Hair transplantation. Basic methods – advantages and disadvantages


A hair transplant is a plastic surgery procedure that involves the transfer of hair follicles from a donor area of ​​the skin to a hairless area (recipient area).

Before and after hair transplant
Photos before and after hair transplantation

More photos of the skin before and after hair transplantation can be viewed on the HLC clinic website at https://fue-hlc.ru/peresadka-volos-do-i-posle/.

The technique is most often used to treat androgenetic alopecia in men and women. In this case, the transplanted hair follicles originate from areas that are not affected by baldness (the back and sides of the head) and are placed in areas affected by the baldness process (frontal and central areas).

Hair transplantation is the only option for many people to keep their hair on their heads.

A bit of history

In practice, the first hair transplant was applied by the Japanese doctor Okuda, who in 1939 described the use of free fragments of hairy skin in the reconstruction of eyebrows, as well as a burnt face and head.

American dermatologist Norman Orentreich in 1959 was the first in the world to use and describe hair transplantation to correct androgenetic alopecia in men. He is also the creator of the “dominant donor” theory, according to which transplanted hairs located in the recipient zone retain their characteristics in the donor zone.

It was not until the early 21st century that the Korean physician Seongju T. Hwang challenged this claim, showing that the recipient area to some extent influences the growth of transplanted hairs and changes their characteristics.

Transplant methods

FUT method (Follicular Unit Transplantation)

It is also the STRIP method, which means “stripe” in English. The resulting skin fragment is divided into microscopic grafts containing individual follicular units. The advantage of this method is the significantly shorter duration of the operation and the possibility of obtaining a large number of grafts in one procedure – from 2000 to 4000. Also, there is no need to shave the donor area baldly before the operation.

The disadvantage is that a scar 1 mm wide remains in the donor area. Scars can increase in people with delicate scalp.

In many cases, about three procedures are required to achieve a satisfactory hair transplantation effect. The procedure can be repeated after about six months.

FUE method (Hand Follicular Extraction)

The method is also called seamless. Intervention in the skin occurs only to a depth of 1 mm. Individual blocks are removed using a special tool with a diameter of 0.8 mm to 1.0 mm. The grafts are then placed in the recipient area.

The seamless FUE method leaves scars so small and scattered that the human eye cannot distinguish them on the head.

The FUE method requires great precision from the operating team. Before the procedure, the donor area must be completely shaved. The perfect interaction between the doctor and the assistant makes it possible to efficiently and relatively quickly collect from 1000 to 1500 grafts. The duration of the procedure is also important for the viability of the grafts, because it is a living human tissue that must be handled with care and, above all, re-implanted into the skin of its owner as soon as possible.

During the first week after the procedure, the skin of the back of the patient’s head is in the healing phase. However, there is no need to undergo a follow-up visit and remove the stitches.

BHT method (Body Hair Transplant)

Body hair transplant method. In this technique, hair is collected not from the head, but from other parts of the body. The most frequent places for hair collection: chin, chest, armpits. Indications for BHT transplantation include lack of sufficient grafts.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The FUE hair transplant method is suitable for masking the scar created by the FUT method, so a combination of both methods seems to be the best solution.

All methods result in single graft bellows which, when implanted in the recipient area, ultimately produce the same effect. Whether this will be a natural effect depends only on the aesthetic sense of the surgeon and his manual skills.

Skin care after surgery

After a hair transplant, swelling and bruising persist for several days, sometimes there is a slight soreness. The patient is usually given painkillers, neomycin, an antibiotic scalp spray for the first week, and gel patches for cold compresses.

After a few days, the discomfort disappears, small scabs from punctures disappear. After a week, special care is no longer required. In the sun and frost, you can go out with an uncovered head.

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