Introduction to Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation is the surgical procedure of taking permanent hair from the back of the head and using it to replace lost hair in the front of the head.

How is this possible?

The basic principle of hair transplantation is that of donor dominance – that the occipital area consists of androgen-resistant hairs and are therefore permanent — and they retain this property when transplanted to other areas. Hence these hairs are retained even after being transplanted and do not fall

How can I cover such a large area from the hair on the back of my head?

The donor area in the occipital scalp is smaller than the potential bald area—hence a smaller area of donor hair is available to be used to cover a much larger recipient site. Therefore, what is done in any hair transplantation is to create an illusion of hair, to cover the bald area—it is never possible to create the same original density that the patient had! The logic behind this seemingly imbalanced equation needs to be well understood in order to understand the possibilities and limitations of this procedure. It is important to note that even though the total number of hairs on the head doesn’t change, their arrangement gives the impression of not being bald.

Some terms to Understand

Follicular Unit – Hairs occur on your scalp in naturally occurring bunches called follicular units which can consist of anywhere from 1 to 4 hairs. Each unit on average in Indians consists of 2.2 hairs. It is important to transplant these units as they exist and not break them down further to ensure their survival. For this reason, all discussion on number, cost etc should be done in terms of grafts and not hairs.

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Follicular units on the scalp

Graft – It is an alternate term for a follicular unit

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Diagram of a follicular unit

How is Hair transplantation done?

There are 3 basic steps

  1. Harvesting grafts from the donor are
  2. Creating holes in the recipient area
  3. Implanting grafts into these holes

There are two main methods of harvesting grafts

  1. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): In this method, a strip of skin is taken from the back of your head, which is sutured closed. This strip is dissected into grafts under a microscope.
  2. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): In this method, grafts are individually harvested one by one from the back of your head instead of taking an entire piece of skin.

Making holes

The hairline is designed in consultation with the patient, we design the hairline to be as natural as possible. Another thing we do is we distribute the grafts in a CUSTOMIZED MANNER. We Place the single hair grafts in the front to give beauty and larger grafts in the back to give volume. This gives a better result.

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Slits for implanting

Implanting the hair

This is done by a team of 3 people to give the best result:

  1. The hairs have to go in quickly, the longer they stay out the lesser chance of survival
  2. The grafts have to be handled as carefully as possible and not be damaged
Introduction to hair transplant: The different types of implanters used during hair transplant procedure
Different types of implanters

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About The Doctor

Dr. Venkataram Mysore was one of the first surgeons to learn this technique in the country. He is an expert in FUT and is one of the most respected Hair Transplant experts in the world. He has edited the first Indian textbook on the subject and is the first and only Indian Dermatologist to be made a fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons.

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Dr. Venkat being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at Dermazone South
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