There are many questions about hair transplant, some of them related to the different fears before the operation, what to do before and after, and others are just patient curiosity. For this, we have asked our doctor in Madrid, Dr. Nicolás de Vicente, to explain which are the most frequently asked questions that his patients make before the hair transplant.
Hair transplantation consists of the grafting of the patient's follicular units from one area (donor area) to another (alopecic recipient area). The FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) technique is a type of hair transplant that consists of the direct extraction of individual follicular units, which may contain from one to 6 hair follicles. It is a surgical procedure that lasts between 7 and 8 hours. It is a minimally invasive technique.
Smoking is not recommended before or after the transplant. Patients who smoke should avoid smoking for at least one week after the operation. There is a significant risk to the graft if exposed to tobacco.
The definitive results of the graft are given 12 months after the surgery. However, we will be able to see a result similar to the definitive one after about 6 months of evolution.
Depending on the origin of the scar, the viability of the graft will be greater or lesser. In many cases hair transplantation is not indicated if the recipient skin has scars. It must be evaluated by the specialist before a graft is performed.
It is as effective as a scalp transplant. The technique varies slightly, but the theory is very similar. Great results are seen with beard grafting using this FUE technique.
The natural result of a graft depends not only on the experience of the medical and technical team, but also on the patient's expectations and the consistency of the surgeon performing the operation in the diagnosis and design of each case. There are safety margins, anatomical points or facial features that must be respected in each patient. If we comply with all of them, the result is usually natural.
The follicular units that are removed from the donor area do not regenerate. Therefore, there are millimetric scars that are easily concealed by the follicular units that remain around them. Therefore, if the surgery is well performed, the extraction should not be noticeable and, therefore, the result will be natural.
You can cover your head with a cap as long as the scabs have been removed from the recipient area. In general, the time for this process is 10-15 days. After that, it can be used when the specialist indicates it, but generally it is from this date onwards.
The result of a well done graft is permanent. The follicular units that are transplanted are not hormone-dependent and therefore do not suffer from androgenetic alopecia, which is usually the cause of hair loss in a large percentage of patients.
However, in order to obtain a great result, the doctor may recommend a hair treatment depending on the case and the patient. In other words, some cases can be treated with medical treatment alone, others with surgery and others with surgery and medical treatment at the same time.
It depends on what is normal for each patient. A sedentary life is easily recoverable after the graft, however, a more active life requires more time.
Washing afterwards is important, and should be done calmly and following the appropriate recommendations. When the scabs have fallen off, the patient can shower almost normally.
Sun should be avoided during the following months, until the graft covers the grafted skin itself. Therefore, the patient should be careful with sun exposure and try to wear a hat when going out in the sun. On the days immediately after the graft, the patient will not be able to wear a cap, so he/she should avoid sun exposure by avoiding sunny hours or by using parasols or umbrellas.
Do you have any questions related to hair transplant? Don't hesitate to contact us. Dr. Nicolás or one of his colleagues will be happy to answer all of your doubts!