Hair Transplant Surgery, What Should I Expect?
Hair transplant surgery moves some of your healthy growing hair to parts of your scalp where hair does not grow well, if at all. Doctors have performed these procedures in America for more than 60 years. But in the past two decades, surgical methods and options have vastly improved. In Raleigh and Apex, North Carolina, Dr. Arthur Zacco provides several types of hair restoration procedures at AZ Hair Restoration.
The two most common methods used for hair transplantation today include follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS), also called a strip transplant, or follicular unit extraction (FUE). Regardless of which procedure Dr. Zacco performs, you feel little discomfort, if any. Both start with the cleaning of your scalp and injection of anesthesia to numb your surgical area. For both a strip hair transplant or FUE, you can expect the surgery to take four to eight hours.
What Should I Expect From Hair Transplant?
Hair transplantation removes healthy hair-growing grafts from one section of your scalp and relocates them to an area where you experience thinning or balding. Types of transplanted grafts include:
- Round punch grafts of 10 to 15 hairs
- Mini-grafts of two to four hairs
- Micro-grafts of one to two hairs
- Slit grafts of four to 10 hairs
- Strip grafts of 30 to 40 hairs
Although you can see visible results after the first procedure, many people need multiple surgical sessions for the desired fullness. Between these procedures, you need to allow several months for healing. You will see the best results after a series of transplants over two years.
With large plugs, the first hair transplant surgery typically involves an average of 50 plugs. But if you receive micro-grafts or mini-grafts, you can receive as many as 700 in each session.
The color and texture of your hair can affect how much transplant coverage you need. Light-colored, gray or coarse hair provides better coverage than fine, dark hair.
On The Day Of Your Transplant
Before your hair transplant surgery begins, your treatment professionals trim or shave the hair at the donor region of your scalp. This enables your surgeon to easily access and remove your grafts.
If your procedure involves punch grafts, the doctor punches each round section out of the donor region using a tube-like, carbon steel instrument. For other grafts, Dr. Zacco uses a scalpel to remove sections of the scalp where healthy hair grows. He transplants these sections into small slits or holes in your scalp.
To maintain the strength of your skin, sometimes Dr. Zacco must inject saline solution into your scalp. To close the scalp after removing donor sections, he usually uses one or more stitches. You will have little scarring for punch grafts or a straight scar for other types of grafts. Surrounding hair typically conceals these scars that improve over time.
Initial grafts usually occur about one-eighth of an inch apart. When you return for follow-up sessions, grafts fill in the prior plugs. This results in a more natural appearance and growth pattern. At the end of your hair transplant surgery, Dr. Zacco cleanses your scalp and covers the wounds with gauze.
Your Recovery After Hair Transplant
You will feel tenderness on your scalp after your surgery, for which pain medication can provide relief for a few days. You must wear bandages for one or two days and possibly need to take anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medication for a short period of time. Most people recover at home for two to five days after their procedure.
Your transplanted hair will fall out about two to three weeks after your surgery. But within a few months, you will notice new growth in the treated area. At about six to nine months, you will see growth at about 60 percent of its full potential.
Risks As Part of Your Transplant
As with any surgical procedure, hair transplant has risks. Some of these risks include infection and bleeding. You can have problems with scarring and unnatural results if you do not work with a skilled hair transplant surgeon.
Other side effects include some infection or inflammation of your hair follicles as your newly transplanted hair begins to grow. This folliculitis generally heals with antibiotics or compresses on the affected area.
You can ensure your best possible results by working with a hair restoration surgeon you can trust. Dr. Arthur Zacco provides the best possible results according to the high standards of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. As his patient, you benefit from his many years of experience and advanced skills in this field.
Learn More About Your Hair Loss and Hair Transplant
Lastly, learn more about your type of hair loss and whether hair transplant surgery provides a good option for you. Call AZ Hair Restoration for an online consultation or in-person visit at (919) 615-0577 in Raleigh, NC or (919) 830-3778 in Apex, NC.