The surgery takes about 4 to 5 hours to perform. Hair transplant surgery is a procedure in which hair is moved from the back and/or sides of the scalp, where the hair is permanent (donor area), to areas that are thinning or bald on the front, top, or crown of the scalp (recipient area). Once transplanted, the hair will continue to grow for a person’s lifetime.
1Arrival at the Maxwell medical center
2Through scan, select your best donor area
3Correct diagnosis and determining the most appropriate surgery
4Design personalized recipient site patterns
6Laser treatment for pain reduction and inflammation relief
7Leaving the clinic
The most appropriate surgery for the individual patient
There are two way to obtain follicular units from the permanent donor area of the scalp.
In the more traditional method called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), a long, thin strip is removed from the donor area and subsequently dissected into follicular units under special microscopes. In the newer procedure called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), follicular units are removed one-by-one directly from the scalp. Once the follicular units are harvested, the subsequent steps are essentially the same in both FUT and FUE. Hundreds to thousands of sites (needle-sized holes) are made in the recipient area to receive the grafts. After the sites are made, the tiny follicular unit grafts are placed into them – a step that can take several hours or longer. Some doctors recommend only FUT and others only FUE as the best hair transplant. Both FUT and FUE are excellent techniques, but have different indications. In some cases, FUT would be appropriate or FUE would also be appropriate. And in many cases, combining both methods can excellent results. To deliver the best care for our patients, hair restoration doctors should have expertise in both procedures, and they should offer both in their practices.
The main advantage of FUT is that it typically (but not always) gives the highest yield of hair. Therefore, when the patient’s primary goal is to achieve maximum fullness, FUT should be performed. There are many well described reasons for this, including the precision of stereo-microscopic dissection and the ability to efficiently harvest from a more select area of the donor zone, but these are beyond the scope of this brief commentary.
The main advantage of FUE is no linear scar. Therefore, when the patient’s primary goal is to be able to wear his hair very short, FUE should be performed. FUE is also indicated when there is an increased risk of a widened scar or when scalp laxity does not permit a strip excision. The patient may sometimes chose FUE simply to avoid the stigma of a linear donor scar.
There are situations in which both procedures are useful in the same patient. For example, FUT may first be used to maximize yield, but then, after several sessions, the scalp may become too tight to continue to perform FUT, or the donor scar may become wider than anticipated. In the former case, the physician can switch to FUE to obtain additional grafts; in the latter case FUE may be used to camouflage the scar of the FUT procedure. It is tempting to see the world in black and white, and it is easiest to learn and train one’s staff in just one hair transplant technique — but medicine is never so simple. Developments over the past twenty years have given us two excellent hair restoration procedures. We should offer our patients both.
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1Post-operative care will precede 1day after the surgery with shampooing, disinfection and laser treatment for maximum viability.
2Growth usually begins around 2 1/2 to 3 months and at 6-8 months the hair transplant starts to become comb-able.
3Over the course of a year, the hair will gain in thickness and in length and may also change in character. It generally takes a year to see the full results of a hair transplant.
4The implanted hairs continue to grow throughout a person’s lifetime and do not fall out.