Hair transplantation in Bangalore has been on for almost 30 years now. The cycle went from Hair plugs to STRIP method or FUT to Single hair FUE or Scarless Hair Transplants
The procedure is usually performed for androgenic alopecia ( Male pattern baldness). Though it is performed for other areas as well like the Beard, Moustache, Scars, etc. Some times it is also performed for women.
The aim is to redistribute the hair from areas which are resistant to hair fall - Safe area ( in between the ears at the back of the head ) to the front of the head and bald areas.
This is done either by a FUT( Follicular Unit Transfer) technique or a FUE ( Follicular Unit Extraction) technique. The details of both are given below.
The procedure takes anywhere between 4-8 hours depending on the number of units transferred and the technique used.
Hair Transplantation is a day care procedure, done under local anaesthesia and nerve blocks.
Expectations & Recovery:
Immediately after the transplant, the scalp is tender. You are put on pain medication for the next 8-10 days. You will have a cap/dressing over the head for 48-72 hours. Antibiotics, analgesics and anti inflammatory drugs are the norm for the next few days. You can wash the hair in about 6 days time. The scabs from the transplant may start falling off by 6-8 days and some of the hairs also fall off in the next 2-3 weeks. BUT the follicles are intact inside, so you don't have to worry.
You will be required to refrain from smoking and use Minoxidil lotion to the scalp starting a week from surgery for the next 6-8 months.
You will start noticing new growth in a few months. Most people attain about 60-65% growth in about 6-9 months.
A little history to know the evolution of hair transplants will give a better understanding of the procedures. Initially it started with using rounded plug of hair which where transplanted. Each plug had 30-35 follicles in it. But this gave rise to a cobble stone appearance and a ""rice paddy field"" appearance to the head and didn't appear natural.
Over a period of time the plugs became smaller but still the appearances didn't change much.
Then came the ""STRIP"" harvest method of FUT ( Follicular unit Transfer technique). When the follicular unit was identified and with better magnification, their isolation became easier, a strip of skin was taken from in between the ears, then this was cut into smaller pieces and then into single follicular units for transfer to the front. This helped give the patients a much natural looking hairline and has from them on become the gold standard for hair transplants.
But the scar at the back of the head was a problem as it was visible if the patients shaved their head and if they had multiple procedures , then over a period of time in about 10-12% cases the scars widened and had problems.
Hence came in the era of ""Scarless Hair Transplants"" or FUE ( Follicular Unit Extraction). Here individual hair follicles are harvested by ultra small punches of 0.8-0.9 mm in diameter and the hair is transplanted in to the recipient areas. Because the holes where the follicles are extracted are so small, they contract and close up. So essentially ""scarless"" is a misnomer as actually there are small pin prick scars but they are spread out and small and hence are not very visible. Also since there is no large cut, healing time is less and patient acceptance is much better.
Some newer things you might hear about are :
Anagen specific Hair Transplants:
Here, the surgeon chooses the hair follicles to harvest and specifically take the most robust and healthy follicle ( in anagen cycle of hair growth). By doing this we ensure we don't waste any follicles and ensure the post operative results are good and early.
Body Hair transplants:
Here hair from certain body areas can be harvested for transfer. But the quality of this hair does differ from the scalp hair.
Robotic Hair Transplants:
Here the harvest of the grafts is done using a robotic arm, which along with the computer maps the head and harvests the grafts with precision. Once harvested the graft is transplanted using the regular technique.
There are no major associated risks with Hair Transplants.
Pain and swelling are common problems during the initial healing phase, not a problem in FUE
Scar stretch and related problems can happen in FUT
Hair growth may vary according to the general condition of the patient and scalp and proper use of post operative medications is necessary.
Hair transplant is a very satisfying procedure to the patient as well as the surgeon. It gives a lifetime of happiness as the transplanted hair stays there . But identifying the best procedure and the best surgeon is of importance as the procedure has to be customised to the specific needs of the patient.
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