Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure performed on men and women who would like to reverse the signs of hair loss. Hair transplantation involves transferring hair grafts (skin and hair units of 1 to 4 hairs) from the back and sides of your head (the donor area) to balding or thinning areas where you would like new hair to grow.
Today, hair transplantation is a very refined outpatient procedure that can produce full and natural looking results, even after only one hair transplant session. When performed skillfully, not even a hair stylist will detect that a person has had a hair transplant. However, it is critical that the hair transplant procedure be performed correctly to achieve such natural results. To do so requires a hair restoration clinic that can perform both Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) at the highest levels of skill, experience, and dedication. Manzanares Hair Restoration Center is at the forefront of this surgical hair restoration.
What is hair transplant exactly?
Hair transplantation is an innovative procedure that combines an artistic eye and surgical skill to redistribute hair follicles from the back and sides of the head (considered “donor dominant” areas, as they are genetically resistant to hair loss) and artfully relocate them into thinning or balding areas of the frontal scalp (hairline, forelock, temples), mid scalp, crown, sideburns, eyelash, eyebrow, mustache, beard and goatee. Using current microsurgical technologies combined with the right techniques, these results in an un-detectable, very natural appearance. The hair that is now growing will be permanent for the rest of the patient's life. Those newly transplanted hairs need no more care than ordinary washing, styling and trimming as you have always been doing to your hair. The end result is your own natural hair growing the way nature created hair to look, feel and grow.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
A great hair transplant is the result of using a state of the art surgical procedure and performing it with great skill and artistry.
The acknowledged “gold standard” in hair transplant surgery is the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also commonly known as the “strip harvesting” procedure.
The basic concept of FUT is to relocate hair from the donor area (back and sides of the head) to the recipient areas (front, mid scalp, crown, eyebrows, eyelashes and facial hair). Transplant operations are performed on an outpatient basis, with mild sedation (optional) and injected with local anesthesia which typically last about 6 to 8 hours.
In the usual FUT procedure, Dr. Manzanares harvests a strip of scalp from the back and sides of the head. The excised strip is about 1-2.5 cm x 15-35 cm in size. The excised strip will leave a wound which is then closed using a combination of nylon and absorbable sutures. The surgical team aided with special magnifying lenses, then begin to carefully dissect individual follicular unit grafts from the strip. Each of this follicular unit grafts may contain single, two, three, four hairs.
The disadvantage of this technique is that it produces a linear scar in the donor area, although the scar is generally very fine and can be easily concealed with existing hair.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Historically the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is actually an older harvesting technique. It originally was the harvesting method used when the “plugs” (large circular grafts with 5 to 16 hairs) were being transplanted way back in the early ‘80s. The large grafts were as such because of the limited size of the circular punches (4.0 mm, 3.5 mm, and 2.0 mm) available back then. The FUE harvesting was temporarily abandoned in favor of the FUT – strip harvesting technique, where finer micro-grafts were being made and transplanted. With the dawn of the newer, more refined, better designed hand held machines and smaller punches (0.6 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.8 mm, and 0.9 mm) now available. The FUE procedure has made a comeback. Instead of removing a strip of hair-bearing skin from the donor site, this modern FUE technique allows surgeons to extract individual follicular units from the back of the scalp or the body without the use of a surgical scalpel.
Scalp hair grows in naturally occurring groups called follicular units. Each follicular unit contains from 1 to 4 hairs. In FUT harvesting, a single strip of skin is harvested from the scalp in the back of the head and then, using special magnifiers, the strip is dissected into individual, naturally occurring follicular units of 1 to 4 hairs.
With the FUE procedure, 1, 2, 3, and 4 hair follicular unit grafts are carefully extracted one at a time using a mechanized hand held machine with circular punch of one millimeter or less. Dr Manzanares shaves (buzz cut) the patients donor area (back and sides of the head), to be able to better visualize the angle of the hair, to harvest the perfect grafts.
The follicular units are crafted by placing the spinning circular punch around a single follicular unit and cutting a small circle through the scalp around the follicular unit. The follicular unit is then gently extracted from the loose tissue underneath the scalp.
The small hole left after the follicle is extracted forms a scab and heals over the next few days to a week. This small round incision contracts as it heals, making the resulting round scar smaller than the size of the punch that made the incision. The FUE patient ultimately ends up with hundreds of small round scars, which are normally not detectable once the patient’s hair grows out.
During the free patient consultation, both the FUT and FUE harvesting procedures will be explored in depth, where the pros and cons of both procedures will be discussed.
How effective is hair transplantation?
Dr Manzanares makes a bold statement. “Surgical hair transplantation is the only real solution to pattern baldness”.
