What is hair transplant surgery?
Hair transplant surgery is an increasingly commonly performed hair restoration procedure which involves the transfer of hair follicles from one area of the scalp to an area that is thinning or is fully bald. An increasing number of men are now addressing their male pattern baldness with hair transplants which lead to healthier, thicker and fuller hair. Although baldness is traditionally linked with the ageing process, hair loss is a phenomenon that can occur even in younger patients without any obvious cause.
Hair loss is very prevalent in the male general population with over 50% of men over the age of 50 being affected. Hair transplant surgery is the only permanent hair restoration option for results that are proven to last. The latest minimally invasive treatments include FUE (Follicular unit extraction) which is the most advanced technique for hair restoration surgery and involves no long scars and no need for suturing when compared with the more traditional FUT (Follicular unit transplantation).
Our hair transplant surgeons are renowned in their field and will carefully assess each and every individual to design a comprehensive treatment plan and with a strong focus on achieving densely packed and natural looking hair.
How much does hair transplant cost?
The price of hair transplant surgery at Centre for Surgery will be determined by the number of hair follicles which need to be transferred during a single treatment session. Typically prices start from £5000 for a standard FUE procedure at our Watford clinic. The cost of your hair transplantation procedure is all-inclusive (surgeon fee, cost of transplant technicians, facility cost and after-care appointments).
Why choose Centre for Surgery for your hair transplant procedure?
- Centre for Surgery are recognised leaders in all types of hair loss treatment from our two clinics in London Crawford Street and in Watford. Our hair transplant surgeons have many years of experience in performing all types of hair loss surgical procedure at our centre of excellence
- We are a fully CQC-registered day surgery facility recently rated good by the CQC and have on-site dedicated operating theatres purpose-designed for hair transplant surgery
- Our discreetly located hair transplant clinic in Watford is very conveniently located to all the major motorway networks and comes with free parking
- All patients have full access to our expert clinical support team who are able to answer any question or concern you may have about your care and treatment. Our after-care was recently described as ‘outstanding’ in a recent CQC inspection in 2020.
- As an ethical and responsible provider of hair transplant surgery we always encourage all patients to carry out extensive and thorough research on both the surgeon and choice of clinic.
Always ask the surgeon about their qualifications and experience, how many procedures they have performed in the last year and if they have encountered any complications.
What does hair transplant surgery involve?
Our hair transplant surgeons are some of the most highly trained practitioners in the sector and we only work with the most experienced hair loss surgeons at Centre for Surgery. During the hair transplant procedure, the hair transplant surgeon will transfer donor hair from healthier parts of the scalp and transfer the hair follicles to the thinning or balding areas.
Hair transplant surgery is a minimally invasive procedure. Follicular unit extraction or FUE, results in no linear scars compared with the follicular unit transplantation technique. The treatment results in both densely packed and natural looking hair with results that can last many years. Hair transplant surgery is routinely carried out under local anaesthetic and often combined with mild tablet oral sedation for comfort. This means you will be fully awake during the hair transplant procedure although you should not feel any pain or discomfort.
Hair that has been transplanted has similar characteristics to non-transplanted hair. The transplanted hair has growth characteristics similar to the donor area from where it was removed from. It is generally the case that hair from donor areas have different genetic characteristics to areas of thinning or balding hair. Patients can therefore benefit from having hair that is not as weak or fragile as hair which remains in the recipient area alongside the transferred hair. Expertly performed hair transplantation has an extremely high satisfaction rate when performed by expert hair transplant surgeons at Centre for Surgery.
With the passage of time it is not uncommon to experience thinning of hair in the donor regions and this is most commonly located at the back and sides of the head. Where this does occur, you can expect the transplanted hair to behave in a similar manner. Whichever technique of hair restoration surgery you choose, you should be aware that the newly transplanted hair will come off the scalp within 2 to 3 weeks of the surgery but following this you should begin to see new healthy growth within the space of three months.
Why have a hair transplant?
