Hair transplant is a surgical procedure where in hairs are regenerated on the bald areas. The hairs are transferred from the back of the head also known as donor area to the top or front of the head. There can be many reasons for hair baldness like age, improper diet, stress, illness etc.
There are different procedures for conducting hair transplant. Your doctor will advise you the most appropriate procedure suitable for your requirements.
Follicular unit extraction
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a method of “harvesting,” donor hair in a follicular unit hair transplant procedure. In FUE Hair transplant surgery, a small, circular incision is made in the skin around a follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue using an instrument called ‘Punch’.
The unit is then extracted (pulled) directly from the scalp, leaving a small open hole. Using this method Follicular Units, naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs are obtained for hair transplantation. This process is repeated until the hair transplant surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair restoration.
This process may take one or more hours and in large sessions and may be accomplished over two consecutive days. 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.
In FUE harvesting, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the hair restoration patient's donor area, ideally one at a time. This differentiates FUE technique from traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (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.
The device allows the physician to perform precise Follicular Unit Extraction with minimal damage to follicles. Speed of the procedure is increased by using a motorized instrument.
The isolated follicular unit grafts are then removed with forceps, sorted and counted under a microscope. These prepared follicular units are then implanted into the tiny holes the doctor has made in the recipient area.
The strategic and artistic placement of various types of follicle units (e.g., 1FU’s, 2FU’s, 3FU’s and 4FU’s) in specific areas of the scalp and the angles at which the follicle units are placed, combined with the number of follicles transplanted, contribute to achieving the required density and naturalness.
A custom designed plan is developed for each patient taking into consideration all of their facial characteristics, their hair loss pattern, their family history, personal history and their goals and objectives.
The small wound left behind after follicular extraction soon contracts and heals (7-10 days) leaving a fine scar. These scars continue to contract over the next 18 months and are minimally visible on close inspection. Only when the scalp is shaved completely and very close (< 1mm) will the areas become noticeable.
- Patients who want to wear their hair very short as it doesn’t leave linear scar.
- Those involved in very strenuous activities, such as professional athletes, who must resume these activities very soon after their procedure.
- Patients who have healed poorly from traditional FUT harvesting.
- Patients who have a very tight scalp.
- Some patients desire Follicular Unit Extraction simply because they heard that it is less invasive than FUT or is non-surgical.
- No linear scar: With FUE the follicles are harvested in random pattern. They are scattered about and look like tiny red dots. The scars are barely visible as the hair in the donor area grows out.
- Faster nerve repair: As the punch sites are smaller and more spread out than a FUT strip harvest, the nerves repair themselves more quickly.
- Less invasive: Because a small punch is used and not a scalpel that cuts into deep tissue, healing time is usually much quicker, and no sutures are required as the punch sites are so small they heal by themselves.
- No increased scalp tension: With an FUT procedure, laxity is taken away from the scalp - this does not occur with FUE as there is no removal of a strip of tissue.
- Graft selection: FUE allows the Surgeon to ‘cherry pick’ grafts that are necessary for an optimal result. He can select single or finer hairs to use in the hairline or choose follicular units with 3 or 4 hairs to add density where required.
- Retains donor growth patterns: FUE causes minimal disruption to the hair direction, swirls and angles of growth in the donor area. This is particularly relevant to patients with wavy or curly hair.
- Use of body hair/beard hair: The advent of FUE has also allowed for the exaction of non-scalp hair from the beard or chest. This can be extremely useful for repair patients, patients of depleted or low donor hair reserves.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is an alternative method of taking hair from the donor site on a patient’s scalp for implantation in the recipient site to restore hair loss. In contrast to FUE technique, Follicular Units are harvested from a strip of scalp taken from donor area in FUT.
After anaesthetizing patient’s scalp the strip of tissue is taken from the donor area at the back of the head (safe donor area), where the hair grows abundantly.
The doctor and his team will dissect individual follicular units using microscopic techniques. The procedure of implantation of follicular unit grafts is essentially the same as FUE technique.
The transplanted hair will grow the way hair grows naturally, and is indistinguishable from the patient’s previously existing hair in the recipient area once it has grown out.
- Any patient who is worried from hair loss problem
- Any patient who are having controlled level of baldness as the donor area needs to be healthy
- The patient should have realistic expectations
- The quality of hair that is transplanted are of better standard as compared to FUE
- As the hair is originated from the healthy area of the head, there are less chances of further problems
- It gives better and long lasting results.
- In this procedure large number of grafts can be taken and grafted in short time
- The stitches marks are lightly visible
Platelet rich plasm
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated blood plasma which contains approximately three to five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood.
In addition, it contains platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) and other bioactive proteins that aid in wound healing and possibly hair growth The Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) commonly used in hair restoration is “autologous,” meaning that it is derived from the patient's own blood.
The separated “solid” portion of the blood is PRP (platelet rich plasma). PRP is then placed into a syringe and reintroduced into the treatment site i.e., either the surgical site or an area of hair loss. PRP be can sprayed onto a recipient area during and after a hair transplant, laid into the donor incision, or injected directly into a balding scalp.
Prior to injecting PRP, doctors often create a ring-block of local anesthesia with 1% lidocaine. When used to stimulate hair growth most doctors schedule injections at intervals of 1 to 9 months. Some improvement (in reversing miniaturization) can be expected in the first 2-6 months.
The treatments must be continued periodically to maintain any improvement.
- People who are at the early stage of hair thinning.
- People who still have active follicles hair but not producing the quality of hair as desired.
- Men and women who are experiencing natural hair loss and hair thinning.
- The patient should be good in health.
- The patient should have realistic expectations.
- As the platelets come from the patient’s own body, it helps in recovery from the surgery
- There a no risk of blood-borne pathogens or any negative reaction from the body
- It is very safe and effective treatment to stimulate the body's natural healing process
- Simple and fast process.