Avoiding Pitfalls in Planning a Hair Transplant

Although many technical advances have been made in the field of surgical hair restoration over the past decade, particularly with the widespread adoption of follicular transplantation, many problems remain. The majority revolve around doctors recommending surgery for patients who are not good candidates. The most typical reasons that patients shouldn’t proceed with surgery are they are too young and that their hair loss pattern is too unpredictable. Young persons also have expectations which are typically too high – often demanding the density and hairline of a teenager. Many people who are in the first stages of hair loss should simply be treated with medications, rather than being rushed to go beneath the knife. Hampshire aesthetics Plus some patients are just not mature enough to make level-headed decisions when their problem is indeed emotional.

In general, the younger the individual, the more cautious the practitioner should be to operate, particularly if the patient has a family history of Norwood Class VII hair loss, or diffuse un-patterned alopecia.

Problems also occur once the doctor fails to adequately measure the patient’s donor hair supply and does not have enough hair to accomplish the patient’s goals. Careful measurement of a patient’s density and other scalp characteristics allows the surgeon to learn how much hair is available for transplantation and enable him/her to create a pattern for the restoration that may be achieved within those constraints.

In all of the situations, spending just a little extra time listening to the patient’s concerns, examining the patient more carefully and recommending a treatment plan that is consistent with what actually could be accomplished, will go a long way towards having satisfied patients. Unfortunately, scientific advances will improve only the technical areas of the hair restoration process and can do little to insure that the task will undoubtedly be performed with the right planning or on the appropriate patient.

Five-year View

The improvement in surgical techniques that have enabled an increasing number of grafts to be placed into ever smaller recipient sites had nearly reached its limit and the limitations of the donor supply remain the major constraint for patients getting back a complete head of hair. Regardless of the great initial enthusiasm of follicular unit extraction, a method where hair can be harvested directly from the donor scalp (or even the body) without a linear scar, this procedure has added relatively little towards increasing the patient’s total hair supply designed for a transplant. The major breakthrough will come when the donor supply could be expanded though cloning. Although some recent progress had been made in this area (particularly in animal models) the opportunity to clone human hair is at least 5 to a decade away.

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