Hair Transplant Techniques And Is It Painful?
The technology of hair transplant came into existence around the 1970’s and 1980’s. At that time, hair plugs were used for transplantation. These days, hair plugs are no longer used because they give a very unnatural look. There are three main hair transplant techniques which are in use today. These include strip incisions, micrografting, and follicular unit extraction.
Strip incisions involve surgically removing hair and hair follicles from the donor site. The donor site may be an area at the back or sides of the scalp. A scalpel with a single, double or triple blade may be used for this purpose. The strips are then transplanted to the recipient area. This method is widely used and is highly effective.
Micrografting is an improved version of the strip incision technique. This method does not involve incisions and scalpels. Instead, the hair follicles are removed using a micrografting technique; and then implanted into the recipient site.
Follicular unit extraction is a new and unique approach to hair transplantation. In this procedure, a graft consisting of hair follicles, oil glands, muscle and connective tissue is removed; and then implanted at the site of hair loss. This procedure is widely used today and has many advantages including fewer scars, less discomfort, no stitches or bandages, and a shorter healing time.
Is Hair Transplant Painful?
Hair transplant involves making cuts on the scalp and inserting new hair grafts. Whether or not this process is painful actually depends on the individual’s tolerance to pain. During the process of transplantation, the scalp is numbed using an anesthetic. The anesthesia process is bound to be painful since it involves a number of injections at the sides and back of your head and on the forehead. The pain associated with these injections are quite brief. The actual procedure begins after the anesthetic has taken effect. Therefore, you won’t be able to feel the surgeon making the incisions to remove donor hair; and then cutting the scalp to insert the grafts.
After the operation, there may be some pain and numbness in your scalp. Some swelling or puffiness in the area of surgery is also common. Do not expect to get back to work or routine activities immediately; since the pain and puffiness can take some time to go away. If there is pain or discomfort in the area of transplant, your doctor may recommend taking a painkiller like Tylenol.
Overall, the pain associated with the hair transplantation procedure varies from person to person depending on their pain threshold. While some people find this procedure to be painful and uncomfortable, many others have breezed their way through the entire procedure without feeling any pain whatsoever. Make sure that you choose to do the procedure with a surgeon who is skilled, experienced and up to date with the latest developments in hair transplantation. New technologies in hair transplantation are minimally invasive and relatively painless.
Hair Transplant Disadvantages And Failure
Hair transplant is of great benefit for people whose hair tends to thin and fall out. The process involves transplanting hair from a different area of the body onto the balding regions of the scalp. Hair transplant can leave the recipient site more prone to scar development and tissue damage. This is because much of the dermis around the follicular region has to be dissected to fit the hair graft. This damages the tissues of the follicular dermis which protects the follicles. As a result, this area now becomes more prone to scarring and infections. Infection is a very common medical risk associated with hair transplants.
Another disadvantage of hair transplant is that it can result in scarring of the scalp. This is especially true for those with loose scalps. The more number of sessions you undergo, the more the chances of developing scars on the scalp. Scarring can result in a decrease in graft survival rate, which greatly reduces the efficiency of hair transplantation.
Another major downside of hair transplant is that it can be a costly procedure. The cost usually depends on the number of grafts which are transplanted. The cost per graft ranges from $3 to $7 each, which means that the entire process can cost $10,000 – $20,000+. The price varies depending on the extent of your hair loss problem. Sometimes, hair transplantation can result in an unnatural look, since the hair grafts are packed in a grid like pattern. As a result, some people may not be happy with the final results.
Hair Transplant Failure
Hair transplant failure does not necessarily mean that after the hair transplant, the patient’s hair does not grow back. Failure can also be defined as cases where the hair growth seems unnatural. In most cases, failures occur when surgeons use multi blades to remove strips of healthy hair follicles, which in turn decrease the number of hair that can be used again for the transplantation procedure.
One of the main reasons for failure of hair transplants is the patient’s own physiology. While the exact reasons for physiological clashes are unknown, they do exist. Apart from this, postoperative care plays a very crucial role in the success of a hair transplant. More specifically, the care given over the first ten days is critical. If this is not done properly, chances of damage to the grafts are very high. Touching, pulling and bumping the grafts should be avoided in order to avoid hair transplant failure.
While infection after a hair transplant is rare, it can occur. Therefore, anything that causes friction or excessive sweating should be avoided, as this can lead to failure of the process. In rare cases, there could be delayed growth of hair that has been transplanted. This is not uncommon and does not necessarily imply failure of hair transplant.