Before Hair Transplant Surgery, Be Armed with the Facts


needToKnow - Before Hair Transplant Surgery, Be Armed with the Facts


By now you’ve learned that hair transplant surgery is the only permanent solution for repairing your hair loss and that with today’s technology and artistry on the part of the physician, a totally natural crop of new hair can be your end result, where there was once baldness or thinning. You understand that it’s a medical procedure of transplanting hair from where it is growing healthy to a place where it is not growing and that it continues to grow normally where transplanted.
You may have determined that there are two types of hair transplant surgeries. One is the strip method which works best for larger areas. The new Trichophytic Closure is a technique by which to trim the edge of a line scar closure so that hair actually grows through the scar so ask your physician about this procedure because it really minimizes line scars. The other way to obtain donor hair is by Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) where self-contained follicle units with roots are removed and replaced to the new area.

Important to understand about hair transplant surgery

Dr. Bernard Nusbaum, M.D., Hair Transplant Surgeon, Faculty of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and Dept. of Dermatology, takes us through some facts you may not realize about the procedure to help you make your decision:

  • Through neither procedure will you ever be able to shave your head – as a hairstyle. To minimize any scars from ever showing you will need to keep your hair at least two inches long.
  • There’s no way to know how far your baldness will progress. If you are a very young man in his twenties and even thirties, your balding pattern may not be well enough established. There is no existing exact technology for predicting the future of your balding. We look at family history, examine pattern currently, but still can’t be 100% sure.
  • To minimize future hair loss and help new re-growth be as healthy as possible we highly recommend the FDA-approved drug therapy of Propecia and topical Rogaine as long as you want to halt any additional hair loss. Otherwise, hair may recede and erode further beyond your transplant, requiring additional surgeries in the future.
  • Male pattern baldness is a progressive condition of hair loss over time, so you may end up with isolated areas at the crown of your head that cannot be transplanted because you will be out of donor hair. A similar problem is the result if you end up with advanced Type 7 balding, in which you are left with a small rim of hair around the perimeter. In these cases, you may have to accept baldness on the top or back of your head, even if you have already had successful transplant surgery in the past on the top and to frame your face.
  • The first night of the surgery your scalp is going to feel sore where the hair was taken but the next morning it should feel better.
  • You will be required to shampoo gently every single day for about 14 days post-op to remove the little scabs and crusts (along with any bacteria) that will form on the implants as the healing process progresses. It takes about two weeks for crusts to come off — any stitches are removed at around 10 days.
  • Infections are extremely rare and healing is fast because scalp has such good circulation. If you have pus, redness, or fever those are signs of infections. Call your doctor.
  • For the first few days, you should sleep in a sitting position, at a 45 degree angle, to minimize any forehead swelling for which you can use ice compresses. Any swelling should disappear in a few days and has no consequences.
  • New hair grows in noticeably between three to six months. You may not be happy with your new hair growth until six months when you can actually see it. Your transplant will continue to fill in about 20-30% more by 12 months — at which time you will have the final result.
  • Sometimes transplanted hair may grow in a different, wiry texture at first as the follicle’s ability to form a normal cuticle readjusts. It will straighten out and soften up — don’t worry!
  • The price depends on the area to be covered — some surgeons charge by the follicle or graft — some charge by the session. The procedure generally ranges from $5,000 to $13,000 dollars.
  • The procedure can be repeated after a year as the scalp stretches, as long as your surgeon says you have enough healthy hair to transplant.