What to Expect During Hair Restoration Surgery
Pretty much everybody is really fond of their hair and when it starts to thin or no longer there panic begins to set in. A hair restoration surgery can be the solution to help bring back the appearance of a full head of hair.
If the thought of thinning hair or going bald lowers your self esteem then hair restoration surgery might be the perfect fit for you to rebuild that confidence in your looks. Getting an initial consultation from a doctor should be the first step toward getting a full head of hair.
What Is Hair Restoration?
Hair restoration is a type of surgery used to restore thinning and balding hair back to a full head of hair by moving hair you already have on other parts of your body to fill an area with thin or no hair on your head.
Doctors have been doing these transplants in the U.S. since the 1950s, but techniques have changed a lot in recent years. The price of a hair transplant will depend largely on the amount of hair you’re moving, but it generally ranges from $4, 000 to $15, 000. Most insurance plans don’t cover it.
Hair restoration is a fairly easy and straight forward procedure. The doctor starts off by cleaning your scalp in order to inject numbing medicine to the back of the head. The surgeon will decide on one of two ways to extract the follicles for the hair transplant. The first method is follicular unit extraction (FUE). The second method of extraction is follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS)
If the surgeon elects to go with the FUE procedure, the doctor’s team will shave the back of your scalp. Then, the doctor will remove hair follicles one by one. The area heals with small dots, which your existing hair will cover.
If the FUSS method is used, the doctor will remove a 6- to 10-inch strip of skin from the back of your head containing hair follicles. He’ll set it aside and sew the scalp closed. This area is immediately hidden by the hair around it.
The removed strip is then divided into 500 to 2, 000 tiny grafts, each having a single hair or sometimes just a few hairs. The number and type of graft you get depends on your hair type, quality, color, and the size of the area where you’re getting the hair transplanted.
Besides this initial step, both methods are performed the same. After the grafts are prepared the area where the hair will be transplanted is cleaned and numbed. Holes or slits are created with a scalpel or needle and each graft is delicately placed in one of the holes. There will most likely be a team of professionals assisting the doctor plant the grafts to speed up the process.
Depending on the size of the transplant you’re getting, the process will take about 4 to 8 hours. You might need another procedure later on if you continue to lose hair or decide you want thicker hair.
Recovering From Your Hair Transplant Surgery
After the surgery, your scalp may be very tender. You may need to take pain medications for several days. Your surgeon will have you wear bandages over your scalp for at least a day or two. He may also prescribe an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory drug for you to take for several days. Most people are able to return to work 2 to 5 days after the operation.
You should expect your scalp to be very tender especially right after the surgery. The doctor will probably prescribe you some pain medication to take for several day to help cope with the pain. The first couple of days you’ll most likely wear surgical bandages over your scalp to protect the incisions. Antibiotics and or anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed to help the healing process and reduce infection.
Within 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, the transplanted hair will fall out, but don’t worry, this is normal, and you should start to see new hair growth within 3 – 4 months. Most people will see 60% of new hair growth after 6 to 9 months. Some surgeons prescribe the hair growing drug minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine to improve hair growth after the hair transplantation.
Risks Involved With Hair Restoration Surgery
As with any kind of surgery, the hair restoration procedure also have some risks which can include bleeding as well as infection. Un-natural looking new hair growth and scarring are also side effects that you may experience.
You may also experience folliculitis which is a condition when the hair follicles become inflamed and usually occurs around the time the new hair begins to grow. This condition is normally treated with antibiotics. Talk with your doctor about these risks and how much improvement you’re likely to get from the surgery. He can help you decide if it’s a good option for you.