Even though the planning for Haircon 2017 started way back in 2015, the actualisation of the dream that Drs. Kapil and Aman Dua and the entire team at AK Clinics had seen, happened only between the 24th and 26th of February 2017. The city of Ludhiana was all set to play host to some of the biggest names of the hair restoration world and the stunning hotel Radisson Blu was chosen to be the venue for most of the events.
The guests started arriving on the evening of the 22nd and it was on the 23rd evening that the Presidential Dinner was held. The entire faculty, both national and international was present for the dinner and the informal setting allowed them all to mingle and socialise. The theme of the evening was ethnic – one that allowed the international faculty a taste of India!
The actual conference started on the 24th morning, wherein all the guests were taken from Radisson Blu to AK Clinics, where a series of didactic lectures and live surgical sessions were in store for the participants. Since the operating rooms of the clinic were not able to accommodate the higher than expected numbers a nearby hall was arranged, where the participants were able to watch the live relay of all the surgeries. This time around, the entire idea behind Haircon was to understand the very basics, the absolute fundamentals of hair restoration first and then make an attempt to redefine the limits.
The didactic lectures session started at 8 a.m and had a total of ten lectures, each lasting around six minutes. The first lecture was by Dr. Sajal Halder on All the first letters of the title of talks should be in small cases – according to me Applied Anatomy & Physiology of Scalp & Hair, the second by Dr. Venkataram Mysore on Understanding The Hair Loss Patient, Dr. Narendra Patwardhan was next with a talk on Hair Loss Grading & Classification, Dr. Sandeep Sattur and Dr. Suneet Soni were next with lectures on Pre Op & Post Op Medications and Local Anesthesia in Hair Transplant respectively. The topic of Donor Strip Harvest with Trichophytic Closure was handled by Dr. Manoj Khanna. Members of the international faculty, Dr. Nilofer Farjo and Dr. Antonio Ruston handled the topics of Slivering & Graft Disection in Donor Area and Graft Implantation Using Different Methods, respectively, while Dr. Kavish Chauhan spoke on FUE Donor Harvest and Dr. Rajesh Rajput on Post Operative Instructions.
This session ended around 9 am and the live relay of the surgeries started immediately. The live surgeries covered all the aspects of the hair transplant surgery such as strip surgery, dissection of grafts, closure and FUE. The President of AHRS India and the host of Haircon 2017, Dr. Kapil Dua also demonstrated the seven major steps of FUE surgery, concentrating on the finer points and the technical aspects of his Flat punch. Punches and Infact, he extracted around 100 grafts and there was not a single graft transection during the demonstration. These sessions were followed by question answer sessions, wherein all the participants were able to get their doubts clarified. Several of the questions centred on the new techniques of harvesting and preparation of the recipient site in the best possible manner.
At 1 in the afternoon, all the guests were taken back to the hotel, where they indulged in a grand lunch and completed all the registration formalities. The first session post lunch started at 2, and lasted for 45 minutes, where three of the most reputed and experienced doctors from the world of hair restoration took centre stage. Dr. Bessam Farjo, Dr. James Harris and of course, AK Clinics’ very own, Dr. Kapil Dua. They discussed in detail state of the art harvesting surgical techniques, including Strip Harvesting and Modifications, Present Status – FUE Methods and Body Hair Extraction Techniques. While there were in-depth discussions on manual and automated hair restoration methods, Dr. Dua spoke about why he prefers to use beard hair for body hair transplant. He emphasized that because beard hair has a longer anagen stage; it is the more suited choice. Yet again a question answer session ensured that all doubts and queries were addressed.
Sun Pharmaceuticals, a big name in the medical world, sponsored the next set of talks, aptly titled, ‘Advances In Medical Hair Restoration’, where Dr. Ken Washenik took to the dais first, speaking at length about the Emerging Therapies in Androgenetic Alopecia. While Dr. Nilofer Farjo chose to devote her talk to discussing the Advancement In Medical Treatment and Dr. Venkataram Mysore chose to concentrate on the Importance Of Arrectores For The Hair Transplant Surgeon. Once the question answer session had been completed, a new segment was introduced.
