Androgenic alopecia is the medical word for baldness. According to severity of baldness there are 7 grades. Hairs start falling from front and center of head. Even in last grade hair on temporal region (above ears) and occipital region (back side of head) do not fall, and remain for lifelong. As these hairs are not influenced by the gene which causes baldness, this is called permanent zone. In hair transplant surgery hair from this permanent zone is transferred to frontal region. They keep the characteristic of donor area and keep growing at the rate of 1.5 cm / month and remain for lifetime. This is the principle of hair transplant surgery.
Currently there are 2 methods of hair extraction. (1) FUT- follicular unit hair transplant, commonly known as strip method (2) FUE –follicular unit extraction
FUT- STRIP METHOD
In this method a strip of tissue is removed from occipital region. The gap is closed with absorbable sutures. Assistants’ separates each graft from the strip under magnification. Then each graft is transplanted in front. Stiches take 2 to 3 weeks to dissolve. Patient feels pain and discomfort in back for 2 weeks. In strip method a linear scar remain on occipital region. If patient keep hair ½ inch long then it will not visible, but if patient go for modern buzz cut then a linear scar will remain visible. A recent method trichophytic closure is there by that you can grow hair through scar.
This is a modern method FUE- follicular unit extraction also popular as stitch less and scar less procedure. In this method instead of cutting a strip of tissue individual follicular units are extracted. Healing is very fast in 2 to 3 days post operatively. Patient can start working from next day. He/she can join gymnasium from 4th or 5th day as compare to strip method where one has to take rest for 2 to 3 weeks. It does not leave any linear scar so patient can keep hair short. In FUE we can take more graft as whole permanent zone is available for taking grafts compare to strip method where only strip is available. Also graft survival is good because graft after extraction remains outside the body for very short time and graft handling is very little as compare to strip method. In strip method there are chances of keloid development while in Fue no chances of keloid. As it is a lengthy procedure it cost almost double then strip method. In surgery the era is of laparoscopic surgery because of minimum cutting so faster healing and less downtime. Same is for FUE as minimum cutting so faster healing; less downtime- patient can join duty from next day onwards.
New Arrival : Direct Hair Transplant
A latest technique has been started at our centre named Direct hair transplant, which is the latest breakthrough in Hair transplant surgery.
In this technique ,after extracting graft from occipital region we directly implant them in front . so graft remain outside patient’s body for only few seconds (minimum time) , so there is least environmental exposure for graft. Graft survival rate is highest in this technique.
In this procedure hair usually starts to grow directly after surgery.