For thousands of men and women, hair restoration surgery is the best way to restore self-esteem and confidence levels when hair loss hits. US Weekly recently announced that Academy Award nominees who do not take home the Oscar statuette will be going home with a very expensive gift bag filled with goodies. One of those items has anyone experiencing premature balding feeling envious. Those nominees go home with a certificate for a $16,000 robotic hair restoration surgery.
It’s unlikely that you’ll score your own free hair transplant, but men and women who undergo hair transplant surgeries do praise their hair surgeon for restoring their self-esteem and confidence. Here are four things you should know about hair restoration.
FUE and FUT Hair Transplant Techniques
FUE (follicular unit extraction) is a detailed method where a circle punch is used to remove a hair follicle. The hair is then transplanted using the same method. Instead of a scar on the back of side of the head, the circle punch leaves a tiny circular scar. If you ever plan to wear your hair in a shaved style, those small scars will be visible. The higher cost and potential for damage to surrounding donor hair follicles makes this a poor choice for obtaining high quality grafts. Very few surgeons are highly skilled enough to come close to matching the quality of grafts harvested from strips. The robotic hair transplant incorporates this FUE method. This very expensive device does not increase quality of grafts unless the operating surgeon has little experience. .
During FUT (follicular unit transplantation), the surgeon removes a strip of skin from the back or side of the scalp. The grafted tissue is then divided into follicular units under a microscope. This is the more cost-effective method and the scar is easily hidden within the hair. 30 years of experience and refinement in this donor harvesting approach cannot be ignored.
The design and technique applied to the recipient area is of greatest importance. Experience is the most critical of the many factors in making the recipient slits in the scalp. This has to be done by the surgeon. The robot is experimentally being developed to do this. Hopefully this will be a real advance rather than just a new expensive way to do the same old proven maneuvers. Highly skilled and experienced hair transplant technicians who dissect the grafts also place the majority of the grafts. This insertion of the grafts is the final critical factor in performing a successful hair transplant .
You Choose the Level of Anesthesia
Hair transplants do take a long amount of time, (usually the whole day) but it is possible to have local anesthesia when undergoing hair surgery. With local anesthesia, you remain alert for the entire surgery and can drive yourself home. You do not have to use this method if you are anxious about the procedure though. Hair surgeons also offer oral and IV sedation for patients who have someone to drive them home. We prefer monitored IV sedation to make the experience a most pleasant and safe one.
Following hair surgery, we usually do not bandage the head. You can wear a cap if you’re going out after the surgery and while you’re healing. If you have sufficient native hair, it can be styled to cover the transplanted area.
The day after your hair transplant, you can gently wash your hair. Allow two days from the surgery day before you style your hair. The stitches that close the incision on the back of the head are removed in approximately two weeks.
Two Complications That Can Occur
While complications are rare, there are two complications that some people experience. Shock loss is one of them. This is a temporary issue caused by shock to the hair follicles. When shock loss occurs, the hair falls out of the follicle prematurely. It will grow back, so it’s nothing to worry about. The other complication that can occur is the development of tiny pimples a few months after the transplant. If this happens, your hair surgeon can open them so that they drain.
View Dr. Sheldon Kabaker’s hair restoration success stories in his hair transplant before and after photo gallery. Dr. Kabaker earned his medical degree in 1964. Since 1971, he has completed approximately six weeks of continuing medical education each year to stay current with changes in the plastic surgery techniques. Call (415) 379-9015 to discuss a hair surgery with the Oakland facial plastic surgeon and hair transplant specialist.