One of the most appreciable breakthrough in the field of medical science is procedure of Hair Transplantation. Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that involves transporting individual hair follicles from one part of the body (the donor site) to a balder area (the recipient site). In this procedure grafts containing hair follicles that are genetically immune to balding are transplanted to bald scalp head.
Since hair grows naturally in follicles containing a group of few hairs, the procedure can transplant these follicular units in their natural groups. It can be said that for restoring a natural hairline, natural hair are used as a subject itself. This hair transplant procedure is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Donor hair can be harvested onto one's scalp in two different ways;
1. Strip Harvesting – The traditional, and now somewhat old, method involves a strip of scalp usually from the back of the head to be removed using local anesthesia. The wound is then stitched (literally) back together and the piece of scalp tissue removed is then cut in to smaller pieces of tissues called grafts which are transplanted in to the thinning area of the patient's head. The strip harvesting method will although leave a visible scar on the donor area, which normally gets covered by the patient's hair, which starts growing after few days and shouldn't be visible normally after few months in case of long hair. The recovery period in the above procedure is about 2 to 3 weeks and will require the stitches to be removed under the medical supervision.
2. Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE Harvesting – In this modern and more innovative medical procedure individual hair follicles are removed from the donor area usually from the back of the head using local anesthesia. Such micro hair follicles are then tranplanted back in to the scalp (recipient site) in the thinning are. Since individual follicles (very small in size) are removed, only small and less visible scars remain and as such recovery from FUE procedure takes around a week. FUE harvesting, thus, rules out the need for removal of large strip of hair and can give very natural results with little or no scarring.
Post operation Care
The operated recipient area must initially be protected from sunlight, and shampooing is started only after two days of the surgery. Shampooing is important to prevent unwanted dust or scabs to accumulate near the transplanted hair so as to avoid any loss to the sensitive area for the initial period.
The results are significantly visible after two to three months when new hair begins to grow. The patient's hair grows normally and starts to thicken after six to nine months.
Minor Side Effects
Hair thinning is a common side effect that occurs immediately after few days of the treatment but is temporary as hair starts to grow normally after few weeks
Other side effect may involve swelling of the scalp and the forehead. However it also subsides by itself but if the problem persists, medication may ease the swelling. Moreover, the patient must be careful and avoid scratching if itching occurs as it will make the matter worse and cause scabs to form. A moisturizer or a good conditioner may be used in order to relieve such itching.