Hair Transplant Surgery: Hair Where There’s Air
Hair is an important part of a person’s body image and personality. Hair stops the body from losing heat loss through the head and prevents harmful solar radiation from reaching the scalp. The eyebrows protect the eyes from water or sweat running down the forehead. Aesthetically, hair makes a person look younger, more attractive, and better looking. That’s why those who suffer hair loss are often anxious to a undergo hair transplant or hair restoration.
Hair loss is a more severe problem for men, though women do suffer from it. Aging, hormonal imbalance, genetic tendency to hair loss, skin infections, and injuries are some of the many causes for hair loss and baldness. One increasingly popular method of hair restoration is hair transplant. In this procedure, hair from healthier, hair-covered parts of the head are implanted in bald areas, where they grow. Thus, hair transplant, or surgical hair restoration, is a redistribution of hair.
In most cases, hair transplant surgery doesn’t require a hospital stay. It is performed in the cosmetic surgeon’s clinic or office under local anesthesia (the scalp is numbed). In unusual cases, general anesthesia may be given.
Hair grafts differ in size and shape-mini-grafts contain up to four hairs, round punched grafts contain 15 hairs and longer strip grafts contain 30 to 40 hairs. Satisfactory hair restoration usually takes more than one session. A gap of several months takes place between successive sessions, allowing complete healing. Grafts are usually spaced about 8 inches (20 centimeters) apart to allow optimal blood circulation across the scalp. After grafting, the surgeon cleans and then covers the patient’s scalp with gauze. The surgeon may ask the patient to wear a pressure bandage for several days after surgery, though some doctors may choose to eliminate this step.
An important surgical method of hair restoration is flap surgery, which has been successfully used by cosmetic surgeons for more than two decades. In flap surgery, a hair-covered flap on the head is cut at one end and sewn at another position so that it covers a bald patch, while still remaining attached by one end to its former position. This is a quicker surgical method of hair restoration, covering relatively large parts of a bald head.
Hair transplant is usually a fairly safe procedure. In a few cases, bleeding, scarring of the scalp and infection may occur. The patient may feel numbness in the treated area, but feeling usually returns to normal within 2 to 3 months. Temporary hair loss is another undesirable possibility.
The cost of a hair transplant depends on the extent of hair loss, the surgical procedure used, and the geographical location where the surgery is performed. In the USA, a single graft usually costs from $3 to $10.