This is a surgical procedure which removes hair follicles from one part of the body to a bald or balding part of the body. It is a type of surgery that moves hair which someone already has to fill an area with thin or no hair. This surgery is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness. Hair loss occurs in more than 60% of men and approximately 10% of women. There are already advanced hair restoration procedures for males. Newer techniques are being developed to adapt to females.
Balding is the primary concern for many, and hair transplantation is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure performed on men today. Undergoing a hair transplant can improve a patient’s appearance and self-confidence. Examples of people who are good candidates for a hair transplant include bald men, women with thinning hair, and people who have lost some hair due to burns or scalp injury.
TYPES OF HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY
There are different types of hair transplant surgery. However, only two are very common, and they include follicular unit hair transplantation and follicular unit extraction.
- FOLLICULAR UNIT HAIR TRANSPLANTATION: Follicular units are groups of hairs occurring naturally on the scalp and typically in groups of 1 to 4 hairs. A thin strip of scalp is removed from the back of the patient’s head, and hair follicles are taken from the donor area. The hair follicles are then transplanted to the balding area of the scalp.
- FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION: This involves taking individual hair follicles from the back of the head one by one. It involves cutting around the hair through a tiny specialized instrument or robotic machine and removing the hair follicles. The follicular units are then transplanted. This procedure is very tedious and can take several hours to complete.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TRANSPLANT SURGERY PROCEDURE
A consultation with the surgeon is done to analyze the patient’s scalp and discuss preferences and expectations. Pre-operative folliscopy will be done to know the current density of hair so that postoperative results of newly transplanted hair grafts can be accurately assessed. For several days before surgery, the patient must refrain from using any medicines, alcohol, and smoking, which might result in intraoperative bleeding and resultant inadequate grafting.
Wound care is done regularly. Preferably, semi-permeable dressing is done to allow seepage of blood and tissue fluid. This should be changed at least daily. The recipient area must be shielded from the sun. Also, shampooing should be started two days after the surgery. Shampooing is vital to prevent scabs from forming around the hair shaft.