Depending on the amount of coverage you need in the frontal area or the crown, from one to three surgical sessions may be needed to achieve satisfactory fullness. This involves the transplantation of several hundreds of grafts. Within 24 hours, small scabs will appear that will fall off within a week to 10 days. Normally, the grafted hair starts growing within 6 to 12 weeks after the procedure and keeps on growing for the rest of your life.
There are three types of treatments for alopecia through surgery: hair grafts, scalp reduction and flap surgery.
Hair grafts: hair transplantation involves obtaining hair from an area which is not susceptible to alopecia and inserting it in the bald area, where it will remain for as long as it would have in its original site. The sites normally chosen for removing the hair are the temporal, parietal and occipital areas. The inconveniences of this method are the following: several surgical sessions are needed to achieve the desired effect; the hair falls off the graft and grows back in 3-6 months. This procedure might be painful and cause soreness even when anaesthetics are used. Furthermore, anaesthesia also involves certain risks.
Scalp reduction involves removing part of the bald area and bringing the remaining hair-bearing scalp sections together to cover the originally bald scalp. This technique is limited to the amount of coverage needed and the scalp elasticity.
In flap surgery, a flap of hair-bearing skin is lifted off the surface while still attached at one end. The hair-bearing flap is turned around and sewn into place on the top of the head. The main advantage of this kind of surgery is that the hair on the flap continues to grow after the surgery, as it remains tethered to its original blood supply. One of the inconveniences are the so-called “dog’s ears”, which might appear due to the flap inversion and require further surgery to be removed.
Before any of the above-mentioned procedures, you must see a doctor. A qualified specialist must perform the surgery. Never accept transplantations of artificial hair because of its possible negative reactions, such as rejection of a foreign body or chronic infections.
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that normally lasts between 3 and 6 hours. It is performed under local anaesthetics or mild sedation in an outpatient basis. Due to the administration of a mild sedative, the patient remains awake but relaxed. After the surgery the scalp is wrapped in a bandage to protect the grafts during the night. The bandage is normally removed the following day. The donor area, where the permanent grafts are removed from, is closed with sutures or surgical staples, which will be removed in seven to twelve days. Sometimes soluble stitches can be used which will dissolve after several days and they do not have to be removed.
Although complications are rare in this kind of procedure, infection may occur around the newly inserted hair follicles, similar to what happens with inward growing hairs or when spots become infected. The small scars produced in the donor area as a result from the donor skin removal are thin and easily concealed with the surrounding hair. The punched grafts in the receiving frontal area scar inconspicuously and are concealed by the transplanted hair. Some patients might experience a slight swelling in the frontal area during the first days after the procedure. In some rare occasions, when the transplantation is performed in the frontal area, palpebral ecchymosis may occur on the eye.
– Information obtained from www.secpre.org.