By age 50, about 50% of American men and a substantial number of women-are affected by hair loss, much of which is hereditary. Micro-hair transplantation is a state-of-the-art hair transplantation technique that has replaced "plugs" or larger grafts of hair.
Most micro-hair transplant procedures (individual hair micrograft restorations) use local anesthesia and are performed on an outpatient basis. Other procedures such as flap surgery, require general anesthesia and are performed in a surgical setting. After approximately six weeks, the transplanted hair will fall out and be replaced about three months later when the new hair grows in. To achieve sufficient density, several sessions may be required. Transplantation is a progressive process requiring hundreds of micro-grafts, each of which will generally contain from one to three hairs mini-grafted from a donor site on the side or back of the head. They are randomly implanted in the bald (or thinning) area so that they will grow in a natural pattern and produce an undetectable result.
- Procedure is permanent. Once the transplant procedures are complete, there is no further necessity for surgery.
- Restores a natural, more youthful, and vigorous look, with potentially positive psychological effects, such as a boost in confidence.
- Less expensive than other hair-loss treatments, when factored over time.
- Must have availability of healthy hair in donor areas of adequate density. May be combined with other surgical procedures in patients with larger areas of baldness.
- Time-consuming process that may require multiple sessions over 1 to 2 years.
- Procedure involves some degree of minor discomfort, bruising and swelling.
- There may be numbness around the donor or recipient site, which generally disappears within 2 to 3 months.
- Several days are required before normal activities can be resumed.
- Patient should not have unrealistic expectations about the nature and extent of transplanted hair growth. Individual hair characteristics, such as coarseness and curl, can affect the possible density of transplanted hair.
- Survival of transplanted hair is not always predictable.
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