A surgical procedure that is carried out in a hospital or medical center and under anesthesia whose duration varies depending on the number of follicular units transplanted, the longest being between 6 and 8 hours.
Although any person of legal age can undergo this medical intervention, medical professionals usually recommend waiting until 30 years old to perform a hair graft
It is also important to remember that only people who have enough hair in the donor area (usually the lower back area of the scalp) and that are of sufficient quality, should undergo this procedure.
In addition to the scalp, using new hair transplant techniques it is also possible to perform follicle implants to cover those beardless areas of the male face.
In both cases, it is necessary to point out that any hair graft intervention must be carried out by an experienced professional who knows the different hair graft techniques that currently exist.
Currently, there two techniques of hair grafting being used, the FUT or FUSS and the FUE, each of them is recommended for different types of patients with different cases of alopecia.
Extraction of follicular units with strip (FUT or FUSS): technique in which a strip is cut from the scalp of the donor area, which is subsequently cut into pieces that are implanted in the recipient area. Each strip usually measures between twelve and fifteen centimeters in length and one in width.
FUT is a more aggressive technique than FUE, the recovery is longer, having to wait two weeks to remove the stitches. However, it is the most common technique to repopulate large bald patches. In addition, it can be combined with FUE to achieve more accurate and natural results.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE): technique in which the follicular units are extracted individually, without the need to cut the scalp, and then graft them in the areas of the absence of hair. Unlike the FUT or FUSS technique, it hardly requires anesthesia and requires a much shorter recovery, being able to leave the hospital the day after the procedure. This much more avant-garde technique requires experienced professionals in its execution.
In addition to serving for transplants in any area, it offers more natural results by allowing the placement of follicles individually, which also makes it an excellent option for a beard graft.
The usual thing is to perform transplants of no more than 5,000 follicular units in each session. However, it is possible to undergo several sessions. In addition to being ideal for repopulating small bald patches, it is perfect for increasing hair density in places where there is little or no hair.
Although it is not a technique in itself, but rather an evolution of the FUE technique, the FUE Sapphire technique deserves a separate mention. A technique in which this mineral is used for making much more precise millimeter cuts, which allow for much more precise extraction and repositioning, less painful and which helps to reduce recovery times even more.
However, it should be the expert surgeon in hair health who chooses, after studying your specific case, what is the best technique to correct your bald spots and repopulate with the maximum guarantees those areas where your hair had started not to grow.
The average cost of a hair transplant, which can be considered as a technique of hair loss in men treatment, in the U.S is $10,000
MedicW price in Mexico is $2,990, which represents a 70% savings
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Surgery duration: up to eight hours, depending on the number of follicular transplanted
Duration of hospital stay: You might go home the same day as the surgery, though some people need to stay overnight
Step 1: Patient preparation
Before the surgery is started, the hair in the donor area is trimmed
Once the hair in the donor area is trimmed it is given local anesthesia
The Physician makes the markings in the donor and recipient areas.
The recipient area is defined with the hair in normal length.
Step 2: Extraction of the follicular units
Follicular is extracted from the donor area
After preparing the donor area (back and/or lateral part of the scalp) local anesthesia is applied
The extraction is performed using millimetric surgical instruments named “punches”
They have sharp cylindrical edges and vary from 0.8 to 1.1 mm in diameter
After being cut with the punch, the follicular units are extracted from the scalp with the aid of extremely fine forceps
The number of follicular units extracted in a one-day procedure ranges from 1000 to 2000, which amounts to 2200 to 6000 hairs. This number varies from patient to patient, according to the density of the donor zone (number of hairs per follicular unit)
Step 3: Preparation of the follicular units
Immediately after their extraction, the follicular units are placed in a specific solution that ensures their vitality
A member of the team starts their preparation under the magnification of a stereoscopic microscope
The proper preparation and conservation of the follicular units are essential for the success of the transplant
Step 4: Implantation of the follicular units
In this phase of the procedure, anesthesia is applied to the recipient area and micro orifices are made where the follicular units will be later implanted
The incisions are made with needles with a thickness of under 1 mm. The depth of incision is exactly the same as the follicular unit length, thus avoiding the lesion of the blood vessels present in the scalp
The incisions define the future angle and growth direction of the hairs, which will be similar to the natural hairs present at the recipient area
Precision instruments called implanters are used for the placement of the follicular units in the recipient area
The follicular units are then implanted one by one in the bald recipient zone, respecting the direction, angle and density distribution patterns of the existing hair in the recipient area
The preoperative of a hair transplant is very simple. The day after making the preoperative visit with the surgeon and his team, in which the intervention will be informed in detail and the growth marks of the frontal area will be delimited, the patient may undergo the hair grafting operation.
