SURGICAL HAIR TRANSPLANTS
Hair loss is primarily caused by a combination of:
- a change in hormones
- and a family history of baldness
As a rule, the earlier hair loss begins, the more severe the baldness will become. Hair loss can also be caused by burns or trauma,
- Hair replacement candidates must have healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head to serve as donor areas.
- Donor areas are the places on the head from which grafts and flaps are taken.
- Other factors, such as hair color, texture and waviness or curliness may also affect the cosmetic result.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a method of extracting, or “harvesting,” donor hair in a follicular unit hair transplant procedure. In FUE, an instrument is used to make a small, circular incision in the skin around a follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. The unit is then extracted (pulled) directly from the scalp, leaving a small open hole.
This process is repeated until the hair transplant surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair restoration. This process can take 6-9 hours and in large sessions, may be accomplished over two sessions. The donor wounds, approximately 1-mm in size, completely heal over the course of seven to ten days, leaving tiny white scars buried in the hair in the back and sides of the scalp.
This method of donor harvesting, removing follicular units one-by-one directly from the scalp, is what differentiates the FUE procedure from a traditional Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), where the donor hair is removed from the scalp in one thin, long strip and then subsequently dissected into individual follicular units using a stereo-microscope.
Before the grafts are harvested, tiny “recipient sites” are made in the balding area of the scalp using a fine needle-point instrument. The follicular units are then placed into the recipient sites where they will grow into healthy hair-producing follicles. The creation of recipient sites and the placing of follicular unit grafts are essentially the same in both FUE and FUT procedures. The difference lies in the appearance of the donor area and in the quality and quantity of grafts obtained with each technique.
Ibandages will usually be removed two days later. You may gently wash your hair within two days following surgery.
Because strenuous activity increases blood flow to the scalp and may cause your transplants or incisions to bleed, you may be instructed to avoid vigorous exercise and contact sports for two weeks.
In many patients “new” hair falls out within six weeks after surgery. this is a normal condition and almost always temporary. After hair falls out, it will take another five to six weeks before hair growth resumes. You can expect about a half-inch of growth per month.