Hair Transplant Surgery
FUE and FUT Procedures
Hair transplant surgery involves the excision of hair follicles from a donor area (usually the scalp) and the redistribution of those follicles into a balding or thinning area of the scalp. Doing so can restore a receding hairline, increase overall hair density, and restore the youthful vitality of a previously full head of hair.
Individuals experiencing hair loss, but with sufficient donor hair on the sides and back of the scalp, are great candidates for hair transplant surgery.
The type and extent of hair loss, your hair type and ethnicity, and how you prefer to wear your hair, will all make a difference in the type of hair restoration surgery you choose.
There are two different methods of harvesting hair follicles for the transplant:
- Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)
- Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT or Strip Harvesting)
The primary difference between the two is that the former involves excising and transplanting individual hair follicles, whereas in the latter, an entire strip of hair from the back of the scalp is used. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods.
The Hair Transplant Surgery Process
After you have decided on hair transplant surgery, we will guide you through the process we have in place to ensure you are comfortable before, during, and after the procedure.
The morning of your surgery, Dr. Robert Niedbalski will meet with you in the exam room to review all the details of the surgical plan. He will discuss how the transplanted follicles will be distributed into the bald and thinning areas according to your expectations. In cases where the hairline will be changed, he will suggest the optimal shape and placement of the hairline you envision.
For an FUT procedure, once in the procedure room, you will meet the surgical staff who be assisting Dr. Niedbalski with your hair restoration surgery. The donor strip is measured and trimmed and then your anesthetic will be administered. Your anesthesia consists of oral sedation and scalp injections of lidocaine anesthetic. Once your scalp is fully numbed, Dr. Niedbalski will excise the strip and close the wound with sutures leaving a narrow linear scar that is concealed by your own hair.
The surgical staff uses microscopic dissection to separate the hair in the donor strip into follicular unit grafts (naturally occurring groups of 1 to 4 hairs). While the grafts are being trimmed and counted, Dr. Niedbalski creates the recipient sites where the grafts will be placed by making tiny incisions with specific angles and directions to match the natural pattern of your hair growth. Once the recipient sites have been completed, the surgical staff begins to insert the grafts into these tiny openings according to the design Dr. Niedbalski has created.
Typical surgeries take 6 - 8 hours or more to complete, depending on the number of follicles being transplanted as well as other factors. You will be encouraged to get up and stretch periodically, use the restroom and have a snack. While the follicular grafts are being transplanted, you are also free to relax, watch a movie, use your laptop, read a book, or take a nap.
After your hair transplant, you will receive post-operative instructions, on how to take care of your scalp while it heals. You will leave the office with a small bandage (or none at all in some cases) and will be able to shampoo your hair the next day. Occasionally, patients may experience slight swelling a few days after their hair transplant procedure. This will resolve itself within a few days.
For an FUE procedure, Dr. Niedbalski uses the WAW power punch system developed by one of the foremost FUE experts in the world, Dr. Jean DeVoyre of Belgium. The donor area is prepared by trimming the hair very short and the scalp is numbed using injections of local anesthetic. Follicular unit grafts are isolated and extracted with the power punch device. This creates a tiny 0.7- to 1.0-mm circular incision where each graft is removed. Once the grafts are harvested, the rest of the procedure is the same as previously described for the FUT surgery.
In the days following your hair transplant surgery, tiny crusts will form in the donor and recipient areas of your scalp. These will usually shed within a week. The small hairs in the newly transplanted grafts normally will also shed within 2 - 4 weeks as the transplanted follicle stops growing hair and focuses on reconnecting to your scalp circulation. This dormant phase lasts from 2 - 4 months and the new hair begins to emerge. The new hair steadily develops and grows for 9 - 12 months.
Only one or two procedures are usually enough to treat a specific area of hair loss.
There’s no time like the present. Call Northwest Hair Restoration for your free hair restoration consultation today. You can reach us at (253) 572-2949 or you can request an appointment online.