A hair transplant is a surgical procedure in which a dermatological surgeon moves hair follicles, from an area where there is sufficient hair growth to a bald area of the head. It is a surgery designed to address hair loss that is usually caused by genetic features, aging, and injury.
Whenever a hair transplant is mentioned, people think of it as a surgery performed on a bald head, but it can also be used to restore chest hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, beard and mustache hair.
Who can undergo hair transplantation?
Nowadays, 50% of men who are over 50 years have a hair loss problem. This makes the hair transplant as the most common cosmetic surgery for men. But this doesn't mean that it's less popular to women as they also experience hair loss and thinning problems.
To be considered as an ideal candidate, the most important thing is to have an area of sufficient hair growth. Although it's regarded as a cosmetic procedure, hair transplant can be used for medical purposes to restore the hair of patients who may have lost hair due to any sort of injury.
In short, hair replacement surgery is a good option for:
● men with male pattern baldness
● women with thinning hair
● anyone who has lost some hair due to injury
Which methods are used for hair transplantation?
Hair transplants can be performed using two methods: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). The difference in these two methods is in the way the number of hair grafts transplanted at a certain time during the procedure. Whether your surgeon recommends FUE or FUT, it's nearly impossible for people to tell that you have had a hair transplant surgery a few months later —the results always look natural.
Suppose you are having an FUE transplant, your surgeon will use an incision tool to take single hair follicles are taken from the donor area and implanted in the tiny incisions of the bald area that requires new hair.
With the FUT method, the core idea may be the same by the way its carried out is totally different. Instead of transplanting the hair strips as singles, the surgeon will move quite a huge number of them at the same time and inject them into incisions made in the recipient area.
How long does a hair transplant procedure take?
In most cases, the hair transplant procedure takes between 4 and 12 hours. But the duration may differ from one patient to another —the duration is determined by the method used to perform the procedure and the amount of the hair loss. If the recipient area is too large, then the whole transplant is likely to take much time. The surgeon will first have to numb the scalp first using anesthesia before the surgery commences.
What is the recovery time after the treatment?
The patient is discharged a few hours after the procedure with his/her head bandaged using a special strip. Not to say that there will be any pain, but the surgeons usually prescribe painkillers just in case. Patients can return to work 3-days after the surgery—but their head has to be covered and protected from the sun.
Will the transplanted hair fall out?
Do not be alarmed to see some of the transplanted hair shedding off in a few weeks after the procedure as this is a normal situation —this paves the way for new hair growth. Surgeons will prescribe minoxidil (Rogaine) or the hair growth medication finasteride (Propecia) so as to improve hair regrowth. These medications do not just promote hair growth, but they also help stop future hair loss.
Expect the lost hair to grow again in 12 to 16 weeks. However, the original hair in the recipient area may continue to be lost, and this may mean that one may need another hair transplant surgery in the future. But this depends on the hair density decrease.
What is the success of hair transplant?
For a hair transplant surgery to be regarded as a success, there are several determinant factors that come to play. Firstly, the hair follicles to-be transplanted should be vascularized rapidly so that they stick to the recipient area. Secondly, there is a high chance of a successful surgery if your surgeon performs the procedure using the correct method.
What are the risks in hair transplant?
Just like any other surgery, the hair transplant comes with several risks. Although they are minor and they clear up within a few days, they have to be mentioned because they do exist. Here is a full list of side effects associated with a hair transplant:
● swelling of the scalp
● bruising around the eyes
● a crust that forms on the areas of the scalp where hair was removed or implanted
● numbness or lack of sensation on the treated areas of the scalp
● inflammation or infection of the hair follicles, which is known as folliculitis
● shock loss, or sudden but typically temporary loss of the transplanted hair
● unnatural-looking tufts of hair
Why Istanbul and Estepalace?
Turkey is considered as Europe’s hotspot for top-class hair transplant. Year in year out, foreign patients from other European and Mıddle Eastern countries flock the city of Istanbul looking to get a hair transplant that is tagged at a low price than other European countries. In the US, a hair transplant can cost up to $25,000 while in Turkish clinics such as Estepalace the same surgery is valued at $2,000 or less.
State-of-the-art facilities and also swift recovery periods are some of the reasons why the country welcomes a considerable number of foreign patients.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in July 2019.