The only requirements to be able to undergo a hair transplant are: having a donor area with enough follicular units, that these are of quality and that the preoperative blood test does not reveal any incompatibility with the intervention or with the anesthesia that will be applied before to start with the hair graft.
The first night after surgery will be the most uncomfortable. The patient should sleep with his head held high (sitting down instead of laying down) and avoiding any possible rubbing of the operated area with any surface.
During the first hours, the patient will feel swelling as a consequence of the inflammation produced for the graft. However, this will disappear after the intake of pain relievers and / or anti-inflammatory
The day after the operation, the surgeon will visit you and, after the first review that must confirm that everything is 'ok', the medical team of the hospital center will teach you how the first wash of the area should be done and how to perform it during the first months after grafting.
From the first 72 hours, it is possible to see how small crusts form on the scalp. Scabs will fall off until they disappear in their entirety around ten days after the transplant.
Usually, after three days of wearing the protective headband, you can take it off and start getting your routines back, including going back to work. The patient should still not do any physical exercise or practice any sport
It will be the first month when you see that what used to be dots are now little hair that starts to sprout. These should fall and give way to others much stronger that will be visible around three months after the intervention.
Hair that you will see grow strong and healthy from the sixth month on, being approximately twelve months after the operation when the patient can finally see how it has become after the hair graft and what is its new image.
The final results of a hair transplant are not fully appreciated until around the year after the intervention. In the previous months, the new hair that has begun to sprout after the fall of the grafted follicles in the operating room grows and strengthens its roots in the patient's scalp.
The hair that will look at 12 months, if you have undergone an intervention in a certified hospital center and performed by a hair transplant expert, should be for life. Of course, as long as you carefully follow the instructions that will be provided after the first postoperative consultation.
It should be noted that in recent times, hair health specialists have detected that the combination of hair grafting with non-invasive treatment with stem cells is capable of offering much more powerful results, notably helping to strengthen hair follicles.
That is the reason why many specialized hair transplant centers are offering packages that combine grafting with platelet enrichment treatment. Everything is to achieve the best results in the shortest possible time and guarantee that these are for life.
The postoperative period of a hair transplant intervention is simple, especially if the FUE technique is used, the one that does not require stitches and that allows, in some cases, to leave the clinic within a few hours of the operation and, what is more, important in terms of comfort it is possible, in some cases, to sleep at home 24 hours after the procedure.
Beyond the discomfort of the extraction and grafting of the follicular units that last just a few hours, the procedure is not considered difficult, although it requires patience -the results do not fully realize until a year after the operation
There is certain care required after the procedure, these include the first wash, which needs to be very delicate, the new hair washing routine, sun protection will be needed during the first months, extreme care to avoid impacts or chafing in the grafted area during the first year and taking certain medications.
We refer to minoxidil and finasteride, two pharmacological compounds tested and prescribed in the majority of the countries to patients who undergo a hair transplant that become part of the routine of the patients after the transplant and whose purpose is to allow the new follicles to settle develop healthy and strong after moving from the donor area to the recipient area.
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I did my hair transplant with MedicW in Mexico. The entire process was as smooth as it could have been, I truly enjoyed this experience and I managed to take some vacations while at the same time getting that hair transplant that I had been thinking about getting for a long time.
Just amazing, the entire process was flawless
I was skeptical about medical tourism, after doing it, I can say that I have saved thousands of dollars without compromising on quality