Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair plays a big role in enhancing attractiveness. It often reflects our youth and sensuality and directly impacts our self-esteem. If you are unhappy with the appearance and thickness of your hair, W Cosmetic Surgery® of Philadelphia offers minimally invasive options, such as a hair transplant.
Generally, a hair transplant can be performed using two different methods: follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit grafting (FUG). The goal of either procedure is to extract small units of donor hair from the patient and insert the individual follicles into the bald areas of the scalp. This results in a natural-looking, thicker, fuller and more youthful head of hair.
Is follicular unit extraction and grafting right for you?
Individuals with the following conditions may be ideal candidates for a hair transplant:
- Male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness.
- Hair loss from scarring, scalp injuries, or cosmetic surgery procedures.
Additionally, hair transplants may be right for individuals who have had prior hair restoration procedures, or those who wish to have a short, cropped hairstyle without noticeable scarring. Individuals should have a stable supply of donor hair in the back or sides of the head, which is sufficient to cover the current and future areas of hair loss.
Types of Hair Transplant Treatments: FUE or FUG?
There are two primary surgical techniques used in performing hair restoration: follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit grafting (FUG). The main difference between the two methods is the way in which the hair is harvested from the donor area.
- During a follicular unit grafting procedure, a scalpel is used to remove a single, thin strip and then dissected into individual follicular units.
- A follicular unit extraction extracts small units at a time with less scarring.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
A third method that we may recommend to increase the number of hairs and thickness is platelet rich plasma (PRP). It’s a simple, new treatment that Dr. Kevin Ende offers at W Cosmetic Surgery®. PRP uses your own body’s stem cells and growth factors to stimulate and create new hair growth. PRP is the first stem cell and growth factor treatment of its kind for hair regrowth. PRP is now universally accepted as a hair regrowth treatment.
We have a PRP system that isolates your own body’s stem cells and growth factors that are necessary for new hair growth.
- Patients can get up to 20 percent new hair growth without surgery.
- Increased hair growth of 16-20 percent has been calculated in many studies in the last few years.
- PRP can yield up to 20 percent more hair growth than traditional hair transplants with results in as little as three months.
Your hair transplant procedure. What to expect.
Hair restoration procedures are performed in our surgical suite while the patient is comfortably sedated under anesthesia. Before the hair grafts are harvested, small recipient sites are marked in the balding and thinning areas of the scalp. We then create small, circular incisions in the skin around a follicular unit and separate it from the surrounding tissue. The unit is then extracted directly from the scalp, leaving a small open hole.
A long incision is not necessary in the donor area. Instead, a small microneedle is used to punch a tiny, nonlinear incision around the hair follicle before extraction. This results in significantly less scarring than a follicular unit grafting (FUG) procedure. Patients are able to wear a short, cropped hairstyle with a follicular hair transplant.
The number of follicular units that are extracted is dependent on how many units are needed for the planned hair restoration. This process may take several hours in long sessions and may be completed over two consecutive days.
Recovering from a Hair Transplant
The recovery from a hair transplant is relatively short. After the procedure, a bandage is placed around the head to cover the donor area and a hat or bandana is worn home. The transplanted area does not require a bandage or dressing and all wraps can be removed the next day.
Typically, patients resume normal daily activity almost immediately. Exercise can be resumed the second day following the procedure. However, activities that rub or put direct pressure on the scalp should be avoided during the first ten days of recovery. Hair growth can be expected six months post-surgery.
Is hair transplant my only option?
Every patient’s case is unique. It is important to understand the cause of your hair loss so we can set the right expectations for achieving the best results. Depending on a number of factors—amount of hair loss, causes of hair loss, amount and quality of donor hair—a consultation with our surgeons is an important step in deciding which treatment is right for you.
Which option works best?
When deciding on which procedure is best for you, it’s important to consider the individual benefits of each and to have realistic expectations on the desired outcome.
Cost of the hair grafts
The strip excision, or follicular unit grafting procedure, is much more economical than a follicular unit extraction procedure. Typically, it can be half the price per graft. If you need a much larger recipient area filled, you may be a better candidate for a FUG procedure.
Short or long hairstyles
Due to the method in which the hair follicles are extracted individually instead of in a strip-like technique, a follicular unit extraction procedure results in significantly less scarring than a follicular unit grafting procedure. There is no linear scar in the donor area allowing patients to style their hair very short. FUG patients must keep their hair at medium length or longer in order to hide linear scarring.
Don’t have time for a long recovery
Since the follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure is much less invasive than the FUG surgery, recovery time is significantly reduced. Patients are able to resume normal daily activity almost immediately and can begin exercise just a couple of days later. This advantage is especially useful in patients who are athletes or people who cannot take time off of work to recover from the procedure.
Don’t have a stable supply of donor hair on the head
With an FUE procedure, our expert surgeons are able to harvest non-scalp hair, such as body hair if the patient does not have a stable supply of donor hair on the back or sides of the head. Although the procedure is more successful with donor hair from the scalp, FUE can offer patients another alternative.
Already tried a previous hair transplant
For patients who have had a previous hair transplant, it is advised that they use the newer FUE approach for hair restoration. Normally, there are already large amounts of strip scarring in patients who have tried FUG in the past. By using FUE, the scars are less obvious and the procedure is less intrusive.
*These case-scenario situations should not replace an in-office consultation with your plastic surgeon. This is only meant to help educate you on the possible options. We will evaluate your unique case and provide the best solutions with you at our office.
Hair Transplant Results
Results for hair transplant surgery differ from patient to patient and depend on the unique treatment options chosen for each patient. View some typical results from our hair transplant and restoration surgeries in our hair gallery.