Hair Replacement Surgery

Thinning hair and hair loss are among the worst nightmares of aging. For women, hair is femininity, appeal and youth. The cosmetics industry that includes hair care products has consistently ruled over other billion dollar ventures because of the huge market share of women who will refuse to accept that hair crisis is not men’s issue alone.

Call it gender equality when it comes to hair loss. For men, the cause is commonly heredity. For women, it is hormonal change, especially during menopause. If it is any consolation, rare do women undergo complete hair loss; and based on statistics, only one out of five women are cursed to get this pattern baldness.

But what if you are that one pattern balding female in every five? What should you do? Two ways: First, believe that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder; second, know that there are now restoration techniques for hair loss. One of the milestone breakthroughs to solve hair loss is the Hair Replacement Surgery

To Bald or Not to Bald

To go under the knife to reclaim the truss of hair you lost can be an overwhelming decision to make. To begin with, the cost is steep (approximately USD 5,000 per session). Nevertheless, you can kiss that pattern baldness goodbye. The psychological and physical gains from enjoying a fuller head again for a long time make Hair Replacement Surgery a cost-effective option.

Hair Replacement Surgery is basically utilizing the patient’s remaining hair as the surgeon will be grafting skin from areas that are hair bearing. More areas with hair are your first step to a success hair replacement surgery story.

There are four types of Hair Replacement Surgery procedures: Hair Transplantation, a procedure wherein the tiny pieces of scalp grafts taken from the back and/ or side of the head of the patient is transplanted to the balding area; Tissue expansion is a technique of embedding a “tissue expander” into a hair bearing spot just behind the balding area. This tissue expander triggers the skin to regenerate skin cells. Then, the cultured skin will be grafted onto the balding spot; Flap Surgery is a procedure recommended for larger coverage. A segment of the bald spot will be taken off, to be “stitched” over with a tailpiece of hair bearing skin; Scalp Reduction is back or top spot remedy by cutting away bald scalp portion and pulling hair bearing scalp over to fill it in.

The anesthesia administered for the Hair Replacement Surgery is either local or general, depending on the intricacy of the procedure. Tissue expansion and Flap Surgery use general anesthesia.

Duration for entire process varies but generally needs several follow up surgeries to achieve satisfactory results. A realistic expectation of the outcome of a Hair Replacement Surgery is fundamental to its success. Most likely, you will not get back the density of hair you had in pre-hair loss days, but a Hair Replacement Surgery can greatly help camouflage the thinning areas. Discuss with your surgeon the downtime, complications and expectations you may have with Hair Replacement Surgery options you may choose.
You may have to be advised to do light activities only until you are more comfortable to go back to your normal routine.

Are You Qualified?

Hair Replacement Surgery is not merely a “thread, stitch and go” procedure. There are risk factors for patients to be considered before hair replacement surgery is performed. This is to prevent post-operative complications to occur such as infection, profuse bleeding, and slow healing.

Below is a list of common risk factors your doctor is likely to ask you or observe prior to a hair replacement surgery:

  1. Smoking and alcohol drinking
  2. Medical conditions such as obesity and malnutrition; HIV-AIDS; diabetes; organ diseases; skin and other manifestation of bacterial or viral infections; and antibiotics-treated conditions
  3. Use of herbal supplements and prescriptive drugs such as immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory

How Much?

Over the years, more women go for hair replacement surgery to fix their hair loss problem. Based on a 2006 study, there has been a significant jump of 34% of hair replacement surgery procedures compared to the 2004 records. Of the documented percentage, 13.8% were female patients. Likewise, the 40-ish female patients top-billed the other age groups of this percentage.

Cost of Hair Replacement Surgery varies and depends on the extent of the baldness and its progression; characteristics of the patient’s hair such as color and texture; coverage area; and the patient’s expected outcome of the surgery.