What is Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant has revolutionized the treatment of baldness and has helped people to regain confidence Hair is taken from the permanent zone, i.e., the back of one’s scalp and transplanted to the front and central area of baldness with a special technique. The hair then grows in a period of 8 months to a year and this hair growth is permanent.
Under hair transplant surgery, hair is moved in the form of ‘follicular units’ from the back and/or sides of the scalp where the hair is permanent (donor area) to areas that are thinning or bald on the front, top, or crown of the scalp (recipient area). Once transplanted, the hair will continue to grow for a person’s lifetime.
Types of Hair Transplants
There are two ways to obtain follicular units from the permanent donor area of the scalp.
In the more traditional method called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), a long, thin strip is removed from the donor area and subsequently dissected into follicular units under special microscopes. In the newer procedure called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), follicular units are removed one-by-one, directly from the scalp.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), hair is harvested from the permanent (donor) area in the back and sides of the scalp, by removing a single, thin strip of tissue. The area is then sutured or stapled closed to produce a fine-linear scar. The strip is placed under a series of special stereo-microscopes, where it is dissected into thousands of individual 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-hair follicular units. These follicular unit grafts are then placed into tiny recipient sites that the surgeon makes in the balding area.
FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION (FUE)
In this technique, the patient’s non bald areas are treated as resistant donor areas and the follicular units are extracted from these areas one at a time. These extracted follicular unit grafts are harvested one by one using a small punch usually ranging from 0.7 to 1 millimeter in size, usually before starting the follicular unit extraction from the donor area.
Once the follicular unit is separated from its surrounding tissues, it can then be extracted using the forceps by gripping the hair above the surface. The small hole that is left behind in the donor region after the extraction of the follicular unit heals on its own within a few days. Each follicle unit that is being extracted is examined very extensively using a stereoscopic microscope and the non-hair bearing skin attached to the follicle can then be trimmed off, if required. The extracted follicular unit may be transferred to the recipient site immediately or can be kept in a holding solution that contains growth factors and wound healing properties.