Who Will Perform Your Hair Transplant? Is it Important?


Who Will Perform Your Hair Transplant? Is it Important?

Does a Doctor have to perform every aspect of a hair transplant? Why would it be important for a Doctor to perform a hair transplant?

A hair transplant requires it´s own skills to achieve a natural result for the patient. These can include many artistic and medical attributes requiring high levels of skill and understanding of the skin, anatomy, and bone structure to name a few. Who performs your hair transplant will depend on several factors. From start to finish a hair transplant is a team performance. Is it important who performs what and when during a hair transplant is another important factor.

Most hair transplants take a day to two days to perform. One factor of time is the required number of grafts (hair follicles) for the desired result. The technique used along with the instruments used will also dictate the duration of the procedure. For example, the difference between manual, motorised and robotic methods.

Four Stages Of A Hair Transplant

A hair transplant procedure is broken down into four key areas. Each area requires the highest standard with care and under magnification. The areas can be categorised and divided. For example, the extraction and removal of the hairs, the cleaning and care of the grafts, the recipient or placement site making and finally the placement of the grafts.

Graft Extraction – The method differs depending on the technique used. FUE, Follicular Unit Extraction or FUT, Follicular Unit Transplant.

Graft Cleaning and Preparation – the trimming, cleaning and dividing into their natural size groupings

Making of the Recipient Sites – from the hairline to the crown the design of the slits includes the depth, angle and orientation of the slits for the hair units to be placed into

Graft Placement – following the recipient sites and guidance of the Doctor as to where place the specific sized hair units from the hairline back to create a natural look and desired coverage and hair density

Starting with graft extraction. Although there are obvious differences in the extraction both hair transplant techniques require specific medical skills. There needs to be an understanding of the skin. This reflects on how it reacts to being cut and subsequently how it heals. The need for depth control and the angle of the incision.

Not a concern solely to graft extraction. An occurrence called transection occurs during the extraction. Transection results in the damage to the hair follicle on extraction. The result of this damage can cause the hair follicle to cease hair growth permanently.

What is Transection?   

This occurs as part of a hair transplant procedure. A well-performed hair transplant will ensure transection is in single digit %´s numbers. Some transection is visible and can be monitored. Such as the cutting of the hair follicle on extraction can be seen under magnification. One area rarely checked is the punch movement with Follicular Unit Extraction. FUE being a blind extraction method. Meaning it is not possible to see below the skin surface. This is the difficulty when the punch enters the skin. As to what damage can be done.

A punch surrounds the hair units in the hair transplant donor area. The punch cuts around the edges to remove the hair units. Without understanding it is easy to damage the hair unit and not realise. Understanding the exit point of the hair shaft, understanding the direction under the skin, and understanding the skin characteristics and how they change. Gone unnoticed and without an understanding of the importance of these and many other factors will result in a high % of damage or transection to the hair units and donor area.

Donor Area Transection

Unchecked the result of transection can have unnoticed bad consequences for years. Two aspects can cause awareness to the problem. Firstly, the area of the scalp starts to appear thin or patchy in hair growth. Secondly, the donor area is damaged by scarring and over-harvesting. As a result, little to no more hair units can be extracted from the area.

What Impacts on Transection Rates?

The speed of the FUE Extraction – the faster the extraction the more chance of transection. There comes a speed it is impossible to punch accurately with a high % success rate due to haste.

The skill and understanding of the person punching the hair units – if the task is simply to punch around hairs anyone can do this. This requires little skill and no understanding of the hair and skin characteristics. The skill comes in understanding the hair angle, orientation, sitting position, punch depth required.

The mechanic of the punch – a manual punch is tactile allowing the user to feel each punch made easily, the depth, angle and the incision. This can then be altered as required to maintain a clean punch. The greater the automation then potentially less control the user has.

The number of hair units required – the larger number of grafts/follicular units required will impact on maintaining a low transection rate. The more grafts means a higher chance of over harvesting, splitting and damaging the hair units to reach the number. A high number in one procedure can be over approximately 3000 FUE grafts.

Without due care and technical understanding transection can potentially rise to near 50% of the removed or remaining hair follicles. As a result this can leave the donor area impaired to the point little to no further hair can be removed safely.

Graft Care to Graft Placement Transection

Transection can occur at almost any point during a hair transplant. Anytime the hair units need to be handled, cut, prepared or placed it is possible they may be damaged. Because of this it is important to have a system of checks throughout the hair transplant procedure. Using magnification to check and clean the hair units. Using the correct medical instruments to perform the procedure. The correct skills and understanding to perform the operation in the first instance.

How To Minimise the Transection Rates

With the experience of time, knowledge of research and teaching, and the understanding of practice the skills to perform a hair transplant are perfected. Some skills may come naturally while others are perfected over time. This can make the difference in what field of medicine a Doctor finds their calling. A broad understanding of the skin and hair characteristics is required to perform a hair transplant to the highest standard. This includes the checking of the team´s work throughout their tasks of the procedure.

Without knowing the pitfalls to look for, without understanding the variants in skin and hair characteristics there is no skill to the FUE technique. The FUE hair unit punching is simply an exercise in creating incisions around hair units. This approach allows an untrained, unskilled potential novice the opportunity to appear productive and competent in the task. As the result, success is measured on how many hair units can be removed. Not by how much damage is caused, how many punches are made and how many hair units are transected.

Do You Pay For What You Receive?

An important question to research before deciding on a Clinic and Doctor to perform your hair transplant procedure.

As discussed, there are ways for a hair transplant to be made more efficient, and for more grafts to be removed faster. Is this to the detriment of the potential result and is it impacted on whom performs what during the hair transplant?

A hair transplant compared to other cosmetic surgery procedures is slow and requires a larger team to perform. If a hair transplant could appear simpler to perform, less drawn out, more efficient it could appear beneficial to the patient. Another idea. If the emphasis is removed on an FUE hair transplant being a technically demanding procedure. This also would validate the less qualified being able to perform the tasks involved.

The less skill the instruments and tools to perform an FUE hair transplant should reflect on the cost of the hair transplant procedure. This can be seen on low-cost hair transplant websites. The emphasis is on numbers, high numbers usually and being able to book in without or with little notice. This is possible due to the ranks of under-prepared staff performing the FUE procedures. Having a large team of staff allows a large number of hair transplants to be performed in one day.

What´s Important To You?

Regardless of the cost, check who perform what aspects of your hair transplant procedure. A hair transplant is elective surgery and you have the choice to pay the cost you wish but should demand the level of quality and skill often denoted by the fee attached.

Key Areas Of Concern With The FUE Hair Transplant:

The Qualification of the Person Punching the Hair Units

The Speed of Extraction

The Number of Grafts Extracted

The Size Of The Extraction Zone

The type of mechanism used for the FUE punch – manual, motor etc

The Number of Staff Punching Hair Units At the Same Time

Is There Anyone Monitoring The Procedure

The Average Hair Unit Size Extracted

How Many Hairs Compared To How Many Grafts

How Many Punches Compared To How Many Grafts

If you wish to settle for low-cost then understand what this could entail including the supplements and free add-on offers. With this in mind, regardless of the cost, you can decide on the importance you place on your hair transplant result, the individual´s that perform it, and your long-term well-being.

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