A storage solution is a liquid medium used to store follicular units after they have been removed from the donor zone during a follicular unit extraction (FUE) or a follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) technique. Once the follicular unit is removed from the host tissue, it must be placed into a chilled solution between 2°C and 8°C. Typical storage solutions include saline, Ringer’s lactate, and HypoThermosol (arguably the best liquid medium for hair transplants).
During a hair transplant surgery, a follicular unit consisting of numerous hair follicles is removed from the donor zone (an area of the scalp able to grow healthy hairs) and placed onto the recipient scalp (an area which is not able to grow healthy hairs). When the follicular units are being transported from the donor zone to recipient scalp, a number of conditions can damage the follicular units beyond repair.
One study finds that hairs can last in chilled solutions for nearly eight hours before “showing evidence of decreased survival”. In comparison, other studies show that the hair graft can begin to seriously deteriorate after only six hours when left in a saline solution that is room temperature. According to these studies, the chilled solutions can extend the survivability of the hair graft for at least two extra hours before facing significant damage.
Researchers are continuously devising new ways to increase the length of survivability for hair grafts. One such method is to add components to the storage solution that can be utilized by the graft while awaiting transplantation. These additives include:
Many beneficial additives are used in HypoThermosol, which is what separates it from traditional storage solutions.