Hair transplant

Refined follicular unit transfer restores natural appearance and great density.

  • for individuals with significant hair loss transplantation is the only option for natural hair restoration
  • it is performed under a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis
  • hair follicles are moved from the areas where the hair is permanently dense (back and sides)and not affected by balding process, to
  • areas that are thinning or bald (front and top)
  • up to 2000 follicles can be transplanted in one session
  • the relocated hair will continue to grow for a lifetime.

What is hair transplant?

Hair grows from hair follicles, which are grouped into follicular units (FU) containing up to four hairs. Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) known also as follicular unit grafting (FUG) is the basic of modern hair restoration surgery. However more complex and time consuming, when performed skillfully it provides most natural looking results. With this procedure hair follicles are moved from the areas where the hair is permanently dense (back and sides), to areas that are thinning or bald (front and top). The relocated hair will continue to grow for a lifetime as transplanted follicles are taken from the areas that are genetically resistant to baldness. The procedure should be individualized taking into account patient’s hair quality and density, as well as his expectations. For individuals with significant hair loss transplantation is the only option for natural hair restoration.

How is hair for transplantation harvested? What is FUE?

Follicular units for transplantation are taken from the sides or back of the scalp where follicles are not affected by the balding process. Two techniques can be used for harvesting.
Most commonly a narrow (about 1 cm wide) strip of the scalp is excised from the donor area and dissected into several thousand hair grafts. It is important that the integrity of follicular units remains undisturbed; therefore the dissection is done under magnification. The donor site is brought together with sutures to produce a fine, almost undetectable scar concealed by hair. This scar is usually excised if subsequent transplants are carried out, so only a single scar is present after multiple procedures.
The grafts can also be removed, one by one in a form of small cylinders with a technique called follicular unit extraction (FUE). The small holes that remain are left open and heal in about a week. Even though this relatively new technique has an advantage of avoiding the long linear scar it is more time consuming, expensive and more likely to result in injury of the follicular units. There is an increased risk of surrounding hair loss that limits the total number of grafts that can be harvested.

How is hair restoration performed?

Hundreds or thousands of follicular unit grafts taken either by strip excision or FUE are prepared and carefully transferred into tiny recipient sites made by specially designed instrument in the balding or thinning area. There is no visible scaring in the transplanted area. With this process, the angle and direction of hair growth can be controlled and should mimic that of the hair that was originally present in the area. With attention to detail and aesthetic arrangement of individual follicular unit grafts, the most natural results can be created. In this regard, the reconstruction of hairline is of particular importance, any potential future hair loss should be taken into account. After initially falling out in about two to three weeks, the transplanted follicles will begin producing new hair in two to three months. The hair will be fully grown and mature in about a year and will continue to grow for a lifetime.

How many of the transplanted hair follicles survive? What density can be achieved?

Density is the single largest factor when determining the outcomes of surgical hair restoration. Normal hair density is around 100 follicular units per square centimeter and varies considerably between individuals. Variables such as hair color, shaft diameter and curl significantly influence the appearance of density. In some patients aesthetically pleasing results can be achieved with 25 units per square centimeter while others may need up to 70 follicular units per square centimeter to achieve a natural density. Due to individual characteristics and biological variations in the healing process, the exact prediction regarding the survival of transplanted follicles is difficult. With meticulous technique 90-95% survival rate can be obtained.

How many grafts can be transplanted in one session? What anesthesia is used?

Up to 2,000 grafts can be transplanted in a single session. This is done as a full day surgery under local anesthetic on an outpatient basis.

What is recovery after hair transplantation?

At the recipient site, small crusts will form after the procedure. They fall of in about a week. Mild pain in the first day or two can be controlled with painkillers. Moderate swelling of the forehead can be expected in the first days following the procedure. Normal activities can be resumed in a day or two.

Is there any cure for baldness?

Among many products available on the market, only two medications are proven effective, backed by clinical data.
2 or 5 % Minoxidil is a topical medication for both men and women that is applied twice daily. The effect usually shows after a couple of weeks of treatment. About two thirds of patients notice a change in the existing hair, with slightly thicker hair and about a third of patients have noticeable new hair growth on bald spots. The best responses are seen in patients just beginning to grow bald. For permanent results, the treatment must be continued.
Finasteride is administered orally once a day. It is approved for use in men only due to the potential for birth defects. It has a scientifically proven slowing effect on hair loss, in addition to stimulating hair growth. It is best used to slow hair loss as soon as it is noticed.
In general hair transplantation is still the only permanent solution for significant hair loss and cannot be replaced by drugs. However medical therapy is suggested as an ancillary treatment to surgical hair restoration and can be a good way to slow down or stop the hair loss that is just beginning.

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