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Laser Treatment Shines Light On Baldness

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CBS Minnesota (con't)

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Health News & Information: CBSMinnesota.com/Health

By Dennis Douda, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s time to shed a little light on baldness — literally. It affects most men and a surprising number of women, as well.

But shine the right kind of light on the problem and you may grow a solution.

After battling a large brain tumor, Dr. Anita Buckler feels lucky to be alive. Six weeks of daily radiation treatments finally did the trick. But…

“It zapped my hair and they warned me it might not ever come back,” said Buckler.

On its own, it did not. But when Buckler agreed to be zapped again, this time by a low-energy laser, something amazing happened.

“Obviously, it was very, very successful,” Buckler said as she showed off her hair. “I am ecstatic about it!”

After a scalp biopsy showed she had some surviving follicles, Buckler spent half an hour a week under an array of over 100 laser diodes. Five months later she had a full head of growing hair.

“It’s about 90 percent effective to help people stop losing hair,” Dr. Robert Reese, who has made laser therapy a routine to follow-up care when a patient has a hair transplant.

He believes it stimulates better circulation in the scalp.

“I’ve seen very good results to kick-start early hair growth on patients that I’ve transplanted,” said Reese.

A hair follicle is an organ, just like any other organ in our body, and to live it requires a blood supply.

The manufacturer of the laser treatment, Sunetics, recently added a laser paddle brush to its product list. Although it has just one-tenth the number of laser diodes, home use several times a week offers similar results.

The price tag of the brush is around $800.

Buckler said the value to her is priceless.

“For women, it’s really a big self-image thing,” she said. “It’s a modern medical miracle.”

Even Reese said Buckler’s results were incredible and not everyone will have such a dramatic outcome. Costs for the treatments can be as high as several hundred dollars per half-hour session.

Although Reese charges closer to $25 a pop for his patients who’ve had hair follicle transplant surgery.

WCCO-TV’s Dennis Douda Reports

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