Men and women alike are often worried about hair loss or thinning. Previously, many people were refused hair transplants due to their extensive hair loss. However, today, because of advances in technology, many of those patients are now good candidates for these new transplant procedures.
If you would like to know if you are a candidate for a transplant procedure, you should consult with a knowledgeable plastic surgeon with experience in these types of procedures. During the consultation, you will go over your medical history. The extent of your hair loss will also be examined. During the consultation, the number of expected transplant sessions will also be discussed.
What Happens During the Transplant Procedure?
During the hair transplant procedure, either mini (four to seven hairs) or micro (one to three hairs) grafts will be taken from the areas of the head with healthy hair. These grafts are then placed into the bald or thinning areas. Since the hair is taken from areas that are programmed to grow for a lifetime, your grafts are a permanent solution.
The number of sessions required will differ from patient to patient and is dependent on the extent of hair loss. About 100 to 1,200 graphs can be placed during a single session that can take up to three hours to complete.
After the hair grafts have been transplanted, it goes through a “resting” period. These grafts will shed in approximately four weeks; with resulting new grow occurring about 12 weeks later. Should additional grafting sessions be required, these are generally scheduled about three months after the initial procedure.
The transplant procedure is considered to be painless, and is usually done under a local anesthetic. Patients may experience some mild discomfort after the procedure when the anesthetic starts to wear off. This discomfort can usually be controlled with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Patients can usually go back to their normal schedules within 24 hours.
As with any type of surgical procedure, there are possible risks; however, complications are rare. Some possible complications include:
- Bleeding that is easily controlled by pressure
- Temporary numbness that will generally cease within three to six months
- Infection or swelling that can be controlled through medication
Most complications and side effects can be avoided by following all pre- and post-operative instructions.