To be able to physically transfer hair from an area abundant with hair, to an area that is thinning and or bald and make it grow permanently, offers a new lease in life to anyone who is suffering from genetic predisposition to male or female pattern baldness.
Hair transplants are also effective when concealing scars in the scalp especially those from facial plastic surgical procedures (face lifts, brow lifts, etc.). Even eyebrows, eyelashes, sideburns, mustache and beard can be reconstructed with excellent aesthetic appearance.
Are there any risks with hair transplant surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there is always some risk involved. But in the hands of the right doctor, following the most current surgical protocols, this risk can be minimized or better yet eliminated. There is practically a very small risk involved in hair transplant surgery. Occurrences of infection after the procedure are less than 1%. In the few cases where infection does occur, it is often due to the patient’s failure to fully comply with the post-operative instructions. When infection occurs, it is easily treatable with antibiotics which can be prescribed by the physician.
What are the steps in performing hair transplant?
A typical hair transplant procedure has at least seven steps:
1. Consultation. Actual in office physical consult or via the online consult form.
2. Pre Operative blood test and Instructions. Scalp Exercise Instructions (FUT).
3. Day of Surgery. Medicines and Anesthesia
4. Donor hair harvesting via the FUT or FUE.
5. Actual implanting of the harvested grafts.
6. Post Operative Care. Medicines and after care instructions.
7. Suture Removal. FUT
The entire procedure can lasts from 8 to 10 hours depending on the number of hair grafts being implanted and the harvesting procedure used. Follow post-operative care instructions carefully. Transplanted hairs normally go into dormancy a few weeks after surgery. Expect to wait 3 to 4 months before your new hairs actually start to grow.
Is hair transplant procedure painful?
The actual hair transplant procedure is painless. To achieve that painless state, the patient is given a sedative pre-operatively to help dull the senses and then the scalp is injected with a cocktail of long acting and short acting anesthetics. There will be some degree of pain, but it is quickly numbed by the anesthetic.
Most patients watch a movie, take a nap or are using their computers while we work. Any discomfort they feel afterwards is usually very temporary and nearly always minimal and easily relieved with pain tablets taken for 1 - 2 days after the procedure.
I have a medical condition, can I still receive a hair transplant?
Pre-existing medical conditions are always a concern of Dr. Manzanares. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, please tell us at the time of your consultation. We will discuss your options and sometimes request clearance from your attending physician to have the surgery. We have successfully performed hair transplants on patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma, have had kidney transplants, are using pace makers, cancer survivors and many more.
Is hair transplant surgery expensive?
Comparatively, No! While there are costs involved, the benefits of growing your own hair make hair transplantation much more cost-effective than other methods being advertised, because afterwards, no further expense is incurred. There are no expensive chemicals, medicines or special shampoos to be bought or used continually. There are no expensive hair pieces to be maintained, repaired, tinted, conditioned and replaced regularly. So, in the light of all possible alternatives, the hair transplant solution is not only the best, but is also the most economical overall.
Will hair transplant procedure suggests time off from work?
Little or no time off from work is required. But if you are sensitive about how you will look during the days immediately following, you can wear a hat, bandana, or, if that’s not possible in your work environment, Dr. Frank recommends beginning the process just before your holidays. Many patients return to work the next day. However, every person is different. Beyond examination, your consultation is a good source to be informed of possible strategies for your unique situation.
Is there a chance that hair grafts will be rejected during hair transplant surgery?
Unlike kidney or heart transplant which are donated by another person, there is no possibility that transplanted hairs will be rejected since hair grafts will be harvested from your own scalp. The body’s immune system will not reject such. Hair from another person cannot be used for hair transplantation purposes, yet.
When should I consider hair transplant to treat hair loss?
The consideration of when to undergo hair transplant surgery is mostly a personal decision. Its success is based on many factors, including the amount of donor hair available as well as the amount of area that needs to be covered. A consultation for hair transplant surgery with a qualified hair transplant surgeon will get you an assessment of your present situation and diagnosis as to the degree of your hair loss pattern. You will be educated as to your options and most importantly will be guided in determining when surgery should be considered.
How do I choose the right hair doctor for my successful hair transplant?
There are few doctors in the Philippines who perform hair transplantation full time. Choosing the right hair restoration surgeon is the most significant decision you will make in hair transplantation. Physician standards and practices vary immensely in this delicate procedure.
If done correctly, hair transplant will last a lifetime. Demand the best results. The best way for a prospective patient to choose the right hair doctor is to choose a hair doctor who specializes in hair transplantation with full time practice and is willing to let you view or talk with several of his completed patients or even visit an actual procedure with his patients. Some standards to consider are whether the physician is a member of the governing body for hair restoration surgery both local and International. At the top of these, the best standards are reputation and successful patient results.