Hair Transplant: Procedure, and Cost


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What is hair transplantation? Why is hair transplantation performed?

Hair transplantation is a surgical method, which is used to treat varying levels of androgenic alopecia in men and women. It is a surgery in which balding areas are filled with hair. Unlike other organ transplant procedures, in this treatment, your own hair is transplanted and no external donor is needed.

It is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, however, losing more than that can spell trouble. It is then that you require medical intervention and get yourself diagnosed.You can visit a general doctor for the preliminary diagnosis. If required you may be referred to a dermatologist, an endocrinologist or a trichologist.

What are the causes of hair fall?

The most common causes of hair fall include: 

  • physical stress due to overwork illness, accident, injuries, childbirth, emotional disorders, or surgery which can cause telogen effluvium
  • usage of birth control pills by women
  • pregnancy in women which can result in hormonal imbalances
  • scalp infections such as ringworm or fungal infections
  • poor diet, especially less protein intake, which can cause hair loss as hair strands are essentially made of the protein, keratin
  • excessive hair styling and colouring
  • smoking
  • genetic hair loss
  • autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata, or lupus, where the immune system of the body attacks its own healthy cells, including hair follicles
  • chemotherapy which can result in spot baldness or complete baldness
  • taking excessive amounts of Vitamin A supplements
  • male pattern baldness caused by a combination of family genes and male hormones
  • female pattern baldness caused by family genes
  • medical conditions such as anemia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women, eating disorders, and thyroid disease
  • vitamin B deficiency in the body
  • sudden weight loss due to physical trauma
  • burns and X-rays too can cause sudden temporary hair loss
  • taking medicines such as blood thinners and anti-depressants
  • trichotillomania which is an impulse control disorder causing people to compulsively pull out their own hair
  • natural ageing, especially when people enter their 50s or 60s.

How are the causes of hair fall diagnosed?

Since hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, the first step should be to consult your family physician or a general practitioner. The doctor will perform a general physical exam for you, and ask you a number of questions to glean your and your family’s medical history. He will ask you about:

  • how noticeably your hair is thinning
  • your family history of hair loss
  • your diet
  • your hairstyling habits
  • any recent illnesses, especially skin rashes
  • medicines you take either for thyroid problems, arthritis, depression or heart-related issues

Based on your responses and overall general health, the doctor may then advise you to undergo the following tests:

  • Blood test: to determine if you suffer from any health problems such as thyroid.
  • Pull test: in which the doctor will pull your hair to see how many hairs come out on an average.
  • Scalp Biopsy: in which the doctor will scrape some skin and a few hairs from your scalp to check if you suffer from any kind of scalp infection.
  • Light Microscopy: which will help diagnose any disorders of the hair shaft you may suffer from.

Hair loss can occur due to a poor diet, stress, vitamin deficiency, thyroid problems, pregnancy, treatments like chemotherapy, or due to ageing. These conditions are not very serious and can be addressed easily by taking medicines, or stopping certain medicines, and changing your lifestyle. Very often the hair grows back. 

If your hair loss is due to genetic reasons, or conditions such as alopecia, your hair will not grow back naturally. This can be distressing for you as hair loss can affect your overall appearance. Under such circumstances, based on your general physical health and the pattern and severity of hair loss, and your doctor’s suggestions, you may consider a couple of medical procedures, which can help alleviate your condition.

What are the types of hair transplantation?

The hair transplantation procedures are: 

What is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?

A highly advanced technique of hair transplantation, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)is performed in a way, which imitates the pattern of natural hair growth and is an ideal choice for people who have large bald areas on their head.
This procedure involves removing an entire strip of hair from a 'donor area' where hair fall is less and hair growth is still thick. The area from where the strip is taken is sutured leaving a linear scar on the scalp.
The strip containing the hair follicles is divided into grafts consisting of one or two follicles. The follicular units contain sebaceous glands (oil glands), nerves, a tiny muscle, and some fine hairs called vellus hairs.
Thousands of these follicular unit grafts are placed into tiny incisions made on the bald areas of the patient's scalp, also known as the 'recipient areas', in a single session. The hair growth from these grafts follow a very natural growth pattern, giving away no tell-tale signs of surgery. FUT hair transplant costs Rs. 20 to Rs. 40 per graft.

