Table Of Index
What is hair transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgery that involves moving hair to a bald or thinning area of the scalp. Also known as hair replacement or hair restoration, this procedure is usually suitable for individuals who have tried other hair loss treatments without getting satisfactory results. Dermatologists or plastic surgeons generally perform hair transplants. The hair transplant experts take grafts, small pieces of skin from regions of the body that contain dense, healthy hair. This area is called the donor site. It is generally on the head, at the back of the scalp where hair is thickest. The hair transplant surgeon moves the grafts to the parts of the scalp that has no or thin hair. When the transplanted skin heals, it will continue to grow hair. A right candidate for hair replacement surgery is a person who is in good health, have areas of thick hair growth on the scalp and have some realistic expectations regarding hair transplant results.
Types of hair transplant
Follicular unit extraction (FUE): This type of hair transplant is performed by taking individual hair follicles from the skin and then moving them to another part of the body where the hair is thin or absent. This hair transplant technique has become more popular. In this approach, surgeons use micro punches to remove single follicles and then move them to the area of interest, leaving behind nearly no signs of extraction. FUE procedure is considered quite safe with some minor possible side effects, like tiny white scars on the site of follicle extraction.
FUE is often performed in multiple 2-4 hour sessions for several days. In some rare cases, a mega session might last 10-12 hours. The candidate can generally go home after each procedure as FUE is an outpatient procedure. A person does not have to interrupt their daily routine too much after this procedure. Nearly any type of surgeon can do a hair transplant surgery. However, an individual may want to consult a dermatologist who has expertise in hair loss or is certified to perform hair transplant surgery. Hair transplanted using this technique generally begins growing back in around 3-4 months.
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT): This is a minimally invasive procedure used to cover bald areas caused due to hair loss. The technique is considered safe and can give a natural-looking result if performed properly by a trained hair transplant surgeon. In FUT, a surgeon cuts a small strip of skin from the side or back of the head and then extracts individual hair follicles. These follicles are placed on the balding parts of the scalp. This surgery works best by covering a receding hairline caused due to male patte baldness. Hair transplant surgery take between 4 and 8 hours and is generally quicker than FUE surgery. Most individuals remain awake during the surgery as a local anesthesia is used.
Men with androgenic alopecia (commonly referred to as male patte baldness) are suitable candidates for FUT. In case a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder or alopecia areata, is leading to your hair loss, then FUT surgery won’t likely be a suitable option. FUT is typically performed on individuals over the age of 25. Any complications after FUT approach are rare. A healthy supply of blood to the head let it heal quickly and prevent infections.
Causes and Symptoms
Pre-Transplant Examination: A pre-transplant examination is important for determining the cause of a person’s hair loss, knowing steps to be taken before and after the hair transplant, and evaluating suitability for the surgery.
Hormone tests: Hormone tests are done before hair transplant as hair loss might be caused by hormonal issues. This test is done to find the cause of hair loss.
Blood tests: Blood tests are carried out before hair transplant. These tests give information about the blood sugar levels, infections, blood pressure, and other health issues. Blood tests are performed to assess the individual’s overall health.
Dermatological tests: Dermatological tests are usually done before hair transplant surgery. These tests are performed to collect information about any infections, lesions, or other health problems in the hair-containing area of the skin by taking picture of the area, examining hair strands, and doing a thermoscopic evaluation.
Risk & Complications
Scarring: Scarring is a common side effect. However, scarring might be less visible and it will disappear over time depending on skin type and the skill of the surgeon.
Folliculitis: This refers to inflammation of hair follicles and may be a potential side effect.
Itching: Itching in the donor and recipient areas is a common side effect experienced during the healing period.
Infection: In some rare cases, post-operative infections may occur. This can appear as pus, swelling and inflammation around the surgical wounds.
Graft failure: The grafts may fail leading to tissue death of skin grafts and along the surgical wounds.
Shock loss: Temporary loss of transplanted hair may occur. However, it is considered a normal complication of the hair transplant, and hair generally regrows with time.
Bleeding: There can be bleeding during and after the procedure. However, it is usually minimal and resolves fast.
Pain and discomfort: The candidate can experience mild pain and discomfort after hair transplant and could be managed easily with prescribed medications.
Uneven growth: In certain cases, hair might not grow evenly, requiring extra procedures for correction.
Preparation of Treatment
Discuss the medications you are taking with the hair transplant specialist to make pre-surgery adjustments to lower bleeding risk and speed up the healing process. Leave smoking before surgery to quicken healing and reduce complications. Follow a well-balanced diet containing vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats that support hair and scalp health.
Maintain hydration by drinking sufficient water for overall health, and hair and scalp health.
Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption to prevent dehydration and improve the healing process.
Avoid blood-thinning substances to reduce bleeding risk. Plan post-operative care by bringing someone to drive home after sedation and anesthesia and for initial recovery assistance.
Cost of the treatment
Cost of hair transplant
The cost of hair transplant in India can range from $422 to $4,000 depending on the number of grafts needed and the type of procedure chosen. The average cost of a hair transplant in India is around $603 to $965 for FUE and $361 to $603 for FUT. These prices are much lower compared to other countries, like the USA and the UK, where the cost can go up to $10,000. India has become a popular spot for hair transplant because of its high quality of care and affordable cost. Hair transplant cost in India depends on several factors like the stage of baldness of the client and the location of the clinic. Even within the same city, the prices might vary from clinic to clinic.
Recovery after hair transplant surgery
It takes nearly 10 to 14 days to recover after a hair transplant. While recovering, the patient could expect their transplanted scalp to be red and swollen. It may take from 10 to 14 days for these signs to resolve. There are several factors that should be considered during the recovery period. After the surgery, the patient will begin to notice the results. You need to refrain from physical activities for some time after hair transplant. The patient can safely wash hair after 48 hours. Shampoo should not be applied directly on the head. It is normal for the head to have swelling after the procedure, and it will last until day 3 and 4. You should refrain from using hair dye for 4 weeks after the surgery. The harsh chemicals may have a negative impact on the hair graft.
Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd
Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui is an award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd., a professionally managed medical tourism holding company and the active Director of Alshifa Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd., a full-service medical tourism aggregation agency servicing JCI and NABH/ NABL accredited Hospitals across the country’s 5 locations.
In addition to Marlin, Alshifa also includes Media Group, which houses Arabic Medical Tourism e-Magazine healthandtour.com. The E-magazine “مجلة الصحة والسياحة” provides a wide scope of medical tourism information to healthcare travellers to find a safe, effective and cost-saving solution for their medical and healthcare needs. In addition to running E-Magazine, Dr. Mohammad Afzal also serves as Delhi-state coordinator in Foundation of Healthcare and Wellness Promotion focused on bringing India’s Healthcare closer to the world and smoothen world’s access to Indian Healthcare.