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Hair Transplant Surgery FAQ

This section presents the Q & A for queries on hair-transplant surgery.

Who benefits from hair restoration surgery?

Anyone who has experienced permanent hair loss may be a candidate for hair restoration surgery, including:
  1. Men with male pattern baldness,
  2. Women with thinning hair – female pattern thinning,
  3. People with areas of scarring from injuries or hair loss after facelift procedures, and
  4. People who want to thicken or restore eyebrows, eyelashes and beards.

What happens during a hair transplant surgery?

Hair transplant procedures generally take 4-6 hours and are performed using local or twilight anesthesia on outpatient basis. Patients are often awake but feel relaxed as they are given a mild sedative. There is usually little or no pain during the surgical procedure. A turban-type bandage is placed on the scalp at the end of the procedure in order to keep the grafts snug and secure overnight. It will be removed the following day. The donor area, where the permanent grafts are taken from, is closed with sutures that are removed in 7-12 days.

What happens after hair transplant surgery?

Hair transplantation is a safe and relatively minor surgical procedure. Patients are provided with a mild analgesic to relieve any discomfort felt the night following the procedure. Patients may be used moist compresses or sprays and to sleep in a semi-upright position for 2-3days following the procedure to minimize swelling and bruising. Small crusts may form on each graft that can be camouflaged by any existing hair that can be combed over the recipient area. These crusts will flake-off by 10-14 days after the surgery. The transplanted hairs seen above the scalp will initially be shed, however the roots will remain dormant for 6-12 weeks, at which time the new hairs will all begin to grow. Numbness that may occur in the donor or recipient area usually disappears in 2-8months following surgery.

Complications are rare. Minor infections can occur around a newly transplanted hair follicle, similar to an infected ingrown hair or pimple, and responds easily to antibiotics. Minor scars that occur in the donor scalp as a result of the removal of donor skin are narrow and can be easily hidden by the surrounding hair. The graft sites in the recipient frontal area heal with almost no visible scarring and are covered by the transplanted hair. Patients may experience mild swelling to the forehead area for a few days following surgery and on rare occasions may actually experience a black eye if the frontal scalp is transplanted.

When should I start treatment?

Patients may have hair restoration surgery at any age. It is often better to start when you are not completely bald so that you can use existing hair to help camouflage the procedures. However, because hair loss tends to be both gradual and progressive, it is often unwise to start surgical treatment to a patient who is very young.

Medical treatments such as Finasteride and Minoxidil may be offered to men with mild to moderate hair loss to help preserve thinning hair in the crown. Hair transplantation can be performed to fill-in the front hairline and thicken the front half of the scalp, and medical treatments can be used to maintain hair behind the transplants and to possibly enhance the long-term results of hair restoration surgery. The specialist will work with you to design a customised plan to fulfill your specific needs.

How do I know if I am a good candidate?

An ideal candidate is someone with dense hair in the permanent fringe of hair-bearing scalp. A patient with light-colored hair and pale (as opposed to dark hair and light skin) may appear to have a denser look. Patients with very wavy curly hair may require fewer sessions than someone with straight hair. While hair transplants look very natural, the end result may not achieve the density or total coverage that you had when you were a teenager. Results can vary from patient to patient.