What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), as opposed to the FUT procedure, is a hair transplant method in which the doctor extracts the follicular units of hair, from the donor area of your head, one by one.
The doctor uses a small microneedle, which punches a tiny incision around a hair follicle before extraction.
Each unit contains one to four hairs. These one, to four hair groupings (called follicular unit grafts), are then transplanted into the balding areas of your head. In this method thus, there is no need for the surgeon to make a long incision in the donor area, as in the FUT procedure.
This is an ideal method of surgery for patients who like to wear their hair short. This method is also is also recommended for patients who have a tight scalp or have previously undergone the ‘strip’ or FUT method but with little success. FUE hair transplant costs Rs. 35 to Rs. 100 per graft.

Am I eligible for hair transplantation?

You are eligible for hair transplantation if you:

  • are 25 years of age or above. The ideal age, however, is 30 years and above.
  • do not suffer from, uncontrolled diabetes, asthma, heart problems, or high blood pressure/hypertension, and are not completely bald or taking blood-thinners or beta-blockers.
  • are suffering from advanced hair loss for more than 5 years, and now your pattern of hair loss is established, leaving you with very low-density hair on the scalp.

What are the risks and disadvantages of the FUT procedure?

The risks and disadvantages of undergoing the FUT procedure include: 

  • Experiencing numbness, discomfort, or itching, during the process, which is transitory.
  • Experiencing shock hair loss after the procedure, which is temporary.  The hair usually grows back in 3-6 months.
  • Local inflammation and infection if proper care is not taken during and after the surgery.
  • Scarring at the site where the donor strip is excised.
  • Longer recovery period, as this procedure is invasive.
  • Avoiding any form strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks after the surgery.

What are the risks and disadvantages of the FUE procedure?

The risks and disadvantages of the FUEprocedure include: 

  • Hundreds of tiny round white scars on the head caused by the incisions to extract the hair follicles, which will be typically invisible to the human eye after your hair has grown out.
  • Numbness, bleeding, itching, swelling around the eyes and forehead, and temporary cyst formation on the areas where the hair is being transplanted.
  • Risk of infection, and inflammation, if proper care is not taken during and after the surgery.
  • Experiencing shock hair loss, which is temporary and the hair usually grows back in 3-6 months.  
  • Costly, tedious and a time-consuming procedure as individual follicular units are extracted.
  • Is not be suitable for large areas of baldness.

What are the advantages of the FUT procedure?

The benefits of FUTprocedure include:

  • A large number of follicles can be transplanted in a single session
  • Provides better yield of hair compared to other hair procedures
  • An enhanced, natural-looking cosmetic effect, once the hair grows
  • More affordable than other hair procedures such as FUE

What are the advantages of an FUE procedure?

Some of the advantages of the FUE procedure include:

  • It is a less invasive surgery than FUT, with no visible scarring in the donor area
  • It is ideal for short sessions and for patients in early stages of hair loss
  • It is ideal for patients who would like to sport short hairstyles
  • It is ideal for patients who have no problem in shaving their heads
  • It is ideal for moustache or eyebrow replacement

