Video: Hair Transplant Surgery Results, Recovery, And FAQ’s
Millions of men and women across the U.S. suffer from hair thinning or hair loss issues. While there are many factors that cause hair loss, hormones tend to be the leading cause. Dr. Lisa Rhodes discusses their effects on hair follicles and how a hair transplant procedure can offer a permanent solution.
Welcome to Westlake Dermatology! I’m going to talk about hair transplant today.
In many male and female patients there is a difference between the follicles located on the top of the scalp and follicles along the posterior (back) part of the scalp. The hair follicles in the back of the scalp are relatively resistant to hormone changes, whereas follicles along the front of the scalp can be sensitive to androgens that circulate through the body. Increasing androgen levels can cause hair follicles at the top of the scalp to slowly shrink down, or miniaturize, and then oftentimes obliterate or completely go away.
With a hair transplant, we take follicles from the back of the scalp (where those follicles are not hormone sensitive) and put them in an area of the scalp that is hormone sensitive. We relocate those follicles or transplant them to the top of the head. They remain resistant to hormonal changes, leaving them the same size and caliber.
During a traditional hair transplant method called “FUT” (or Follicular Unit Transplantation) a strip of hair is taken from the back of the scalp where the hair follicles are not hormone sensitive and then those follicles are dissected out into individual little follicles and then transplanted into the area that doesn’t have hair or where you want thickening. With one treatment you can see significant thickening of an area, to recreate full density in one area. However, if a patient wants to move the hairline forward, it does take multiple treatments because at one transplant you’re limited by how many follicles you can transplant into each square centimeter of scalp. So if the goal is to create full density in an area that does not have hair follicles, it can require multiple treatments.
After the procedure, patients will have a wound on the back of their head that is sutured or sewn shut from where the hair follicles were harvested. The wound will have stitches in it for about two weeks and can be pretty tender. At the top of the scalp (transplanted area) patients will have little individual holes with new follicles in them. Those follicles take days to a week or two to really take to the skin and get healed over. During that time patients have to be very delicate with how they treat those follicles on the front and top of the scalp.
The results of a hair transplant are permanent. After hair follicles are removed from the posterior scalp and transplanted to the top or the front of the scalp they will continue to go through the normal hair growth process. As such, the results of hair transplant can last for the entire life of the patient, as long as they maintain good health.