Have you heard about hair transplants, but worry that there will be problems or side-effects from the hair transplant? A hair transplant need not be a worrisome experience, if you ask these important questions.
Question: Is this a major surgery?
Answer: No. A hair transplant is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic. Your scalp is numbed, and you are in a relaxed, reclined position for the hair transplant. A strip of hair-bearing scalp is removed, and the follicular units are graded and separated. Then, these follicular units are transplanted into tiny incisions in the balding areas. You go home the same day and return to most normal activities the next day. Pain is minimal and controlled with medication for a few days.
Question: Will there be clear signs I just had surgery, such as bandages?
Answer: With a hair transplant by a skilled hair transplant surgeon, there will be no bandages or other obvious indications of surgery. The area of the scalp where the strip of donor hair is removed will be covered by the hair around it. At most clinics, the hair attached to the transplanted follicles is trimmed before implantation, so very little is seen above the skin in the recipient area and the implanted area of the scalp looks about the same as before. Rarely there may be some small bumps or indentations in the implanted area, but they are not obvious and in time will get better, and become unnoticeable. After the surgery you will look normal. And 3 to 6 months later your new hair will begin to grow in.
Question: What about swelling?
Answer: As part of the hair transplant procedure, anti-inflammatory medication is commonly prescribed to control and reduce swelling.
Question: Will there be scarring?
Answer: Scarring in the area where the hair follicles were implanted is extremely rare. In the area where the donor hair was removed, a trichophytic closure is used to reduce or eliminate any noticeable scarring. In rare cases, the donor site may have excessive scarring, usually caused by individual differences, but normally there will be no visible scarring.
Question: Will the color of my skin be different in the recipient site?
Answer: In rare cases, the skin color in the implanted area may be different after surgery. Usually this change is temporary, but in any case the scalp will by concealed when the new hair grows in.
Question: Will my male pattern balding continue after the transplant? Will I still lose hair?
Answer: The transplanted hair is taken from an area of the scalp that is not affected by male pattern balding, so the new hair will continue to grow normally. However, balding may continue to progress naturally in non-implanted areas on the top of the head. This effect may be prevented by administering medications such as Rogaine, or alternatively a second transplant session may be performed later. If a second or subsequent transplant is performed, there will be plenty of transplantable donor hair available, and a skilled hair transplant surgeon will be careful to keep the look natural.
Question: Can I afford hair transplant surgery? Is it expensive?
Answer: Costs can vary, and higher costs do not necessarily result in a better outcome. The best results come from the most experienced hair transplant surgeons, like Dr. Larry Shapiro. He charges as little as $3 per graft, and offers interest-free financing. He also has a large, skilled staff of assistants to separate and grade the follicular units, so he does many follicular unit transplants in one sitting. Dr. Shapiro wants to make hair restoration affordable for everyone, and combine the latest technology with affordable pricing and expert care.