Hair Transplantation

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What is Hair Transplantation ?

Hair transplantation is a minimally invasive technique that moves individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the 'donor site' (generally the back of the scalp)to a bald or balding part of the body known as the 'recipient site'. The more density of hair at the back and sides, the better the results will be. This is done under local anesthesia.

Who should go for Hair Transplant ?

Men with MPB (male pattern baldness) and now more commonly some women should go for hair Transplant. But not all men and not all women are suitable. It is therefore best to meet the dermatosurgeon at consultation if you are considering having hair restoration surgery.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for Hair Transplant ?

For a hair transplant to be successful, enough hair must be available to be 'donated' from another part of the scalp or body. The hair at the back and sides of the scalp is usually thicker, stronger and more densely packed, and therefore makes ideal grafting material. The best candidates therefore retain some degree of hair growth at the back and sides of the scalp. However improvements can be made even with a limited donor area.

What is the best age to have Hair Transplant ?

Early age(early 20's) require multiple smaller sessions, expectations may be unrealistic and hair loss may still be active. Medication help stabilize your hair loss when you are in your 20's. Once there is no progression as determined by your dermatologist,one can have surgery throughout their life even into their 70's.

Is a hair transplant different for women & men?

The expectations and outcome in women are different from those in men when it comes to hair loss as a woman will not be happy with 'some hair' to thicken the areas of thinning and women look for longer hair. Plus there is a possibility of "Tellogen hair Loss" (Hair Loss from the shock of surgery and stress of going bald) However women should not be put off considering hair restoration but they may need more number of sessions and have to wait longer for their desired look.

What is the basis of Hair Transplant ?

The donor area is chosen from a site, which does not fall or reduce in thickness or number with age such as the occipital region or body hair (in few cases). As transplanted hair will only grow in its new site for as long as it would have in its original one, these parameters continue to serve as the fundamental foundation for hair follicle harvesting for hair transplantation.

What are the types of hair Transplant ?

Since hair naturally grows in groupings of 1 to 4 hairs, today's most advanced techniques harvest and transplant these naturally occurring 1 - 4 hair "follicular units" in their natural groupings. Thus modern hair transplantation can achieve a natural appearance. This hair transplant procedure is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Donor hair can be harvested two different ways: strip harvesting, and follicular unit extraction (FUE).

How is the procedure done ?

The donor area is shaved and cleansed. Local anesthetic is then injected into the donor area to completely numb it. Then hair is harvested from the donor areas by various techniques, which are described later. Depending on the technique and need of transplant, we can harvest 2000 to 7000 hairs or even more in each session. The recipient area is then numbed with anesthetic injection after all the follicle harvesting and separating is completed. The extracted hair follicles are then reimplanted in the recipient area in alignment with the existing hair in that area so as to achieve a natural result. When all the donor hairs have been transplanted the treatment is complete.

Is the procedure painful ?

No. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area before treatment commences and therefore both the donor and recipient sites are totally desensitized. The patient can watch TV, listen to music or chat during the procedure. Even after the procedure, If the patient feels any discomfort, it can be managed with mild painkiller.

How Long does the procedure take ?

On an average, a procedure takes 6 to 8 hrs.

What is the post procedure care ?

The patient is advised to use antibiotic cream and antibiotics to be taken by mouth. Most patients head back to work the day following the procedure and can go back to sports 7 days post operatively. For the Strip Method the post operative recovery time is 30 days, during which time the patient must completely avoid exercise. However once your hair grows, you can treat it exactly the same as you did before you had the transplant. It can be combed, washed, dyed and shaved.

How soon will I see the results?

Patients will be able to see the outline of their new hairline immediately following treatment and the hair will continue to grow. Within the first few weeks following a transplant most of the newly transplanted hair will fall out. The hair then enters a resting phase. The new hair will begin to grow some 6-12 weeks thereafter. At six months it will be 1-2 cm long but will continue to grow up to 12 months following your transplant. It takes at least 9-12 months to see the full results of your transplant.

