Hair Transplantation (FUT/FUE)
Hair loss, or alopecia, is a common problem that affects both men and women and can be caused by stress, diseases, some medical treatments and genes. While some of these factors are temporary or can be reversed, many suffer permanent hair loss that can lead to self-confidence issues. Hair transplantation surgery can help men and women suffering from baldness or thinning hair.
When to Consider Hair Transplantation
– If you have thinning hair
– If you have bald spots
– If you have a receding hairline
– Gives you a more youthful look
– Reduces or eliminates the need for a hairpiece or wig
– Provides a permanent solution to hair loss
– It might take months for hair to grow into the area
– Multiple sessions spanning over one to two years might be required
– No guarantee that hair will be consistent with previous hair growth
Are you a good candidate for hair transplantation?
– You suffer from male or female pattern baldness and have thinning hair
– Your hair loss is not a result of medication, stress or medical treatment
– Your hair loss is permanent and cannot be treated nonsurgically
– You have adequate hair growth or follicles than can be used for transplantation
– You understand that treatment may take several months to several years
About your procedure
How is a hair transplantation procedure performed?
The various methods involved in hair replacement or transplantation depend on the area that is balding or thinning and what kind of look you are trying to achieve. In all cases, hair follicles are moved from one area of your body and grafted, or transferred, to the area that is lacking. The donor site is usually on the head.
Usually your surgeon will use local anesthesia in both the donor and recipient areas. On occasion, oral or IV sedation is added. Rarely is general anesthesia recommended. The donor area will be surgically removed, and the scar will be hidden by existing hair. The surgeon will usually divide the removed scalp into hundreds or perhaps even thousands of tiny segments, each containing a single or several hairs. These tiny pieces of your scalp will then be transplanted into the bald or thinning
areas on your head.
What are my options?
The quality and type of hair you have and where you are losing hair will factor into your aesthetic surgeon’s decision on how much hair to transplant and from where to take the hair grafts.
Strip Harvesting Strip harvesting in the follicular unit transplantation (FUT) method removes a strip of hair, generally from the back of the head, and is dissected into smaller groups to implant into the recipient sites.
This is a common method that is faster than harvesting from many different locations. Although there is a strip removed, the scar is easily covered by new and surrounding hair.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Small groups of hair are harvested in a larger area around the head and then implanted into the desired site. Because the grafts come from all around the scalp, there is less bleeding, less postoperative discomfort, and no sutures necessary. The scars from FUE are scattered and not concentrated in one area; however, a much larger area of hair needs to be clipped short.
Preparing for Your Procedure
– Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
– Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
– You may be asked to take a shower and wash your hair with regular or antibacterial soap.
– Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
Aftercare and Recovery
Immediately after surgery
You may be given dressings for your scalp, which will likely need to be worn for at least two days.
Your scalp will be very sensitive, so your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to be taken in the week following your surgery. He or she may also give you antibiotic medicine to reduce the chance of infection.
If you experience extreme or long-lasting pain or notice redness and swelling after the surgery,
contact your surgeon to find out if your pain, redness and swelling are normal or a sign of a problem.
Recovery time frame
It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon. Typically, you can return to work after hair transplantation within one to two days after surgery, although some
patients choose to be off work longer. This will depend on the type of work you do. After a short amount of time (sometimes right after surgery), the hair grafts will fall out and will not regrow for approximately three months. This is a completely normal process and will allow new hair to grow in its place. The new hair should look fuller and more natural. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
How Long Will the Results Last?
Hair transplantation results last for a lifetime; however, some patients may find that after the procedure, they continue to lose some of their original hair or their new head of hair may not look as full as they would like. In these cases, it’s not uncommon for patients to schedule a second surgery.
Limitations and Risks
– Adverse reaction to anesthesia
– Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
– Infection and bleeding
– Changes in sensation
– Allergic reactions
– Damage to underlying structures
– Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures