What is hair transplant ?
Like as good health and youth, the majority of the people also take the scalp full of hair for granted until that period when they lose it forever. But those days are gone when people need to keep up with the problem of hair fall and hair loss. With the technical advancement, the hair transplant method has invented which can successfully bring back the appearance of a full or a comparatively fuller head of hair. Hair transplant surgery basically removes a narrow hair strip of hair bearing scalp from the rear part of the scalp and then this is used to fill an area with no or thin hair.
Expectation and Recovery for Hair Transplant
The scalp can be really tender after going through the hair transplant process. So, after completion of this surgery, the patient needs to take pain medications for a few days. It is advisable for the patients to wear surgical dressings over their scalp for minimum one or two days after the surgery. Besides, the surgeons may also prescribe the patients anti inflammatory or antibiotic drugs for a few days after the surgery. In most of the cases, people can return to work after two to five days after the surgery.
Within the period of two to three weeks after the surgery, the transplanted hair would fall out and therefore, the patients will start noticing new growth of hair within a month or a few months. In the majority of the cases, patients attain approx 60% of the new hair growth after the period of six to nine months. In some cases, the surgeons prescribe some kind of hair growing drugs to the patients to improve the growth of hair following transplantation. But it is not sure how effective these drugs can be.
In some cases, it is possible to achieve hair transplant in a single session and patients are ready to join their workplaces the next day but in some cases, it takes several days off. But that doesn’t mean that you will expect to have a head full of hair within a day or overnight. In reality, the actual result of transplant is not seen even for several months.
As a whole, hair transplant surgery is a completely emotional journey for the patients and the main key is to manage the expectations of the patient right from the very beginning. The patients would experience result from 9-12 days of operation date. But the patients need to follow the post-operative care guidelines thoroughly.
Cost range and cost factors
These days, the majority of the hair transplant clinics provide free no obligation consultations with the surgical sessions that cost by the session or per graft. Besides, financing with low monthly payments is also offered sometimes. Generally, the hair transplant process comes with a certain cost on an average. But the cost per graft decreases as the size of the surgical session increases.
It is really common for the patients to start with just 1500 grafts and therefore they come back after a few years for more when they have the available budget and once they experience the first impact of hair transplant.
Hair transplantation is not inexpensive. However, this process can offer the best hair restoration value as the results last for life long and look completely natural. But in the long run, the cost of hair transplant is quite less than non surgical treatments like custom hair replacement or hair loss medication therapy.
For instance: the custom hair replacement process comes with an average cost and this needs to be replaced about one time a year. Then the replaced hair needs to be groomed and reattached every 5 to 6 weeks. So, it is obvious that the cost of purchasing and maintaining quality hair systems for a long term is far more than the typical cost of hair transplant.
Now let’s have a look at the cost factor of the hair transplant surgery:
Though the final cost of hair transplant is dependent on how much hair restoration one desires and the clinic that one selects for this surgery, but there are some other factors that are associated to it. These include: the expertise of the surgeon, the complexity of the issue, the number of grafts that are being done (the costs decrease while more grafts are done) and the technique used for harvesting.
More information from The Bald Truth behind Hair Transplant Cost in UK
Three Before/After Hair Transplant photos
Case study 1 – Name: Rick Edwards
According to Rick’s statement, he was not even worried about how he would look after this surgery. He just checked the before after photos of the patients, where the surgery was performed by a reputable surgeon and the finished result was enough for him to expect the end result. He was only worried about how he would look immediately after the surgery as he had to face the camera even when he was going through the surgery process.
But once the entire process turned out, he worried for nothing. After completion of the surgery, the hair started growing naturally, almost like a beard. Besides, there were no bundles of hair sprouting on the head and this method looked really good.
Photos of before and after the hair transplant surgery
Case study 2
This patient is now 50 years of age. His hair started disappearing from the age of 30. Soon he started looking aged because of the ‘landing strip’ on the frontal hairline. So, he decided to go for a hair transplant surgery after trying and testing different methods. After 3 months of this surgery, he regained the youthful character that he used to have in the late thirties. As the hair transplant surgery is complete now, he is excited to see how much hair will grow now.
According to him, it is a great feeling when people tell him that he looks younger because of this hair transplantation. The surgery was unexpectedly simple. At the initial period after the surgery, he was worried that what people would say after seeing the scars on his scalp. But nothing happened like that. The scars were barely visible. So, after seeing the result of the first process, he is now planning to go through another procedure for the back part of his scalp within a year.
