Follicular Hair Transplant: Most reliable hair transplant procedure
Over the past few years unit follicular hair transplant has emerged as the most reliable hair transplant procedure
of hair transplantation surgery
. As the name suggests, the graft in this case consists of a single follicular unit
as it exists in nature. With adjoining sebaceous glands, the surrounding adventitial sheath and the supportive nerve and blood tissue, a follicular unit is not merely a histological unit, but a physiological
one as reported by Dr. Headingoton in 1984. It is for reason that it needs to be extracted as an intact unit and transplanted as intact unit, to be able to grow into a hair. This in fact is the fundamental concept of follicular hair transplant. Findings of Dr. Seager in 1996
gave significant credence to the philosophy of keeping the follicular unit intact when he demonstrated that when single-hair micro-grafts were created from follicular units, their growth was not as good as intact follicular units. In his study, he demonstrated that the one-haired micro-grafts had an 82% survival rate, compared to the 113% survival rate of intact follicular units. This 113% rate was most likely due to the sudden growth of anagen effluvium hairs added to the new growth from follicular hair transplant.
Follicular Hair Transplant: For most natural results
The reason behind follicular hair transplant becoming popular as the hair transplant procedure producing most natural results is also the same. Since the success rate of follicular hair transplant is nearly 100%, it closely follows the aesthetic pattern chalked out by the hair transplant surgeon for the hairline design and the graded areas posterior to it.
As discussed earlier, the hair transplant procedure for dissection of follicular hair units to prepare them as follicular hair transplant is quite laborious, and takes a long time to complete. Moreover, it also requires a well-trained team of skilled surgical assistants to dissect them out. After the introduction of stereoscopic microscope for dissection, the results of follicular hair transplants have further improved. The larger magnification helps a surgical assistant to avoid the damage to the follicle unit and prepare the follicular hair transplant with the least amount of scalp skin.
Another advantage of follicular hair transplant is its small size, due to which it requires a very small incision for its transplant. Small incision for a follicular hair transplant causes less damage to the recipient site and produces result which is undetectable to the casual observer. Another advantage of follicular hair transplant is that due to less damage to the recipient site, the grafts can be placed very close to each other resulting in a more denser and natural growth. For the hairline design, a unit follicular hair transplant has no other match/comparison in the realm of hair transplant surgery. Microscopically separated single haired follicular transplants allow the hair transplant surgeon to define the irregular hairline with the highest degree of precision so as to give his patient the most natural look.
Hair transplant surgery with follicular hair transplants takes 3 to 5 hours to perform and the patient leaves the hair restoration center without any bandage on his/her head. One can also wash the transplanted hair carefully after 3 days. In a week’s time complete healing would be produced.
Follicular Hair Transplant: Disadvantages of the procedure
Requirement of long hours of time and skilled team of more assistants for the preparation of 3, 000 odd follicular hair transplants through dissection is the biggest disadvantage of the follicular hair transplant procedure. The disadvantage also leads to manifold increase in the cost of hair transplant surgery.
There are ways through which the follicular hair transplant procedure can be modified so as to be completed in less time. The hair transplant procedure, which involves use of natural grouping of hair follicles, has already been discussed. The above-said procedure, if used in conjunction with the follicular hair transplant, can save a lot of time for the hair transplant surgeon who through skilled planning can limit the use of these follicular hair tranplants for the frontal hair transplant and the hair line design.
Follicular Hair Transplant: Use of Follicular Unit Extraction
Another innovative hair transplant procedure for follicular hair transplant is the Direct Hair Implants (DHI) technique which is the minimally invasive hair transplant procedure available today; it does not use scalpel, stitches or a donor strip for preparing follicular hair transplant s
The DHI is based on the use of hair transplant procedure known as follicular unit extraction (Fue). Follicular unit extraction is the state-of-the-art extraction technique for preparing follicular unit transplants.
Follicular unit extraction does not require a donor strip to be excised from the donor area and therefore does not involve any dissection of follicular units. The follicular units are instead directly extracted one-by-one using custom-made, precise micro-surgical tools less than a millimeter in diameter.
Follicular unit extraction is simple, painless, with the donor area healing within 2-4 days as compared to 7-8 days required for follicular hair transplants using the graft extraction technique . And there is no risk of nerve damage being caused by the hair transplant procedure.
Follicle Hair Transplant: Advantages of Using Direct Hair Implant
Hair transplant procedure for direct follicle hair transplant is a very simple one. The follicular hair transplant is performed only with state-of-the-art instrumentation. The standard instruments for the procedure consist of custom cut lateral slit blades, hypodermic needles, and the innovative DHI implanter. A hair restoration surgeon prepares a protocol of follicle hair transplant specifically for each patient so as to ensure perfect and most natural looks. The non-invasive hair transplant procedure of direct placement of follicle hair transplants causes minimal trauma to the scalp and does not cause any pitting, indentation, or scarring.
Surgical Quality Control during Hair Transplant Surgery
The greatest benefit of Follicular unit extraction and DHI technique is the possibility of quality control during the hair transplant procedures, the hair transplant doctor needs only a single surgical assistant to help him during the follicle hair transplants. The procedure also ensures maximum care to the grafts. The hair transplant doctor can decide upon the exact number of grafts to be removed while he is removing them one-by-one.
Body Hair Transplant
The best thing about Direct Hair Implants is that the hair from all over the body can be used. The technique has received much favor with the patients because it helps them to remove the excess body hair and at the same time allows them to restore hair without any surgery being performed on them.
Body hair follicular grafts removed through the follicular extraction technique are utilized only for enhancing the density in the posterior region of the scalp, and not for the hair line. Results of direct hair transplants for most of the patients have been positive to show that it is hard to differentiate the body hair transplants from the head hair. The body hair transplants have shown growth patterns similar to head hair with no difference in texture.
Another advantage of t he Direct Hair Implants Technique as a hair transplant procedure is that it allows the hair transplant surgeon to extract as many grafts as is actually needed. The transplant surgeon can extract and place up to 1200 grafts per day. And the subsequent follicular hair transplants can be done immediately after the first session if they are so desired by the patient.
Direct Implants Technique as a hair transplant procedure is fast catching up, but it all depends upon the individual hair restoration center to decide which technique to use. Whatever center you choose for your surgical hair restoration, always make an informed decision about your hair restoration surgery.
Jeffery S. Epstein: 'Follicular Unit Grafting: state-of-art Surgical Technique', Arch Facial Plastic Surgery, Vol 5, Sept-Oct 2003, 439-444