Considering a Hair Transplant? Insider Tips Here

Everyone has heard about as well as seen hair transplant horror stories, maybe in a magazine, online and even worse seen the most obvious ‘plugs’ in a elderly friend or relative. However hair transplant surgery has jumped leaps and bound in recent years to create it a viable, safe rather than too risky option for those suffering with male pattern baldness, many celebrities such as Nicholas Cage, Brendan Fraser Mather MOcanhey, Dwayne Johnson (‘the Rock’,WWE) Salman Khan (Bollywood) and even Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are thought to experienced hair transplantation surgery, although such is the stigma attached that none of them have admitted to it publicly, it only becomes obvious when studying before and after pictures.

History of Hair Transplant

The origins of hair transplant surgery stem from Japanese dermatologist, Dr. Okuda, who in 1939 published a revolutionary method in a Japanese medical journal of using small grafts that were like the way hair transplantation is conducted today. This method involved using hair transplant grafts to improve lost hair from various body areas, including the scalp, eyebrow, and moustache areas.

In the late 50’s one physician in particular, Dr. Norman Orentreich, began to experiment with the idea of relocating or transplanting the hair on the back and sides of the top to the balding areas. Dr. Orentreich’s experiments showed that when bald resistant hairs from the back and sides of the head were relocated, they maintained their bald resistant genetic characteristic no matter where they were transplanted.

This principle, referred to as “Donor Dominance”, established that hair could be transplanted from the bald resistant donor areas to the balding areas and continue steadily to grow for a life. This laid the foundation for modern hair transplantation. Through the 60’s and 70’s hair transplants grew in popularity. However, the standard of care involved the application of larger grafts which were removed by round punches and frequently contained many hairs.

In the 80’s hair restoration surgery evolved dramatically, because the large punch grafts were gradually replaced with a more refined mix of mini and micrografts. This “combination mini micrografting” hair transplantation procedure no more used the punch to extract the bald resistant grafts. Rather a strip of bald resistant hair was surgically taken off the back of the top and trimmed into mini and micrografts.

Types of Hair Transplant

You can find two main ways of Follicular unit hair transplant surgery. Follicular unit Transplant often called FUT or ‘strip surgery’ and Follicular unit extraction, often called FUE The main difference is the method of extracting the transplanted hair. FUT and FUE are really complimentary types of HT, not competing methods of which one must make a choice.

FUT versus FUE

The 90’s saw the gradual introduction of an extremely refined surgical procedure now known as “follicular unit hair transplantation” or “FUT”. This exacting and labour intensive procedure transplants hairs within their naturally occurring one, two, three, and four hair “follicular unit groupings” in which they grow naturally.

The concept of creating the entire hair restoration using exclusively follicular units was proposed by Dr. Robert Bernstein and was described in the 1995 Bernstein and Rassman publication “Follicular Transplantation”. Critical to the success of the follicular unit hair transplant procedure was the introduction of the binocular microscope by Dr. Bobby Limmer of San Antonio Texas in the late 1980’s.

Dr. Limmer discovered that by using the microscope to examine the donor tissue he and his staff were able to successfully isolate and trim the naturally occurring follicular units into individual grafts. Dr. Limmer shared his techniques and findings with his colleagues and together with Drs. Petersfield aesthetics Bernstein, Rassman and Seager, was a persuasive advocate for the follicular unit hair.

The procedure involving follicular hair transplants is considered to be the most efficient among hair restoration methods. In follicular hair transplant, the surgeon transplants hair from the permanent zone in the back of the scalp onto the affected areas.

If you need a large area covered, then you most likely want to go for FUT since it is the more economical in terms of amount of grafts for price paid. If you absolutely, positively don’t want strip surgery as you are concerned about scarring, then FUE is your only alternative. Contrary to public opinion, both methods leave scars. FUT will leave a narrow line over the back of one’s head, whereas FUE will leave little unpigmented dots over the back of your head. The only difference is that the FUE scars aren’t concentrated together and for that reason harder to detect when wearing hair very short.

There is no doubt that FUE procedures are harsher on the grafts than FUT procedures. Because of this the final growth yields tend to be lower for FUE compared to FUT. But BOTH procedures work with the most part.

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