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Hair Transplant - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Hair Transplantation is a surgical treatment where hair follicles are removed from other parts of the body and are planted on the bald parts, mostly the head. The body part from where the hair is obtained is called the ‘donor site’ and the part of the body where the hair is transplanted is called the ‘recipient side’.

Hair transplantation is mostly used to treat male pattern baldness. Hair follicles which are genetically resistant to balding are typically used in this surgery. One can also opt for hair transplantation for restoring the beard, eyelashes etc.

There are mainly two methods through which the surgery is performed –

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation Method - In this method the individual follicular units are obtained from the back of the head under local anesthesia. The follicular units are cut by using tiny micro-blades. This is a time-consuming process and may take several sittings.
  • Follicular Unit Extraction Method – In this method, skin strips with superior quality hair are removed from the back of the head and are planted on the hairless site or the balding area. This method doesn’t take much time and is also cost efficient.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment includes the following steps:

  • The initial step includes obtaining hair follicles from the back of the hair and relocating them on the hairless area.
  • Prior to the surgery, the donor area is trimmed.
  • Once the hair present in the donor site are trimmed, local anesthesia is applied.
  • Thereafter the tissues containing the bald resistant hair follicles are surgically removed from the donor area.
  • The donor area is sutured. These stiches are removed approximately ten days after the surgery.
  • The surgeon then dissect the donor tissue by viewing it through high powered microscopes. Accordingly they prepare the hair grafts.
  • The recipient site is then prepared with the help of local anesthesia. Trimming or removal of hair is not required to be performed at the recipient area.
  • Tiny incisions are made in the recipient area following an irregular pattern. Thereafter the follicular unit grafts are planted in these incisions.
  • The smaller follicular unit grafts are planted in the frontal part of the hairline and the denser one are planted behind.
  • Post the surgery, the incision marks heal on their own and you would see short hair in that operated area. The redness of the recipient area also disappears within few days.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person who is suffering from baldness or hair thinning can opt for this treatment after considering the following criteria –

  • The person should have sufficient donor hair.
  • A person who follows a healthy lifestyle so that the immune system is in good condition.
  • In case the person suffers from a chronic disease like diabetes, etc. he/she may or may not be eligible for hair transplant. Therefore it’s wise to discuss the matter with the surgeon.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person who faces extensive hair loss is not eligible for hair transplantation as the person will lack sufficient donor follicles. Also people who in spite of suffering from hair thinning have considerably dense hair are not considered suitable for a transplantation surgery. The reason being there won’t be enough place in the recipient area to plant the hair follicles.

People should also avoid this surgery when they are in their early 20s and 30s. It may happen at a later age that they have lost most of their hair and is only left with the surgically implanted hair follicles. Having only few hair follicles in irregular patterns will certainly not make their appearance impressive.

If the person is suffering from hair loss due to any particular medication like chemotherapy, he/she is not eligible for the surgery.

People who have a tendency to form keloid scars after any surgery or injury should also avoid hair transplantation surgery.

Are there any side effects?

Hair transplant does not have any major side effects except for unnatural looking clusters of hair. The minor side effects include infection, bleeding, itching, swelling of the operated area, inflammation, temporary loss of the newly transplanted hair among others. However these side effects disappear within few weeks.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post treatment guidelines are –

  • Eat a balanced diet and consume plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid alcohol consumptions and cigarettes.

How long does it take to recover?

The time of recovery varies from person to person. Once the surgery is over; most of the people usually take 10 days to few weeks to recover. However, for some people it may take longer.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price may vary from Rs. 30/- to Rs. 179/- per graft depending on the technology used and the reputation of the clinic.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Hair transplantation surgery provides one with a permanent cure. Along with this the surgery may also boosts the overall hair growth of the operated area. However, one has to wait for at least 6 months to 9 months to witness the results.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are alternatives to this surgery. However whether they provide a permanent solution or not is still not clear. The treatments include oral and topical medications, various herbal hair solutions, low level laser therapy, etc.

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