Baldness is a common problem in this stressful life. People who suffer from hair loss or baldness look so much older and this can result in low self-esteem and depression. Male pattern bladness is not a disease, it is a natural process which happens to every individual. The onset, progression and severity depends on lots of internal(genetic and hereditary) and external (environmental and nutritional) factors. I also like emphasize on diseases which cause bladness and can be treated to restore the hair.
In males it is graded into seven stages (Hamilton-Norwood Scale) depending on the extent of hair loss and into three stages in female(Ludwig). Hair loss and baldness are caused by various factors such as hormonal changes, genetics and even environmental factors.
Baldness can be corrected by hair transplantation procedure. Hair transplantation is one of the commonly performed cosmetic procedures. Generally there are two well accepted methods of hair transplant, FUT (Strip) method and FUE (Follicular unit extraction).
The basic principles of hair transplant as 3 steps –
1. Harvesting the hair follicles.
2. Processing hair follicles i.e. making them individual follicular units.
3. Implantation of hair follicles to bald zone.
Both the methods give good results. There are surgeons who advocate one is better over other but I say it is individual surgeon and patient choice. You basically have to understand the advantages and disadvantages of these methods.
FUT (Strip Method)
1. hair follicles are harvested the most permanent zone ie which fall at last if you go completely bald.
2. The average number of follicles which can harvested are 2500 (note – people do harvest more or exaggerate the numbers but I am talking average follicles)
1. It will leave a permanent scar at back of your head which extends from one ear to other. It can be made inconspicuous but usually is seen if you shave your head or have a very thin (less dense) hair at back.
2. The pain is more and scar tenderness can be present.
FUE (follicular unit extraction) method
1. Most important advantage is no linear scar.
2. Less painful
3. No suture removal
1. Limited number of grafts harvest . Average is 2000 from the permanent zones, if you require more then it can be taken from other zone.
2. The damage to hair bulb is more in this method as it is blind procedure but if the surgeon is experienced and expert in this method then damage can be minimal as in FUT.
3. It takes longer operative time then FUT.
The whole procedure is done under local anaesthesia. It generally requires 6-8 hours depending on the technique and number of grafts. You can go home on same day.
Post operative protocols differ with different surgeons. I ask my patients to do few basic necessary things.
1. Keep flushing the recipient site with saline every 2-3 hours.
2. Massage on the forehead to avoid swelling under the eyes or forehead.
3. You need to take antibiotics and pain killers.
4. I see you after 48 hours.