Hair Transplant Surgery – What to Expect and The Cost of Surgical Hair Restoration

For those men or women who have been cursed with thinning hair they consider hair transplant surgery that can help bring back the look of a full head of hair. If your thinning hair really bothers you then the surgical hair restoration procedure may be what you need to feel more confident about your appearance.

What Is a Hair Transplant?

Hair transplant surgery which is also commonly known as hair restoration implants is suppose to restore the appearance of having a full head of hair by transplanting healthy hair follicles from one part of the body, generally the back or side of the head, to balding or thinning areas typically on the top of the head.

The hair transplant surgery is typically a short procedure that usually takes place in the doctor’s office. The surgeon will start off by cleaning your scalp and injecting medicine to numb your head. Your doctor will choose one of two methods for the transplant: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).

Follicular Unit Strip Surgery

Follicle Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) is when a doctor removes a strip of follicles about 6 – 10 inches from the back of the head. The strip is then divided into many pieces, sometimes ranging anywhere from 500 to a couple thousand grafts that can contain a single hair or several hairs. The number and type of grafts you get depends on your hair type, quality, color, and the size of the area where you’re getting the transplant.

Follicular Unit Extraction

With the Follicle Unit Extraction (FUE) method, rather than removing a section of skin 6 – 10 inches long containing hair follicles, the surgeon will remove each hair follicle one by one.

Beside the method of follicle extraction the two types of hair transplants are the same. After the grafts are prepared, the surgeon cleans and numbs the area where the new hair will go. Holes or slits are then created with a scalpel or needle so that the grafts can be delicately placed each hole or slit.

Hair Transplant Surgery Recovery

After your hair transplant surgery your scalp will most likely be very tender. You may need to take pain medications for several days. You’ll have to wear bandages over your scalp for at least a day or two. Antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed for you to take for several days to help with the healing process and reduce the chance of infections. Most people are able to return to their normal routines within 2 to 5 days after the operation.

One thing that worries new hair transplant patient is that within 2 to 3 weeks after surgery the new hair you just paid for starts to fall out, this is called shock loss. This is not permanent, but normal and you should start to notice new hair growth within a few months. Most people will see 60% of new hair growth after 6 to 9 months. You may get a prescription for minoxidil  AKA Rogaine to improve hair growth after hair restoration.

Costs of Treatment

Depending on the amount of hair you plan on relocating to your head will determine the amount of money you will end up paying. Generally you can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. Since this procedure is done mainly for cosmetic reasons don’t expect your insurance company to foot the bill.

Risks Association With Hair Restoration Surgery

As with any surgery, hair transplants do have some associated risks that can include bleeding and 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.