Modern hair transplantation is a true microscopic skilled and artistic procedure which requires only the best surgeon to achieve the natural results seen today. It involves taking hair follicles from the very back and sides of the head and strategically placing them into the thinning or balding areas of the scalp. In today’s modern age of hair restoration you should only consider the current gold standard of taking individual follicular units and placing them in a fashion which creates the fullest density and the most pleasing natural result.
Results from hair restoration truly depends on several factors which many people don’t fully appreciate. It depends largely on the supply of hair follicles in the donor area at the back of the head, the natural density of available hair will determine how many individual hairs can be place in the balding areas. the more density you have the more thicker and fuller the result. The hair transplant should be done ethically in which the surgeon can meet reasonable age appropriate results with the prudence to have enough supply of donor area for possible future loss.
FUE is an abbreviated term for Follicular Unit Extraction. It is the latest advancement in transplantation procedures whereby the surgeon can now take individual grafts using specialized tools such as the feller motorized extraction device designed and created by Dr Feller himself. FUE has advantages and limitations which determines whether the treatment is appropriate for the individual. Please read this article by Dr Feller for a full understanding on FUE
FUT is an abbreviated term for Follicular Unit Transplantation. The procedure consists of again taking hair from the donor area at the back of the scalp but the difference compare to FUE is that the donor area is taken in the form of a “strip”. This literally means cutting a long and thin section of the actual scalp after extensive anesthesia, the patinet will not feel anything during this procedure.. Once extracted, the donor strip is cut into many individual follicular units using microscopic dissection techniques. As these follicular unit grafts are being prepared, the doctor makes tiny holes in the scalp, called recipient sites, where the grafts are placed. It is imporatnt to note that whilst this procedure seems much more dramatic and unfavorable vs FUE technique it does produce higher yields and more consistent results. Read the difference between FUE vs FUT
This is dependent on the procedure and the amount of grafts placed; strip procedures of 5000 grafts plus can now be completed in one day, FUE procedures take much more time as it is very labor intensive as each follicular unit must be extracted skillfully ensuring no damage to the follicle occurs. typically over 1500 grafts will require more than one day to complete to a high level.
Transplanted hair takes up to 18 months to mature to their final and permanent integrity. Each person is individual, some people see huge growth at around 6 months, some people take 12 months. The growth rates are down to individual physiology. Newly transplanted grafts will actually fall out after 2 weeks, this is normal, the actual follicular unit is intact making nerve and blood supply connections and eventually these start sprouting and maturing from 2-3 months and continue to grow to about 18 months when you can expect the ultimate final result. It is imporatnt to understand the expectations of growth and to not feel any anxiety during this time.
Both FUE and FUT will leave some fomr of scarring. FUE will be in the form of tiny, tiny punch holes which are effectively undetectable due to the uniform spread of donor sites. With FUT ther ewill be a linear scar however at Feller medical we use the trichophytic closure technique, this method creates a bevel which basically allows a neat overlap of the two donor scars when they are joined to reform the scalp. The beveled edge allows a much neater scar line and also allows hair follicles to grow through the scar, thus softening any potential scaring even further. Once again scarring is down to the individuals own physiology. Some people will naturally scar more tan others. Feller medical will create the smallest and least noticeable scar possible
On the day of the surgery you would arrive to the clinic early at 7am. You would then discuss with Dr Feller the expectations and final design of where the transplanted hair will be received. Before pictures will be taken and the final expectations agreed with both the patient and the doctor. You are then taken into a room where your donor area will be anaesthetised along the area where the donor supply will be taken from. Once the area has been numbed you will then be taken into the actual transplant room where you will be made to feel comfortable. Your scalp will be tested to make sure your are free from pain, The donor area will then be removed whilst you watch TV or a selection of videos to help keep your mind at rest. The experience really is very calm and pain free. When the donor supply has been harvested, the transplant team take the follicles and then begin trimming them and organizing them into 1,2,3 and 4 hair grafts for strategic placement into the recipient sites. Whilst the technicians are looking after the grafts Dr feller will then create the recipient holes for the grafts to be placed into. Once the grafts are ready they are then strategically placed into the scalp where the holes have been made. The key to a natural and artistic result is the placement of different hair grafts into the scalp. You will have some lunch which will be ordered for you. Once the final graft is placed the scalp, donor area, (which has been stapled during the incision) and recipient sites are thoroughly washed and cleaned several times. A bandage is then placed around the donor area and pain medication is prescribed for a number of days. Your surgery is then complete and you are free to go home.
After the surgery you are given post operative instructions, but in answering the common though here, you will need to try to sleep as upright as possible for the first day or two, the new grafts will be locked in after a good 48 hours and you should not feel too anxious in touching them. Down time can be upto 2 weeks, again it is an individual thing. Your recipient sites will possibly scab up over a few days, this is normal, they will eventually flake off, any redness and soreness will die down over the two weeks as well. It is now out of your hands and there is nothing you can do but allow nature to start working it’s magic. It is advisable to use any holidays and or time off if you are concerned about your appearance during this time. After 10-12 days if you have had a strip surgery your staples are ready to come out. If you are local to the clinic you can com ein and have these removed for you. If you have access to a health care professional in your home town the clinic will give you a staple remover which can be given to someone to remove he staples.
I get asked these questions all the time – “Will I only need one
The answer to this is more than likely NO – Its very rare indeed that any patient only has one session unless they have a very small amount of loss – or limited donor supply, then you potentially aren’t a viable HT candidate unfortunately. Even if your hair loss is absolutely stable and doesn’t progress any further the chances are your first session will be the foundation for a potential second session to top up/refine/add density/close angles/ work further back ..etc – regardless of technique used. Hair is like money you always want more – You will always want to make it better, we ALL do!
Top Dr’s will endeavour to achieve the appropriate no. / highest number of grafts possible without jeopardising you in order to create as much coverage/density as possible in one session where warranted – whilst maintaining your donor area/further supply’s integrity.
The initial session will come in so slowly and gradually that you become so used to it that it becomes the normal and YOU will not necessarily notice the change bang on month 3! – The realization takes time!! It is only until you compare pre op pics that you actually realize how far you have come and have a glimpse at what your situation actally was.
You will scrutinise your results constantly, inspecting it every chance you get – and feel that you will always want more hair – Even at month 5/6/7 patients are planning their 2nd session but my advice is WAIT and allow for the first session to reach its max potential
It doesn’t matter how many times i say it to people or write it they still feel that their growth has stopped at month 4/5/6…… then come month 10/11/12 they say – wow you were right.. I did get more.
Growth doesn’t stop for many many months – it can take upto 18 months to reach the max potential from your HT so why guys are convinced after 5 months their growth has stopped is just beyond me If you have received your HT from one of the reputable clinics around today then your growth will continue upto a year along with a great
deal of maturing.
Many Dr’s have commented on time scales for growth and established posters as well who have all been through the HT process and they all agree that you need to assess your HT at at least the 1 year mark in terms of reaching full growth.
You the HT recipient will not see the growth just occur – it takes months for the realisation to kick in. It is important to take pictures at monthly intervals to clearly see the progression.
Its important that guys realise that HT’s are a commitment long term and you must realise that you will always want to refine your hair and wish it were thicker/fuller/denser – This is the nature of hair.
Hair greed – be aware of it!
Grow well everyone!!!!