US 3831202 A
A base member, which may be a thin, flexible formed plastic sheet, is provided with a plurality of needles to each of which is attached a tuft of hair. In a surgical procedure, a section of a patient's scalp is lifted. The base is inserted on the scalp and the section of lifted scalp is replaced to cover the base. In replacing the section of scalp, the plurality of needles pierce the scalp section and project therefrom. Each needle may then be withdrawn from the base and scalp, pulling its tuft of hair through the needle hole. Each tuft of hair is knotted or otherwise sewn at its inner end so as to be secured from pulling entirely out of the plastic base and the scalp. When each tuft has been pulled to the full extent of its permitted travel, the needle is snipped off leaving an area of hair secured within the scalp.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Hulsen HAIR IMPLANT AND PROCESS  lnventor: Wayne D. l-lulsen, 15342 79th St.,
Howard Beach, NY. 11414  Filed: Oct. 6, 1972  Appl. No.: 295,546
[ Aug. 27, 1974 Primary ExaminerChanning L. Pace Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Stol1 & Stoll ABSTRACT A base member, which may be .a thin, flexible formed plastic sheet, is provided with a plurality of needles to each of which is attached a tuft of hair. In a surgical procedure, a section of a patients scalp is lifted. The base is inserted on the scalp and the section of lifted scalp is replaced to cover the base. In replacing the section of scalp, the plurality of needles pierce the scalp section and project therefrom. Each needle may then be withdrawn from the base and scalp, pulling its tuft of hair through the needle hole. Each tuft of hair is knotted or otherwise sewn at its inner end so as to be secured from pulling entirely out of the plastic base and the scalp. When each tuft has been pulled to the full extent of its permitted travel, the needle is snipped off leaving an area of hair secured within the scalp.
9 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures HAIR IMPLANT AND PROCESS REFERENCE TO RELATED DOCUMENTS This application is related to Disclosure Document No. 12,102, filed July 13, 1972.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART There are many prior methods of covering bald areas with hair, none of which are entirely satisfactory from the points of view of speed, efficiency, permanency and comfort.
Perhaps the most pertinent of the prior methods is the so-called hair transplant wherein sections of live hair are surgically removed from growing areas of a patients body and surgically replaced on bald sections. The process is time-consuming because each transplant consists of only a very small section of hair which requires considerable time to take or grow again at its transplanted position. The procedure is fraught with expense,. with long healing periods, with possibility of infection and with ultimate disappointment if the patients body rejects the transplant.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention utilizes a single surgical procedure to place hair in any area regardless of size or shape. The procedure is performed once, rapidly and economically, and because the implanted hair is not required to take and grow, there is little chance of bodily rejection and speedy results. The fact that the surgical procedure is fast and is not repeated, greatly reduces chances for infection and of course discomfort, waiting periods and cost.
The present invention utilizes a preformed plate or base of a thin flexible material through which a plurality of needles have been partially drawn. The needles face upwardly from the top of the plate and project downwardly through the plate. On the underside of the plate each needle is attached to a tuft of hair which may be a simple loop of hair knotted at one end.
In a surgical procedure the section of scalp which is to be implanted is lifted. The base is placed on the scalp at the removed portion with the needles facing outwardly andthe hair being under the plate. The section of removed scalp is replaced over the base and the needles thereupon puncture the scalp and protrude therefrom. Each needle is then carefully drawn out of the base and scalp pulling its tuft of hair through the needle holes until the knot in the tuft locks against the underside of the base and prevents further withdrawal of the tuft. The needles are removed from the tufts and the resultis an area now covered with hair which is locked to a base implanted beneath the surface of the scalp.
To suit varying bald areas the base portion may be shaped to cover the entire crown of the head, may be in strips or maybe whatever contour is necessary. The distribution .of hair across the plate need not be uniform andthere may for example be a greater amount of hairtat the front edge of theplate to form a neat hairline. Further, the needles may be of varying lengths as may makethe surgicalprocedure assimple as possible.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG, 1 is a perspective view of a patient during the surgical procedure in which a section of scalp has been lifted but not removed. To maintain continuity, future appearance and ease in replacing the lifted section "of scalp, a portion of that section remains connected to the patient and acts in the form of a hinge.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the base member of the present invention showing the matrix of holes therein.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a tuft of hair and the surgical needle through which the tuft is threaded.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3 but showing a smaller size tuft and needle.
FIG. 5 is a side view of the base member shown in FIG. 2, also showing a plurality of needles with hair tufts applied to the base member through the holes therein. In this condition the base member is suitable for application to the patient.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view of the base member shown in FIG. 5. One needle and tuft of hair is shown in position to be inserted through one of the holes in the base member from the bottom side thereof. FIG. 7 is a view of the patient with the scalp section lifted and the base member as shown in FIG. 5 inserted. The base member has been formed to the contour of the patients head and the needles are accordingly no longer parallel'to each other.
FIG. 8 is a view similar to that of FIG. 7 showing the section of scalp returned to its original position with the plurality of needles having been forced therethrough.
