Goodbye to Thin Hair
Today, we have cosmetic procedures for just about everything, including thinning hair. Hair transplants are a very popular type of cosmetic surgery. There are two techniques for hair transplantation, FUT, and FUE.
An Artistic Eye
FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation. In this procedure, a thin strip of hair is removed from the back or sides of the scalp and the removal site is sewn closed. The hair above the removal site covers the area of incision, so that it can't be seen. The strip of hair is then placed under special microscopes so that each unit of one to four hairs can be dissected into teeny grafts. The grafts are placed in a solution and refrigerated while awaiting transplant.
Very small incisions are made in the area of the scalp where the grafts are to be transplanted. This is done with a thin needle, about the same size as the needle used to take blood tests from your arm. If there's existing hair in this area, the transplant doctor may be able to work within this hair so that cutting isn't required. The proper placement of the transplanted hair requires skill, an artistic eye, and experience. A gifted surgeon factors in the depth, angle, and distribution of the recipient sites so that the results appear natural.
Once the recipient sites are created, the hair grafts are ready for careful insertion into the scalp. There is a process of layering so that hair grafts consisting of 1 hair are placed just at the hairline, those grafts containing 2 hairs just behind them, and the larger 3-4 hair units will be placed in the main area to be covered. The recipient sites must be made smaller or larger according to the size of the follicular unit that will be inserted. This is the best way to obtain a close fit and will enhance the healing process and growth of the transplanted hair follicles, as well as providing for the easiest possible postoperative course.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)is different in that a larger area is involved and this area is shaved to about 1 millimeter in length. Then, a small, circular incision is made to surround each hair unit. The follicular units are the taken, one at a time, from the scalp. The wounds are small and can be left to heal on their own. The healing process takes about one week. The rest of the process is similar to FUT.
In both procedures, the transplant remains visible for about one week. Some patients use their existing hair to create a comb-over and hide the healing process, and others prefer to wear a hat or kerchief during this time. Patients can resume daily activities 48 hours post surgery, but should avoid strenuous exercise, drinking, and smoking. New hair will appear in 2-3 months, with the final results apparent within 10-12 months.