How is a Hair Transplant Done and How Long Does it Take?

How is a Hair Transplant Done and How Long Does it Take?

Like all the surgical and medical interventions, hair transplant has undergone several developments and technical improvements.

Development of Hair Transplant Techniques

In 1822, a German doctor came up with the idea of restoring animal’s hair with fur and feathers.
The idea developed in the year 1950 when two American doctors began to perform hair restoration surgeries. It became very popular and began to evolve until it reached its current form.

The first hair transplant technique to be used by surgeons was the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant).
The method was basically performed by removing a thin strip tissue from the back side of the scalp (donor site). 

Years later an Australian doctor introduced a new idea of directly extracting the hair follicles from the scalp. By using a tiny punch with different diameters ranging between (0, 8 - 1 mm). This technique was given the name FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction).

The majority of hair transplant surgeons now apply this technique as it promises admirable outcomes with high success rates.  

How is the FUE hair transplant performed?

FUE hair transplant was first done manually using an FUE-Punch. The surgeon or medical staff spins the punch which contains cylindrical blades to manually extract the follicles. As years passed, the FUE punch was no more manual and it became powered by a device called the Micro Motor. This helped in reducing the duration of the surgery and faster recovery. The FUE hair transplant is done in 3 main steps: Follicle extraction, opening the channels, and eventually implanting the follicles.

Step (1): Follicle Extraction

The FUE hair transplant technique evolved throughout the years. It is now done using a micro motorized device called the Micro-Motor.

The hair grafts are carefully extracted from the donor area one by one. The extracted follicles could contain a group of 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs.

Step (2): Follicles Grouping

Then the grafts are sorted into groups according to the structure and number of hair strands it contains.

Step (3) Opening Channels or Incisions

A highly skilled hair transplant surgeon creates incisions that mimic the size of the follicles with a certain depth.

This is a very significant step as it determines the natural appearance and the right direction of the hair.  

Step (4) Follicle Implantation

After hair follicles are extracted and incisions are opened. It’s time to insert them in the recipient sites suffering from baldness or hair thinning.

A Video Illustration of How Hair Transplant is Done

How Long Does a Hair Transplant Operation Take?

On average, a hair transplant operation takes from 6-8 hours using the FUE technique. This includes breaks for a light snack and if the patient needs to use the restroom. 

The duration varies based on the degree of baldness or hair loss and the number of grafts that will be implanted. If we are to give a breakdown of the time for the 3 stage of hair transplant, then we can say that each stage lasts almost 2 to 3 hours. 

The transplanted hair when taken from the safe limits of the donor area, it never falls out. The newly implanted hair holds the same characteristics of the hair in the donor area and it remains resistant to the hormone causing hair loss, which is known as the DHT hormone.  

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