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Patient Experiences

Pradeep
FUE Hair Transplantation
Baldness or alopecia is a common problem among men today. I came across Dr Harikiran Chekuri while searching over internet for a good clinic for hair transplantation in Hyderabad. Going through a big volume of positive reviews about Dr Harikiran Chekuri I decided to visit his clinic. I had a fantastic experience. The Doctor put me at ease right away and he took his time to explain everything to me about hair transplantation. After prolonged discussion with the Doctor I could able to overcome my initial hesitation and nervousness and decided to undergo a FUE hair transplantation surgery. In FUE hair transplantation surgery hair grafts are extracted from the back of the scalp and transplanted in the bald region. Dr Harikiran Chekuri and his team with more than 1000 hair transplantation surgery to their credit were very professional in their job. They made me feel relaxed throughout the procedure. The surgery took in total 6 hours for me. To extract the grafts a local anesthetic injection was given in the scalp. Similarly local anesthetic was given at the front of the scalp while injecting the grafts. In the whole procedure injecting local anesthetic is the only painful part which consists of a maximum of 2-3 minutes. Once the anesthetic was administered the scalp became numb and I did not feel anything. So the procedure was almost painless. There was a little discomfort for the first day of the procedure. From the second day onwards I did not feel any discomfort. Dr Harikiran Chekuri is very caring and follows up the patient even after the patient goes back to home. He is always available over phone and whats app. So for any query or discomfort it is very easy to communicate with him and take his advice. Over all I am extremely content with my hair transplantation experience and want to convey my heartfelt thanks to Dr Harikiran Chekuri and his team. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Harikiran Chekuri
Redefine Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center
Rajesh
Encouraging Results From FUE
My hair transplant experience Before I begin this testimonial let me tell you that I was really apprehensive about going for a transplant and with the kind of stuff I was hearing from people I seriously thought even if I were to get one I would get it done abroad. I would just like summarise my experience point-wise to make it more objective. 1. I was never forced to get a transplant down which was a big difference compared to many prior meetings with various doctors and clinics. 2. The Transplant procedure was clearly explained to me as an option alongwith the pros and cons of getting one under 2 methods FUE and FUT I chose the former after checking as to what suited me best. 3. Dr.Mittal is one of the most approachable doctors I have known and I have sometimes asked him the same questions multiple times and he has always been there to answer whether it is 10 in the morning or 10 in the night. 4. The surgery in itself was a long procedure but I never felt uneasy and never felt like it was a surgery I undergoing . I was impressed with the meticulous preparation and planning that he does and although the surgery was performed at a new hospital there were no hiccups and there was no panic in the air at any point in time. I would also like to mention that the team Dr.Mittal has is fabulous and are very patient. At no point at time was i suffering from undue pain or discomfort. 5. If the transplant is the cake post-op is the icing and this is where I strongly believe is what sets Dr.Mittal apart. Further The PRP sessions were great and done meticulously with utmost care and precision. I must appreciate the effort he puts in ensuring that you are actually following the post op routine. The results have been encouraging so far and On the whole I can say if you are thinking transplant you can blindly go to Dr.Mittal....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Govind S Mittal
Skin and Hair Care Centre

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
I am looking for Hair Transplant in Pune. What will be estimated cost of Hair Transplant ? What is precaution to be taken after Hair Transplant? What is pros & cons of Hair Transplant ? What will be side effects of Hair Transplant ? Hair Transplant may make you impotent ? After the hair transplant, when i can get my natural hair ?
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
If you still have your hairline, transplant may not be required. And even after transplant, medical treatment has to continue all life. You are suffering from androgenic alopecia which is also called as pattern baldness. The hairs start reducing in density at the crown (top) and also the hairline starts refeeding  from the front. This is usually progressive throughout life unless treated. This may also be accompanied by severe dandruff. The FDA approved treatment for this condition is a lotion and tablets. There is no other alternative. No oil or cream will magically work because the hairs are getting miniaturised  and eventually disappearing due to the hormonal effects on the hair roots.. Please call me or  contact me with photos using online consult option for proper examination and treatment. Do not start treatment without consulting. I can give guidance and then you can continue treatment on your own.,
Verified User
I just had a query like what is the durability of the transplanted hair? Is there any chances of hair fall after the hair transplantation?
Dr. Jolly Shah Kapadia
Trichologist, Mumbai
The transplanted hair do stay for long time. The other  hair can become thin due to continuous process of balding.
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