How long will the results last ?

Results with hair transplants are permanent as the transplanted hair is harvested from an area that is unaffected by hormones or balding.

Will the results look natural?

Yes. Hair is carefully and strategically aligned in such a fashion that creates the most natural looking hair.

What are the complications in a Hair Transplant ?

There is some redness and swelling after the procedure. Infection is a rare complication as the procedure is done under complete aseptic precautions.

Can I go for hair trimming/coloring/dyeing after hair transplant?

Yes. You may trim/color or dye the hair after hair transplant. It will not affect your transplanted hair.

How does one decide the number of grafts I will need ?

When you have your consultation with the dermatosurgeon before hair transplant surgery, he/she will suggest how many grafts are available for your first procedure and any subsequent procedures. This number will be based on your present balding pattern and will take into account the predicted future of hair loss together with how much donor hair is available.

Will I still need to continue my medicines after hair transplant ?

Your transplanted hair does not need medications to sustain as they have been taken from Non Balding area/ Hormone Independent area. However, if you have an ongoing hair loss, then to avoid the loss of your original/non-transplanted hair, you might need to continue medications as advised by your dermatologist.

What is FUT ?

FUT or follicular unit transplant is where a strip of hair bearing scalp is extracted from the donor area (generally the back of scalp) also known as the follicular units. Using stereo microscopes, the extracted donor strip is then dissected into individual hair units or follicular units. Each graft contains from 1-4 hairs. A trichophytic closure is used so that the scar is barely visible to the naked eye.The biggest advantage of FUT is that it has a very high yield of graft giving even more than 8000 follicles in a single session. The disadvantage being, it leaves a horizontal scar although it is not visible.

What is Trichophytic closure?

Trichophytic Closure is a technique used to make the scars caused by the removal of the strip of skin practically invisible. This is used for scar closure in the strip harvesting technique of follicular transplantation.

What is FUE ?

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a type of hair transplant where instead of a removal of a strip of scalp skin to harvest hair follicles, a specialized punch with less than 1mm diameter is used to extract the hair from the scalp individually. This eliminates the utilization of scalpel and stitching and doesn't create any linear incisions or scarring and very less downtime. The donor and recipient site heals within 2-4 days. The only limitation with FUE is the yield of grafts as compared to strip technique of FUT and the longer time required for the procedure.

What is Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Transplantation (URFUT)

It is same as Follicular Hair Transplant but with the claim of an added advantage of having a better scar than the traditional strip harvesting of FUT.

What is Robotic Hair Transplant ?

Robotic hair transplant is similar to FUE barring that the robot extracts the follicles and reimplants them. All this happens thru machine without manual involvement. The advantage is saving human labour and time, The disadvantage is the damage that can happen to the follicles as they are punched and sucked thru the machines and released back in the recipient area at great speed.

What is Non Surgical Hair Transplant ?

It is same as FUE as no scalpel is used and hence no stitches are given.

What is DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) ?

It is similar to FUE except that in place of robot, a single instrument extracts the follicle and directly implants it back in recipient area without any wastage of time. The limitation is again the trauma that can happen to the extracted follicle during its passage through the machine.

What is Micro-mini graft ?

Mini-micro grafting is the oldest technique for hair transplantation. A strip of skin is cut out from the donor area, cut into smaller pieces, and then placed in the recipient area. The technique is quicker and cheaper than FUE and FUT, but less effective.

What is Hair weaving ?

Hair weaving is a method of adding hair to the scalp by weaving synthetic or natural hair. This hair doesn't grow and hence hair trimming has to be done carefully meticulously.

Can eyebrow transplant be done ?

Eyebrows that are very sparse can benefit from eyebrow transplant. Individual hairs are taken from the back of the scalp and carefully alignedto give a natural result. Usually, only one procedure is needed and anything up to 400 hairs can be placed into each brow. It can be done in both men and women.