Hair Transplant

Hair loss is a common problem faced by many people. Irrespective of the age, it can occur to anyone. Of all hair loss treatment options available, Hair transplantation has gained popularity because of the effective results the procedure offers. Alopecia is a medical term for hair loss and it affects both women and men. There are several reasons that trigger this problem. Diseases, genes, side-effects of medicine and stress are the most common reasons that cause hair loss. While some of these factors are reversible, others cause permanent hair loss triggering issues pertaining to self-confidence.

Hair Transplant Surgery

Procedural information

How is hair transplant procedure done?

There are various techniques to perform hair transplant procedure. The surgeon chooses the method on the basis of the area that is thinning or balding and the kind of look a patient wants to achieve. One factor to all techniques is movement of follicles from one part of the body and transferred or grafted to the area that lacks hair. In most cases, the donor site is head.

The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia in both the recipient and donor sites. In some cases, IV or oral sedation is administered as well. It is only in rare cases that general anaesthesia is recommended in this procedure. The donor site is surgically removed and the scar gets hidden by existing hair. The hair transplant surgeon would divide the removed scalp into hundreds or even thousands of small sections, each comprising of several or a single hair. These small pieces of scalp are then transplanted into the thinning or bald areas.

A relatively less common procedure involves moving hair as a flap of scalp skin that has hundreds of hair follicles. Then the flap is repositioned into the area suffering from hair loss replacing the balding part.

Minimizing trauma and maintaining scalp’s integrity is integral to the entire procedure of hair transplantation and is quite difficult. As far as duration of the procedure is concerned, it lasts from two to eight hours depending on how much hair is being transferred as a flap or being transplanted.

What are the different methods of hair transplantation?

The type and quality of hair along with the area suffering from hair loss often affects the decision of the plastic surgeon regarding the area from where hair grafts can be taken and the quantity of hair to be transplanted.

Strip Harvesting

Strip harvesting in the FUT, Follicular Unit Transplantation, method removes a hair strip, usually from the back of the head, and is divided into tiny sections for implanting into the recipient areas. This is one of the most common methods used for hair transplantation than harvesting hair from several locations. Even though hair strip is removed, the scar is covered by new as well as surrounding hair.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Tiny sections of hair are harvested in a much larger area around the head and implanted into site lacking hair. Given that grafts come from all around the scalp, the bleeding is less, no need for sutures and less discomfort after the procedure. The scars consequential to FUE are scattered and not concentrated in one area, however a much larger area of hair has to be clipped short.

Flap Surgery

This type of procedure removes a part of bald scalp and is replaced with a part of skin that comprise of hair follicles. This can cover a large part of baldness and because the skin remains intact, hair starts growing immediately from the part and will not require months to regrow.

Scalp Reduction

In some cases, advancement flap or scalp reduction surgery is performed in addition or as an alternative to the hair transplantation procedure. The entire procedure involves removal of a part of the bald scalp and pulling the hairline forward for filling in a bald spot. If more hair is required, flap surgery or hair transplantation can be performed for covering the remaining section.

Recovery and aftercare

Before even discussing options with you, the first thing that the surgeon would ask is how long it would be before you can resume your normal and regular level of work and activity. Once the procedure is done, patient and the caregiver would be given detailed instructions about the postsurgical care that also comprise of information about:

  • Normal symptoms and changes you might experience
  • Drains, in case they have been placed
  • Potential signs and symptoms of complications

What you have to do right after the procedure?

You might be given dressing for the scalp that you have to worn for at least two days. Scalp is sensitive after the surgery, thus the surgeon will prescribe pain medication that you have to take following the procedure. In most cases, surgeons also prescribe antibiotic medicine for reducing the possibility of developing infection.

In case you experience swelling and notice redness, or long-lasting and extreme pain and discomfort after the procedure, make sure you contact the surgeon immediately to find out that swelling, extreme pain and redness are normal or not.

How long will it take to recover?

It is extremely important that you adhere to the patient care instructions given by the surgeon after the procedure. Usually, you can resume work within two to three days of hair transplantation procedure, though some patients prefer taking longer off from work. This generally depends on what you do. After a short amount of duration, sometimes immediately after the procedure, the hair grafts fall down and will not grow again for nearly three to four months. This is completely normal a process and will allow new hair growth to be in its place. The new hair growth should look more natural and fuller. It is important to note that the duration of recovery time varies from person to person.

How long will the results of the hair transplantation would last?

The results of the hair transplantation procedure usually lasts for a lifetime. Some patients, however, might find that after undergoing the procedure, the hair loss continues or their head might not appear as full as it should be with the new hair growth. In such cases, it is common for patients to undergo a second surgery.

Schedule appointment with the surgeon from time to time

For healthy and beautiful results, as well as the safety, it is extremely important to schedule an appointment with the surgeon for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times. Also, you should visit the surgeon whenever you have questions and doubts regarding the hair transplantation results and healing. Let go off all your doubts and concerns for faster recovery.

Cost of hair transplantation surgery

When it comes to the cost of hair transplant procedure, it varies from surgeon to surgeon, from location to location and on the basis of the method used for performing the procedure.

There are some common factors that determine the cost of the hair transplant procedure. Some of these factors include surgical garments, fee of the surgical facility, anaesthesiologist, prescriptions and medical tests and several other miscellaneous costs associated to the procedure.

Given that hair transplantation is an elective procedure, insurance does not cover these costs. There are many cosmetic surgeons who offer financing plans to make the payment easy.

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