Today, almost half of the male population in the world have different amounts of thinning hair and baldness. The rate is also considerable among women and hair transplantation is undoubtedly the permanent solution of male pattern hair loss.
Although hair transplantation has been performed practically since the 1990s, its beginning as an experimental practice dates back to much earlier times. A more traumatic method called FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) which resulted in rather visible scars especially at the back of the head was used in the early days; however, the technique has progressed over time and various techniques have been defined based on FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) that are less traumatic, leaving almost no scars and yielding more successful results.
The major advantages of the FUE method are that it is much less traumatic, does not result in a permanent scar on the donor or recipient area, patients can immediately return to their daily lives with very fast recovery, the results are highly natural and it is now considered the gold standard method in hair transplantation.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE OPERATION
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure just like other operations and is as important as other surgical operations. Therefore, the preparation for hair transplantation is not any different than the preparation for other surgical operations.
Basically any adult who suffers from hair loss and do not have obstacles for surgery can be considered for hair transplantation.
Below are the factors for consideration:
– Additional disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.)
– Previous operation history
– Medications used
– Allergic conditions
– Smoking (should be stopped 2 weeks before the surgery and not used at least for 1 month afterwards)
– Alcohol (should be cut 3 days before)
– Blood thinners such as aspirin should be stopped a week before.
– Herbal products, vitamin supplements and blood thinners such as gingko biloba should not be taken for a week before
Following an examination by the doctor, you will be admitted to the hospital if there is no obstacle for the operation, and the necessary blood tests will be carried out. After this stage, face-to-face consultation and final evaluations will be performed as well as necessary drawings and shaving (in cases suitable for DHI [Direct Hair Transplant] method, it may be enough to shave a small area at the back of the head without shaving the entire scalp).
Patients are then taken to the operation room wearing hospital gown suitable for the sterile area, and sedated if necessary. Local anaesthetics are applied to the areas to be treated and hair follicles are extracted from the donor area with the help of micro motors under sterile conditions and then stored in certain solutions under same conditions. Each hair graft contains 1-5 hair follicles. Therefore, a much higher amount of hair follicles will be planted than the number of grafts applied (for example, when 4000 grafts of hair is transplanted to the patient, it actually amounts to approximately 6000-10000 hair follicles).
Once the grafts are collected, if the classical slit method is going to be used for transplantation, channels are opened for the grafts to be implanted in the optimal angle and density.
If DHI (Direct Hair Implantation or Choi Pen) method is going to be used, the existing grafts are placed at the tip of the special pens and the grafts are implanted directly without the need to open channels. After the procedure is finished, the operation ends with the cleaning and medical dressing of the area.
Depending on the patient’s needs, the operation may take 6-8 hours. Following the procedure, the necessary treatment (antibiotics, painkillers, oedema treatments, solutions etc.) is arranged and the patient is discharged.
Patients are again examined the day after the operation, their hair is washed and they can resume their daily lives on the following day. Necessary information on postoperative care and recommendations on washing and care are given during the examination. Swelling begins to recede from the third day and disappears completely within 7-10 days. Scabs and rashes diminish and disappear within 15 days. Transplanted hair starts shedding after the first month and it is entirely shed within 2-3 months. Transplanted hair starts growing again after 3 months on average, and most of it will have grown within 8-12 months. This process may continue for up to 18 months.
BEARD AND EYEBROW TRANSPLANT
Beard and eyebrow transplantation can be performed with similar principles and techniques in patients who have hair loss on the beard and eyebrow areas. Duration of these operations is shorter than hair transplantation on scalp.