At an initial consultation, the patient’s scalp is analyzed. Then his or her preferences are discussed, as well as what expectations are reasonable given the patient’s current condition. Some patients need more than one procedure for full coverage while others may require only one.
Before the Procedure
Beginning several days prior to surgery, it is recommended that the patient refrain from any medication that might result in intraoperative bleeding and ultimately result in a poor take of the grafts. Alcohol and smoking can also contribute to poor graft survival, so it’s highly recommended to avoid these as well.
Day of the Procedure
Transplants are performed on an outpatient basis, and mild sedation and local anesthesia injections are used. The scalp is shampooed and treated with an antibacterial agent prior to the procedure. A physician then moves hairs from an area of thick growth to bald areas. Permanent hairs are harvested from the back and sides (donor areas) of the head. It’s important to keep in mind that removal does not negatively impact the donor area.
With a Multi-Unit Hair Grafting procedure, the transplanted hairs are cut very short before the procedure and a suture is used to close the donor site. For an ARTAS procedure, no suture is needed. The hair seed and short hairs are then placed in the concerned areas.
After the Procedure
Sutures are removed no sooner than 14 days after the transplant. Within a few weeks, the short hairs (that are from the hair seeds) will fall out, and the donor seed will begin growing “new hairs.”
“New hairs” will begin to show within 3-5 months of the procedure. At about 6-9 months, a patient should have attained 60% of his or her new growth.