Hair transplant questions: Q&A with FAQs

Hair transplant Q&A with FAQsHow successful are hair transplants?

With all of the right conditions, Hair Transplants are very successful. The technology and techniques have improved greatly in the past few decades with both men and women undergoing the procedure.

Many patients who have had hair transplant surgery cannot be distinguished between those with a natural head of hair. The days of the “corn-row” are now a relic of the past, with the FUE Safe System taking its place with natural looking results.

Is a hair transplant permanent?

Unlike a hair prosthetic, wig or toupee, hair transplants are permanent and will in most cases last the life of the patient. Although the hair loss will continue in certain areas, the transplanted hair will not recede or fall out. Some individuals might go back years later to fill in new areas of hair loss, but the transplant you receive will stay with you.

Is it painful to have a hair transplant?

As with any surgery, the patient is given a local anesthetic or in special cases general anesthesia. The only feeling during the procedure is the pressure sensation of someone removing and implanting hair follicles. The feeling is similar to when receiving a local anesthetic for a cavity/filling. After the anesthesia wears off, there can be some discomfort and swelling in the area of the procedure, but this should not last too long and as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions.

Can a hair transplant fail?

Yes, a hair transplant can fail, although many times this results from the patient and not the procedure itself.  Transplant can fail for many reasons, such as health issues of the patient, drinking and smoking after surgery, and not following the post-op instructions of the doctor. It is essential that all of your medical history and issues are revealed to your doctor and post-op care and activity follows the strict instructions of the surgeon.

What is the average time for hair transplant surgery?

Depending on the extent of the hair loss, the surgery usually can be done in one session at the clinic. The average time is about 6 hours for the total process, although if it’s a bit more complicated with more follicles implanted, it could take two days. Remember that if you are having the FUE procedure, then the individual hairs are donated and implanted. This differs greatly from the strip method, and although more time consuming, the end results are much better.

What are the side effects?

With any local or general anesthesia, there is always the chance of side effects and a chance for a reaction to the medication. With regards to the surgery itself, there will be some swelling, pain, blood, fatigue and possibly other issues. If you have ever read the warning label on any over-the-counter medication, you will soon realize that everything has side-effects, although the question should be, to what degree? Relatively speaking, the side effects are minimal. But please consult with your doctor before the procedure.

Can you exercise after a transplant?

A hair transplant does not restrict you from any of the activities you enjoyed before the surgery. But as with any surgery, the patient is required a period of rest after the surgery. This period of time can vary, but it is essential that patients give the body time to heal and recovery. Many failed transplant or side effects occur because of individuals going back to their daily routines immediately following surgery. A few day or a week of non-activity can be the difference between a successful procedure and failed one.

Can anyone get a hair transplant?

Unfortunately, not everyone is a viable candidate for the hair transplant procedure. Since it is surgery, there are requirements which must be met. The patient’s health is the biggest factor for being denied surgery, and this includes age as well. In many cases, those individuals over the age of 65 are not viable candidates and most surgeons do not operate on those who are younger than 22 years of age. Any serious health or medical issues can be a problem, and since the surgery is elective and not necessary for the patient’s well-being, you will be denied if you are not in good health.

Because the hair transplant uses donor hairs from the scalp or other parts of the body, a suitable area is essential. Some men with thinning hair all around their scalp who do not have the proper donor area on their heads, will be denied. This leads me to another point which is, the earlier (younger) you have the procedure the better the outcome. A healthy body and a healthy donor area is essential in a positive outcome.

How costly is a hair transplant?

Most hair transplant procedures are considered elective surgery therefore in most cases they are not covered by your health insurance. As an out of pocket expense, a hair transplant procedure can be somewhat costly for the average person. Fortunately, prices range a great deal although the quality does not suffer in some instances.

The cost of the FUE procedure is based on the number of follicles transplanted. For example, on average the cost in the UK is £3.50 per graft, while in Hungary the price is £1.50 per graft. The price in Hungary does include accommodations, while also being one of the only cities (Budapest) that has surgeons qualified on the FUE Safe System procedure. The quality is on par and sometimes better than in the UK.

Sometimes you go get what you pay for, and for those individuals who travel outside the EU can be victims of uncertified and unqualified surgeons resulting in long-term issues. Do not chase the low cost shiny objects while trying to save a few dollars and putting your health in jeopardy.

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