Hair transplant surgery is surgery that is performed to restore hair to areas of the scalp that are bald or that have thinning hair. There are multiple types of hair replacement surgery. Most commonly, these involve hair transplantation, but flap surgery, tissue expansion of the scalp, and scalp reduction surgery, are also methods used for hair replacement. Each of these types of surgeries can be used alone, or in combination, to provide the patient with the best possible outcome for hair replacement.
Hair transplantation involves removing small pieces of hair-bearing scalp from a donor site and using them as grafts to be relocated to a bald or thinning area of the scalp.
Flaps surgeries involve moving hair bearing scalp tissue into bald areas of the scalp.
Tissue expansion allows the hair bearing scalp to be expanded to help cover areas of the scalp that have no hair.
Scalp reduction surgery involves surgically removing bald areas of the scalp and advancing, or bringing together, the hair bearing areas of the scalp.
If you and your hair transplant surgeon have determined that hair transplant surgery is the best option for you, you can feel comfortable knowing that board-certified plastic surgeons have been successfully performing these types of procedures for more than thirty years.
The truth about hair loss
Baldness is often blamed on poor circulation to the scalp, vitamin deficiencies, dandruff, and even excessive hat wearing. All of these theories have been disproved. It’s also untrue that hair loss can be determined by looking at your maternal grandfather, or that 40-year-old men who haven’t lost their hair will never lose it.
Hair loss is primarily caused by a combination of:
- a change in hormones
- and a family history of baldness
As a rule, the earlier hair loss begins, the more severe the baldness will become.
A newer method of hair transplant surgery is Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE. In this technique, the hair is harvested with a tiny punch to remove one follicular unit at a time. The follicular unit has one or a few hairs in it. When done manually, this takes an incredible amount of time. Newer automated technology allows us to remove and graft a very large number of grafts in a single setting. The process is simple, faster, and more effective. Hair transplant surgeons believe that FUE hair transplantation is now the state-of-the-art procedure. The minimally invasive hair transplant procedure is done completely under local anesthesia. There are no sutures or linear incisions and recovery is very fast. There is little post-operative pain. There is little risk of any long-term numbness. The grafts are taken from the back of the head (where you are unlikely to lose hair) with a device that is less than 1 mm diameter. The tiny hole doesn’t need suturing. The grafts are placed into a needle stick and are held in place without sutures. The delicate grafts are handled by the machine and inserted pneumatically so that they are less likely to be injured (which means a higher amount of ‘take’ or success). Typically, people don’t develop scarring from needle sticks so no one can even tell you had it done. Some patients even return to work the next day.