Finesse Hair Grafting: Two Techniques, Great Results
While cosmetic surgery certainly changes a man’s appearance, medical experts have also observed the marked changes in behavior they can also create. Women, who have been encouraged to and have become comfortable with changes in their own appearance, will often see these behavioral changes at a much smaller level than male patients. For most men, there has never been a reason or opportunity to experience such a profound change.
Both men and women are troubled by hair loss, a sensitive condition that affects millions of people to varying degrees. While the majority of hair loss stems from genetic sources, other factors can contribute to the problem, such as stress, poor nutrition, and certain kinds of illness. For these men and women, hair replacement surgery provides a permanent solution to their hair loss and the related embarrassment or self-consciousness that it creates. At the Hair Transplant Center of Naples, new patients are experiencing these life-changing improvements and boosting their self-esteem with hair restoration every week.
The principle behind hair transplantation is a simple one: transplanted hair follicles, the roots moved from one location to another, should behave the same as they did in their original position. In a typical balding patient, a small amount of horseshoe-shaped hair will remain; a hair transplant surgeon should be able to move hair follicles from this area to the bald area, where they will take root and grow. Procedures like this have resulted in lifetime growth for patients since 1958.
For the most successful and natural-looking results, the hairs must be placed at an appropriate angle and in the right location to blend with any remaining native hairs. An age-appropriate positioning of the hairline is the key to creating undetectable results. Your surgeon should also have the foresight to anticipate any future hair loss that may occur and take the steps needed to plan accordingly.
Two Hair Transplant Techniques
When hair transplantation is required, there are two main techniques used to perform follicular unit grafting to reduce typical pattern baldness: Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
With follicular unit micrografting, hairs are taken from the back of the head where balding is less likely, and then transplanted to the balding area around the hairline and at the top of the head. Each follicular unit graft contains up to four hairs and their supporting roots and other elements. One-hair grafts are often used to place several rows of viable hair along the frontal and temporal hairline, followed by grafts of two, three, and four hairs behind them. A surgeon’s ability to add finesse and perfect each microscopic detail throughout the transplantation process can provide patients with the most natural results.
About Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
During a typical FUT procedure, a thin strip of hair is taken from the back of the head, from above one ear to the other. Sutures will close this incision and be removed within nine to 10 days. This strip of donor hair will be meticulously dissected under magnification, creating many smaller follicular unit grafts of one to four hairs each. Recipient openings are then created at the top of the head in strategic areas of thinning or balding. When ready, a large number of these small grafts can be transplanted in a short time frame, usually about five hours, so that the grafts are not left out of the body for long. After the procedure, the incision line often heals as a very fine line, easily hidden by the hair above and below. Patients who shave their heads following the procedure, however, will have a mildly noticeable scar.
About Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
The FUE procedure involves taking follicular unit grafts from the back of the head individually and transplanting them to the top of the head. There is no linear incision used to harvest these grafts, as in the FUT procedure. Instead of a linear scar, FUE leaves multiple small white round scars behind after the graft harvest. This process is also effective but may take longer, usually seven to eight hours on average, and will result in fewer grafts. Dr. Agarwal provides this option for the right candidates and under the right circumstances. He performs FUE procedures without the use of automated suction-based devices, which he believes are harmful to the hair follicle. Instead, he uses extremely sharp titanium punches for this procedure.
Planning Your Hair Transplant
Whether FUT or FUE is chosen as your method of hair harvest is an important topic of conversation between you and your surgeon. Dr. Agarwal’s level of experience and skill for designing an appropriate hairline, combined with his gentle handling and expedited placement of the grafts, will create long-lasting, natural-looking, and successful hair transplantation results. Choosing the right physician plays a major role in your overall success, so be wary of those who advertise impractical “scarless” procedures and the like.
One uncommon procedure used to reduce large areas of baldness is scalp reduction, which uses hair grafts to fill in and refine the hairlines. Combining scalp reduction sessions and hair graft sessions is sometimes necessary for select patients. Each patient will experience his or her own degree of baldness, so an individual consultation is the only way to determine the most appropriate plan for your hair replacement.
