For millions of men and women, the unavoidable effects of genetic hair loss have a lasting impact on their self-confidence. While androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, has no cure, hair transplants can provide an effective and long-lasting solution to the debilitating effects of hair loss.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is one of two methods currently used for hair transplantation surgery. By utilizing new techniques and the latest hair loss research, modern hair transplants can produce natural results that avoid the pitfalls of past procedures. At Carolina Hair Center, Dr. Jerry Cooley and his expert staff want to help you regain your confidence with FUE surgery.
FUE is completed under local anesthesia. The scalp is thoroughly numbed to ensure patients are comfortable and satisfied throughout the treatment. During the procedure, Dr. Cooley utilizes a small handheld punch device that removes individual follicular units containing one to four strands of hair each. The punch device extracts the entire hair follicle, including its underlying root system, ensuring that it survives the transplantation process. Grafts are taken from the back and sides of the head, as those areas of the scalp are more resistant to hair loss.
All grafts are placed in a holding solution containing special vitamins and nutrients that keep the follicular units preserved before they are transplanted. Once a sufficient amount of grafts has been harvested, Dr. Cooley begins transplanting them one-by-one into the targeted areas of the scalp, carefully placing them in patterns that mimic and replicate the natural growth of the hair in the surrounding area.
The length of the procedure can span between two and four hours, depending on the extent of the hair transplants necessary to achieve the patient’s desired results.
Recovering from FUE
The scalp will be red, swollen and sensitive following FUE. Patients should take great care not to touch their scalps as the newly-transplanted hair may become dislodged. Most side effects subside within the first week of recovery. Scabs will begin to form as the donor sites and transplant sites recover and should be left alone to fall off once the scalp has completed healing.
Sleeping with an elevated head for the first few nights following surgery can help minimize swelling and other side effects. FUE is a relatively minor surgical procedure and patients may feel ready to resume work and other regular activities the very next day. Most patients choose to take two to three days off from work or schedule their appointments before the weekend to allow noticeable side effects the chance to heal before resuming their daily schedules. Dr. Cooley provides all his patients with specific instructions on how to best manage their recovery following surgery to ensure optimal results.
Hair Transplant Results
Hair transplants do not provide instant results, and patients should not expect to see an immediate improvement in their hair following surgery. In fact, the newly-transplanted hair will fall out about two to three weeks into recovery. The shedding is a natural part of the process and is expected. New hair growth will begin around the two- to three-month mark, although a visible change will not be truly noticeable until six months following surgery.
Because FUE does not require incisions, scarring is virtually nonexistent following the procedure. The handheld punch device may leave behind small circular scabs, but they will gradually fade into nearly invisible faint marks once the scalp has finished healing.
Patients will experience a significant improvement in their hair density in about six months, although new hair growth will continue to improve for up to 18 months. Results following FUE should last a lifetime, and patients can expect to enjoy their fuller, more youthful head of hair for many years. In order to maintain hair transplants, Dr. Cooley recommends the use of medicated products like Rogaine and Propecia to his hair transplant patients to slow down and prevent future hair loss. Platelet rich plasma therapy is another very effective treatment to maintain and improve native non-transplanted hair.
Carolina Hair Center
If you are interested in hair transplantation surgery to treat your genetic hair loss, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooley. At Carolina Hair Center, we offer both FUE and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) surgery to our patients. We will sit down with you during a one-on-one consultation to discuss your hair loss and determine which method is best to achieve your desired results. To book your appointment, call Carolina Hair Center today at 704-542-1601.