The hairs on the sides and the back of your head are not affected by male pattern baldness (MPB). As a result Dr. Bednar is able to remove donor hair follicles from the sides and back of the scalp and relocate them to the top of the scalp where hair loss has occurred. The newly transplanted hair will continue to grow as it had in the donor region.
Before beginning a hair transplant Dr. Bednar will review several important concerns:
- Are you in good general health?
- Do you have any bleeding or healing disorders?
- Your age and degree of hair loss.
- The quality and quantity of your donor hair.
- What is your ultimate cosmetic goal?
These are some of the most important issues in deciding whether someone is a suitable candidate for hair transplantation.
The first step in the hair transplant process is the design of the hairline. Dr. Bednar will sketch a suggested hairline that is most natural-looking for your scalp.
Next, the donor area is prepared. Hair in the back is lifted and a narrow strip of hair is trimmed. The hair from above will cover the area after suturing. Both the top and the back of the scalp are then anesthetized. Patients may be given the option of a sedative while the local anesthesia is applied. This is usually the only discomfort you will feel during the procedure, and lasts only 1 – 2 minutes.
A narrow strip of hair follicles is removed from the donor area and the skin from above and below is brought back together with a simple running stitch. The stitches are covered by your hair and removed in about ten days, usually leaving a fine scar line that is concealed by your own hair. (It is important to note that if you shave your hair in the donor area the scar line may show.)
From the donor strip, naturally occurring follicular units, usually groups of 1-3 hairs, are separated under a microscope in order to preserve every follicle.
Dr. Bednar will then make tiny incisions at the hairline for the smallest 1 to 3 hair grafts. As he works his way back on the scalp, he will place gradually larger grafts containing follicular unit groups. This allows Dr. Bednar to achieve more density without sacrificing naturalness. During the procedure, you will be awake and able chat with Dr. Bednar and his staff. Procedure time is usually between 3 to 6 hours and you may eat or drink during the procedure.
When your hair transplant is complete, you will be provided with post-operative instructions, medicine and shampoo. You will leave the office with a little or no bandage and will be able to shampoo your hair the next day.
Most patients resume normal activity in a day or two. Tiny crusts will form where the transplants have been placed and usually shed in 4 to 7 days. The small hairs in the newly transplanted grafts normally shed within 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure, and permanent hair growth begins in 8 to 12 weeks. You should expect pretty significant hair growth within 6 months and full hair growth within 9 to 12 months.
Generally only one or two procedures are needed to treat hair loss.
Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation
Follicular units are distinct groupings of one to four terminal hairs. The follicular unit is thus a naturally occurring physiologic, as well as an anatomic entity.
Follicular unit transplantation gives Dr. Bednar the ability to transplant the maximum amount of hair with the minimum amount of non-hair bearing skin. In this way, recipient wounds are kept small, healing is facilitated, and with proper technique, large numbers of grafts may be safely moved per session. The use of these units helps to ensure that the cosmetic result of the transplant will appear completely natural.
In contrast to follicular units, micrografts (1-2 hairs), and mini-grafts (3-6 hairs), are small grafts cut randomly from donor hair, not specifically as individual intact follicular units. These multiple units will contain extra skin that will demand larger recipient sites, which, in turn, causes more wounding to the recipient bed and may limit the number of grafts that can safely be transplanted in a session.
Thanks to the evolution of microscopic dissection and follicular unit transplantation, other parts of the body like eyebrows and eyelashes can benefit from hair transplantation. This procedure is also a good option for female hair loss.