Hair transplants come in various forms, with one popular method known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUE stands for “follicular unit extraction,” describing a process where hair follicles are plucked from one area of the body and planted in another. This procedure, though effective, can be quite costly when seeking to restore lost or thinning hair.
Another hair transplant approach is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), which differs from FUE. In FUT, a segment of skin or scalp, along with the hair follicles, is removed and grafted onto the desired location. FUE has gained popularity over FUT due to its reduced likelihood of creating a “hair plug” appearance and its avoidance of extensive scarring.
Throughout this article we are going to learn everything about the FUE hair transplant. Discovering why it is one of the most popular options in hair clinics. You will be able to find out in this post how much scalp surgery with the FUE method costs, what the procedure is like and possible complications.
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Who is a candidate for FUE hair transplant?
Individuals dealing with hair loss or thinning hair, while having ample healthy hair elsewhere on their body, are eligible candidates for a hair transplant. On the flip side, individuals lacking sufficient, healthy hair for transplantation on a thinning or balding scalp are not suitable for FUE hair transplantation.
As we age, the natural hair growth and restoration cycles tend to shorten, eventually leading to hair follicles ceasing their hair production. This process is unique to each person; some start balding in their twenties, while others experience it later in life. FUE hair transplants replace aging follicles with new ones capable of producing hair.
Following the transplant, blood vessels nourish the newly placed follicles, stimulating hair growth in areas that were once bald or sparse.
Cost of FUE Hair Transplants
FUE hair transplants come at a price, typically ranging from $5,000 to $18,000 per treatment. For those requiring multiple sessions, the cost can soar above $50,000. Several factors contribute to the final cost of this procedure.
The Extent of Hair Restoration
When it comes to FUE hair transplants, the primary element influencing the cost is the extent of hair restoration needed. Put simply, the more hair follicles you require for transplantation, the greater the expense you’ll incur. Two crucial aspects play a pivotal role in this expense: the size of the area suffering from baldness or thinning, and the desired hair density after transplantation. Together, they determine the number of grafts needed, which inevitably influences the overall cost.
The Number of Sessions
In certain cases, individuals may need multiple FUE sessions to attain their desired level of hair restoration. Each session contributes to the total cost. For instance, a patient with substantial hair loss might need multiple procedures to achieve optimal results. These additional sessions consume both time and resources, leading to an upswing in the overall expenditure.
Surgeon’s Skill and Experience
The expertise and proficiency of the surgeon conducting the FUE procedure can significantly sway the cost. Accomplished and skilled surgeons often charge more for their services. Nevertheless, their mastery is invaluable in ensuring precise execution of the procedure, resulting in natural and successful outcomes. Opting for a qualified and reputable surgeon, even if it means a higher expense, is crucial.
The location of the clinic or surgical facility can also exert an impact on the cost of an FUE hair transplant. Procedures conducted in major cities with a high cost of living tend to be pricier than those in smaller towns or regions with a lower cost of living. Patients should be mindful that selecting a clinic in a more expensive location could escalate the overall financial outlay.
Since most medical insurance plans typically exclude coverage for cosmetic procedures like FUE hair transplants, it’s probable that you’ll be bearing the cost yourself. Additionally, budgeting for pain relievers and potential post-treatment complications is advisable. When assessing the financial aspect, don’t forget to factor in time off work for recovery, which may amount to three to four days. In most cases, employers do not include cosmetic procedures within their health leave policies.
Procedures to be Followed Before Surgery
Before obtaining an FUE transplant, you will need to undertake the following:
It is advisable to stop smoking at least one day before your FUE hair transplant procedure. Smoking can impede the body’s ability to heal and may affect the success of the transplant.
To promote better healing and reduce the risk of complications, it’s recommended not to consume alcohol for a minimum of three days prior to the surgery.
Blood Thinners and Aspirin
To minimize the risk of excessive bleeding during the procedure, it’s important to avoid taking blood thinners or aspirin for at least two weeks before the surgery. Your surgeon may provide guidance on specific medications to avoid.
Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins
For approximately two weeks leading up to the treatment, it’s best to avoid nutritional supplements and vitamins. Some supplements, such as vitamin E, can have blood-thinning effects, which can be problematic during the surgery.
If you are taking antidepressant medications, it is typically recommended to discontinue them for at least two weeks before the surgery. However, it’s crucial to consult with your prescribing physician before making any changes to your medication regimen.
Your surgeon may advise against cutting your hair before the procedure, as having longer hair in the donor area can make it easier to conceal any post-operative scarring during the healing process.
To improve blood flow to the scalp and enhance the overall health of your hair, consider massaging your scalp for 10 to 30 minutes daily in the weeks leading up to the surgery. This can potentially optimize the environment for hair growth.
Your surgeon may recommend using medications like minoxidil (Rogaine) in the lead-up to the procedure to prepare the scalp and stimulate hair growth. Follow your surgeon’s instructions on the use of these medications.
Before the surgery, your surgeon will typically request blood tests and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to ensure you are in good overall health and that there are no underlying medical conditions that might affect the procedure or your recovery.
Aside from microscopic white spots where follicles have been removed, there will be no scars from an FUE hair transplant. These may dissipate with time. If you experience any symptoms or rare adverse effects, as mentioned below, consult your doctor:
Signs and Symptoms of Infection
Crust or Discharge: In some cases, you might observe a crust or a discharge at the site of the procedure. This is a natural part of the healing process.
Swelling and Throbbing: Around the place where the operation was performed, you may experience some swelling and a throbbing sensation. It’s your body’s way of responding to the surgery.
Follicle Enlargement (Folliculitis): Sometimes, the hair follicles near the treatment area can become enlarged, a condition known as folliculitis. This is typically temporary and will resolve on its own.
Bruising: Bruising at the surgical site is not uncommon. It can happen as a result of the surgical process but should gradually fade away as you heal.
Numbness and Tingling: You may feel a numbness or tingling sensation near the treatment site. This is often due to the surgery and should improve over time.
Mismatched Hair: Occasionally, the newly implanted hair may not perfectly match the surrounding hair. This can be addressed with time and possibly further treatment.
Thinning or Balding Recurrence: In some cases, you might notice a return of thinning or balding in the treated area. This could require additional intervention.
The healing journey post Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) surgery is known for its speed. Within the initial three days, some mild discomfort and swelling might be expected. Here are aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery:
- Avoid washing or showering for three days.
- Use gentle, unscented shampoos for the first few weeks.
- Consider taking a few days off work for recovery.
- Wait three weeks before combing or brushing new hair.
- Hold off on wearing hats until your surgeon approves.
- Avoid vigorous exercise for at least a week.
As noted earlier, hair grafted to a different body location usually grows back in three to four months. Approximately ten percent to eighty of the implanted hair will come back.
Since FUE can be regarded as an outpatient operation, you may leave the clinic after each session. After FUE, you won’t have to disrupt your routine as often. However, do not submerge the region in water and do not engage in strenuous exercise during the first few weeks of recovery.
Therefore, it can be concluded that FUE transplant is a desirable operation once all precautions are heeded.
The results of the FUE hair transplant surgery are very satisfactory. So natural, that it is almost imperceptible its realization. Allowing patients to enjoy abundant hair, also recovering their security and confidence.