Types of Hair Transplantation
1. FUSS(Follicular Unit Strip Surgery)
- In this procedure a strip of hair is taken from donor site usually posterior scalp under local anaesthesia
- Graft are dissected from the strip and then harvested into the bald area.
- Will leave a visible scar in the donor area , which can be covered by patients hair
- There will be some pain / tenderness after the procedure .
- The recovery period is slight longer around 15 days as stitches / staples need to be removed
2. FUE (follicular unit extraction )
- In this method individual follicular units are removed one by one under local anaethesia .
- Recovery period is less than 7 days as usually requires very small punches between 0.6-1mm in diameter so no closing or suturing required
- Painless minimally invasive procedure
- In FUE surgery body hair can also be used for transplant.
- But FUE is time consuming method , single long session or multiple small sessions are required for harvesting the hair follicle into bald area .
Procedure for Hair Transplantation
During initial consultation the physican analyses the patients scalp, understands the expectations of the patient discusses options and advices the best possible approach .
Overall health status of the patient considered before procedure .
Transplant procedure is a day procedure performed as outpatient .
- The scalp is shampooed and treated with anti bacterial agent prior to harvesting donor scalp
- Donor hair grafts can be extracted by different methods either by removing a single strip of skin and hair (FUSS)or removing the follicles individually (FUE) proper extraction of hair follicle is important to maintain viability.
- After extraction the surgeon prepares the graft, cleans and numbs the recipient area and places each graft .
- The graft are placed according to their densities , the smallest grafts are placed in front and denser are placed behind.
- Depending on the size of transplant the process will take 4-8 hours .
- May involve a single session or more depending on the number of grafts .
- The scalp may be tender
- You may have to wear bandage over scalp
- Initially adviced to protect scalp from sun
- Post operative antibiotics are commonly prescribed to prevent wound or graft infections .
- Shampooing is important to prevent scab formation around hair shaft which increase the chances of losing the transplanted hair follicle
Just as in natural hair cycle, within 2-3 weeks the transplanted hair will shed but in a matter of few weeks new hair will begin to grow from transplanted follicles , this hair will continue to thicken and grow normally by 6-9 months .
Tests for Hair loss
It is adviced to consult a Dermatologist , generally male and female pattern hair loss do not require testing , few tests which help to evaluate diffuse hair loss are :
- The pull test –hair pulled from three different areas of scalp , generally less than 3 hair per area , if more than ten then positive test.
- The pluck test- conducted by pulling out hair with roots and then examined. Depending on phase we can interpret if there is hair loss.
- Scalp biopsy-helps differentiate between scarring and other forms.
- Trichoscopy- helps in examination of hair and scalp with help of dermoscope.
Diagnosis for Hair Transplantation
It is the treatment of choice where in there are no chances of re- growth of hair , example in conditions like
- Androgenic alopecia
- Eyebrow transplant
- Receding frontal hair line
Complications of Hair Transplantation
Hair transplantation is a very safe procedure with no side effects but as with every surgery some risks associated
- Scarring with FUSS transplantation
- Unnatural looking new hair growth
- Some may have inflammation of hair follicles called Folliculitis
Factors affecting cost of Hair Transplantation Surgery
The cost to the patient depends on a variety of factors like
- The hospital, the patient chooses.
- The cost of hair transplantation depends on the number of grafts and type of procedure choosen .FUE procedure is more costlier.
- Fee for the team of doctors.
- Standard test and diagnostic procedures.
- Cost of the follow –up care required after the procedure.