Hair Transplantation

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Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation is the only scientifically proven way to permanently restore hair to thinning or bald areas. When you have hair transplanted from the back and sides of your scalp to your balding areas, your hair will begin growing, and can keep growing, throughout your life.

In general, age or sex is not a limiting factor for hair transplantation. However, very young patients may be preferably managed conservatively. The ideal candidate for hair restoration surgery has healthy hair on the sides and back of the head — the areas from which grafts are taken (as they are genetically programmed to grow for life).

The following characteristics decide if you are a good candidate for hair transplantation:

  • Well-defined male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness.
  • Hair loss from scarring, scalp injuries or cosmetic surgery procedures.
  • Wish to restore or thicken eyebrows, mustaches or beards.
  • Greater density of dark or curly hair.

How is the Procedure performed?

Hair transplantation is performed under local anaesthesia in an operation theater or clinic setting. There are 2 variations of surgery available:

Follicular unit hair transplant (Strip technique) (FUHT) – This involves removing a small strip of hair-bearing scalp from the back and / or sides of your head. The area from which the strip is taken is carefully closed, resulting in a very fine line scar which is completely hidden amongst the remaining hair.My skilled surgical team then microscopically divides the harvested strip of hair-bearing scalp into micro (follicular) grafts and macro (follicular) grafts. These follicular units are then placed into separate holes or slits in the desired area. The grafted hairs eventually grow much like normal hair. A single session may last approximately 6 hours. Multiple sessions at various intervals may be required.

After FUE (Donor site)
After FUE (Donor site)

Follicular unit Extraction (FUE) – This involves removing each follicular unit directly by using hollow punch devices on a micro-motor. The extracted hair units are then directly inserted into the target area. This results in multiple small circular scars on the donor site. This procedure may require you to shave or trim your hair in certain areas to facilitate harvesting. There are no stitches taken.

How is the Procedure performed?

The grafted hair stubs and blood clots are visible for the initial few days. Some patients may rarely experience temporary swelling extending to their forehead and eyes (controlled with medications).

The following care is advised:

  • Oral medications as prescribed.
  • After 5 days: Minoxidil for local application, multi-vitamins and Finasteride.
  • Keep the area dry and undisturbed.
  • Wash your hair only after 3 to 5 days.
  • Avoid vigorous physical activity for few weeks.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure for several weeks.

You may experience itching and/or numbness which is normal and temporary. Stitches will be removed by 10 to 14 days.

Much of the transplanted hair will fall in a few weeks. Approximately three months later, new hair starts to grow and continues to grow at a normal rate. It takes approximately six months after a hair transplant session for the transplanted hairs to take on a natural appearance.

Platelet-rich Plasma or Growth factor concentrate injections may be used to further enhance the growth of transplanted hair.

The amount of coverage achieved depends on the extent of your hair loss, the density of your donor hair, as well as the number of procedures.

Possible Complications

Hair transplant is a surgical procedure and has some potential problems associated with it. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

Some of the potential problems encountered may be as follows:

  • Pain,swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Stretched scars
  • Buried grafts that may for cysts
  • Inadequate graft take
  • Altered sensation
  • Revision surgery
  • Progressive hair loss

If you’re considering a hair replacement procedure, it’s important to understand that you may never have the coverage you had prior to your hair loss, but surgery may camouflage the thin areas and give you more fullness.

Consultation

During consultation be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Previous surgeries

Your aesthetic surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take clinical photographs
  • Discuss your hair restoration options
  • Recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of hair transplant and any risks or potential complications

It’s very important to understand all aspects of your hair transplant procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your cosmetic surgeon.

How is the Procedure performed?

In preparing for surgery, you may be instructed as follows:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding