The lateral slit technique is considered as one of the greatest innovation in the hair restoration surgery field.
Simply, it is an innovative method to create the recipient sites where the transplanted grafts are going to be placed.
With the lateral slit technique, it is possible to obtain extremely natural results, replicating to perfection the growing angle and direction of the indigenous hair. Also minimizing any scar tissue.
The inventor of the lateral slit technique is Dr. Jerry Wong, who, in 2011, received by the ISHRS the prestigious Golden Follicle award for his extraordinary contribution in the field of hair restoration surgery.
Dr.Wong has developed the lateral slit technique in order to try to obtain the most natural results possible since it is his opinion that at the time no surgeon had focused enough on how the hairs are positioned within a follicular unit and on their orientation on the scalp.
In Dr. Wong’s opinion, these two elements were underestimated by the surgeons that until that moment were making the incisions parallel to the direction of growth of the hair (Sagittal technique).
Therefore, Dr.Wong decided to drastically change the incision degree making it perpendicular to the direction of growth of the hair. Dr. Wong noticed that by rotating this angle of 45 degrees the results were not only more natural, replicating to perfection the direction of the indigenous hair, but also that better coverage of the treated areas could be obtained and that it was possible to have total control of the exit angle and direction.
The lateral slit technique was further refined with the use of the Hasson cutter, a specific instrument developed to forge the surgical blades tailored to the measures of the single follicular unit.
The lateral slit technique, in addition, to allow a perfect imitation of the natural hair orientation, also has the advantage of creating less trauma in the recipient area thanks to the use of tailored blades. The incisions used are less deep, with a length between 0,6 and 1,2 mm.
With less deep incisions, the damage to the subdermal vascular plexus is reduced. This is very important during mega STRIP or FUE sessions.
With total control of the angles and the direction that is possible with the lateral slit allows the doctor to treat the areas that show very acute angles like the sideburns or the parietals.
The lateral slit allows the doctor to obtain a better coverage effect thanks to the perpendicular orientation of the incisions. The preparation with the microscope of every single follicular unit is fundamental to obtain the maximum naturalness possible and to eliminate the excess of connective tissue.
When the aim of the surgery is to obtain the maximum density possible, the follicular units are prepared to allow the making of very close to each other incisions (dense pack). In some cases, the triple and the quadruple are divided in order to make very close and less deep incisions, that allows a very natural result. With the lateral slit, the density is obtained by making very close incisions and not through the grafting of a larger number of hairs per follicular unit. With the lateral slit, densities between 35 and 90 follicular units per cm2 can be achieved.
The lateral slit technique therefore shows many advantages compared to other methods implemented to create the recipients sites.
If we want to indicate some of the possible disadvantages of this technique, we can mention the fact that to totally master this technique requires lots of time and experience. If the one who performs it is not prepared enough, the potential damages are significant (in particular the formation of necrotic tissue in some area), especially when attempting to perform a dense pack (making numerous incisions in a small area of the scalp).