William R. Rassman M.D. — Biography

Dr. William Rassman graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1966 where he received his Doctor of Medicine. He completed a surgical internship at the University of Minnesota and obtained a cardiovascular fellowship with Dr. C.W. Lillehei, the man who invented modern heart surgery. He completed a residency in general surgery at the Cornell Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical Center. He served in the U.S. Army, reaching the rank of Major. He served as a war surgeon in the Republic of Vietnam. The American Board of Surgery certified Dr. Rassman in 1976.

In 1991, Dr. Rassman founded the New Hair Institute (NHI), and quickly became a world leader in hair transplant technology. This technology enables surgeons to perform hair transplants with large numbers of grafts in single surgeries that looked totally natural for the first time. His many innovations in techniques and equipment have been presented at medical meetings around the world, and he published these advances in prestigious medical journals as he pioneered these advances. He developed a strong stance on the ethics involved in hair transplantation as he condemned doctors who used sales tactics to take advantage of naïve, panicky balding young men. He attacked the use of scalp reductions as an illogical and often damaging procedure and the procedure has been largely abandoned. Dr. Rassman pioneered the Megasession in 1992-4 (he was the first to perform 2000 grafts, 3000 grafts and 4000 grafts in single sessions when most doctors were performing under 100 unnatural appearing large plugs), dense packing of grafts (1994), the Fast Track® method of hair transplantation whereby a patient’s restoration can be completed in just one or two sessions 1993, The Follicular Unit Transplant (1995) and The Follicular Unit Extraction technology (2002). All of these advances were published in peer-reviewed articles in prestigious medical journals.

He a professional inventor and holds many U.S. and worldwide patents which defined new ground in the medical field since medical school. His greatest accomplishment was his pioneering work which led to his introduction of the Intra-aortic Balloon pump in 1969 where he presented the technology at a meeting before 800 cardiologists. This device is now used as the standard heart assist pump in every coronary care unit in the world, saving thousands of lives every year. He also developed medical devices for the cardiac field in his fellowship years. In 2001, he formed Maven Biotechnologies (now holding 23 patents) which developed a ‘Lab-on-a-chip’ technology.

Other pioneering activities could be found in the business world, such as building large wind farms in Hawaii and California (a business that grew to the tens of millions of dollars) and the development of a company that produced a computerized medical record for large hospitals in the mid-1980s. During and after that period of time, he received two software patents addressing (a) scheduling complex resources in real-time (a precursor for remote tracking and monitoring used in today’s cell phones) and (b) an approach for displaying complex data in a graphical user interface. More recently, his curiosity led him to develop and patent surgical tools for hair transplantation (15 patents) including (with Dr. Pak) the use of a robot for hair transplantation (now marketed). Dr. Rassman has presented scientific papers before national and international societies, such as the: Society of Cardiovascular Surgeons, International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, International Society for Hair and Scalp Surgery, Annual Global Convocation of Hair Restoration Surgery, American Academy of Facial, Plastic and Reonstructive Surgery, European Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, Asian Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. He wrote chapters in text books in the cardiac field in the 1960s and in the hair transplant field since 1991 and continues doing so in multiple pending publications. He published many scientific articles in such journals as: Dermatologic Surgery, International Journal of Aesthetic and Restorative Surgery, Hair Transplant Forum International, and Journal of Dermatology, Surgery, and Oncology. In 2009, he published Hair Loss and Replacement for Dummies after some 10 previous books were written on the subject explaining, in layman’s language, what causes baldness, how baldness is diagnosed, the best medical and surgical options available today, the proper use of medication, and how to repair the poor results of older surgical procedures.

He has been recognized for contributions to society, receiving the Governor’s Award from the Vermont Council on World Affairs (1976), a national award for contributions in Energy Innovation, presented by the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C. (1984) and the prestigious Golden Follicle Award presented by International Society for Hair Restoration Surgeons (2004) for his leadership in clinical innovation, the most prestigious award in the field of hair restoration.

Dr. Rassman is challenged by problems of any type and continues to pioneer new tools and techniques in both his hair restoration practice and in his biotechnology company. His innovative clinical technology in Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) allows individual follicular units to be extracted directly from the donor area without the traditional linear incision in the back of the scalp. The advantage of FUE is that this technique can be performed on patients with very limited donor hair, limited pain following the procedure, and fast healing, without visible scarring in the donor area. With Dr. Pak he has developed Scalp Micropigmentation and written numerous papers on the subject.

He is motivated to make a difference in whatever he does. He strives to be the best and is never satisfied with the status quo. “There is always a better way to do it” is his motto. He is a visionary and has never allowed his goals to be limited by current thought on any subject, always thinking out of the box.