Also called hair transplant surgery, hair restoration surgery involves surgically removing hair follicles from one area (usually the back of the head) and transferring them to bald or thinning areas of the head. Because hair grows in groups of one to three follicles, it can be transplanted in these small increments and placed close together for natural looking results. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) devices are typically used to perform this process. A strip graft is another surgical method. Because the patient’s own hair is used, the grafts are not rejected by the body.
The length of the surgery depends on the amount of hair being transferred. Several transplant sessions are typically required, but will depend on patient needs and the surgeon’s preference.
This procedure is performed with injections of local anesthetic.
This is an outpatient procedure.
Risks include infection, excessive bleeding, and noticeable scars. The transplanted plugs of follicles may die. The donor area may feel numb initially, but usually returns to normal within two months.
If natural hair loss continues after transplant surgery, areas around the grafted follicles may look unnatural and unattractive. The appearance of these areas may be improved with additional surgery.
The patient can return to work within a few days, but should avoid strenuous activity for approximately five to ten days. Small scabs will form around the grafted follicles and will fall off within a week. Hair in the grafted follicles will shed in approximately two to four weeks, and will begin to grow back within approximately three months. Final results are typically achieved in eight to ten months.
Hair in the restored areas is permanent and will grow like the original hair in terms of color and texture. When performed by a skilled surgeon this procedure is typically rewarding and improves self-confidence.