For the very first time in Haircon history, a new segment named Coffee with Experts was introduced. The idea was simple – to discuss your queries in an informal way with the best doctors in the world. So, multiple tables were set up, each of which would have two experts. Participants would get to move from table to table, talking to their seniors, asking questions, getting their doubts clarified personally, while enjoying a cup of coffee with them! Technical Variables in FUE was being discussed at one table with Dr. Jean Devroye and Dr. Alex Ginzburg, while Avoiding FUE Sequale was being handled by Dr. James Harris and AK Clinics’, Dr. Aman Dua. Other tables had Dr. Sajal Halder and Dr. Kavish Chauhan discussing Body Hair Transplantation, Dr. Nilofer Farjo and Dr. Rajesh Rajput talking about Female HT and Dr. Ashok Reddy and Dr. Suneet Soni discussing FUE + FUT. Graft Placement- Pre Placement was handled by Dr. Bessam Farjo and Dr. Manoj Khanna, Stick & Place by Dr. Sandeep Sattur and Dr. K Ramachandran, while Implanters was handled by Dr. Sanjiv Vasa and Dr. Viral Desai and Hairline Design by Dr. Ronald Shapiro and Dr. Narendra Patwardhan. Dr. Rachita Dhurat and Dr. Anil Garg ensured that all doubts related to PRP were clarified and Dr. Antonio Ruston and Dr. Arvind Poswal answered several questions related to Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP). Finally, Dr. Ken Washenik and Dr. Vivek Saxsena were there to handle questions related to Revision Hair Transplants and Dr. Venkataram Mysore and Dr. Vincenzo Gambino for Complications in Hair Transplant.
The next 15 minutes were once again devoted to a sponsored talk by Dr. James Harris, who spoke on the role of robotics in hair restoration. This talk was followed by Dr. Jean Devroye talking about the Waw System & Trumpet Punch, Dr. Alex Ginzburg discussing the Cordless Automatic Device For FUE and finally Dr. Viral Desai talking about Instant Follicular Hair Unit Transplantation (IFHUT) – The Next Step. These talks were once again followed by an intensive question and answer session.
The next half hour, which extended from 4:45 to 5:25 pm was centred on Surgical Approach To Higher Grades Of Baldness. Reputed doctors including Dr. Manoj Khanna, Dr. K Ramachandran and Dr. Kavish Chauhan shared their knowledge on topics such as Approach To Grade VII baldness With Strip Technique, Combination FUT & FUE (Hybrid) and Managing Norwood Grade VI & VII By FUE Technique.
For the first time, Haircon saw multiple panel discussions, many of which emanated from research papers or even questions that might have arisen during normal discussions. The first panel discussion was on Hair Transplantation: What Is Proper, What Is Not Proper? And the speakers in the same were Dr. Alex Ginzburg, Dr. Manoj Khanna, Dr. Arvind Poswal, Dr. Ken Washenik, Dr. Kavish Chauhan and Dr. Jean Devroye.
Once the Board of Governors meeting was over at the Business Centre of the Radisson Blu, it was time to party! Amber Hall at the same hotel had been decked up for the event and all the guests were in for a treat. After Dr. Kapil Dua formally welcomed everyone, the traditional and customary lamp was illuminated and Dr. Aman Dua delivered the vote of thanks. The evening was transformed into a delightful soiree, with a talented qawwal transporting the guests into a mystical world!
Day 2 saw yet another first for Haircon – the use of ARS or Audience Response System, wherein participants were able to ‘participate’ in real time, in the discussions that were taking place. The first program on the day’s agenda was a symposium, titled How Do I Approach My Case and saw participation from several reputed doctors including Dr. Ronald Shapiro, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Sajal Halder, Dr. Mayank Singh, Dr. Madhu Pathuri and Dr. Vincenzo Gambino.
The next two hours or so were dedicated to inspiring the new generation of hair restoration surgeons, because reputed and experienced doctors from around the world shared their ‘pearls of wisdom’. Dr. Jean Devroye shared details about Donor Area Assesment and Long Term Management; Dr. Antonio Ruston spoke about How SMP Can Help FUE; Dr. Ronald Shapiro on Guidelines and Pearls for Creating Natural Hairlines; Dr. Vincenzo Gambino on Transplantation Protocols For Young Patients and Dr. Rajesh Rajput on Non Androgenic Factors In Hair Restoration. Finally, Dr. Alex Ginzburg then took to the dais for a talk on Keep – The New Implanter.