At the Aesthetic Surgery Center, hair replacement surgery is considered a delicate procedure, likened to a form of art. Dr. Agarwal is a board certified facial plastic surgeons trained and experienced in the art of microsurgery. His meticulous attention to detail along with his use of micro-follicular unit grafting provides results that are as natural and undetectable as possible.
Your First Consultation
Your first meeting with Dr. Agarwal will be a private, one-on-one entirely focused on your needs and expectations. He’ll be very thorough, asking detailed questions about your specific concerns, what you want improved, and what your desired results are. Dr. Agarwal will then examine your hair and any pictures you provide of yourself prior to hair loss. This is to gain an understanding of the changes your hairline has undergone.
Afterwards, the doctor will discuss his opinion and the solution he recommends to get you the best results, including medical and surgical solutions. He will also discuss the different surgical approaches and which would best suit your needs, which include either FUT or FUE. Finally, our patient coordinator will walk you through Dr. Agarwal’s recommendations and provide information on the cost, logistics, and schedule availability.
Your Preoperative Visit
When you have chosen to proceed with the surgeon’s recommendations, the next step is to meet for a pre-operative visit during which you will review all of your pre- and post-operative instructions, medications, and consents. This is the perfect time to ask any follow-up questions you may have forgotten initially and get the answers you need. At this visit, your standardized photographs will also be taken.
The Day of Your Procedure
You will be asked to arrive at least one hour prior to your procedure, at which point you will be given an oral sedative. Dr. Agarwal will then use a blue marking pen to mark your scalp. A local anesthetic will be administered to the donor site at the back of your head and the necessary donor hairs will then be harvested. For FUT strip harvests, the site is then closed with sutures. For FUE procedures, the hair is shaved in approximately a 2-inch band across the back of the head before individual follicular units are harvested.
Following the harvesting, you will be given a brief chance to rest before the microscopic follicular unit grafting begins. Once a local anesthetic has been given to numb the scalp, Dr. Agarwal will create microscopic recipient openings based on an appropriate hairline with optimal angulation and density. Finally, the grafts will be inserted gently and delicately in order to minimize trauma. With the insertion process now complete, you will be fitted with a light headband-like pressure dressing and allowed to return home. You must spray the grafts following your procedure to keep them moist while minimizing crusting, as instructed by Dr. Agarwal. You will notice that the donor area is sore, but you will be given pain medication to help manage your discomfort.
What to Expect in the First Few Days
On the day after your procedure, you will return for a post-operative visit. At this time, your dressing will be removed and the treatment areas will be inspected. You will be instructed to begin a daily routine during which you will wash your hair twice with shampoo condition and continue to spray the grafts as directed. Following an FUT procedure, the stitches in the back of your head will be removed on day nine or 10. Any crusting present at the site of your hair grafts should disappear by two weeks following the surgery.
What to Expect in the First Few Months
You will continue to care for your hair and scalp as directed for the first few months post-op. Starting somewhere around three months after surgery, the majority of your hair growth will take place, continuing at one year and beyond. For many patients, a second hair transplantation session is necessary to improve the density of your hair. These revisits are usually scheduled a year or more after your original hair transplantation procedure.
What to Expect in the Years After Your Procedure
A truly well-performed hair transplantation procedure will create lifelong changes for your hairline and hair density. Finasteride is the top recommendation made by Dr. Agarwal to his male patents because of its ability to slow the future loss of native hairs. Men and women can benefit from topical minoxidil to slow this process as well. However, as hair loss does continue, Dr. Agarwal is proud to follow his patients for the long term and help them to combat their distressing hair loss problem.
Book an appointment with Dr. Agarwal by contacting the Aesthetic Surgery Center, located at 1175 Creekside Parkway #100 in Naples, FL, by calling (239) 594-9100.