Hair Loss - Hair Transplants

by Stephanie McIntyre - Date: 2006-12-11 - Word Count: 819 Share This!

For those who have experienced permanent hair loss whether from male pattern baldness, injury or trauma, hair replacement surgery may be a possible solution. A doctor can help determine if hair transplants are a good choice for you, and in some cases, if done for reconstructive purposes, these procedures may be covered by health insurance.

There are many qualified doctors with years of experience in hair replacement surgical procedures. And there are techniques available now that ensure that the end results are more natural looking than were produced by transplant procedures of the past. While this page will discuss some aspects of hair transplants, it will be up to your doctor to cover all aspects of any procedure that's pertinent to your particular needs.

Hair transplants can certainly restore some of the hair lost to pattern baldness, but in some cases, it won't match the full head of hair the patient had before hair loss started. Also, this is surgery and like all surgery, has some risks associated with it.

The hair used for transplants is taken from the rim (donor areas on the sides and back) of the head and transferred to the balding (recipient) areas. These donor areas must be healthy and have enough hair to used for replacement. The actual hairs of the cells that are transplanted will fall out initially, but new, permanent hair will eventually grow in its place. The three areas of the head that receive hair are the crown of the head, the mid-scalp area and the front of the head.

For best results, it's important to find a well-qualified surgeon who has experience in hair replacement surgery. This doctor should be knowledgeable in all types of transplanting techniques and able to help you decide which is the best for your case. This will start with an evaluation of your hair loss, family history, general health, and your expectations and goals. Your doctor should be able to inform you of any risks involved, including those that exist because of lifestyle or a pre-existing medical condition.

Thoroughly research and review prospective surgeons before deciding on one because hair replacement surgery is not extensively regulated. There is no single type of doctor who performs these surgeries. General practitioners, cosmetic surgeons, and dermatologists can all perform transplants. So make sure you get all pertinent information you need from each doctor, such as:

A description of available transplant procedures as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. The doctor's background, including the number and type of transplants he or she has performed. What you should do before the surgery to prepare, and after to aid recovery and healing. What sort of anesthesia will be used. Photos of people with situations similar to yours before and after their procedures.

Since it is surgery, there will be specific guidelines for you to adhere to in preparation for surgery. These are meant give the procedure every chance for success and to minimize any difficulty during healing and recovery.

The actual surgery will involve transplanting small parts of the scalp from donor areas to the intended recipient areas. These donor scalp pieces can contain from 2 to 40 hairs, depending on the technique used. The smallest numbers of hairs that are transplanted are follicular units.

The transplanting of follicular units is the most modern of transplanting techniques. The biggest advantage to these kinds of replacements is the patient's hair can wind up looking very natural. Also, because of the way the donor section is removed, there is usually comparatively little scarring.

The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. The recipient incisions are made with a very small instrument, and the grafts attached in such a way as to produce a growth direction that matches and recreates the original hair. Also, the much smaller grafts can be placed very close together to result in a thicker head of hair. An even newer technique is called Follicular Unit Extraction. It uses a small tool to remove individual follicular units. No scar is produced with this technique but it's more expensive and time consuming. Also, there's a greater chance that some of the follicular units may be damaged in the process.

As in all surgery there can be complications such as scarring, infection, swelling and numbness. Your doctor should be able to provide assistance with some or all of these problems.

So the upside to FU surgery is that it can produce results that mimic the patient's original head of hair in nearly every way. These transplants can look natural to anyone who examines them. The downside is that some replacement clinics are not able to provide the level of skill and the amount of time needed to successfully perform this procedure.

Hair replacement works for most (but not all) who have the procedure done. Remember though, it is surgery and the most invasive form of hair replacement available. Do your homework and be sure that it's for you before having transplant surgery.

Related Tags: hair loss, baldness, hair transplant, alopecia, hair replacement, follicular unit, pattern baldnes

Stephanie McIntyre has been a Platinum eBay Powerseller, an eBay Trading Assistant as well as an Educational Assistant trained by eBay. Her company, eSales Unlimited Inc. specializes in training small business owners in using eBay as an additional revenue stream. She maintains a site with information on selling on eBay.

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