When you can’t pick and choose

When you can’t pick and choose

You should clearly communicate with your surgeon when it comes to your desired hairline and the details of the surgery. Yet, there are aspects of the procedure which are more difficult to control:
  • The surgeon's tools
  • The anesthetic used
  • The duration of the procedure
  • The number of grafts (to an extent)
  • The need for hair restoration medication
  • And when you will see results.

The surgeon's tools

You should research FUE and FUT techniques and consult with your surgeon about which extraction method suits your case best. FUE and FUT are hair-harvesting techniques. When it comes to the details of hair implantation, each surgeon has their preferred approach. For example, some surgeons use sapphire blades, while others prefer conventional steel blades. 

Each surgeon has a way of performing a hair transplant that they feel most comfortable with, and, if you want a specific tool used, you need to search for a surgeon who already uses it. Additionally, remember that good results depend more on how well a surgeon executes a technique and their artistry than on which kind of blade is used. Similarly, a haircut depends more on the stylist's or barber's ability than the scissors they use. Besides the surgical approach, hair transplant results depend on other factors, such as aftercare.

The anesthetic used

Typically, you cannot choose which exact kind of local anesthesia will be used during surgery. Many patients are worried about the procedure being too painful for them to handle since most clinics do not use a general anesthetic or IV sedatiion. However, you shouldn't worry about the pain since most patients find the procedure comfortable. Patients are often given an oral sedative along with local anesthesia. A vibrating tool may be used as a distraction on the scalp, making the transplant less painful for the patient.

Click Here To Learn More About Prescriptions.

The duration of the procedure

Hair transplants are long surgeries; they can last up to 12 hours. You should ask your surgeon for a time estimate, but you shouldn't rush them. If the surgery is done too quickly, it is more likely that a suboptimal result will occur. Make sure to set aside an appropriate amount of time for the surgery and the appropriate rest you will need after it.

The number of grafts

Patients want the recipient area to look as natural as possible. They might want it to be as dense as it was before they began struggling with hair loss or as thick as the surrounding areas. Surgeons aim for a natural density, but they also take into consideration the conservation of the donor area and potential for future hair loss

After the scalp has healed and hair has grown in, patients will often notice that hair density in the recipient area is not the same as in the surrounding parts of the scalp, especially if the recipient area was bare to begin with. The patient might need a touch-up surgery to improve the density, but this does not mean that the initial surgery was unsuccessful.

Some patients want to schedule two surgeries immediately, but this is usually not recommended. Every person's scalp needs a different amount of time to heal, and the results and amount of touch-up work needed will take time to see. 

Problems may occur when the surgeon extracts too many grafts for the patient's age and situation. If the number of grafts that your surgeon plans to extract seems large, you should discuss this concern with them. You can also get a second professional opinion.

Whether you take hair restoration medication

Some see hair transplant surgery as a way of avoiding hair restoration medication. When looking into the procedure, you will find that, even with surgery, hair loss medication is still often recommended. Medication, such as finasteride, can keep the donor area dense enough for future surgeries and prevent further hair loss in other areas of the scalp.

Medication can be quite expensive and the cost piles up over time as you need to take the prescription drugs consistently. A great resource for those experiencing hair loss is Feel Confident, which offers prescription medication at affordable prices.

When you will see the results

Hair transplant surgery is a big investment, both in terms of money and time. Hair transplant surgeries are expensive. Because of this some people choose to have them abroad; countries like Turkey are more affordable, but even then, the surgery means putting aside time and money.

It is normal to be excited about the results after investing in the procedure and putting effort into caring for your scalp post-surgery. But results take time. At six months, you can see about 60% of the final result; after ten months, it's about 90%. It takes 12-18 months to see the final result.

Does this mean that no part of hair transplant surgery is in my control?

No! Communicating with your surgeon about your needs and wants is important. As long as you are realistic and willing to compromise, you and your surgeon can find the best solution for your hair restoration goals.


The content of this newsletter is for entertainment and educational purposes only. This content is not meant to provide any medical advice or treat any medical conditions. Patients must be evaluated by an appropriate healthcare provider on an individual basis and treatment must be tailored to meet that patient’s needs. Results and particular outcomes are not guaranteed.

Written by Aleksandra Božović | Edited by Dr. Gary Linkov
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