Although there are several ways of treating the different types of alopecia, there’s only one way to restore the scalp areas that were affected by baldness: a hair transplantation.
This surgical technique has exponentially grown in the last decade to the point where, besides being no longer painful and having a quick, easy post-op, the results are natural and, even more importantly, permanent. All thanks to the use of state-of-the-art techniques.
It’s a medical breakthrough every person diagnosed with alopecia can have access to as long as they have reached majority, they don’t have any medical contraindications against anesthesia or surgical procedures and they have a “donor site” with quality hair follicles because, otherwise, it’s impossible to carry out a proper hair transplantation.
That’s why anyone who has started to develop a sudden hair loss needs to be examined by a hair health specialist. After a personalized analysis of the situation, he will primarily proceed to choose the right treatment to stop the hair loss and, then, perform a hair transplantation on the areas where it has stopped growing.
Once the patient has been told that it’s necessary for him to have a hair transplant to solve his problem, and that he qualifies for the procedure, he has to attend a pre-op appointment (usually a couple of days or the day before the surgery) where he will be informed of all the details of the operation, such as the technique that will be used, the overall process, the pre-op care steps he needs to follow, the post-op phase, amongst others.
The day of the surgery, the patient is transferred to the OR, where he will receive local anesthesia before having hair follicles removed from a zone that still has good quality hair (also known as “donor site”) and that’s usually located on the lower back of the scalp.
After the donor site is chosen and the patient is shaved on a number one, the removal phase begins, and it is carried out with one of the two following techniques:
-The Follicular Unit Strip Surgery or FUSS, also known as “the strip procedure”, begins by choosing a skin strip from the donor site of the scalp. Once that strip full of hair follicles is removed, the specialist dissects it according to the number of follicles each follicular unit has, that can be up to 3.
The transplant will be placed depending on the number of follicles of each removed follicular unit. This means that those who have fewer follicles are ideal for the hairline area and for small bald spots.
Regarding the post-op of this technique, obtaining follicular units results in a longer and more complicated procedure than other more innovative ones, but in any case, it has permanent and good quality outcomes.
-The Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE, also known as “follicular transfer”, begins by removing hair follicles one by one from the donor site. For this purpose, a special tool used for millimetric extractions is needed, as well as a specialist capable of performing the procedure with the utmost precision.
Once the hair follicles are removed, they are transplanted individually into each bald area, allowing the transplant to be more careful and precise, and leading to better outcomes.
Contrary to FUSS, FUE has a quicker and easier post-op in which patients feel some pain only during the first night, like in most surgeries.
-The Robotic FUE is a technique that mixes the doctor’s skills, technique, expertise and review with the help of a robot that allows extractions to be a lot faster and more precise. Once the top-quality hair follicles are removed, they are transplanted into the areas affected by alopecia. Like in the above-mentioned techniques, once the hairline is properly defined, hair strands are transplanted until the scalp is fully covered.
The Robotic FUE represents a big accomplishment in this field as it significantly reduces the procedure’s duration and recovery time, thanks to the precision of the follicular unit’s extraction tools.
Whatever the modern technique, in order to carry out the hair transplantation, it’s necessary to have the support and advice of a specialist so that the surgery is successful.
It’s also important to note that, after the operation, the surgery team will inform you on the things to do during your post-op and the medications you’ll have to take to improve the healthy and strong growth of the transplanted follicles and of those who will replace them around 10 days after the procedure.
Although you could wait a long time to see significant changes, the truth is, after about a year, you won’t be able to deny, while looking in the mirror, that the whole process was completely worth it, just like other transplant patients told you before.