Dealing with hair loss can be emotionally trying for anyone. At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research we believe that the best way to address the fears and anxiety that hair loss can cause is by educating our patients and keeping them fully informed about their diagnosis and all of their treatment options. Hair transplant is the only treatment that guarantees new hair in areas of thinning scalp. Every day we talk to patients who have questions about hair transplantation surgery and here are answers to some of the questions we hear most.
How does hair transplant surgery work?
All modern hair transplants essentially take healthy, actively-growing hair follicles from one area of the scalp and then place them into different areas where the hair follicles have started to shrink and go dormant. This works because genetic pattern hair loss (or androgenetic alopecia, which is responsible for approximately 95% of all cases of hair loss, in both men and women) follows a predictable pattern. While the hair follicles at the front and crown seem genetically susceptible to the hormones that cause them to eventually shrink and stop producing hair, those on the back and sides of the head are not, so these follicles will continue to grow hair naturally even if transplanted into balding areas.
What is the difference between Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG)?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) removes follicular units, each containing one, two, three, or four individual hair follicles, directly from the donor area, leaving behind many tiny, circular “holes” in the skin. These heal quickly and are barely noticeable. The Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG) technique, however, surgically removes a single thin strip of skin from the back or sides of the scalp which is then microscopically dissected by our team into the follicular unit grafts. In both cases, the end result is hundreds (or thousands) of individual follicular unit grafts which can then be sorted and transplanted into the thinning or balding area. The difference is not in the area of hair growth, or in the placement of the hair follicles, but in how the donor area is harvested.
Will hair restoration surgery leave scars?
Any form of hair restoration surgery involves the surgical removal of hair follicles from the scalp, and wherever a cut or wound is made to the skin some form of scar will be left behind. Follicular Unit Grafting will create a thin linear scar where the donor strip was removed, while follicular unit extraction leaves hundreds of tiny circular scars in the same area. However, at the Griffin Center, our skill and experience allows us to minimize the appearance of these scars dramatically. Our experienced technicians carefully dissect the donor scalp under a sophisticated binocular microscope, producing a higher number of viable grafts from a much smaller section of scalp. This allows our surgeons to remove a far narrower strip of hair follicles, creating a smaller wound and leaving a less pronounced scar. Finally, Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis use a special type of closure that produces a barely visible scar and allows new hairs to grow through the scar line. Regardless of which harvesting method is used, the remaining hair on the back of the head will grow to cover the nearly invisible scars left behind after the procedure.
If you have any other questions about hair loss or any of the hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation. Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.