Hair transplantation is the riskiest option that can be considered for hair loss conditions. This should only be considered if treatment options have failed or the hair loss condition is too vast for other treatment options.
The main risk with surgery is that it is permanent and only a certain amount of hair follicles can be moved from non-genetic hair loss areas on your scalp.
There are two different versions of surgical hair replacement that are presently being conducted.
FUT – Follicular unit transplantation. This is the most common form of transplantation. Under a local anaesthetic the back of the scalp is numbed and the surgeon will extract a rectangular strip of hair bearing tissue. The area is closed up with internal dissolvable sutures and removable silk sutures on the surface. A good surgeon will ensure that the scar that will result will be as thin as possible. The strip of hair bearing tissue will then be dissected into individual follicle units under microscope. Once the grafts are ready then the surgeon will make incisions into the balding areas and the grafts are then placed into these incisions. The requirement of the work to be performed will determine the area removed from the back of the scalp and redistributed into the balding areas.
FUE – Follicular unit extraction. FUE is essentially the same technique except that the hair follicles are extracted by a punch individually from the back of the scalp and then reinserted to the balding areas. The main advantage with this procedure is that you can take grafts from areas that you can’t access with FUT. The disadvantage is that transection of the hair follicle is likely as each hair follicle is on a different angle.
We recommend that FUT should be used for larger procedures and FUE for touching up hair lines and for when FUT can’t be undertaken.
With the onset of surgical tourism being conducted out of Turkey, India, Thailand and the middle east many surgeons in Australia are getting more desperate in trying to attract new patients to go under the knife. A great example of this is when a surgeon in Brisbane used this text in Google Adwords:
The concern with this text is the term “no scars” this is false and misleading as both types of procedures create scarring. The International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery said this about such claims:
“There is no such thing as “scarless surgery” in hair transplantation.
The ISHRS is concerned about false and exaggerated advertising claims related to hair restoration surgery such as “scarless surgery” or the claim that the surgery can be completely performed by a machine. The fact is that any incision whether by machine or hand that enters the skin beyond the most superficial of depths causes a scar to form, and there is currently no machine capable of automatically performing all the aspects of the hair restoration surgery. Available technology can only assist trained surgeons performing hair restoration surgery.”
This is just one example of surgeons getting desperate. The other area that is not being covered by surgeons is that it is always recommended that a second opinion should be sought before having a procedure.
As surgery is a permanent procedure we recommend that a patient should have a very broad understanding of what the ramifications of a surgical procedure are. A great example of this is to understand how many grafts maybe taken without making the back section looking to sparse. On average a person without baldness has 100,000 hair follicles. You will lose more than 2/3rd’s of these if you are a Norwood 7.