Male patterned baldness is among the leading cosmetic concerns today. Hair loss is mostly genetic and passed on from the male line, which is why baldness is commonly seen in men. However, female patterned baldness is not unheard of. Genetics only affect a part of the hairline (top and front) because these areas are more susceptible to hormones. The rest of the head is generally immune.
Thanks to advancements in medical sciences, we have treatments for baldness, the least invasive one being Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE hair transplant. In this process, the surgeon assigns a donor site on the head (typically the backside) and extracts grafts manually and carefully. It is the most preferred and recommended method because it does not require stitches or post-op care. Patients can go back to their routine within days. The results achieved are also more superior, especially when compared to procedures such as the Strip Harvest Technique.
How does FUE hair transplant work?
FUE in itself has seen quite a few advancements in the recent years. These days, the surgeon uses a motorized punch to graft hair follicle units from a donor area. The punch makes a controlled incision around the follicle to loosen it so that it is easily separated from the dermis. Once this is done, the unit is extracted along with its root. The entire process is done under significant magnification to minimize errors and wastage.
The main steps
The entire procedure can be explained in 4 main steps. They are as follows:
FUE hair transplant is usually carried out under local anesthesia. Depending on the situation and the requirement, you will be given regional and field anesthesia. This will numb the area that needs to be operated on. This nullifies risks and minimizes pain. You will remain awake and aware of your surroundings throughout the process.
This is the most significant and unique step in the FUE procedure. It differs from other methods of transplant in this step because of the way the graft is extracted. The surgeon takes the help of magnification and a 0.6 to 09 mm punch to take grafts out simultaneously. Once the grafts are removed, they are classified by a trained technician based on the number of hairs on each of them. The grafts are also counted at each step so that there is no wastage. The transected grafts are then replaced with the good ones.
This process is highly advanced and requires skilled hands. This is why we ensure that only the most experienced our medical experts and technicians conduct the procedure.
Now the procedure moves to the recipient site. The surgeon zeroes in on this site based on the limitations of the donor site and the requests of the patient. He/she starts this step by making slits to insert the grafts extracted in the previous step. The angle at which the hair will grow can also be controlled here along with the density of hair growth.
This step is similar to other procedures. The surgeon uses a pair of implanters or forceps to place the grafts in the pockets made earlier. A few surgeons carry this process along with the slit-making step. This means that they will make the slit and implant the graft one after the other.
Even though it is a minimally invasive process that does not require stitches, there is a certain amount of post-op care that’s needed. Recovery is fast and usually painless but it can still take 7-10 days. The bandages are typically removed on the 3rd day and the doctor recommends shampooing on the 7th day. From the 10th day, you will find that your scalp has returned to normal with no issues.
Risks or side-effects of FUE hair transplant
Risks or side-effects of FUE hair transplant
The chances of infection and pain after surgery are very rare in FUE. Even the complications that we have mentioned here are uncommon. Let’s take a look at them:
- Pain for 7-8 days
- Forehead swelling
None of these post-op complications is dangerous. They can all be cured with regular medication and care.
A few more side-effects may include the following:
In the donor area:
- White scars (pin-point)
- Overharvesting – This is a permanent side-effect, which leads to patches of baldness. Choosing a good and experienced surgeon can remove this risk.
- Folliculitis – May occur after 2 months and can be cured with care
- Shedding – Usually occurs after 6 weeks but stops within 4 months
In the recipient area:
- Poor hairline – Can be avoided by discussing limitations of the surgery prior to operation
- Poor density – Can be minimized through proper learning about the process and setting the right expectations. Density depends on a number of factors
- Cobblestoning – Was common when needles were used. Very rare now.
- Shock – This is temporary and will resolve in 3-4 months
Why Reviva Clinic
- Our state-of-the-art facility is home to 5 surgical OTs
- Our in-house team is highly trained and experienced
- We conduct consultations and discussions before the procedure to clear all doubts and set the right expectations
- We provide all the amenities with a promise of a great experience
- We ensure proper pre-op and post-op care
- Our entire facility is maintained at the highest hygiene and safety standards