Questions and Answers
Simply stated, a hair transplant involves the removal of hair follicles from one area on the scalp and transplanting them onto another area. We remove follicles from the back of the head and transplant these healthy hairs in the areas where baldness and thinning has occurred. These transplanted hairs take root and grow continuously throughout the patient’s lifetime.
The trend in hair restoration is to do a transplant in the early stages of hair loss. This proactive approach has several benefits: there’s no drastic change for others to notice; thinning hair is replaced by permanent hair as it is lost; the remaining hair provides natural coverage for the temporary crusting that occurs after the procedure; your own naturally existing hair serves as a guide in the shaping and positioning of the transplanted hairs; the procedures are smaller and therefore less costly.
We have performed successful transplants on men in their early twenties and on men in their late eighties. Because most men experience some degree of hair loss by age forty, surgery in these years is the most common.
Follicular units are small bundles of naturally occurring hairs spaced approximately 1 millimeter apart. Each unit contains 1, 2, 3 or sometimes 4 or more hairs. Follicular unit transplantation involves separating up to 3,000 follicular units from the donor area at the back of the scalp and inserting these units into the recipient site where hair loss is occurring. When a strip harvesting method is performed we use microscopes, to carefully dissect the donor strip into follicular units, then implanting each follicular unit into the recipient area, one at a time.
Follicular unit extraction or FUE is a technique for removing follicular units from the donor area in a different way. It utilizes a small circular needle called a “punch” to remove the units in a minimally-invasive, scattered array, from the donor area. It produces many tiny “dot-like” scars instead of the line scar that is produced by strip removal. The advantage of FUE is that you will be able to wear your hair shorter in the donor area without evidence that a procedure has been done but the FUE “dots” will be visible if you shave your head. We utilize the ARTAS physician-guided robotic system for FUE which is the most technologically advanced method worldwide.
Follicular unit transplantation achieves astonishing natural results. For that reason, FUT is our method of choice with most patients.
Some new hairs are usually visible at the surface of the scalp by week 12 following the transplant. In some patients this new growth may occur slightly sooner or up to 8 weeks later than the usual 12 weeks. In general, some results are visible at 6 months although the final result is not seen for one (1) year.
Hair replacement candidates must have healthy hair growth in the donor area at the back and sides of the head, but other factors such as hair color, texture, and the degree of curliness or waviness can also impact your results. We will discuss these factors with you during your initial consultation.
The procedure takes approximately 6-7 hours depending on the size of the area being transplanted. Following a brief rest, you are ready to leave the office. Due to the mild sedative used during the procedure, please make arrangements for someone to bring you home.
You will experience minimal, if any discomfort during the procedure. We give you a mild sedative at the beginning of the session to minimize anxiety, numb the scalp areas with local anesthesia and send you home with a medication to minimize any discomfort during the 12-18 hours following the procedure.
You can resume work, shopping and the normal routines of daily life the following day. Avoid strenuous physical activity for 48 hours. We advise patients to postpone all sport and exercise activity, including jogging, tennis, and weight training for approximately 7-10 days. Please avoid contact sports for two (2) weeks.
Because we specialize in artistic, state-of-the-art techniques, you will acquire a completely natural looking head of hair, including a hairline that can be brushed back or cut very short. We achieve this naturalness by designing a hairline in harmony with your facial proportions and reflective of your growth patterns at a younger age. We also use the right combination of different sized follicular unit grafts transplanted at the proper angle.