FIG. 9 is a view similar to that of FIG. 8 but showing the needles having been pulled as far as possible from the patient. Travel of each needle is limited by the knot on each tuft of hair located beneath the base member which itself is now secured under the patients scalp. Also shown is the removal of some of the needles from the tufts of hair.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the result. All needles have been cut from the tufts of hair. The hair has been cut to a conventional length and has been combed in a conventional style.
FIG. 11 is an enlarged cross-sectional view showing the base member secured beneath the scalp section and the tufts of hair secured by knots beneath the base member. The needles have not yet been cut off.
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a modified base member of the present invention showing that variation in shape is intended depending upon the scalp area to be covered by the implanted hair of the present invention. Needles with associated tufts of hair are shown protruding through the matrix of holes in the base member.
FIG. 13 is a plan view of a modified form of the base member.
FIG. 14 is a plan view of another modified form ofthe base member.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A needle 14 suitable for surgical use is provided with a tuft of hair 16 fastened through the eye of the needle, the tuft of hair having a knot 18 at its end opposite the end which passes through the needle eye. The knot se cures the strands of hair together and, as will be seen, secures the tuft of hair 16 to the scalp of the patient. It is important that knot 18 be larger in diameter than the hole 12 through which needle 14 will be pulled. Alternatively a washer may be supplied between knot 18 and hole 12 the effect of which will be discussed below.
Tuft 16 is comprised of as many strands as is practical, considering the thickness of each strand, the diameter of hole 12 through which the strand will be pulled and the relative density of the number of holes per unit area of base 10. Obviously it is more desirable to have as much hair as possible implanted, at least up to the normal density of natural hair. This improves the appearance of the implanted hair, as does the use of natural hair in tuft 16 or a closely identical synthetic such as is well known to the hair treatment or replacement industry.
Needle 14 may be provided in varying lengths as shown in FIG. 5 as may be necessary in connection with the surgical procedure. More importantly, tufts 16 may be provided in varying lengths to accord with the varying lengths of natural hair in conventional cuts. Thus, as shown in FIG. 9, longer hair tufts 16 are utilized toward the forehead of the patient to provide natural appearing, distinctive and wavy front hair which may be conventionally combed to that as shown in FIG. 10. Although the gradation in size of needles 14 as shown in FIG. 5 match the gradation of lengths of tufts of hair 16, such a relationship is not essential. For example, a shorter needle such as shown in the right of FIG. 5 may be attached to one of the longer tufts of hair shown to the left of FIG. 5. This choice is a professional one made by qualified personnel at the time of the surgical procedure by which the implant is made.
Having now described the article of manufacture of the present invention, there will now be described the process by which such article of manufacture is employed.
In a surgical procedure conducted by qualified medical personnel, a section of scalp is lifted but not necessarily removed from the head of the patient. The section of scalp to be lifted corresponds substantially to the area of the scalp which is to receive the impanted hair. An example of a section of lifted scalp is shown in FIG. 1. The lifted section of scalp 30 remains connected to the patient at an area 32 which acts as a bridge and connecting hinge between lifted section 30 and the patient.
Inserted beneath lifted section 30 is plate containing needles 14 inserted through the matrix of holes 12, one needle per hole, with the needles remaining in fixed position in the holes in base member 10. Each needle protrudes from the bottom of base member 10 up through the top thereof with the major portion of the needle protruding above the top of the base member 10. This condition is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 wherein the top of the base member is defined as being the upper surface thereof as shown in those figures. Also shown in those figures is a minor portion of each needle, the eye section, protruding slightly below the bottom surface 22 of base member 10. This extension of the eyes of the needles below bottom surface 22 is adjustable and it may be desirable in fact to have no portion of the needle extend below bottom surface 22.
It has been noted that needles 14 are held in holes 12 of base member 10. To effect such a condition, it is necessary that the diameter of each hole 12 be the same or slightly less than the outside diameter of the portion of the needle so held. This will effect a securing grip on the needle by base member 10 but will not inhibit manual withdrawal of the needle which is a later step in the surgical procedure.
In the condition of base member 10 just described with needles 14- secured in holes 12, each needle 14 is provided with tuft 1.6. From the point of view of operational simplicity it is desirable to provide needles 14 with tufts 16 already applied and knotted in place. This could be performed in suitable sterile mechanical operation with the needles and associated tufts of hair suitably packaged to protect sterility.
Base member 10 containing needles 14 and tufts 16 is then placed under lifted section of scalp 30 and is correctly positioned and formed to the shape of the head at that location. As shown in FIG. 7 needles 14 protrude outwardly from the head while bottom surface 22 rests substantially against the head.
Lifted section of scalp 30 is carefully returned to its original position during which needles 14 are forced therethrough. The result is shown in FIG. 8 wherein the lifted section of scalp 30 has been replaced, covering base member 10 and having needles 14 projecting through that section of scalp. Each needle is in the next step of the invention carefully withdrawn from hole 12 in base member 10 to the full extent possible until stopped by knot 18 bearing against underside 22 of base member 10. FIG. 9 shows this condition with all needles withdrawn to the full extent permitted by the lengths of each tuft of hair 16. The tufts have been pulled through base member 12 and formerly lifted section of scalp 30 as shown in cross-sectional view of FIG. 11.
