Hair replacement surgery has significantly developed and improved over the past decade in particular and is the only permanent solution for androgenetic hair loss.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for this type of surgery and pre-surgery assessment by a qualified practitioner is essential. Many hair replacement clinics have a ‘sales’ person as the first contact for patients who has no specific training in hair loss matters.
A patient contemplating surgery is vulnerable and will sometimes not be advised on the complexities of surgery:
- Potential for further androgenetic hair loss
- Suitability of age
- Appropriate methods of hair replacement
- Number of sessions required
However, when a patient has been through the assessment process and has proved to be a suitable candidate the following factors are then determined:
- A suitable surgeon
- The method to be used e.g. FUT or FUE (manual or robotic)
- The areas to be enhanced
- The number of grafts required
- The number of surgical sessions required
- The cost
Surgical hair replacement can change people’s lives for the better and usually feel the cost incurred is well worth it. It cannot be stressed highly enough how important the initial assessment process is to avoid disappointment or unrealistic expectations.
FUT (follicular unit transplant)
This is the traditional ‘strip’ method of the surgeon removing the hair from the donor site. The strip of skin is then processed by a number of technicians who cut the individual grafts to be utilised in the recipient area.
The surgeon replaces the grafts in the selected area, a process which requires a great deal of skill and superb technique, particularly when the hair line is being recreated.
This procedure is less expensive than FUE but is often the method of choice, depending on the patient’s specific requirements.
This procedure is only suitable for patients who wear their hair slightly longer as inevitably there will be a fine scar line that would be visible on a clipped or shaved head.
FUE (follicular unit extraction)
This more recent procedure involves the removal of grafts from the donor site individually, either manually or robotically. The grafts are then replaced in the same manner as with FUT.
The major benefit from this method is there is no resulting scar line, only minute circular scars which are not visible even with a clippered haircut.
Because this process is so labour-intensive it is more expensive than the FUT procedure.
In both procedures, the uptake of grafts is ideally 97 - 98 %. The procedure usually takes a full day and healing approximately 7 - 10 days.
More details on these procedures are available and Belgrave Medical Centre is extremely qualified in pre-surgery assessment.