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Getting bald can be very distressing to anybody, and if it happens at an early age it may severely affect your confidence. Hair loss can occur both in men and women though it is more common in men.
One of the most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenic alopecia which is hereditary. Other causes include trauma, chemotherapy, scalp infections, medical conditions and stress.
Hair treatment can be broadly classified into 2 categories:
This therapy is offered to those patients who are in initial stage of hair thinning & falling of hair.
In this patient medical condition, risk factors for hair loss is assessed and treated accordingly. In this line of treatment patient is prescribed multivitamins, hair booster vitamins, topical minoxidil, oral 5 alpha reductase inhibitors. These products can either be prescribed as a monotherapy or in combination depending on severity of hair loss.
PRP (Platelet rich plasma): This procedure is helpful in both preventing hair fall and can also be used as an adjunct therapy after hair transplant for improving the growth of transplanted hairs. In this procedure patient own blood is taken and processed to get the platelet rich plasma which is then injected into the affected area of scalp after numbing it. This PRP has numerous growth factors which helps in prevention of hair fall, improving the thickness of hair and may also help in growth of hair follicles. It is a short procedure and can be done on opd basis. Multiple sitting is required for satisfactory results to be seen.
Hair transplant is the surgical procedure in which patient’s own hair from back of scalp is harvested and placed in the bald region over front and side of scalp. Hair transplant is offered to those patients who present with chronic hair loss, receded hair line, medically fit patients, in which hair loss has become stable.
As the procedure uses the own natural hair, the transplanted hair grow naturally and the result are permanent. The donor area is chosen from back of scalp as that area has inherent resistance to effect of androgen and do not fall so hairs taken from this area gives permanent results.
FUT (Follicular unit transplant): In FUT the strip of hair is taken from back of your scalp and then under microscope small slices of that strip is made and then each follicle is cut and separated. The donor site closed by a special technique of trichophytic closure which leave very thin and fine scar and due to this technique hair regrow through the scar thus leaving almost invisible scar. This advantage of this technique is that we get large number of hair follicles with better yield and chances of trauma to hair roots is minimal as harvesting of follicle is done under vision.
FUE (Follicular unit extraction): In this procedure the donor area on back of your scalp is marked and shaved. Now the special motorized punch is used to core out individual hair follicular unit keeping normal hair in between. Though this technique is propagated as a scar less technique but there are multiple punch holes which are present which gradually heals but may leave small multiple scars.
In case where bald area is large then it may be necessary to combine both FUT and FUE to achieve more no. of follicles. It may sometime be necessary to harvest follicles from beard and neck area.
Once the decision of hair transplant is finalized after all consultations with your plastic surgeon, the procedure is planned which could be either FUT or FUE or combined depending upon requirement. The day of the surgery starts with marking of areas over scalp which need to be transplanted and discussed with the patient.
Hair transplant procedure is a 6-8 hours surgery depending upon the area to be covered. The procedure is done under specially prepared long duration local anesthesia. Once the scalp in anesthetized, the patient is made to lie down in prone position and if FUT is planned then the donor strip is harvested from back of scalp and the donor area is closed very neatly by a special trichophytic closure which has the advantage of barely visible scar after healing. In FUE technique, follicles are harvested from the backside of scalp with help of motorized punch.
Once the hair follicles are harvested, patient is given a break during which time the hair follicles are prepared and separated in the single, double, and triple units. After refreshment patient is made to lie down in supine position and slits are made in proposed area over scalp. Once the follicles are ready for transplantation the transplant of hair is started starting from frontal hair line area and progressing backward. The dressing is applied to the donor area and a band is applied over forehead region to prevent swelling. The patient is discharged on the same day with discharge medications and is reviewed in 3rd day.
After your hair transplant surgery is done there might be some swelling which usually settles in 3-4 days. Sutures if any will be removed in 10 days’ time. You may be given topical medication as well as oral medication for improved hair growth.
One might notice the fall of transplanted hair at around 2 to 4 weeks of transplant but the root of hair remains inside. The new hair growth usually starts from 3rd to 4th month after the procedure and continues to grow till 6-8 months and may take up to 1 year for final results.
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