Time and attention was also devoted to female hair transplantation, yet another session with ARS. Dr. Narendra Patwardhan spoke on When to Take up A Case Of Female Hair Loss For Hair Transplant?, Dr. Nilofer Farjo discussed Concurrent Issues During Harvesting, Donor Hair In Female and Dr. Anand Joshi elaborated on the Challenges Of Implanting The Harvested Hair In Females. Both of these sessions were followed by a question and answer round, which allowed younger doctors and post graduate students to attain a greater amount of clarity.
The prestigious Golden Peacock Oration, which is given to the International speaker who have contributed to the world of Hair Transplant was delivered by Dr. James Harris which lasted about 20 minutes. This was followed by a quick tea break. A paper on Surgical Complications was transformed into an entire panel discussion and the participants included Dr. Sanjiv Vasa, Dr. Alex Ginzburg, Dr. Bessam Farjo, Dr. Jean Devroye, Dr. Amrendra Kumar and Dr. Suresh Chaware. The session that followed was interestingly named Potpourri and included discussions, case studies and informative talks. Dr. K Ramachandran shared his experiences in the field of hair transplant surgery, while Dr. Ashok Reddy discussed about times when hair transplant surgery should be negated. Dr. Suneet Soni shared helpful pointers on correcting hair line design and density, and Dr. Mayank Singh presented a case report on a hair transplant procedure done on an androgynous patient. Finally, Dr. Sanjiv Vasa spoke about artificial hair extension and like all other sessions, this one too came to an end with a Q&A session. Once Dr. Naresh Patwardhan had delivered the AHRS India Oration, it was time for lunch.
The session post lunch was once again one with ARS and this time, it was Dr. Kapil Dua who took the reins of the session into his hands. The discussion was on recipient area planning & slit making and the participants included Dr. Antonio Ruston, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Sanjiv Vasa, Dr. Rajesh Rajput and Dr. K Ramachandran. In this session, Dr. Dua took the time to explain the usage of instruments during the surgical procedure and how the choice needs to be made. He also described how the method of transplant tends to be dictated by factors such as age, ethnicity, hair density and so on.
Body hair transplant was the next topic on the agenda and this session had the ARS too. First, Dr. Jyoti Gupta elaborated on Extraction Technique – Beard, Body and Other Areas and then the dais was turned over to Dr. Arvind Poswal who spoke on the Challenges in Doing a Megasession in BHT (Implantation & Extraction). Finally, it was the turn of Dr. Aman Dua, who discussed Post op sequelae & complications of donor area (Beard & Chest). After a question and answer session, Dr. Aman Dua returned for a Unichem Pharmaceuticals sponsored talk on Finding New Treatment for Alopecia Management.
Videos are often far more informative and useful for education, and having understood the same, hair restoration experts from around the world brought useful videos. Dr. Omi Jindal showed a video on slit-dilatation implantation, a new technique while Dr. Harshit Ranparaon Adiva Implanter – where you can implant 30-40 grafts at a time. Dr. Sunil Mishra showed micropigmentation of scalp as a camouflage method for hair thinning and augment hair transplant density while Dr. Sandeep Sawant’s on fast and safe graft implantation, Dr. Mayank Singh’s strip harvest in sitting posture and finally, Dr. Antonio Ruston’s different methods of implantation. Once the question and answer session had been completed, there was a break for tea.
The session that started after was called Mix and Match and this one was the first of a two, the second of which was to come on the last day of Haircon 2017. This was a session that discussed topics which were associated with the field of hair restoration, but not perhaps in the most obvious manner. The session was ARS enabled and the first topic on the board was how to counsel patients in this world of ever increasing demand for FUE by Dr. Sandeep Sattur, while Dr. Viral Desai discussed the operational audit of a multi-clinic hair transplant practice. Finally, Mr. Mohit Soi a CA and tax consultant discussed the nuances of service tax. The next panel discussion also had ARS and the topic was failed growth, with speakers including Dr. Nilofer Farjo, Dr. Ken Washenik, Dr. Vincenzo Gambino, Dr. Bishen Mahadevaiah and Dr. Suneet Soni.
