How Does A Hair Transplant Work?
In simple terms, a hair transplant takes the hair growing in one area and places it in areas where you don’t. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do much to explain what happens during the process, so let’s explore a hair transplant procedure in a little more depth.
Where is Hair Transplanted From?
In most hair transplants, hair from the back of your head will be moved to the bald areas, but the process can work just as well when taking hair from other body parts.
Before the surgeon starts the hair restoration procedure, they will numb the area with a local anesthetic. Some doctors will allow patients to be fully sedated during the process if they request it.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT is the technical term used for a hair transplant, and during the procedure, your surgeon will perform the following tasks:
A piece of your scalp, usually from the back of your head, will be removed using a scalpel. The strips of hair taken are typically taken in 6 to 10-inch-long pieces. However, in some cases, they may stretch from ear to ear.
The area of skin that has just been removed will be closed with stitches. Next, a surgeon, or skilled assistant, will use a scalpel to separate the scalp sample into smaller pieces. The number of pieces will vary, but the smaller sections can be split into 2,000 parts (grafts). Some grafts may be small enough to contain just one hair each.
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The surgeon will then treat the area of your scalp that will receive the grafts by using a small needle to create tiny holes where the hairs will be transplanted.
The grafting procedure is lengthy and involved, with the surgeon placing a hair in each pre-prepared hole. Once complete, the area is covered with bandages or gauze.
The number of grafts you will receive will depend a lot on the type of hair you have, the size of the area being treated, the thickness of the hair, and your hair color.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Like FUT, follicular unit extraction (fue hair transplant) transfers hair differently from one area to another.
As with FUT, the surgeon will create small holes in the scalp. Next, the hair on the back of your head is shaved, and the hair follicles are individually removed. Each follicle is transferred to the holes in the scalp, and the area is covered with gauze or bandages.
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Hair Transplant Recovery
Both FUT and FUE involved procedures that took several hours to complete. A complete hair transplant will take place over several subsequent visits. Hair transplants using FUE will be completed quicker due to the shorter recovery times between procedures.
Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will remove the bandages to check the swelling. If necessary, the swelling will be controlled with an injection of triamcinolone.
There will be some soreness and pain in the treated area and where the hair was removed. Pain medications may be prescribed, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection and anti-inflammatories from reducing swelling. Medicines designed to stimulate hair growth may also be recommended.
Hair transplant patients should be able to return to work within 2 or 3 days. Waiting a few days to wash hair and using mild shampoos for the first few weeks is recommended, and no pressure should be applied during brushing to the new grafts for at least 3-weeks. Check with your doctor when wearing hats or pullover shirts will be okay.
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