Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that involves moving individual hair follicles from one part of the body (the donor site) to bald or balding parts (the recipient site). It is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness. It this case, grafts containing hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding are transplanted to bald scalp. Likewise, it is also used to restore eyelashes, eyebrows, beard hair, chest hair, and pubic hair and to fill in scars caused by accidents or surgery such as face-lifts and previous hair transplants.
Since hair naturally grows in follicles that contain groupings of 1 to 4 hairs, today’s most advanced techniques transplant this naturally occurring 1–4 hair "follicular units" in their natural groupings. Thus modern hair transplantation can achieve a natural appearance by mimicking nature hair for hair. This hair transplant procedure is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Donor hair can be harvested in two very different ways;
The most important difference between Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and the Strip Method is the technique used for extracting the follicular units. The main advantage of this technique is that follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp rather than in larger groups, which obviates the utilization of scalpel and stitching.
Is it a safe procedure?
Depending upon a number of extenuating circumstances and factors, a hair transplant can either be a great decision or possibly less than ideal. Before committing to a hair transplant a person should be aware of certain benefits and risks associated with the procedure.
Side Effects of Hair Transplantation
There are some minor, often temporary side effects which can be directly associated with a hair transplant, which include the following:
• Bleeding: some bleeding is completely normal and will cease with the application of light pressure. Persistent bleeding is rare, occurring in about one of one-hundred cases, the use of additional stitches may be required
• Pain: pain is minimal and lasts for a few days; most patients only require acetaminophen for moderate pain relief.
Numbness: some transient numbness has been reported and is an inevitable side effect which can last for 3-12 weeks post-operative.
Hiccups: can occur after surgery and the exact cause is not known. Hiccups seem to be more frequent after a hair transplant than with a scalp reduction. The condition is not serious and can be treated with medication from a physician.
• Itching: some itching during healing is normal and can usually be alleviated with daily shampooing.
• Swelling: swelling occurs in nearly all patients. Usually the swelling occurs around the eyes and forehead, lasting for period of 3-5 days, being most prevalent on the fourth day. The swelling is not harmful and will generally subside within a period of 7-days.
• Infection: occurs in one in a thousand cases and is easily cured by using antibiotics.
• Scarring: keloid scarring occurs only in those people who have a predisposition. Some of the scarring is a result of hypertrophy to the point of “ridging.”
• Cysts: one or more cysts can occur in the donor area when the grafts are inserted. The cysts usually disappear and require no medical treatment.
Neuralgia: if one of the nerves in the facial area is damaged during surgery, the result can be numbness, tingling or a “pins and needles” sensation. Rarely have patients had the condition last more than 1-4 weeks, prolonged or severe cases are extremely rare and usually completely disappear within a period of months.