This is not part of my hair transplant documentary series but when I was in Istanbul for the 2015 3rd Annual Mediterranean FUE Workshop I tried to take advantage of the opportunity and interview some doctors that I know. It was really busy and while I got some verbal commitments from Dr. Cole, Dr. Lorenzo, Dr. Rahal and others it just didn't work out that way. I blame the excellent organizational skills of Asmed Surgical Centre and Dr. Koray Erdogan for keeping us all so busy with activities:) I'm not complaining because it was all great!
Dr. Ron Shapiro
I did, however, get to have some face time with Dr. Ron Shapiro of Shapiro Medical in Minnesota USA. "Dr. Ron" as his patients call him is one of the true pioneers in the industry and his hairline designs influenced many of the bettern known hair transplant surgeons in the world. Not so much in overall shape but in how hairlines are broken up with random spacing and undulation to the frontal hairline placement. In other words, Dr. Ron Shapiro defined what a natural hairline is today. I've known Dr. Ron Shapiro off and on for years and it was really nice to catch up with him at this workshop. I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to interview him.
In this interview Dr. Ron Shapiro and I discuss what was being shared at the workshop and he also mentions how the evolution of FUE has been slow but that it is not much different from how FUSS developed in it's early years. Like FUE, FUSS also had it's fair share of problems due to weaker grafts resulting from the additional tissue removal from microscopic dissection but the problems were eventually identified and rectified with more and more experience. FUE has had the same challenges, I should know, and it has had a similar, albeit slower, progression. FUE grafts are weaker than comparable FUSS grafts on average but as clinics, doctors and technicians utilize this procedure more and more they are learning how to overcome the inherent challenges initially presented by FUE. It's still not perfect but it is getting better.
In this conference it appeared to Dr. Ron Shapiro and I that the theme was one of acceptance in that the faculty on stage were agreeing that each method of FUE extraction had it's benefits but also they acknowledged that there were drawbacks. It wasn't a perfect picture of cooperation and sharing as there were noted differences in discussions and debates, particually by Dr. John Cole, but for the most part the workshop was pleasant, very informative, and active. It was also great to see Dr. Jerry Wong, MY favorite doctor, on the faculty where he was sharing his thoughts on FUSS vs. FUE but Dr. Wong too has picked up the punch and is offering FUE. Dr. Wong is such a kind and gentle man and I loved seeing the influence he had while sitting on faculty as it was as if there was an unspoken reverence by everyone else in attendance because of his position and reputation in the industry. He made a great showing and he contribued quite well to the discussions.