What is Follicular Unit Transplantation?
- Surgical hair transplantation is the only permanent solution for hair loss. Follicular Unit Transplantation is the latest, state-of-the art hair restoration procedure superseding Mini and Micro Hair Transplants, Flap Surgery and Scalp Reduction. It is the only treatment that provides a full, natural looking head of hair.
- This new, permanent, hair restoration technique has replaced the older techniques of hair plugs which gave hair transplantation a bad reputation. The follicular unit transplantation technique uses microscopic techniques to harvest each follicle individually giving a very inconspicuous natural appearance.
- Follicular Unit Transplantation is only possible through the use of the stereo-microscope. The stereo-microscope is used to dissect the follicular units, which grow in naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs. The microscope ensures accurate and undamaged dissection.
- The benefits of Follicular Unit Transplantation are immeasurable.
- The ultimate benefit for the patient is the creation of the most natural hair transplant possible. The stereo-microscope makes it possible to trim away the greatest amount of epithelium (top layer of skin) from the follicular unit graft. This produces significantly smaller grafts than mini and micro grafts which can then be placed in tiny puncture sites situated closely together. The growth of the transplanted hair often starts sooner and is generally considerably faster as a result of less shock to the follicular units and the scalp.
Overview of Hair Transplantation
There is no doubt that hair loss for men and women can be devastating to your self-esteem and self-image. Despite the advent of some medical treatments such as Rogaine and Propecia, more and more patients are turning to more permanent solutions such as hair transplantation. Hair Transplantation procedures have been revolutionized by the introduction of the Follicular Unit Micro-Hair Transplantation procedure. By using a surgical microscope to separate each hair follicle, hair transplantation is not only permanent but it no longer has the appearance of plugs that gave hair transplantation a bad name in the 70s and 80s. This procedure is based on the following principles.
- Hair loss is the result of the abnormal sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT
- The hair follicles in the posterior scalp and the side of the head appear to be immune to the effects of DHT
- Follicular unit hair transplantation uses this principle and the principle of Donor Site Dominance to move or transplant the hair from the back of the scalp to the areas of hair loss
- About 2000 hair follicular units can be moved in each session. Depending on the degree of hair loss, some patients may benefit from 1 or more sessions.
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and social history to determine the reasons for your hair loss. If it is determined that your hair loss is genetic permanent hair loss, we will discuss your hair restoration options. Your treatment options may include the use of Rogaine or Propecia. Most patients, however, want a more permanent solution such as a follicular unit mico-hair transplantation procedure.
The pattern of your hair loss will be determined. Most men see a receding frontal hair line that is most dramatic in the temporal hair line. Others experience hair loss over the crown of their scalp. We will discuss your artistic and cosmetic desires; some patients want the transplanted to be equally divided over all affected areas; others want the hair to be concentrated in the frontal and temple regions to cover the most visible areas. A restored hairline should look completely natural because it is not a line at all. It’s actually a zone of hair that transitions from fine, thin, solitary hairs at the front to thicker, denser hair the further back you go on the head. Each hair restoration procedure is done with this principle in mind, creating a hairline zone that makes it nearly impossible to distinguish between native and transplanted hairs.
- Oral Sedation and numbing agents to make the procedure pain free
- The scalp is marked to establish where the hair follicles will be transplanted
- A 1.5 to 2 cm strip of donor hair will be removed from the posterior scalp
- The donor site is then closed with absorbable sutures so that no sutures need to be removed
- My skilled transplant technicians then take to donor hair strip to the surgical microscope to divide the donor strip into individual follicular units.
- Each follicular unit is then transplanted to the marked areas of thinning hair
- The procedure can take up to 4 to 6 hours for 2000 grafts.
Growing Your New Hair
In the first one to three weeks, your transplanted hair will appear to be growing rapidly, while in actuality the follicles are in a dormant phase recovering from the shock of the transplant and many will be in the process of temporarily falling out. Your hair will then start growing after about three months. When your hair does start growing, the shafts may look thinner than usual and may have a curly or kinky appearance, but as your hair reaches a length of about one-half inch, it will thicken.
Slow initial growth often beneficial to patients as most patients generally prefer that friends and family not perceive a sudden, major change. After eight months to a year, the benefits from your hair transplant will be apparent, achieving 90% of your total result after a year and continuing to thicken for another year.
A second transplantation stage is performed at the 8 to 12 month mark
- Hair transplantation is an outpatient procedure. While most patients will recover at home, out-of-town patients will stay at the Lansdowne Resort across the street from Aesthetica
- Pain Medications and Antibiotics are taken as prescribed
- Patients begin showering the morning after the procedure with gentle water spray or a spray bottle to remove crusting and scabbing
- Wash 3 times a day for 3 days
- After 3 days, you may start using baby shampoo and wash 1-2x/day
- Dab dry… Do not rub
- All the crusting does not have to be removed at once
- Do not soak your head
- Do not rub or pick your scabs
- Patients are not to wear a hat for a week
- The transplanted hairs will begin to shed ( fall out ) after the second week
- The transplanted hairs are firmly in place at 10 days and cannot be dislodged
- The transplanted hairs remain dormant for 3 months before they begin to grow. It is during this time, that patients fear that the transplantation was not successful. Just wait.
- The hair doesn’t become fully grown for 8 to 12 months. This is the time for the second transplantation procedure if it is needed.