Before you sign up for a hair transplant to replace lost hair, it is good to know what all it entails.
If thinning hair is bothering you, hair transplant surgery can help. But what does it involve?
This type of surgery takes hair you have on another part of your body and moves it to your head in a region where you have little to no hair left. Doctors started doing these transplants in the 1950s, but technology and techniques have changed quite a bit over the years. During the best hair transplant, you will meet with a surgeon in the doctor’s office. The surgeon will clean your scalp and numb the regions of your head that will be affected. There are two methods of transplant. You will receive either follicular unit strip surgery, also known as FUSS, or follicular unit extraction surgery, which is often called FUE. If you get FUSS surgery, the surgeon will take a six to ten inch strip of skin from the back of your head and sew the scalp closed. The hair around it hides the area right away. The strip of scalp that is removed is split into tiny grafts with individual hairs on them. If you get the FUE hair transplant, the surgeon will shave part of the back of your scalp and remove follicles. The area heals and your existing hair covers it. At that point, the FUE hair transplant and the FUSS option are the same. The grafts are prepared and placed in the regions where you desire to have more hair. Depending on the side of the transplant location, it will take anywhere from four to eight hours. You might have to have another procedure later on if you lose more hair or want to thicken the region further.
Getting a transplant is having a surgery, though you will not be in as serious of a condition as you would from many other types of surgery. Your scalp will be very tender for several days after the procedure. You might have to take pain medications to get through the next week. You will also have to wear bandages for a few days. You may also have to take an anti-inflammatory or antibiotic so the area can ward off infections. If you get the best hair transplant and don’t have adverse reactions, you can expect to go back to work anywhere from two to rfve days after the surgery. After two to three weeks pass, the hair that was transplanted will start to fall out. You might be alarmed at first, but don’t worry. You will start to see new growth in that area within a month or two. Well over half of the hair transplant patients see new hair growth within six to nine months of the surgery. Some surgeons recommend that patients use Rogaine after surgery in order to improve hair growth, but there are no clear studies as to how well that works. If you are able to rest for a few days after the surgery, that would be best. Take a week off work and follow your doctor’s orders and you should recover nicely in a short amount of time.
Your hair transplant cost will vary based on the doctor you see and the amount of hair you move. Most surgeries cost anywhere from $4,000 to 15,000. Insurance plans generally don’t cover the surgery since it is elective. Any kind of surgery carries risks along with it, including things like bleeding and infection. You could also see some scarring or unnatural new hair growth. Once your new hair starts to grow in, some patients see inflammations or infections within the new hair follicles. This is called folliculutis and can be relieved with antibiotics. You may lose some of your original hair where you implanted new strands. That phenomenon is called shock loss, and in most cases, it is not a permanent crisis. Before you dive into a hair transplant surgery, it is best to speak with your doctor about the costs and risks of the treatment so you know everything you need to know upfront.
If you would like to give the transplant procedure a try, you might wonder if you are a good candidate for the surgery. The best candidates are men who have been losing their hair for five years and have a realistic expectation and understanding of the surgery’s results. Some men take medication to stop hair loss from progressing after the surgery in order to retain as much hair as they can, but it is good to understand that hair loss can still happen. The best candidates are also men who have been balding for years, but whose patterns have stabilized. If a man continues to lose hair in new places, the surgery will not help those locations. IF you are interested in adding hair to certain areas in order to look and feel younger, this treatment might be for you. The best candidates are individuals who are in good physical health otherwise, are non-smokers, and are willing to make lifestyle changes in order to make the procedure a success.
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