Hair transplants are generally accepted to be the most effective technique of permanent hair restoration available in the UK today for the treatment of early-onset male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is a very common condition and can affect up to 30% of Caucasian men under the age of 30. This proportion increases to well over 75% of men who are above the age of 65. Research indicates that male pattern baldness is much less common in men of Afro-Caribbean descent and occurs at a much slower rate in patients of far eastern origin.
Centre for Surgery offer the full range of treatment options for male pattern hair loss including prescription medical treatments (minoxidil and finasteride), non-ablative Erbium laser treatment and scalp micro pigmentation. Medical and laser treatments for hair loss function to improve blood flow to hair follicles that are undergoing gradual involution with time. These non-surgical alternatives are much cheaper when compared with hair transplant surgery although they lack the effectiveness of a hair transplantation procedure.
Hair restoration procedures are also very commonly carried out in mainland Europe especially Turkey and this huge increase in popularity is often due to the increase in minimally invasive techniques for hair restoration.
What are the differences between FUE and FUT hair transplants?
The two main types of surgical procedure for hair transplantation aim to address the issue of ongoing hair loss and include both Folliular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).
Although it is a newer procedure, FUE is increasingly the most popular hair transplant technique performed today as it does not result in the formation of a linear scar across the back of the head as in FUT surgery. The FUE technique involves the individual removal of hair follicles most commonly from the back of the neck and transferred to the recipient transplant site using highly advanced microsurgical instrumentation.
The FUT technique is a more invasive procedure as it involves the surgical harvest of a strip of hair bearing skin from the back of the head and may be more appropriate for a small proportion of patients. Your hair transplant surgeon will be able to describe the pros and cons of each technique at your consultation where a full medical history will be taken including any medicines you may be taking and a thorough examination will be performed. This information will be used to assess your suitability for the hair transplant procedure.
Who is the ideal candidate for hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation is a commonly performed procedure at Centre for Surgery and the best outcomes following treatment happen when the ideal patient is selected for surgery. Patients with alopecia areata are not ideal candidates for hair transplant procedures.
Good hair transplant candidates include:
- Patients who are over the age of 30 and have a stable hairline
- Patients who are concerned about areas of thinning and balding hair
- Patients who still have good areas of healthy strong hair which could serve as donor sites for hair transplants to be harvested from
- Patients who suffer from early onset male pattern baldness
- Patients who have realistic expectations of what treatment can achieve
What is the best technique for hair transplant?The most appropriate technique for hair transplant surgery will depend on the specific pattern of hair loss and your surgeon will be able to advise on the most appropriate technique. After the procedure, you’ll be followed up regularly to make sure your healing is progressing as planned.
When you have decided that hair transplant surgery is something you would like to pursue, it is very important to do extensive research to find the most appropriate surgeon and clinic. At your consultation, Your surgeon will explain what the hair transplantation procedure involves and will invite you to ask questions on any aspect of the procedure or after-care.
What are the common causes of hair loss in then?Hair loss in men is most commonly caused bye the effect of dihydrotestosterone on the hair follicles in the scalp. Dihydrotestosterone also known as DHT is derived from testosterone. The resultant effect on the hair follicles leads to a gradual decrease in the dimensions of the hair shafts until they stop being produced from the hair follicle altogether.
This effect is much less pronounced on hair follicles which are located at the back and sides of the head and are more resistant to the effects of dihydrotestosterone hence the common appearance of men retaining hair in these places.
In addition to male pattern hair loss which is most commonly genetic in nature, there are a number of medical conditions of the scalp including both alopecia areata and alopecia universalis which cause the loss of either localised patches of hair or generalised areas of significant hair loss. The procedure of hair transplantation is not effective for either of these two medical conditions.
Hair loss can also occur as a result of taking a number of medicines which have as their side-effect, hair loss. Commonly implicated drugs include medicines for the treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, depression and the treatment of arthritis. Having a stressful lifestyle can also be a potent cause of hair loss as well as the formation of certain hairstyles such as dreadlocks or tightly braided hair. Hair extensions are also a cause of hair loss.