The next step of the process is essentially a hair cut. Each tuft of hair 16 is cut below the eye of its needle thereby releasing the needle as shown to the right in FIG. 9. The resulting hair is similar to natural hair and may be given a conventional hair cut to desired styling lengths.
As a part of the surgical procedure it is of course necessary to stitch the lifted section of scalp 30 back into place. Such stitching may be done any time after the lifted section is returned to position with needles 14 protruding as shown in FIG. 8. Such stitching is a normal surgical matter. The location of the cut which forms lifted section 30 must be determined with care so that eventually stitching and any possible scar which may result will be hidden within the natural hairline and the natural hair may grow back over the line of stitches. This is shown in FIGS. 1 and 7-9 wherein the out line 31, which eventually becomes the line of stitches, is shown to have been made at an area where natural hair 34 is growing. The hair is of course shaved closely to permit the operation.
In the event it is not possible to locate cut 31 in a section of natural growing hair it is possible to nevertheless locate the line such that it will be hidden beneath the implanted hair. This requires making the lifted section of scalp 30 slightly smaller than the base member 10 which is to be applied. Base member 10 is then inserted not only beneath lifted section of scalp 30 but also beneath section of scalp 36 which is adjacent cut line 31. Adjacent section of scalp 36 is shown in FIG. 1 to be raised slightly to permit insertion of the edge of base member 10. Since base member extends past the line of stitches 31, so too will the impanted hair, and such hair will accordingly hide any scar which may be left.
It may here be stated that a final step in the process, to which purpose the invention is directed, is the admiring glances of the patients companions who will now see natural appearing hair coming out of the patients scalp in a natural appearing manner, the hair being locked in place without any visible suggestion that the locking member is a base member located just below the patients scalp.
FIGS. l2, l3 and 14 show modifications of base member 10 wherein the shape of the base member is shown to be alterable to conform to the area of the patient to which hair is to be implanted.
Since it is necessary that the hair be secured to the a base member 10 at a normally inaccessible location without a further surgical procedure, such securing means must be adequate. In the event that there is a question that knots 18 may not be large enough in relation to the diameter of holes 12 to adequately secure the hair, it may be necessary to provide an ordinary washer between the knot and the bottom surface 22 of base member 10. This is to be done of course at the time the needle is placed in hole 12.
While the foregoing is illustrative of a preferred form of the invention it is clear that other forms may be had within the teachings thereof.
What is claimed is:
l. A hair implant device comprising:
a. a base member, said base member being intended for placement beneath the scalp of a patient, said base member being made of a formable bodycompatible material and having a shape which conforms to the shape of the area of the patient's head to which it is to be applied;
b. a matrix of holes defined in said base member; and
c. hair means, said hair means adapted to be secured through the holes in said base member beneath the scalp of a patient.
2. A hair implant device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said hair means comprises:
a. a plurality of tufts of hair,
b. each tuft comprising a plurality of looped strands of hair,
c. each tuft being drawn through one of said holes in said matrix with the loop portion of each said strand being on the side of said base member which faces away from the patient and the ends of each said strand being on the side of said base member which faces toward the patient,
d. each tuft being secured to said base member.
3. A hair implant device in accordance with claim 2 wherein:
a. each tuft of hair is knotted on the underside of said base member,
on the side of said base member which faces 7 toward the patient; and
b. a washer, said washer being located between said knot and the underside of said base member c. whereby said washer secures said tuft to the underside of said base member.
5. A hair implant device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said hair means comprises:
a. at least one tuft of hair; and
b. at least one needle, each tuft of hair being looped and knotted through an eye of said needle, said needle being located in and secured by one of said holes in said matrix.
6. A hair implant device in accordance with claim 5,
a. each of said needles protrudes through said base member on a first side of said base member,
b. said tufts of hair being secured by said needles on the opposite side of said base member.
7. A process for implanting hair beneath the scalp of a patient, comprising the steps of:
a. lifting a section of scalp while retaining a portion thereof uncut to act as a hinge between said lifted section and the remainder of the scalp;
b. forming a base member of body-compatible material to a shape which conforms to the area of the patients head to be implanted;
c. locating beneath said lifted section of scalp hair implant means formed of said base member with needles secured therein and tufts of hair threaded on said needles;
(1. returning said lifted section of scalp to its original position, thereby covering said hair implant means; and
e. drawing said needles and said hair through said section of scalp.
8. A process for implanting hair beneath the scalp of a patient in accordance with claim 7 wherein said hair implant means is made by the process comprising the steps of:
a. shaping a base member to a size in accordance with the area to receive the implant;
b. fonning a matrix of holes in said base member;
c. looping tufts of hair through eyes of needles;
d. knotting each tuft of hair at its end opposite the needle eye; and
e. inserting each such needle through one of said holes in said matrix.
9. A process for implanting hair beneath the scalp of a patient in accordance with claim 7, additionally comprising the steps of:
cutting said tufts of hair to release said needles after said needles and tufts have been drawn through said scalp.