Hair Transplant for Baldness
In this method; the Hair Roots (Follicular Units) are individually harvested one by one from the donor area by a micro punch device of 0.75 to 1 mm size (generally 8mm), by a specialised low-torque motorised machine. The wound is less than 1mm in diameter and therefore heals rapidly with practically no scarring and stitch mark.
Baldness is one of the most common cosmetic surgery request from the man. The baldness occuring in male is known as Male pattern Baldness. Cosmetic surgery offers various options for corrections of baldness.
Male pattern baldness is essentially a genetical problem resulting from exaggerated response of the hair to male sexual hormone, testosterone. Cosmetic surgery does not correct any abonormality at this level. It just brings hair from the other hair bearing areas of scalp.
What are the types of Cosmetic Surgery available for hair replacement?
A person seeking a solution for the baldness is actually looking out for hairs which are natural, belongs to himself, are permanent, will grow naturally without looking artificial. Cosmetic surgery can satisfy most of the demands to a significant extent. To cure baldness, there are three types of cosmetic surgery.
- Hair transplant
- Flap surgery
- Tissue expansion
It’s important to note that after these surgeries, the hair doesn’t start growing again but the skin or hair from another spot is transplanted on the site of baldness, thus improving one’s appearance.
Who can benefit by the cosmetic surgery?
Generally, most people don’t lose hair at the back of their heads. For cosmetic surgery, hair is taken from this part of the head. This hair retains its original property. Thus if hair is transplanted from the back of the head to the front also, they don’t fall off. However, this means that those who are completely bald cannot be cured by this treatment. For others, cosmetic surgery is helpful.
What does the doctor do in the surgery?
In this treatment, a section of the skin from the back of the head along with the roots of the hair is taken. The area from where this strip is taken is then stitched up with sutures. About three strands of hair with the roots are separated. Sometimes, if the need arises, one hair at a time is separated. The separated hair is transplanted in the front portion of the head by making tiny holes.
At a time, about 1,500 hair is grafted. To separate such a large amount of hair takes a very long time. The operation normally lasts for four hours. This entire procedure is done after anaesthetizing the head. The doctors perform a dressing on the head for about three days. After this there’s no need for a dressing. One can shampoo the hair after about five days. The stitches at the back of the head dissolve on their own. After the operation, for about three days, there’s a slight heaviness in the head and pain. Medicines are prescribed for this.
Most of the newly transplanted hair in the front normally fall off within six weeks and later grow again after about four months. This newly transplanted hair has a growth rate of approximately 80 per cent.
Often this treatment has to be performed twice in order to fill up the entire bald patch. There should be a time gap of about four months between the two operations. It’s common for small boils to appear around the transplanted hair. As time goes by these will disappear.
The cost of each operation is approximately between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 25,000. If it is decided to carry out two stages together, which is done routinely now a days, the cost will increase accordingly. In comparison with the other forms of cosmetic surgery, the hair that grows with this treatment looks more natural. Earlier when about seven tufts of hair were transplanted at a spot, it looked unnatural and thus this method of about three hairs transplanted at a time was innovated. Even if there’s a small patch of hair where there is loss of hair due to burns or an operation or injury this method of surgery can be done.
Here, strips of skin and hair from the back and side of the head are taken and replanted in the front. A part of the skin remains attached at the back and the hair too is not separated from the skin. This operation is performed after administering anaesthesia to the person or locally to only the head.
In comparison to the earlier operation, this is considered complicated. The stitches required too are more than the earlier one. As a result of this, a thin scar remains in the front portion of the head. And in order to cover this scar, a hair transplant has to be performed around the scar. Also the hair transplanted by this method appears unnatural. Thus, this method is not commonly used today. The cost of this operation is approximately Rs. 30,000.
This surgery can be performed when there has been an injury or burn on the head. It can also be used for other parts of the body. (If there are burns on the face or warts with hair etc.) However we shall furnish the details another time…
CAN YOU GET OPERATED EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT COMPLETELY BALD?
Yes. Generally, baldness begins in the front and moves to the centre of the head. If you go in for hair transplant at the onset, then in future, when there is baldness at the centre, you can get operated for that area alone.
WILL THERE BE HAIR LOSS AFTER COSMETIC SURGERY?
Hair transplant or any other operations or medication given before or after the surgery neither arrest hair loss nor increase hair growth. All these surgeries only improve the appearance.
A lot of propaganda is done for medicines, oils etc. but a medicine that arrests baldness forever is yet to be discovered. As stated earlier baldness is a genetics related problem. However, according to an experimental study conducted recently, gene therapy will prove effective in curing baldness.