What is hair transplant surgery?
Hair transplantation involves removing hair-bearing follicles from a given donor area (typically the back and/or sides of the head) and relocating them to a thinning or balding area.
If you are interested in hair transplant surgery and think it may be an option for you, you can rest assured that board-certified plastic/dermatological surgeons have been successfully doing this type of surgery for more than three decades, with major technical advances in recent years.
The truth about hair loss
Baldness has often been blamed on several factors such as, poor blood circulation to the scalp, vitamin deficiencies, dandruff, and even excessive hat-wearing. Although there is some merit to these theories, in most cases, they have been disproven. Additionally, claims that hair loss can be determined by looking at your maternal grandfather, or that 40-year-old men who haven’t lost their hair will never lose it, have also been disproven.
The primary causes of hair loss can be attributed to one or more of the following:
- genetics (family history)
- a change in hormones
- and aging
In general, the earlier the hair loss begins will ultimately determine how severe the baldness will become.
Hair Transplant surgery candidates
Ideal candidates for a successful hair transplant are those who have adequate healthy hair follicles (donor grafts) at the back and sides of the head.
Factors, such as hair color, hair texture (thick, fine, shiny or coarse) and hair type (straight, wavy or curly) may also affect the overall cosmetic result.
Hair transplant surgery can enhance your appearance and overall self-confidence, but in some cases the results will not necessarily match your ideal. Before deciding to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with our surgeons during your initial consultation.
Hair Transplant Procedure Steps
Before: Hair transplant candidates must have some noticeable hair loss with adequate healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head to serve as donor areas. Certain health conditions may disqualify patients from hair transplant surgery. It is important to be honest while completing the comprehensive health questionnaire and to provide consent for a full bloodwork panel.
Step 1: After your blood test results are in and you have been cleared for surgery, the surgical team will shave your head (ask our team on whether you are a suitable candidate for the No-Shave option) and a numbing cream is lathered over your entire scalp.
Step 2: Once your scalp is sufficiently numb, the surgical team will inject a local anesthetic at multiple sites on your scalp, typically, this is the most painful part of the entire surgery, but only lasts a few minutes.
Step 3: A punch-like instrument is then used to harvest hair grafts from your donor area(s) and washed and sorted for transplantation.
Step 4: At this time, you will typically be given a half hour break for lunch (lunch provided)
Step 5: After the lunch break, the surgical team will create channels in your bald areas where each hair graft will be transplanted.
Step 6: The surgical team will begin transplanting each hair graft into the channels created, one by one. In general, this process will take anywhere between 4 and 7 hours.
Step 7: After the surgery is complete, the back of your head (donor area) will be wrapped in a bandage and you will be given your medications (antibiotics and pain killers), as well as your post-surgical care instructions.
Step 8: You will be escorted back to your hotel and settled in to your room. At this point, patients typically order room service and shortly after, go to bed.
Step 9: Our team will pick you up from your hotel the following morning and take you to your post-surgical follow up visit with our surgical team to ensure you are healing properly. Once you have been cleared, you are free to explore Istanbul, i.e., shopping or touring, but no strenuous activities are allowed.
Step 10: On day three, our team will pick you up and take you for your final follow up, where the bandages will be removed and you will be given instruction on how to shampoo and wash your hair. Our team will wash your scalp and you are then able to either return home or continue your visit in Istanbul.
Hair transplant surgery risks and safety information
Hair transplant surgery is normally safe when performed under the supervision of a qualified board certified plastic and aesthetic surgeon/dermatological surgeon and an experienced nursing team. Still, individuals may vary greatly in their physical reactions and healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable.
As in any surgical procedure, infection, excessive bleeding and/or scarring may occur, however, these risks are almost non-existent if the post-surgical care instructions are diligently followed.