Hair Transplant NYC - Hair Restoration
What is hair transplantation ?
Hair transplant surgery is a procedure whereby hair follicles (donor grafts) are transferred from an area of the scalp that contains dense hair (usually the back and sides) into thinning or bald areas (recipient site).
How did hair transplantation started ?
Modern day hair transplantation for Male Pattern Baldness first began in 1952 by a New York dermatologist, Dr. Norman Orentreich. He demonstrated that hair grafts taken from the back and/or sides of the scalp, which are genetically programmed to remain intact, when transplanted to areas of thinning and baldness retain their viability and growth, thereby retaining the characteristics of the donor sites. This was the breakthrough which allowed for hair transplantation. While the initial techniques were crude and resulted in poor aesthetic results, by the mid 1990’s the advent of follicular unit micro grafting completely changed the outcome of the procedure leaving a natural result with essentially undetectable hints of surgery.
Hair Transplant in NYC Procedure
A careful evaluation is made of the donor site in the back of the scalp to ascertain both the quality of the hair and its extent as a donor site. Hair restoration is usually done in three or occasionally four stages with each stage four months apart. The operation is performed under local anesthesia with or without sedation. Strips of hair are removed from the back of the scalp. These are then cut into tiny one- and three-hair grafts that are then inserted into the bald areas via slits in the scalp.
When dealing with hair grafts, it is important to understand the differences involved. A standard graft consists of skin strips of around 40 hairs whereas a mini graft has 5 to 12 hairs on a strip. A micro graft has even less hair on the skin strip, using one to four hairs. Typically, a mini graft is used for larger balding areas while a micro graft is used commonly at the hairline.
Before your procedure, Dr. George Lefkovits will need to get a detailed medical history from you, especially in regard to baldness in your family, as well as the current progression you have seen in your own hair loss. Most important, perhaps, is understanding the your expectations and appreciating which bald areas are most bothersome. If you have sought other hair restoration treatments, it is important that you share those with our plastic surgeon, even if those treatments were unsuccessful.
What are the most common causes of female and male pattern baldness ?
- Genetics – most common cause
- Hormonal conditions
- Radiation therapy
- Hair treatments and styling
Supplements and medications
Types of male pattern baldness- The Norwood scale
While there have been many classifications proposed for male pattern baldness, the most well known and most popular one is the Norwood Classification introduced in 1975. This classification is predicated on progressive thinning of the temple and crown areas. These thinning areas slowly progress to encompass the entire top of the scalp. The classification progresses from Type 1-Type 7 with the most severe being baldness being Type 7.
What are the types of hair transplant techniques ?
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) - Strip method
This involves the removal of a donor strip from an area of non-balding scalp in the back and/or sides of the scalp. A strip of over an inch in width is removed by the surgeon under local anesthesia. The defect resulting from the excision is then closed by the surgeon leaving a linear scar which usually heals well and hidden by the existing hair. The strip is then cut into small follicular units of 1-4 hairs under magnification by experienced hair technicians. They are then inserted into the thinning or bald areas after making tiny slits in these sites which accept the grafts.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
This involves the removal of follicular units directly through the use of micro-punches leaving tiny dots in the donor site which usually heal very well without a linear scar. There are essentially three FUE techniques:
This technique the follicles are manually extracted using a micro-punch. There is no automation.
In this technique a rotating motorized punch is used to facilitate the extraction instead of manually removing each hair graft.
In this technique the entire process is automated whereby the machine both removes the grafts and inserts them as well. This considerably speeds up the process and doesn’t require the extensive skills and experience needed using the prior two methods. But the extraction process can be traumatic to the grafts and result in a less successful overall result.
Whether to use the strip method (FUT) or Follicular extraction method(FUE) depends on the experience and preference of the surgeon as well as the preference of the patient. The strip technique is faster and may provide more grafts but at the expense of a linear scar. Patients who clip their hair in the back of the scalp may want to use the extraction method instead.
The FUE extraction method has become the more popular technique because it leaves very minimal scarring. But it is more time consuming and thereby more costly than the strip method.
What are some complications after hair transplant surgery ?
Complications after hair transplantation are usually minor and include:
- Temporary numbness of the treated area
- Shock loss or temporary loss of the transplanted hair
- Unnatural result, especially of the hairline, if not designed properly
What is the postoperative course after hair transplant surgery?
On a day of the surgery, you will start taking antibiotics and will continue taking them for another 4 days. You will also take a Medrol Dose Pack which will lessen the swelling. Pain medication will be subscribed, although most times Tylenol will be sufficient. You may experience soreness which is temporary. Most patients can return to non-strenuous work after a few days. Shampooing is permitted after a few days and you will be asked to return to the office in 10-14 days. It is normal for some transplanted hair to fall out within 2-3 weeks after surgery. This allows for new hair growth. Many surgeons start the patient on Minoxidil or Propecia which decreases hair fallout and improves hair growth. New hair growth can be seen by 3 months and the full result will be seen at about 9 months.
As with any procedure, there are risks associated with hair transplantation, but those risks are minimized by seeking treatment with a board-certified plastic surgeon. If you are interested in restoring your hair to its full luster, we invite you to call our office at (212) 750-9494 or request free consultations. We offer hair transplant treatments in New York City, New York.