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Hair Transplantation


Overview :

Hair transplantation surgery is performed by a physician in an office, clinic, or hospital setting. Each surgery lasts two to three hours during which approximately 250 grafts will be transplanted. A moderately balding man may require up to 1,000 grafts to get good coverage of a bald area, so a series of surgeries scheduled three to four months apart is usually required. The patient may be completely awake during the procedure with just a local anesthetic drug applied to numb the areas of the scalp. Some patients may be given a drug to help them relax or may be given an anesthetic drug that puts them to sleep.

The most common transplant procedure uses a thin strip of hair and scalp from the back of the head. This strip is cut into smaller clumps of five or six hairs. Tiny cuts are made in the balding area of the scalp and a clump is implanted into each slit. The doctor performing the surgery will attempt to recreate a natural looking hairline along the forehead. Minigrafts, micrografts, or implants of single hair follicles can be used to fill in between larger implant sites and can provide a more natural-looking hairline. The implants will also be arranged so that thick and thin hairs are interspersed and the hair will grow in the same direction.

Another type of hair replacement surgery is called scalp reduction. This involves removing some of the skin from the hairless area and "stretching" some of the nearby hair-covered scalp over the cutaway area.

Health insurance will not pay for hair transplants that are done for cosmetic reasons. Insurance may pay for hair replacement surgery to correct hair loss due to accident, burn, or disease.

The most common hair transplant procedure involves taking small strips of scalp containing hair follicles from the donor area, usually at the sides or back of the head. These strips are then divided into several hundred smaller grafts. The surgeon relocates these grafts containing skin, follicle, and hair to tiny holes in the balding area by using microsurgical instruments or lasers.

It is important to be realistic about what the final result of a hair transplant will look like. This procedure does not create new hair, it simply redistributes the hair that the patient still has. Some research has been conducted where chest hair has been transplanted to the balding scalp, but this procedure is not widely practiced.




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