Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that helps treat male pattern baldness. This surgical treatment is also available to treat female pattern hair loss.
What is Hair Transplantation?
Hair transplant is also called as hair restoration or hair implantation process. In this procedure, hair growth is permanently restored by transplanting new hair follicles into the bald or thinning areas. The hair follicles are donated from other areas of the person’s body. They site of donation often includes the back or the sides of the head.
Difference Between Hair Transplantation and Hair Replacement
Hair transplantation is different from hair replacement. In this case, no wigs or hair systems are used. The hair replaced is usually synthetic or from donated human hair. It temporarily helps cover a bald spot and requires one to seek professional stylists to make it appear more natural. These hair pieces are usually fixed on the spot using tape, clips, liquid adhesives, etc. This requires regular maintenance and at times may cause problems to the adjacent natural hairline.
In case of hair transplantation, surgery is carried out to replace or restore the lost hair as well as the hairline. The hair from one’s own scalp is taken and transferred to the bald spot or area of thinning hair. Within a year, one will observe natural hair growth that does not require professional stylists or long term maintenance as artificial hair pieces.
How is Hair Transplantation Carried Out?
Hair transplantation surgery is carried out under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office or clinic. It is usually a one day procedure and generally performed on an out-patient basis.
- The surgeon will clean the scalp and inject an anesthetic to help numb the site of surgery. The rest of the hair will be secured with a rubber band to avoid causing problems during the surgery. A 3 to 4 inch strips of scalp from the back or side of the head will be then removed and placed aside. The surgeon will sew the scalp closed and the rest of the hair will be let loose from the rubber bands. These hair help conceal the sutured area completely.
- After removing the donor hair follicles, the staff will carry it to the lab to prepare follicular units for placement. During this time, the patient can relax and even nap, till the hair follicular units are prepared. The staff divides the donor strips into follicle groupings, also called as units. These units comprise of 1 to 4 numbers of hair follicles.
- Once the units are ready, the patient will be again called into the surgery room. The scalp will be numbed again with the help of local anesthesia. The surgeon will then make tiny incisions carefully on the scalp and each of the units will be placed in their individual incisions. The surgeon has to take care of all the details like the angle and depth, before inserting each unit in the scalp. This will help the new hairline appear more natural-looking.
How Long Does It Take to Recover and for Hair Growth
After the surgery, the scalp is very tender and one requires pain medications to ease the discomfort for several days. One may also have to wear a surgical dressing for a day or two. Along with pain medications, one is prescribed anti-inflammatory as well as antibiotics.
Usually, people get back to work within 2 to 5 days after the surgery. As for the hair, the transplanted hair will fall out in 2 to 3 weeks. Do not worry, new hair growth will soon appear in a few months. In 60% of the cases, new hair growth is usually restored in 6 to 9 months.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
There are a few risks connected to hair transplantation as this is also an invasive surgical procedure. These include risk of bleeding and infection as the site of surgery. Some other risks include:
- The appearance of scars or unnatural-looking new hair growth
- Inflammation or infection of the hair follicles called as folliculitis
- Shock loss, where the transplanted hair is suddenly lost. This hair loss is fortunately temporary in most cases.
Hair transplantation is a permanent solution for thinning hair or balding. It helps one restore their self-confidence as well as their appearance. However, keep in mind, it is your own hair that is used to cover up a bald or thinning spot. Make sure you are healthy before undergoing the surgery, to minimize the risks. Speak to your doctor in detail regarding the benefits and potential complications associated with surgery, before going in for one.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 02, 2015