A hair transplant is a surgical procedure to improve baldness.
During a hair transplant, hairs are movedfrom an area of thick growth to bald areas.
Most hair transplants aredone in adoctor'soffice.The procedure is performed as follows:
- You receivelocal anesthesia to numb the scalp. You may also receive medicine to relax you.
- Your scalp isthoroughly cleaned.
- A strip of your hairy scalp is removed using ascalpel (surgical knife)and set aside. This area of your scalp is called the donor area. The scalp is closed using tiny stitches.
- Small groups of hairs, or individual hairs, are carefully separated out from the removed scalp.
- The bald areas that will receive these healthy hairsare cleaned. These areas of your scalp are called the recipient areas.
- Tinycuts are made in the bald area.
- Healthy hairs are carefullyplaced in the cuts. During a single treatment session, hundreds or even thousands of hairs may be transplanted.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Hair transplantation can improve the appearance and self-confidence in patients who are balding. This procedure cannot create new hair. It can only move the hair you already have to the areas that are bald.
Most personswho havea hair transplant have male or female pattern baldness. Hair loss is on the front or top of the scalp.You must still have thick hair on the back or sides of the scalp to have enough hair follicles to move.
In some cases, patients with hair loss from lupus, injuries, or other medical problems are treated with a hair transplant.
Risksof any surgical procedure include:
Other risks that can occur with this procedure:
- Unnatural-looking tufts of new hair growth
It is possible that the transplanted hair will notlook as good as you had desired.
Hair transplant patients should be healthy, or surgery is less likely to be safe and successful. Discuss your risks and options with your doctor before undergoing this procedure.
After the Procedure
Follow the doctor'sinstructions about caring for your scalp and any other self-care measures. This is especially important to ensure healing.
For a day or two after the procedure, youmayhavea large surgical dressing or a smaller dressing protected by a baseball cap.
During the recovery period after surgery,your scalpmay bevery tender. You may need to take pain medicines.
You may alsoneed to takeantibiotics or anti-inflammatorymedicines after surgery.
Most hair transplants result in excellent hair growth within several months after the procedure. More than one treatment sessionmay beneeded to create best results.
The replaced hairs are usually permanent. No long-term care is necessary.
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Rose PT. The latest innovations in hair transplantation.Facial Plast Surg. 2011;27:366-377.
Reviewed By: David A. Lickstein, MD, FACS, specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.