Case study 3
This person decided to get information about the hair transplant surgery immediately after realizing that he could count on the hairs on the scalp. He started by searching for recommendations on the web and this way he checked numerous professional hair transplant institutes and talked to the experts. After being completely assured, he decided to go through the procedure.
He visited the clinic then that he had chosen for the surgery, met with the surgeon and learned about the entire process and the results. After being totally comfortable, he booked the surgery that day.
Once the surgery was complete, he found that the process was exactly same that was described. The surgery was totally painless and he found his scalp numb for a few hours after that. After 5 months of the surgery, he experienced his first transplanted hair and therefore new hairs started coming out within a few months after that.
Now it has been one year and he got the result what he expected. His hair looks totally natural and people really praise his new look. So, he was highly pleased and impressed with this result and he recommends the hair transplant to others, who are facing the same issue and want to go for a change for the betterment.
The procedure of Hair Transplant surgery
In most of the cases, the hair transplant surgery process is performed in the doctor’s clinic under local anesthesia. Before transplanting the hair, the surgeon first cleans the scalp and therefore injects one anesthetic to numb the area where a 3-4 inch strip of scalp is removed. After removing the strip of scalp with the help of a scalpel, the doctor sets this aside and sews the scalp again to close. Therefore, this area is hidden immediately by the hair around.
The next step is that the doctor divides the strip of the removed scalp into around 500 to 2000 little grafts that contain a few hairs each or an individual hair. Both the type and number of grafts used entirely depends on the factors like type, color and quality of hair and also on the size of the area where the hair will be transplanted.
While it comes to transplanting the hair, there are mainly two types of transplant processes available namely: micro grafts and slit grafts. The micro grafts include one or two hairs on each graft, on the basis of the required coverage area. On the contrary, the slit grafts include between four and ten hairs on each graft.
Once the grafts are prepared, the doctor cleans and numbs the sections where the grafts will be placed, then creates slits or holes with the help of a needle or scalpel and places each graft delicately in each of these holes. Around hundreds or sometimes even thousands of hairs can be transplanted in each session.
On the basis of the extent of the hair transplant process, the transplant can take around four to eight hours. Some additional sessions may be required in case the patient continues to lose hair or in case the patient wants thicker hair.
After completion of grafting process, the scalp is covered with a bandage or gauge for several days. The stitches will be removed after 10 days of the procedure. But the patients may need around three to four sessions to get the full head of hair that they desire.
The best part of this hair transplant treatment is that this mimics nature while offering a far more natural outcome than any other techniques of hair restoration. But still the final appearance of this surgery depends on the donor site to some extent along with the density of the hair, which is available to transplant.
The risk Hair Transplant surgery
Hair transplant is basically a complete safe outpatient surgery process, which is performed normally without any complications or significant risks. But like as other types of surgical procedures, hair transplant also comes with some risk including infection and bleeding. Other risks of hair transplant include unnatural looking new hair growth and scarring.
Besides, when the time the new hair starts to grow, some patients experience infection of the hair follicles, known as folliculitis or inflammation. This issue can be relived with compresses and antibiotics. Other potential risks of hair transplant are: unexpected loss of transplanted hair also known as shock loss. But this symptom is rarely permanent.
Now let’s have the details of the risks associated with this treatment:
- Temporary reduction of pre-existing hair: Though this is rare, but some pre-existing hair can become thin after this surgery. Then the hair can return to the full, normal condition after a few months of surgery.
- Pain: Pain associated with hair transplant surgery is generally rare and fairly minimal. The majority of the patients don’t even need any kind of pain relievers and others feel the need to consume some low dose pain killers for several days.
- Bleeding: A little amount of bleeding after this surgery is normal and this will stop with just a simple pressure. But in case of persistent bleeding that occurs in about one in a several hundred cases, additional stitching is needed.
- Itching: It is really common after this surgery, but it lasts for several days and it is rarely troublesome. The patients can stay away from this discomfort by shampooing the hair regularly.
- Numbness: Some temporary numbness is inevitable in this case, generally in the donor area. This lasts for around 3 to 18 weeks and is rarely long lasting or troublesome.
More information : Hair Transplant Surgery Risks & Side Effects
So, in case you are bothered about balding or thinning hair, the hair transplant surgery can considerably improve the appearance and the self-confidence of the patients. But, it is necessary to understand that hair transplantation is a process that only works in case the patient has a place where this is more visible. But this process doesn’t create new hair.
To improve the success rate of surgery as well as to minimize the risks, it is important to go through the hair transplant method only in case you are healthy. Don’t forget to discuss the benefits and potential risks with the doctors.