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Hair Transplants for Men and The Methods
Hair transplant surgery has been around since the 1950’s. It can be performed in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia. Essentially, the physician removes a patch of scalp containing healthy hair growth and uses it to replace thinning or bald spots in other locations on the head.
The first thing the surgeon performing this surgery will do is thoroughly clean the scalp. He will then numb the 3 or 4 inch area where hair is to be removed. He will excise the section of scalp desired and sew the now empty section back together to close the gap, letting the hair around the removed patch cover it while it heals.
Then, this small strip of scalp will be divided into hundreds or maybe thousands of tiny little sections. How many sections are created depends upon the quality of the hair being transplanted and the area that is to be covered with it. For example, patches of heavy, healthy hair growth being moved to a thinning hair line would require far fewer sections than finer hair patches or larger bald areas that need to be covered.
Once the tiny hair grafts are ready, the surgeon will sterilize and numb the bald area where the hair is to be replaced. He will use a scalpel or needle to create many tiny holes or crevices into which a tiny section of the excised hair will be tucked and secured.
The entire procedure can take anywhere from four to eight hours depending on the area to be transplanted and the number of grafts to be placed. Once the surgery is finished and the anesthesia wears off, the scalp will be very tender and you may require pain medication to offset the discomfort. A surgical dressing will be placed over the scalp for a day or two and you may be placed on preventative antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs for a few days. Normally, you can return to work in two days to a week, depending on your healing rate.
After two or three weeks, you will note that the transplanted hair is beginning to fall out. This is normal. However, within a few months new hair will begin to sprout from the undamaged follicles in the patches that have been placed in your scalp. The majority of people opting for hair transplants will see about a 60% increase in growth of new hair within six to nine months. It is common for some surgeons to prescribe one of the hair growth drugs or treatments to promote increased hair growth, but no studies have yet yielded conclusive evidence that this is effective.
Hair transplants are an extremely promising method of creating hair growth in areas where there is seemingly no hope, but they can be quite expensive. Prices are based on the amount of hair to be transplanted and can range from $4,000 to $15,000. It is not a procedure normally covered by insurance, so the full expense falls on the patient.
Just like any surgery, hair transplants have their own risks. These can include heavy bleeding or infection. They may also include scarring and hair growth that does not adhere to a natural pattern, thus not appearing as natural as intended.
Patients of hair transplant surgery can also develop folliculitis, an inflammation caused by infection of the hair follicles. It is uncomfortable, but can be treated effectively with antibiotics and compresses. Additionally, there is the risk of suddenly losing the transplanted hair. This is commonly referred to as shock loss and is not usually permanent.
If you have reached the point where you are extremely bothered by your lack of a full head of hair, then transplant surgery can be the answer for you. Just be aware that you aren’t actually receiving a treatment where you are experiencing completely new hair growth. Instead, you are merely moving hair from one place to another place where you would rather it be seen and then encouraging it to grow healthier at the new location.
Finally, you should not sign up for hair transplant surgery unless you are otherwise healthy. This will promote faster healing and less chance of infection or other complications. Be sure to fully discuss all of the ramifications, good and bad, with the surgeon before undergoing this type of surgery.