HOW GETTING A HAIR TRANSPLANT ACTUALLY WORKS
Find a Doctor
3 weeks before the hair transplant procedure: The patient will receive pre-op instructions that include a list of medications to avoid and other relevant directions.
The night before the hair transplant procedure: The patient should shower and shampoo their hair both the night before and the morning of the procedure.
The day of the hair transplant procedure, arriving at the office: The hair transplant physician will review the procedure plan with the patient and draw the proposed hairline on the patient’s scalp. After the patient confirms agreement with the plan, pre-op photos are taken.
The day of the hair transplant procedure, in the procedure room: The patient listens to music while resting in the prone position on a reclining chair. The hair transplant surgeon administers local anesthesia, utilizing a special vibrating device to mitigate the pain. The donor region is then tumesced, or filled by injection, with a saline solution containing a low concentration of adrenaline to control bleeding and lidocaine to numb the region. Next, the physician will commence extraction of the hair follicles from the donor zone utilizing one of three methods that include a) no shave FUE, b) FUE, or c) FUT. After the donor is harvested, the patient will turn to the supine position for lunch and the remainder of the procedure and have the option to watch a movie or continue listening to music. Next, the hair transplant physician will tumesce the scalp in the recipient area, a step that ensures a more rapid recovery and greater growth of the transplanted follicles. A hair transplant surgeon should use the smallest possible blade that works with the character of the patient’s hair, so that the greatest amount of density can be created with the least amount of scalp injury. Next, the surgeon meticulously creates all of the recipient sites for the transplanted hair follicles, into which the hair grafts will be placed. Special care must be taken to ensure that the direction of the hair is completely natural. After the surgical technicians place the grafts into the recipient sites, the surgeon carefully inspects the patient to be certain that the position and placement of the grafts are perfect. The patient is given a small bag of post-op supplies and a brand new baseball hat. The post procedure instructions are carefully explained. The patient may not drive themselves home and should arrange for an alternate mode of transportation.
Depending on the number of grafts the patient is going to receive, the procedure usually takes anywhere from 6-8 hours to complete.
Post-op visit: If the patient received a FUT transplant, they should return approximately 12-14 days after the procedure to have their sutures removed. If the patient is from out of town, arrangements can be made for the patient to have the suture taken out by a physician close to their home. If the patient received a FUE transplant, they should return approximately 8 days after the procedure for a post-op appointment. Keep in mind that hair transplant in Beverly Hills, CA is minimally invasive and while there may be some minor discomfort, there is rarely serious pain involved. Some patients do not feel the need for pain medication and it is rarely needed after 24-48 hours.
Thanks to Marc Dauer, MD for their insight into hair transplants and if they work.