What is a hair transplant?

A hair transplant is a procedure in which a plastic or dermatological surgeon moves hair to a bald area of the head. The surgeon usually moves hair from the back or side of the head to the front or top of the head.

Hair transplants typically occur in a medical office under local anesthesia.

Pattern baldness is responsible for the majority of hair loss. This comes down to genetics. The remaining cases are due to a variety of factors, including:

Who might benefit from a hair transplant?

Receiving a hair transplant can improve your appearance and self-confidence. Good candidates for a hair transplant include:

  • men with male pattern baldness
  • women with thinning hair
  • anyone who has lost some hair from a burn or scalp injury

Throughout the world, over 60% of men and 50% of women suffer from androgenetic alopecia and irreversible hair loss.

This type of hair loss is a seminatural process, and medication can only temporarily inhibit it. At the moment, the solution for either androgenetic alopecia or other irreversible hair loss problems is the hair transplantation.

Besides androgenetic alopecia, the many irreversible hair losses are being applied successfully by hair transplantation. In the past 10–15 years, a new hair restoration technique was introduced.

This method is called follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique. FUE is an alternative which allows for quick extraction of follicular unit grafts.

The hair transplantation can be used in various problems such as alopecia areata, congenital alopecia, burn sequelae, eyelash-eyebrow loss, beard loss, and mustache loss.

In addition, it can camouflage the scars. The main objective of hair transplantation is to restore hair loss.

We may not be able to recreate the appearance that the patients had in their early twenties; however, realistic expectations can be met with the help of technology.

Based on our experience, FUE is the method that gives us the opportunity to best meet all patients’ hair transplantation expectations.

ABOUT THE FUE TECHNIQUE OF HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

There are two surgical techniques in which hair can be removed from a patient’s scalp – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

The way that grafts are transplanted back into a patient’s scalp following their removal is the same with both techniques. It is how the hairs are removed that is different. In the case of the FUE technique each hair graft is removed from the donor region one by one using a punch tool.

Both the FUT and FUE technique form scars – FUT forms one linear scar whereas FUE forms multiple circular scars spread across a large area.

When undergoing a FUE procedure, the entire scalp must usually be shaved in advance. As the FUE technique only allows a surgeon to take every second hair graft from the donor zone, the yield of grafts from the area is lower.

Many clinics are forced to go outside of this zone which means these transplanted hairs will become thin and may be lost as a patient becomes older.

It can also result in circular scars in the donor region becoming visible over time. The survival rate of grafts in an FUE technique is lower than it is with FUT as the accuracy of the punch tool is lower than that of a technician using a microscope.

Benefits of FUE method of Hair Transplant Surgery

There are, however, some instances where the FUE technique may be suitable. Patients who like to wear their hair very short may choose this method as the resultant scars can be less noticeable and more spread out. The FUE method is also useful when only a small area of hair needs to be transplanted, such as in the repair of scars or eyebrow transplants.

What happens during a hair transplant?

After thoroughly cleaning your scalp, a surgeon uses a small needle to numb an area of your head with local anesthesia.

Two main techniques are used to obtain follicles for transplantation: FUT and FUE.

In follicular unit transplantation (FUT):

  1. The surgeon will use a scalpel to cut out a strip of scalp skin from the back of the head. The incision is typically several inches long.
  2. This is then closed with stitches.
  3. The surgeon next separates the removed portion of scalp into small sections using a magnifying lens and sharp surgical knife. When implanted, these sections will help achieve natural-looking hair growth.

In follicular unit extraction (FUE) the hair follicles are cut out directly from the back of the head through hundreds to thousands of tiny punch incisions.

  • The surgeon makes tiny holes with a blade or needle in the area of your scalp that’s receiving the hair transplant. They gently place hairs in these holes.
  • During one treatment session, a surgeon may transplant hundreds or even thousands of hairs.
  • After, the graft, gauze, or bandages will cover your scalp for a few days.

A hair transplant session can take four hours or more. Your stitches will be removed about 10 days after surgery.

You may require up to three or four sessions to achieve the full head of hair you desire. Sessions occur several months apart to allow each transplant to fully heal.