Dr. Wasserbauer is one of only a few surgeons in the United States able to perform an intricate eyebrow transplant. In an effort to increase the number of hair transplant surgeons with this skill, Dr. Wasserbauer recently held an eyebrow transplant workshop.
The following article by Dr. Edwin Suddleson will be published in the Nov./Dec. Hair Transplant Forum International, a publication of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS).
Beautiful Brows Workshop
Mona Lisa has none. Brooke Shields’ are renown. Madonnas’ are flash and rebellion. They are eyebrows, of course. The eyebrow, the frame to “the mirror of the soul.”
Creation of beautiful brows was the subject of the Beautiful Brows Workshop last month in beautiful Walnut Creek, California, immediately following the ISHRS annual meeting. Dr. Sara Wasserbauer and her international faculty of eyebrow superstars got together with 19 attendees to share expertise on the care and feeding of the eyebrow. How many hairs are there in an eyebrow? What is the importance of hair caliber in the overall result? ANGLE and DIRECTION! What causes eyebrows to thin and what are the best available treatments? Who is a candidate for surgical treatment and who is not?
Dr. Sara Wasserbauer (Dr. Sara) gave the first presentation “Brow Loss: Medical Overview.” As suspected, differential diagnosis of brow loss is a surprisingly complicated topic; even more so when presented by an internist. So, there are those conditions that can and should be treated by surgical restoration, those that can be treated by surgical restoration but should not, and finally those that should never be treated by surgical restoration. Begin (in alphabetical order) with Alopecia Areata and end with Trichotillomania. Now, we are ready to tackle the process of selecting, planning and executing surgical restoration of the eyebrow.
An open forum discussion on “Consultation and Patient Selection” was presented by Dr. Bobby Limmer. Input from intermediate and advanced hair transplanters who participated in the meeting and from our superstar faculty lead to a very informative, fast moving and frank discussion which propelled us through the break.
Moving right along into “Preoperative Considerations” by Dr. Edwin Suddleson (Dr. S), which was a more formal review of safety and emergency preparedness, preoperative patient evaluation and avoiding unsafe medical situations. How to make an accurate diagnosis was presented as well as some examples of typical eyebrow restoration cases and types of illness typically treated with before and after photos. Real bread and butter stuff. Finally, the physical examination was covered with a discussion of facial shape and landmarks for eyebrow evaluation. And of course a few words about informed consent.
Finally, rounding out our morning, Dr. Damkerng Pathmanovich (Dr. D) spoke about eyebrow design with an emphasis on how to achieve symmetry. And lots more pictures!
Our first live surgery for the day was a total eyebrow restoration in a 62 year old woman who plucked out her eyebrows in high school and has been painting them on ever since (operated by Dr. Sara). Then, we had the case of a young woman with post-traumatic eyebrow loss on both eyebrows (operated by Dr. S). Long hair transplantation for a good preview was demonstrated. Work stations with equipment, silicone fake scalp models for design and placement practice and Dr. Sara’s model patients were also around for the participants and faculty to observe and handle.
Of course at the end of a great day, a great meal is in order. We repaired to Prima Italian Restaurant and Winery in Walnut Creek with our old comrades and newly found friends.
Day 2 began with a joyful presentation by Dr. Marcelo Pitchon on long hair preview transplantation and its use in eyebrow restoration. Additional presentations dealt with the remaining topic of post-op care and advanced topics of “Stick and Place” technique, use of FUE, and the role of eyebrow transplantation in facial reconstruction. There was also a demonstration of eyebrow tattooing.
Two additional live cases demonstrated the repair of previous eyebrow transplantation misadventure and “Stick and Place” for touch-up to the head of the eyebrow.
Between the various sessions, lively discussions were taking place on the treatment of Alopecia Areata, Trichotillomania, harvesting methods, graft placement methods and all aspects of practice development. The setting in Dr. Sara’s office was congenial so thanks and congratulations to her, for conceiving, organizing and running a truly outstanding workshop. It was such a great success that Dr. D suggested having this again next year on his home turf, Bangkok, Thailand. See you there!