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Palm Beach Post — Eyelash Transplant (trauma)

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PALM BEACH POST: Eyelash Transplants for Trauma Patient
pbpost logo2 Palm Beach Post    Eyelash Transplant (trauma)

lashtrauma drb2 Palm Beach Post    Eyelash Transplant (trauma)
You can transplant hair to eyelashes, brows
By Carolyn Susman, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 5, 2002

My first reaction was to wince when the woman launched into her discussion of yet another cosmetic surgery trend.
Fuller eyelashes. She was talking about a procedure for transplanting scalp hair onto upper eyelids.
The better to bat them, I thought.
Yet Peggy Martin was so enthusiastic I found myself calling her a few days later for details.
Her compelling and disturbing story convinced me there could be more than vanity involved in seeking longer, thicker eyelashes.
Martin — marketing coordinator for Dr. Alan J. Bauman of Boca Raton, who does the transplant procedure — was nearly decapitated in a horrendous auto accident about 15 years ago.
Her car slid under a tractor-trailer, and the impact sheared off the car roof. The police report listed the accident as a fatality, she said, and it was only because an officer at the scene rooted around and found her still breathing that a rescue was even attempted.
Details are terrible and gory, but suffice it to say she doesn’t know why she survived.
“I’m 40 percent brain damaged. I had 110 stitches. I was in a wheelchair over a year. They said I’d never live, then they said I’d never walk.”
I had met her, perfectly mobile, at an awards event.
A plastic surgeon had reconstructed her face, but her left side had been badly injured.
Makeup, she said, had been her saving grace.
“I do, like, three coats of mascara, and when I found out there was an opportunity to have my own hair put into my lashes and eyebrows, I jumped at it,” she said.
New hair transplant techniques, Dr. Bauman later told me, make this kind of a transplant possible.
“The technology today is single-follicle implants. One hair at a time. Years ago, most transplants were done with plugs. A plug contained 30 or more hairs.
“It caused a great deal of scarring and pain and never looked natural. The technology is now toward smaller and smaller plugs. We harvest a long thin strip of scalp and dissect it into skin grafts. It lives and grows continuously. We can do eyebrows, eyelashes. You couldn’t do that with a (larger) plug,” he said.
During the eyelash procedure, a local anesthesia is used and hair follicles from the back of the scalp are implanted into the eyelids using microsurgery.
Martin, who you might think would be the last person in the world to want to undergo any elective medical procedure, already has had lashes transplanted.
“I actually had a few eyelashes put in for trial. It was a painless procedure. I didn’t feel it at all. That encourages me to go forward and to do the whole procedure,” she said.
Insurance may kick in for those having restoration because of injury, but, otherwise, patients should be prepared to pay about $6,000 to have eyelashes transplanted onto both eyes.
The fun fact here?
The transplanted hair still thinks it is growing on your head, so it will grow the same way on the eyelashes. That means a routine trimming and curling is required.
Personally, I’ll stick with my mascara. But if a little maintenance is the only downside, those who are fans of cosmetic surgery may want to give this a try.
For more information, photos and videos on Eyelash Transplants, visit www.eyelash-transplant.com

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