What is a FUE hair transplant?Follicular unit extraction hair transplantation or FUE is the most commonly performed type of hair transplant procedure in the UK. In this procedure the head is shaved and then individual hairs are removed one by one by the hair transplant surgeon and his or her team of hair technicians. To begin with the patient will lie face down or prone and approximately 3000 to 4000 hair follicles will be removed from the back of the head. The surgeon uses a specialised extraction device to cut round the follicle and root followed by their meticulous removal. This stage often takes a number of hours and usually lasts until the early afternoon depending on the number of grafts required. After the extraction process, you can have a light lunch followed by the implantation process later in the day.
Once the required number of hair follicles have been extracted, he will then be turned over to lie on your front and tiny incisions will be made so that the removed hair graphs can now be placed into the very small incision is made in the scalp and hair line.
We often recommend for patients to wear earphones during this process as it can sometimes be uncomfortable. There will be a large number of very small scars but over time these become barely noticeable. FUE or follicular unit extraction procedures usually take a full day and for some mega graft sessions often the next day is also required. All hair transplant procedures are an outpatient procedure carried out under local anaesthetic with or without oral sedation.
What is a FUT hair transplant?Follicular unit transplantation also known as FUT or the strip method is a less commonly performed technique for hair transplantation. The procedure involves the harvest of a strip of skin with hair bearing follicles intact from the back of the head which is then divided into a number of sections with each section containing between one and four individual hair follicles.
This donor area is then closed with sutures to leave a linear scar. Although there will be a scar at the back of the head, it becomes barely visible over time except in patients who have very short hairstyles.
You will then be turned over onto your front and the removed grafts are placed into recipient sites in the scalp or hairline area.
FUT differs from FUE in that the whole head does not need to be shaved. The only area that needs to be trimmed is the area at the back of the head from where the strip of hair bearing skin is removed.
What happens after the hair transplant procedure?After the procedure, you’ll be given detailed post-operative instructions on how to take care off your grants. Your surgeon will prescribe a medical grade topical medicine to apply on the hair which helps with the healing process and optimise hair growth. The vast majority of patients are able to return to work approximately three days after the FUE hair transplantation procedure.
It is important to be very careful with your hair over the first two weeks after the procedure as the transferred grafts are still very delicate and will not be fully healed.
What is the recovery like after hair transplantation surgery?In all cases after hair transplant surgery it is important not to commence strenuous exercise too soon - you may resume gym activities after four weeks. You will return to the clinic after five days to have the bandages removed but it will be emphasised that you must still not touch the grafts to avoid traumatising them.
When can I wash my hair after hair transplant surgery?Most patients can begin to wash their hair after one week but only in a gentle fashion and without any harsh shampoos or vigorous rubbing of the scalp
If suture removal is required this will be undertaken at approximately 10 days post operatively.
When will my hair start growing again after hair loss surgery?It is normal after a period of 2 to 3 weeks to notice the transplanted hair to come apart and fall out. The hair will then begin to grow back normally with new and healthier hair gradually beginning to appear after 4 to 6 months.
You can expect final results to appear after the 12 month mark.
What are the common side effects experienced after hair transplant surgery?After having a hair transplant procedure it is common to experience a tight sensation in the scalp area for a few days as well as some mild temporary discomfort which responds well to oral painkillers. You may also notice some temporary scab formation where the hair grafts have been transferred to. If you had FUT, there will be a single linear scar at the back of the head. FUE results in many tiny scars on the scalp.
It can be uncomfortable to sleep for the first 7 to 10 days as you will have to keep your head in a straight position during the healing process. The transferred hairs are very delicate in the first two weeks and need to form a new vascular supply to them. As soon as the vascular supply is established the hairs will be well embedded.
It is widely accepted that the first three nights after hair transplant surgery are often the most difficult as patients have to be extra careful during this phase to preserve the newly transplanted hairs.
What are the risks and potential complications after hair transplant surgery?
Will I have any scars after a hair transplant?
What alternatives are there to hair transplant surgery?
Where is Centre for Surgery located?