Are Hair Implants Safe?
Are Hair implants Safe? Hair loss is one of the most common problems among people. Normally, between 50-100 hair strands fall out every day. When it exceeds this amount, one may need treatment or special care for his or her hair. Diseases like thyroid disease, alopecia areata, or some scalp infections can cause people to have hair loss. Also, there are some natural factors that cause hair loss such as pregnancy or childbirth, stress, age, and genetics. On the other hand, some medications for arthritis, depression, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and cancer can cause hair loss. There are lots of medications for strengthening the follicles or the hair and preventing or minimizing hair loss. However, these medications can not be enough sometimes, when the hair loss is extreme. In those cases when medications are not enough, people can prefer having hair implants.
People get hair implants to have more hair in the places where hair loss is at extreme or the hair is thinning. The basic logic behind the hair implants is, taking hair follicles from one place to the place that suffers from hair loss. The hair can be taken from behind the scalp or from other parts of the body. During the removal and implantation of the hair, a local anesthetic is used. In the past, surgeons could only implant one hair at a time. With the developments in technology, now they can implant more at a time, making the procedure faster and easier. Considering how big is the bald area, you can have a slit graft or micrograft. In the slit graft procedure, the surgeon implants maximum of 10 hairs on each graft. In the micrograft, the surgeon only implants 1-2 hairs on each graft.
Hair implant Procedures
- Follicular Unit Strip Surgery(FUSS) Procedure:The procedure starts with the surgeon’s taking a strip of skin from the back of the head. Then, he/she closes the incision with sutures. The surgeon divides the strip into smaller pieces using a microscope. Each piece is called a graft and is supposed to contain between 1 to 10 follicle With the help of a scalpel or needle, the surgeon makes small holes in the implant area. He inserts the grafts into the holes. With bandages, the surgeon will cover the implanted area. All the steps are done under local anesthetic. This procedure takes less time than the FUE procedure. Also, more hair can be implanted once, so bigger areas can be covered more easily. Some people may be hesitant as the procedure involves an incision, but generally, it heals well and the scar gets camouflaged by the hair.
- Follicular Unit Extraction(FUE) Procedure: In this procedure, follicles are taken from the back of your head one by one. As the procedure is a little painful, generally local anesthetic is used. To make this procedure work, the back of the head must be shaved. The surgeon removes follicles individually using a punch instrument. Then he opens small cuts on the area where the follicles will be implanted. He inserts those grafts into the small cuts. The procedure ends with covering the implanted area with bandages. After the healing process, there will be lots of tiny scars on your head, but as they are too small they will not be visible. This procedure may take too much time as the follicles are removed and implanted one by one. Also, depending on the area that will be covered, the surgeon may have to extract and implant hundreds or thousands of follicle
Recovery and Risks
Hair implant procedures are done on an outpatient basis. There is no need for staying in the hospital for the night. Also, you can start your normal routine and work in 3 days after the procedure. You should avoid exercising and be careful about the operated area. Do not comb your hair and do not wear hats or hoods for a while. In 5 days following the implant, you should see a doctor for the removal of the bandages. In a week you can start washing your hair but you must be very gentle and careful. In 2-3 weeks, the implanted hair is expected to fall out, and new hair is expected to grow. In nearly a year, the final result will be visible. In case of any complications, you should contact your surgeon.
After the hair implant surgery, the operated area is expected to be swollen. You can feel some pain. Your surgeon will prescribe necessary painkillers and antibiotics to minimize your discomfort during the recovery period. He may also prescribe some medication to improve the growth of your hair. The hair implant procedures are generally safe, but some complications can occur. Those complications are;
- Numbness on some areas of the head
- Loss of the implanted hair
- Artificial looking hair
- Allergic reactions against medication or anesthetic
If you follow the instructions of your surgeon carefully, you will have a lower chance of encountering any complications. However, even if you experience any of those complications, it will not be a big problem. You should immediately contact your surgeon and explain the situation. He will interfere with the issue and prescribe the necessary medication.
Hair implantation is a very good solution for hair loss that can not be prevented by medication usage. Most of the patients who have hair implants are satisfied with their results. So as not to be disappointed with the results, you should have realistic expectations about the hair implant. Your surgeon will explain what you should expect, and may show you before and after photos of his former patients. Also, you should keep in mind that, even after the implantation, the implanted hair can get thinner or fall out in time. To make it last longer, further hair implant procedures may be necessary. In order to get the best results from the procedure, you should precisely follow the surgeon’s instructions. That way, you will both avoid encountering complications and make the implant more effective. Are Hair implants Safe?