Want a Hair Transplant? Here’s What to Expect

Want a Hair Transplant? Here’s What to Expect
May 23 11:49 2018 Print This Article

‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’, sang Joni Mitchell in Big Yellow Taxi and the same goes for our hair. We take it for granted, just like our health and our youthfulness, and yes, until it’s gone, or showing signs of packing up and leaving.

But all is not completely lost when it comes to hair – there are so many things you can do including transplants, plugs, implants, hair restoration and hair replacement. Hair transplants have been the answer for many people and these procedures can bring them a full, or fuller, head of hair. If yours is thinning out on top or you’re going bald and it bothers you (not everyone gets upset at these life changes), a hair transplant might well be what brings back your self-confidence about the way you look. But before you dive in, have a chat with your transplant doctor about what you should expect during and after the hair transplant surgery.

What Exactly Is A Hair Transplant?

This is the surgical removal of hair already growing on your scalp and replaced on areas where it is no longer growing or is falling out. Hair transplant doctors have been doing this surgery since the 1950s, especially in the United States, however, there have been a lot of changes made to the procedure since then, particularly over the past few years.

The kind of graft you have will be determined by your hair quality and type, the colour, and size of the area that needs to be covered by the transplant. During the procedure, the surgeon or hair transplant doctor will clean your scalp and inject an anaesthetic to numb the skin and will have chosen one of two available methods to transplant the hair:

  • FUSS (follicular unit strip surgery)
  • FUE   (follicular unit extraction)

If FUSS is chosen, the doctor will remove a section of skin from the rear part of your head, and suture the scalp. (The scar will be hidden by the rest of your hair).The surgical team will then divide the strip of removed scalp into up to 2,000 minute grafts, each with a few hair follicles or just one. If yours is the FUE hair transplant method, the surgical team will shave the back of your scalp and the doctor will take out hair follicles one at a time from the site. The donor area will heal with scars that are just small dots, and your existing hair will cover them.

After the harvesting stage mentioned above, both procedures follow the same route. When the area where the grafts are to be planted is prepared, the surgeon will clean and numb the section of scalp. Tiny holes or slits are made with a needle or scalpel. Then the grafts are gently placed inside one of the holes or slits by the surgeon and probably others in the team. The whole process can take up to eight hours, depending on the area to be covered. You might need more than one transplant if you want thicker hair or if more hair falls out later on.

How Long Before A Full Recovery?

After the hair transplant surgery, your scalp might feel rather tender and you could need medication for a few days to ease the pain and discomfort. Your hair transplant doctor will have bandaged your head and you will need to keep it bandaged for a day or so and you might also be prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication for a week or more to protect you against infection. You will probably be able to return to work two to five days after the surgery. After about three weeks your transplanted hair will fall out but that’s no reason to be concerned because it’s natural and you will begin to see new growth within the next month or more. For most people, after six to nine months they see 60 percent of new hair growth. Although it’s not clear whether it works well or not, some hair transplant surgeons will prescribe Rogaine (minoxidil) to help improve the outcome.

Hair Transplant Costs And Risks

The cost of hair transplant surgery and treatment depends mainly on how much hair has to be harvested and re-planted, but the usual range is from $4,000 to $15,000. Very few health insurance plans will cover the cost. As far as risk is concerned, as with any kind of surgery, there are some including infection and bleeding, scarring and hair growth that doesn’t look natural. A condition known as ‘folliculitis’, an inflammation or infection of the follicles, can occur as the new strands begin to grow but this can be alleviated by antibiotics and compresses. You could also suddenly lose some of the original hair from the harvested area known as ‘shock loss’. However, this is usually not permanent.  

Be sure to have a chat with your doctor about the risks, and about how much of an improvement you might get from the transplant so you can decide if it’s right for you. More questions about Hair transplant? Visit one of our clinics in Melbourne or Perth.

Bioscor International Melbourne

182 Huntingdale Rd, Oakleigh East VIC 3166, Australia

+61 3 9544 7429

Bioscor International Perth

190 Hay St, East Perth WA 6004

(08) 9380 6868

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Carol Gilmore
Carol Gilmore

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