Like clear skin and straight white teeth, luscious thick hair can give a sense of youthfulness, vitality, and even success. Signs of hair loss can be an extremely emotional and distressing event. Luckily with the advancements of hair restoration technology, hair transplants have revolutionized the field of hair restoration and has allowed all individuals to enjoy luscious hair no matter what the cause of hair loss. At Rana Facial Plastic Surgery, we are one of the few practices that offer the full complement for hair transplantation in McKinney, TX.
How Does the Transplant Process Work?
There are currently two methods of hair restoration that are commonly used and widely regarded as the best methods available. With both of these methods, the basic concept is the same: healthy follicles, which are genetically resistive to balding, are harvested from selected areas of the scalp. They are usually taken from the sides and back of the head.
The area where the healthy follicles are taken from is called the "donor site". These healthy follicles are then methodically transplanted into the area of hair loss, called the "recipient site". The primary difference between these two popular techniques is the method by which healthy follicles are extracted or harvested.
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)
The older and more widely known of the two hair transplant methods is called follicular unit transplantation or FUT. In this method, a linear incision is made along the back of the head to remove a thin strip of scalp. This strip is then dissected under a microscope to harvest the healthy follicles and prepare them for transplantation into the recipient site. This method is also sometimes referred to as follicular unit grafting (FUG) or more casually, "the strip method" of hair restoration. During your hair transplants in Mckinney, TX, after the donor strip is removed, the incision is carefully sutured closed, using advanced techniques that ensure the area heals with a only a very fine scar that is virtually undetectable once the surrounding hair grows out.
Follicular Unit Extraction
The second commonly used method is known as follicular unit extraction or FUE hair transplant. This technique is somewhat newer but has been proven extremely effective and has been growing in popularity as a result of the significant advantages it provides. FUE does not require any incision or removal of scalp tissue. In contrast to the strip method, follicles are extracted with a very small micro punch that enables the surgeon to harvest one follicle at a time and at random. The harvested grafts are the same as those produced in the strip method, each one composed of a single hair follicle containing natural groupings of one to four individual hairs. Your hair will need to be trimmed to 1 mm to allow for the harvest of the hair follicles.
Recovery from Hair Transplant
Even though recovery with hair transplants is much more hassle-free today than ever before, a few simple measures during your hair restoration in McKinney, TX will allow for optimal results:
• Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol during recovery
• Your doctor will advise you on when to resume any medications you regularly take
• Abstain from touching your scalp or picking at any scabs
• For the maximum number of transplanted follicles to survive the recovery process, your body needs to accept them in their new location. Washing or otherwise playing with your hair during those first few days post-surgery can result in follicle damage.
• Avoid any strenuous activity.
Why are people skeptical about hair transplant surgery?
The topic of hair transplants has been taboo for many years. This is due to the sensitivity that accompanies the subject as well as the poor results people have gotten from inadequate procedures. It’s never easy to discuss your hair loss with another person, even if it’s a friend or family member.
To get results that are indistinguishable from your naturally growing hair, it’s important to understand how hair loss occurs and what criteria you need to consider when choosing a clinic for your hair transplant surgery.
Where is the hair grafted from?
Hair grafts can come from anywhere on the body. The most common source for grafts is the back of the head, an area called the occipital scalp. This occurs because as noted above, the hair from this region is resistant to the effects of hormones (DHT).
Why are my transplanted hairs falling out a week after the surgery?
It can be unnerving to experience hair fall a week after surgery. This shedding is known as shock loss and is due to the trauma of the transplant causing healthy hairs to fall out. You can notice this for up to five weeks post-surgery and as long as the dermal papilla of the hair stays intact, the hairs will grow back healthy and strong.
Does the hair transplant procedure hurt?
As with any surgical procedure, you may experience some discomfort. The local anesthetic will ensure that the surgery is pain-free. A gentle pricking feeling is the worst you will feel at any point and many patients don’t even experience that.
What are the side effects and risks of a hair transplant?
A hair transplant procedure is a relatively low risk procedure. Your surgeon performs it using a local anesthetic after conducting all necessary exams and evaluations. However, it is still a medical procedure and there are a few side effects associated with it.
A transplant that is prepared and performed under the best circumstances reduces the chance of any side effects appearing. In any case, your surgeon will be there for you every step along the way.
The risks of a hair transplant procedure include the possibility that you will continue to lose hair from the rest of your scalp. Additionally, if your doctor is not experienced, the hair density of your new hair may be noticeably different than that of your donor area. This will result in different areas of the scalp being noticeably thinner. Consulting with an expert facial plastic surgeon, however, effectively reduces the chance of this happening in the first place.