Hair Transplant: Procedure, Cost, and Results

A person can experience hair loss at any point in their life. The usual hair fall isn’t a problem as it’s natural to lose a few hair on a daily basis. It becomes an alarming situation when the hair fall becomes uncontrollable and the growth of new hair is scarce while the loss of existing hair has no limit whatsoever. Although genetics play a major role in this regard, there are various other reasons such as stress, a poor diet, hormonal imbalance, medical conditions, or side-effects of some medication. With the latest medical advancements, many procedures have been introduced to stop the hair fall and encourage regrowth. Hair transplant is one of the cosmetic surgeries that can result in thick hair and an attractive appearance. In case you have a bald spot on your head or you’re noticing that the hair is thinning out, don’t panic. Reach out to an expert dermatologist today and discuss hair transplant possibilities, procedures, cost, and effectiveness.  

1. How Is Hair Transplant Performed?

Some people can have hair loss with thinning hair on majority part of their head while others may have one or more bald spots. There are two major categories of procedures and either of the options is selected based on the intensity of the treatment that’s required. An expert dermatologist or surgeon should be consulted for a hair transplant to achieve the desired results.

Follicular Unit Transplant

A strip of the scalp is removed from the back of the head with an ear-to-ear length. This provides the hair that has to be inserted into the transplant area of the head. The area from where the scalp was removed is stitched up with neat sutures. The strip is then cut down into smaller pieces that can be somewhere around 1500 to 2000 in number. Each small piece is known as a graft and each graft may contain 3 to 4 hair. Some of these grafts may only have 1 hair each. The surgeon then makes small incisions on the area to be treated and inserts these hair grafts in them. The procedure of placing the grafts in the holes is called grafting. 

Follicular Unit Extraction

The area to obtain hair follicles from (usually the back of the head) is neatly shaved. The surgeon then pulls out hair follicles one by one and places them in holes made on the area to be treated. This is also known as grafting of hair follicles. The part of the head where the surgery is performed is covered with bandages until a follow up appointment to examine the results. 

The surgeon may suggest anti-inflammatory medication, pain killers, and antibiotics to help prevent or resolve any susceptible medical conditions that may arise from a hair transplant.  

2. What Is The Average Cost Of A Hair Transplant?

The average cost of hair transplant is Rs. 50,000 to 400,000 in Pakistan. This wide price range of the treatment depends on a number of factors:

  • The clinic or aesthetic center you choose for the hair transplant surgery.
  • The expertise, experience, and qualification of the surgeon performing the treatment.
  • The number of hair that have to be transplanted, the area being treated for hair regeneration, and the overall time required to carry out the surgery.
  • The type of procedure selected for the hair transplant. It can be either Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
  • The method used to close the incisions and treat the area from where the scalp or follicles were removed. 

3. What Is The Recovery Time And Precautions?

It’s quite normal for hair transplant recipients to return to their day-to-day activities within a week of their surgery. It’s not the kind of procedure that requires an individual to rest completely. However, there are some precautionary measures advised by most of the dermatologists to avoid any post-surgery complications and to achieve the desired results from the hair transplant:

  • Intense Physical Activity: Anything that can elevate your blood pressure or cause excessive sweating is not good for the health of your hair transplants. Bending down for too long or performing an exercise that causes the blood to rush towards your head should be avoided for at least 2 weeks following the surgery. To continue intense physical activities, it’s important to consult with your surgeon first. 
  • Dyeing The Hair: The chemicals from the hair dye can damage the hair follicles that have been transplanted in the scalp. It’s okay to dye your hair before the surgery but not afterwards. Your dermatologist may suggest you to avoid dyeing your hair for upto 6 weeks after the surgery. 
  • Keep Your Head Elevated: While lying down, it’s beneficial to keep the head elevated at a 45 degree angle and not flat as it helps prevent blood from flowing towards the head. This can reduce the possibility of swelling and inflammation. 
  • Washing The Hair: Most dermatologists suggest that an individual should avoid washing their hair for 2 to 3 days after the hair transplant. Even after the surgeon allows you to wash your hair, you shouldn’t rub or scrub too harshly, instead run your fingers gently through the hair. 
  • Too Much Sun Exposure: Excessive exposure to the sun can cause sunburns and lead to complications. It can also be a major factor that may result in infections and the failure of the hair transplant.
  • Maintaining A Healthy Diet: Eating a highly nutritious diet is the key to recovery during any kind of surgery and health condition. The provision of healing vitamins and minerals is very important for the transplanted hair follicles to remain healthy and take root in the scalp. 

4. How Effective Is A Hair Transplant?

For most of the people who opt for a hair transplant, new hair can grow in three to four months, while for others it can take seven to eight months before the effects kick in completely. About 80% of the transplanted hair follicles nourish and grow to full length. However in general, a hair transplant is far better than going for over-the-counter hair products that may or may not prove to be successful. As the hair growth is encouraged naturally using an individual’s own hair, the growth that follows can be expected to last longer. There may still be the requirement for follow-up sessions and small treatments that can prolong the effects of a hair transplant. The individuals who undergo hair transplants are usually satisfied by the results as compared to those who choose oral medication, creams, and hair oils to prevent hair fall and encourage hair growth. 

5. Are There Any Side Effects Of A Hair Transplant?

Although hair transplant is a safe procedure that does not pose any major threats to the life of the recipient, there may be some complications and side effects related to the surgery. 

  • Pain, Itching, And Swelling: Itching may be associated with the healing process and the pain is a natural outcome of the procedure. Most individuals experience minimal swelling as well. However if any of these after effects become uncontrollable and unbearable, it’s befitting to see a medical health professional who can administer you appropriate medication and treatment. 
  • Infection: The incisions on the head may get infected if exposed to bacteria. The infection can become worse over time and ooze pus and even bleed. It’s advised to contact your surgeon right away without any delay as these infections can lead to serious health complications.
  • Headaches: Headaches may be a result of the surgery which can be managed with an increased intake of water and staying hydrated. However, intense headaches should not be ignored and labeled as normal under any circumstances. 
  • Inflammation: The hair follicles may become inflamed and cause discomfort and pain. The doctor can prescribe oral medication to counter this problem. 

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