Hair transplant is a surgery/procedure in which hair follicles are moved from one area that has sufficient hair growth and planted in an area that is bald or has insufficient hair. Simply put, it’s a type of a surgery done by a plastic or dermatological surgeon to move hair you already have to fill an area with thin or no hair. This surgery is one of the only methods to combat baldness.However, it is not only confined to the head, but the procedure can also be used to restore beard and mustache hair, chest hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
Historians suggest that the hair transplant surgery was pioneered by a Japanese dermatologist in 1939. Having soared in the last two decades, the surgery is now socially acceptable, and as such, there are two main types of hair restoration techniques being used today. Thus Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). These two techniques may be different in the way they are carried out, but most patients who go through FUE and FUT hair transplants are usually delighted with the results. The latest techniques have made it impossible to tell who has had a hair transplant surgery or not.
Hair Transplant Candidates
Before anything else, one has to have some hair left to transplant. This means that hair transplant is open to both genders — male and female. Patients who lost some hair due to a burn on the scalp or injury can also be considered as a good candidate for this surgery. This procedure is not recommended for patients who do not have enough donor sites (an area that has sufficient hair growth), female patients with widespread of hair loss throughout the scalp, patients suffering from spot baldness and patients who form keloids scars after surgery or injury.
Before Hair Transplant
Preparation for a Hair Transplant procedure is a necessity as it also plays a vital role in determining the success of the whole process. Unlike other surgeries, hair transplant doesn’t demand much preparation; the patient is advised to stop smoking, alcohol, soft drugs, and certain vitamins a week or two before the surgery. This is done to avoid any interference with the healing process.
During Hair Transplant Surgery
Depending on the type of a hair transplant recommended by your surgeon, but usually, the procedure takes between 4 and 12 hours. Most patients undergo the entire surgery while they are awake as they only need anesthesia to make their scalp numb.
The first stage is to examine/test your blood to determine if there is HIV or Hepatitis C in your system. After the examination, the surgeon will discuss with the patient, answering any questions and defining the expectation of the outcome of the whole surgery.
If you are having the FUE transplant, an incision tool is used as single hair follicles are taken from the area of hair growth. These individual hair follicles are then implanted into tiny incisions on the bald part which you require to have new hair. However, with the FUT surgery, instead of taking individual follicles from an area that has sufficient hair growth, the surgeon cuts a huge number of them. Divided into small groups, these hair strips are then injected into the recipient area.
Once all the hair grafts have been transplanted, your scalp will be bandaged and you will be given instructions for at-home care.
Recovery Process of Hair Transplant Surgery
The patient’s scalp will be tender for a few days post-surgery, and painkillers are mostly prescribed. Most of the people usually return to work in two to five days after the surgery. In 6 to 9 months, the results of your hair restoration will be visible.
Side Effects of the Hair Transplant Surgery
Just like any surgery, hair transplants are also associated with some risks, and these encompass bleeding and infection. However, most of the time, it’s highly unlikely if the patient follows the doctor’s instructions.
Scars of Hair Transplant
FUE surgery doesn’t leave behind any scars; it is the best choice if the patient intends to keep their hair short. Unlike the FUE, the FUT usually leaves a scar on the area where hair growth is sufficient (donor site), but this can be alleviated by having medium-length hair, and the scars will be hidden underneath.
Hair Transplant in Turkey
The medical tourism industry has been booming in Turkey lately. In December 2015, the country’s health ministry, that over 200 hair transplants were carried out each day in Turkey, mostly on foreign visitors. Drawn by geographical convenience and low prices, most patients come from the Gulf States, Egypt, and Libya. However, increasing numbers are European. According to the Turkish Newspaper — The Hürriyet — 750,000 health tourists visited Turkey in 2016; about 60,000 come for hair transplants every year.
This content is created and edited by Magical Clinic Medical Editors in February, 2019.