Hair Transplant Surgery for Restoring Lost Hair.
Hair makes an important part of a person's body and personality. It protects the head from losing heat and prevents harmful solar radiation from reaching the scalp. Hair that forms the eyebrows is directed such that it protects the eyes from water or sweat running down the forehead. Aesthetically, hair makes a person look younger, more attractive, and good looking in general. That is why people who suffer from hair loss are anxious to undergo hair transplant, or hair restoration.
Hair loss is more severe a problem among men, though women do suffer from it. Aging, hormonal imbalance, genetic tendency to hair loss, skin infections, and injuries are some of the many causes that cause hair loss and bring baldness. One of the increasingly popular methods of hair restoration is hair transplant i.e. a surgical procedure in which the surgeon takes hair from healthier, hair-bearing parts of the head and implants them in bald areas where they grow and cover the baldness. Thus, hair transplant, or surgical hair restoration, is a redistribution of the hair.
In most cases, hair transplant surgery does not require the patient to stay at hospital. It is performed in the cosmetic surgeon's clinic or office. The patient is advised on the details and requirements of surgery and the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, i.e. making only the scalp insensitive with a sedative. In unusual cases, general anesthesia may be given to make the patent unconscious throughout the procedure.
Hair grafts differ in size and shape, ranging from mini-grafts with up to four hairs to round punched grafts (up to 15 hairs) and longer strip grafts (about 30 to 40 hairs). It usually takes more than one session for satisfactory hair restoration. There is a gap of several months between successive sessions, allowing complete healing from the surgery. Grafts are usually spaced at about 8 inches apart so as to allow optimal circulation of blood across the scalp. After grafting, the surgeon will cleanse and cover the patient's scalp, usually with gauze. The surgeon may ask the patient for wearing a pressure bandage for a couple of days, though recovering without bandage may also be chosen by some doctors.
An important surgical method of hair restoration is the flap surgery, which has been successfully employed by cosmetic surgeons for over two decades. In flap surgery, a hair-bearing flap on the head is cut at one end and sewn at another position such that it covers a bald patch of the scalp while still remaining attached to one end of its former position. This is a quicker surgical method of hair restoration, covering relatively large parts of the head affected with baldness.
Hair transplant is usually a fairly safe procedure. In a few cases, bleeding, scarring of the scalp and infection may occur. The patient may have a sensation of numbness in the operated parts but it usually gets to normal in 2 to 3 months. Another undesirable possibility is that of temporary loss of hair.
The cost of hair transplant depends on the extent of hair loss, the particular surgical procedure adopted, and the geographical location where the surgery is performed. In the USA, a single graft usually costs from $3 to $10.