Hair Replacement

Hair Replacement

What is meant by hair replacement surgery?

Hair replacement, also known as hair transplantation is the process by which minute hair bearing portions of the scalp are collected from a donor and transplanted into the scalp that has been affected by hair thinning or baldness. Female-hair-transplant 1 Once it has been determined that your scalp is undergoing baldness or rapid hair loss, and experts have advised hair replacement as the ideal procedure, you can rest assured that this particular surgery is by far the most effective solution to baldness and is being practiced by leading plastic surgeons all over the world.
There are a number of factors that can lead to hair thinning, hair loss and baldness but no definite cause has been determined. Some of the most prominent factors include:

–          Genetics

–          Aging

–          Hormonal imbalance

–          Deficiency of a particular nutrient, for instance vitamins or calcium

–          Excessive accumulation of dandruff on the scalp

–          Improper diet and water intake

–          Trauma or burns

–          Diseases or medication

It must be noted that there is no factor that hair loss can be associated with. While hair replacement procedures are generally categorized under cosmetic procedures, patients who undergo hair transplantation following trauma or burns can have the surgery covered by their health insurance as part of reconstructive procedures.


What are the different risks and complications associated with hair replacement surgeries?

Just like all other surgeries and invasive medical procedures performed globally, hair replacement surgeries also have several potential risks and complications that patients must discuss with their surgeons prior to the procedure. All patients must ensure that their medical histories are assessed beforehand. Leading plastic surgeons around the world first acquire the consent of their patients before starting surgery as part of medical protocol.
Some of the common risks and complications that are seen before, during or after hair replacement surgeries include:

–          Infection at the site of graft placement

–          Abnormal bleeding during or after the surgery

–          Large, stretch back scars

–          Pain during or after surgery

–          Plugging out of grafted hair prior to re-growth

–          Necrosis of hair plug

–          Painful bumps at the site of graft placement

–          Unnatural appearance of the scalp following surgery

–          Chances of revisional surgery in case of failure

–          Irritation caused by materials used during surgery

–          Delayed healing

–          Altered sensation at the site of surgery temporarily


What are the steps involved in hair replacement surgeries?

  1. Anesthesia: In order in ensure a painless experience for the patient, sedation or anesthesia is administered. In case of hair transplantation surgery, it is possible to perform the procedure on local anesthesia and general anesthesia is not usually required.
  2. Creation of graft: Once the sedation is in effect, a specialized punching instrument is used to create grafts on the scalp where the new hair plugs will be transplanted.
  3. Placement of Grafts: Once the grafts have been prepared in the balding portion of the scalp, the new hair plugs are carefully placed into the grafts created by the instrument.

While these are the salient features of the punch graft method, there are two other methods of performing hair replacement surgeries and these include:

–          Flap surgery: This form of hair replacement is being practiced for over two decades and is one of the most effective methods of hair loss management. Because the size of the flap is large, it can accomplish the same amount of area coverage as nearly 350 punch grafts or more. This method also offers lesser chances of failure as it retains the natural blood supply for the portion of scalp where the flap is created. With recent advancements in the field of hair replacement, flap surgery is now being performed in combination with procedures such as scalp reduction and tissue expansion for better results.

–          Scalp reduction surgery: Also known as the advancement flap surgery, scalp reduction is a procedure in which the scalp is surgically advanced or brought forward in order to cover the balding portion of the head. Because of the nature of this surgery, it is not recommended in cases of frontal hair recession.


Recovering from hair replacement surgery:

The recovery period of the hair transplantation surgery depends upon the method used. In case the flap or incision is large in size, it might take several weeks for complete healing to take place. All sutures are generally removed within a span of ten days from surgery. It is important to note that once the new hair grafts have been placed into the scalp, it may take up to 5 week before hair growth starts, and once it initiates, half an inch of hair growth per month can be expected. Hair-Transplant 1
It is important to follow all guidelines provided by the surgeon for rapid recovery, in case of any complications, it is critical to return to the hospital for proper treatment and management.

Results of hair replacement surgery (Click here to view Before & After Photographs):

Once normal hair growth has initiated at the site of hair transplantation, patients can start feeling confident about their appearance. Hair replacement surgeries have reversed hair loss and baldness for over three decades and continue to do so with new advancements and improved results. It is important for patients to appear for all follow up appointments with their surgeons for proper evaluation of the transplantation status.