Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that moves individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the ‘donor site’ to bald or balding part of the body known as the ‘recipient site’. It is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness. The natural hair growth is in groups of 1 to 4 hairs; thus the hair transplant procedure uses these “follicular units” in their natural groupings.. Transplant operations are performed on an outpatient basis, with mild sedation (optional) and injected local anaesthesia, which typically last about six hours. The scalp is shampooed and then treated with an antibacterial agent prior to the donor scalp being harvested. There are two main ways in which donor grafts are extracted today: strip excision harvesting, and follicular unit extraction. The procedure can take place in a single long session or multiple small sessions. To minimize the risks and improve the success of surgery, it is important to undergo hair transplantation only when the person is in good state of health.
Hair transplantation procedure is performed as “DAY” case. The patient has to report in the morning and will be allowed to go home in the evening. The procedure is almost a day long based on the scope and extend of transplantation to be performed an can take 10 hours. Hence the procedure begins early in the morning and can end by late afternoon. Patient has to report early in the morning after thoroughly washing the hair. Hair to be dried only with a towel. No hair styling products should be applied on the day of the procedure. Patient must wear soft loose clothes or a top which can be opened from front so that after the operation when the patient has to change clothes, it does not touch the scalp. Local anesthesia is given during the procedure and patient is allowed to have a light breakfast in the morning. The local anesthesia is given underneath the skin under the donor hair follicle. An injection is given to reduce bleeding. For every donor area, the surgeon needs to give an injection of the saline underneath the follicle. This leads to raised skin base and removal of the donor hair becomes easy. The hair roots are then implanted on the bald area which is also numbed with the help of the local anesthesia. This is known as grafting and the entire procedure is based on number of grafts required doctor’s advice.
How does hair transplantation work?
Hair transplantation is really about relocating (transplanting) the bald resistant hair follicles from the back of the head to the balding areas on the top of the head. This process works for a lifetime because the hair follicles taken from the back of the head are genetically resistant to baldness, regardless of where they are relocated to.
Does the hair transplant procedure hurt?
Patients are given local anaesthesia during the procedure. Following surgery patients do experience soreness and numbness with some mild discomfort.
Are the hair transplant results permanent?
The hair follicles are transplanted to the balding areas are genetically resistant to going bald, they will continue to grow for a life time – just as if they had been left in the bald resistant area.
Can I use hair styling products after the procedure?
Hair styling products can be used but its appropriate use will be explained to you by the doctor. Follow his advice for maintaining good health of your hair.
Is repeat surgery possible in future?
Yes; in few exceptional cases repeat surgery is possible but needs to be evaluated based on many factors such as age, concomitant diseases, presence of hair follicle for implantation etc.