Direct Hair Implanter (DHI) Method
The “DHI Method,” as it’s often referred to, isn’t actually an FUE method at all, which is a common misconception. Although it’s touted as an alternative to FUE, it’s actually just a tool that’s used during an FUE procedure. The DHI tool is actually called a Choi Pen, which comes in two forms; a pen that’s used to plant grafts into a previously made recipient site and one that has a needle inside to make the site while implanting the graft. This is an interesting tool, but it’s marketed as being able to do much more than its actual function.
So what’s the hype? Let’s review the claims made by clinics using DHI:
- Grafts are less likely to be damaged due to less handling.
- Quicker implantation.
- Less tissue trauma.
- Better angling for hair placement, creating a more natural look.
- Allows for less experienced technicians to implant grafts.
But what’s the reality? Well, claims one through four are mostly false, but claim five is probably true. Let’s discuss each claim about DHI in more detail:
- The hair is still handled by forceps, removed by the clinician post excision, unless using a harvesting device such as NeoGraft or ATERA, and the pens still have to be loaded with the hair, which means the techs are handling the graft.
- This is a two-fold answer because if you’re using the Choi Pen with the needle, it may be slightly faster, as you’re making the sites as you go. However, the pens still have to be loaded, and the old DHI tools didn’t make sites at all, meaning that either way, it’s a negligible time difference, if any.
- How can DHI cause less trauma? The clinician is still using a needle to puncture the tissue and implanting a graft in said tissue. Unless the doctor or techs are inexperienced, this will cause the same trauma.
- DHI certainly doesn’t create better angling, it’s the clinician who’s making the sites that has to angle accordingly. If anything, the pen provides less control over the implantation angles and depths in a scenario where human input is most beneficial.
- This one may be true, but do you want someone who’s inexperienced in your surgical room?
This isn’t to say that DHI devices are bad because they’re certainly a valid tool if a clinician prefers them, but it’s an added expense that really doesn’t have a significant impact on results. There’s no significant evidence or reason to believe the claims listed above are valid. This should only be a deciding factor for a patient who doesn’t mind the added cost it may bring to the FUE procedure.
Base your hair restoration method decision on the clinical team and their reputation, as this procedure can be done with or without DHI and have virtually no impact on your outcome.
* The DHI Technique is available only at our Turkey location.