Thinning of hair, hair loss and baldness are quite common these days and many look towards a permanent solution for this ailment.
Permanent hair loss can be treated with hair replacement procedures one of which is hair transplantation. Hair transplantation is a cosmetic procedure where a surgeon removes hair follicles or grafts from the back of the head and places them on the bald areas or in areas with scant hair growth.
Hair replacement or hair transplantation procedures utilize your existing hair and are generally successful provided you go to an experienced dermatologist who has the skills to perform the procedure.
What Is Follicular Unit Transplantation?
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is a modern process of the traditional strip harvesting method. In this, the donor’s hair is harvested from a strip of skin as ‘donor site’ and the bald area that is to be covered is the recipient site.
It is a minimally invasive surgical technique that moves tissue or hair follicles from the donor site to the recipient site. Firstly, the surgeon cleans the scalp and inject anesthesia for any discomfort during the whole surgery.
A surgical suture is used strategically to hold the tissues together for extracting a strip of tissue, mostly 6- 10 inch strip of skin is dissected prudently from the patient’s donor area, from the back of the head and sews the scalp closed.
Then, under the microscope, each follicular unit is divided carefully into 500 – 2000 tiny grafts of hair, depending on hair texture, quality and color.
Each follicular graft dissected attentively since, these are surrounded by small glands of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues which may get damaged leading to poor growth of hair.
After dissection, the surgeons with very fine needles puncture the site where it will be receiving the grafts in a pattern so that it grows and covers up the area later on.
It can provide 500-6000 grafts or 1000-1200+ of hair in one procedure.
For the first few 1- 4 months, the hair implanted will shed the original hair, which is normal and the next 4 – 8 months new hair will emerge taking up to further 2 – 3 months to thicken up.
Advantages of FUT
* FUT are preferable for candidates who have larger area of baldness.
* When there is scanty growth, and a wide area of the scalp can be covered in one sitting.
* Candidates who do not mind to cuts and stitches.
* Candidates who are comfortable with a longer period of recovery, 1-2 weeks mostly.
* FUT provides better yield, possibility of larger baldness is treated within affordable range.
Though a larger area of the scalp is covered and treated in one sitting, the only drawback of FUT is it leaves behind a prominent linear scar visible on the head, which if, minimum 1-inch hair length to be grown to cover this scar.
Cost Of FUT
Doctor’s qualification, experience, reputation, expertise, safety provisions, attention to details is an important factor which determines the cost of this surgery. Usually, the cost of each graft varies from $4 and $6 per graft.
Though there is no side effect after the surgery, once the anesthetic wears off, one might experience swelling, soreness and itching which can be subdued with prescriptive painkillers.