4 Critical Questions to Consider Before a Hair Transplant Procedure
For most people, hair transplant surgery is a major decision and can potentially involve a significant investment of both time and money.
Hair transplants can provide excellent, natural looking results and potentially offer an ultimate solution for those suffering from hair loss.
However, there are many considerations to weigh before undergoing a surgical hair restoration procedure. The type of procedure and techniques your surgeon uses can be a critical factor in achieving the best possible outcome.
Researching your options and understanding the different treatments offered can help ensure you find the most effective hair loss solution.
Before undergoing a hair transplant procedure, here are some essential questions to consider:
Am I a candidate for hair transplant surgery?
The best way to find out if you are a candidate for a hair restoration surgery is to be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in hair restoration.
There are a number of factors taken into account to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. These generally include your age, the cause and extent of your hair loss, the stability and amount of your donor supply, and your expectation for what the surgery can realistically accomplish.
Among female and young male patients, the criteria for determining candidacy is more complex.
What are my surgical options?
There are different types of hair restoration procedures to potentially choose from and hair transplant surgeries can utilize a number of different techniques.
Understanding the different methods and techniques offered can help you to make the most informed decision and to select the most effective type of procedure to achieve your ideal results.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are the two main types of hair restoration procedures typically considered.
Here’s a rundown of the basic differences between the two procedures and associated hair restoration techniques:
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT is a hair transplant procedure in which groups of hair, referred to as follicular units, are transplanted from the donor area to the recipient area of the scalp.
In the procedure, the doctor removes a long, thin strip of tissue from the back and/or sides of the patient’s scalp. This donor strip is then dissected into many individual follicular units. Finally, the doctor will make tiny slits in the scalp (the recipient area), into which the grafts are placed.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
A FUE hair transplant uses a different technique of extracting follicular units. The main distinction between a FUE hair transplant and a traditional FUT procedure, is the method of donor-harvesting.
While in a FUT procedure the donor hair is harvested from the scalp in a long strip and then separated into individual follicular units, in FUE procedures the follicular units are harvested one-by-one directly from the scalp.
In a FUE hair transplant, using an instrument or automated device, the doctor makes many tiny circular incisions in the scalp around the follicular units to separate them from the surrounding tissue. The follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp across a diffuse area of the donor site, then transplanted to the recipient site.
There are multiple FUE techniques that use different technologies to assist with extraction and implantation, such as automated FUE devices and robotic systems.
Platelet Rich Plasma Hair Transplant
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is enriched blood plasma that contains a highly concentrated amount of the growth factors and bioactive proteins that help to accelerate your body’s natural process of regrowth and repair.
PRP injections can be used in combination with your hair transplant surgery to facilitate greater efficacy and reduce recovery time.
The injections help to stimulate healthy hair growth, promote tissue repair, and assist with wound and scar healing at the surgical site. Incorporating PRP injections into your hair transplant surgery can be an especially good option for those with extensive hair loss and can help yield a more successful outcome.
Which transplant technique is best?
The FUE method is often preferred by patients because it does not leave a linear scar in the donor area and is the most undetectable hair transplant possible. Many patients also feel it is a less invasive procedure and generally, involves significantly less recovery time. The number of patients who choose FUE procedures over FUT continues to grow and new FUE technologies are among some of the most advanced and effective options.
A FUT procedure can potentially provide the most donor hair, which may be a consideration for patients with extensive hair loss or where the maximum use of one’s donor supply is the biggest concern. Because all the hair is harvested from the middle of the zone where hair is most dense and stable, this could potentially produce more quality grafts from a minimal donor supply. However, this process leaves a line scar across the donor area, which means the results can be more noticeable and prevent patients from wearing their hair short .
Your individual preferences and needs may be a determining factor. Ultimately, any technique can have its advantages and disadvantages. Your surgeon’s expertise and level of skill and experience may potentially have the greater impact on the quality of your results regardless of the method you decide.
How do I choose the right surgeon?
Selecting a surgeon to perform your hair transplant procedure is another important decision to help ensure you receive the highest quality results. Seeking an experienced and board certified physician who specializes in hair restoration is generally a good idea. A physician you trust and feel comfortable with can help foster the best experience.
To learn more about hair restoration procedures and whether a hair transplant surgery could be the right hair loss treatment for you, book a consultation at Ohio Hair Restoration today.