The Amber Hall at the Radisson Blu was the venue for the general body meeting and then all the participants were taken to the spectacular Kothari Resorts, for a gala dinner, where there was good food, good music and the chance for everyone to let their hair down!
Day 3 being the last day, promised to end with a bang, and the start was with another first- the IPCA Haircon Post Graduate Quiz. Three teams of 2 post graduates made to the finals out of more than 500 post graduates who appeared for the preliminary round. And the winners were…..????? .
This was followed by discussions on practice of the art of hair transplantation, especially in the uncommon areas. Dr. Bessam Farjo started off with the eyebrows, while Dr. Aman Dua concentrated on the moustache and beard. Dr. S S Gambhir spoke on Expanders in Post Burn Alopecia, Dr. Syed Mubashir on hair transplant in scarring alopecia patients and Dr. Sajal Halder on hair restoration in post radiotherapy patients. After the Q&A session, the attention was moved on to the topic – A Comprehensive Approach In Hair Restoration. Dr. Sandeep Sattur discussed the connection between hair and lifestyle, while Dr. Ken Washenik spoke on Post Finasteride Syndrome. Dr. Antonio Ruston’s topic was FUE: Ideas to Improve Efficiency, Speed and Integration, while Dr. Ronald Shapiro chose “COVERAGE VALUE” A Potentially Useful and Objective Tool for Predicting and Managing Donor Supply in FUE. Dr. Vincenzo Gambino spoke on surgical transplantation of the crown: appropriate patient selection and surgical technique. The final talk was a sponsored one, where Dr. Vijay Langer spoke on evidence based approach in management of AGA. This session too was followed by a question and answer session.
The time between 10:50 am and 11:30 am was dedicated to PRP or Platelet Rich Therapy – Dr. Sukhbir started off with the Evidence of Efficacy of PRP in Hair and Dr. Rachita Dhurat continued over two consecutive sessions covering topics such as Differential Methods of Preparation of PRP and Standardisation Protocol For PRP. The final speaker was Dr. Anil Garg, who also brought along a video on How to Use PRP at Tissue Level for Hair. There was also a sponsored session by HairPro Laser Cap India on the Role of LLLT in Hair loss management and Hair Regrowth. The speakers were Dr. Rajesh Rajput and Dr. Bessam Farjo.
The valedictory function was next in which Dr. Kapil thanked all the speakers, chairpersons, delegates, the sponsors and the organising team who worked very hard to make Haircon 2017 a succesful event. This was, Haircon 2017 was also the stage offered to the younger generation of hair transplant surgeons to present their papers and innovations. Dr. Seema Garg presented a paper on Study of Ropivacaine Block to Reduce Post-operative Pain after Strip Harvesting, And Relation Of Width Of strip To Post-operative Pain. Dr. Anil Garg’s paper was on INNOVATION: Cost Effective – Innovative trichometer. AK Clinics’s two representatives were Dr. Monica Chahar with her paper on The Specificities Of Hair Transplantation In India: A Retrospective Analysis Of 125 Patients Operated In Our center and Dr. Nirav Desai with his paper on What should I Choose for the extraction : Blunt Punch or Sharp punch?. It was Dr. Nirav Desai who walked away with the top honours in the best scientific paper study. This was also the time when the best poster winner, Dr. Mayank was awarded and a quick question and answer session ensued.
The second Mix and Match session was scheduled for the session just before lunch – Dr. Sumit Agarwal discussed the topic of FUE in Patients of African Descent: Sharing Our Experience, while Dr. Kinnar Kapadia spoke on the Importance of FUE Test Harvest at the Start of FUE. Dr. Amit Kerure described 7 Yogic Exercises For HT Surgeon and Dr. Akhilendra Singh chose to talk about Anaesthesia: Maximizing Patient Comfort In Hair Restoration. Finally, Dr. Ummer Yaseen spoke about Hair restoration In Diffuse Pattern Androgenetic Alopecia. With the lunch session over, Haircon 2017 officially came to a closure!