr. Bernstein said the elements defining follicular unit hair transplantation include exclusive transplantation of hair in its naturally occurring individual follicular units.

Read the full article

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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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