Hair transplant has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. It has turned out to be a blessing for young people with receding hairlines. Some people lose their confidence when they start losing a significant portion of their hair in their 20s and 30s itself. A hair transplant is a way to restore at least some of the lost confidence.
Just like any medical/cosmetic procedure, hair transplant procedures have also been evolving. Older procedures such as FUT used to leave a visible scar and have stronger side effects. As dermatologists and hair care specialists were on a quest to find a procedure with milder side effects, FUE was born.
What is FUE Hair Transplant?
FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. It is one of the latest hair transplant procedures. Although the popular targeted area is the scalp, the procedure can be used to stimulate hair growth on arms and legs as well.
How is the procedure carried out?
In FUE, your doctor will extract individual hair follicles from a part where there is enough hair. The extracted follicles will then be transplanted to the target area. To insert these follicles, the doctor makes tiny incisions in the target area using a sharp tool. The follicles are then carefully inserted into these incisions.
What was the common procedure before? Why is FUE becoming more popular? Until FUE was invented, another hair transplant procedure – FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) was popular.
In FUT, a whole strip of skin is taken out. Grafts are prepared from the extracted strip and then transplanted to the target area. When an entire piece of skin is taken out, it leaves behind a scar. There are certain risks in this procedure which include – the new hair not matching the surrounding area.
Compared to FUT, FUE leaves only tiny white dots where the individual hair follicles are extracted. These dots fade and eventually disappear. FUE has gained popularity as it is less invasive. The healing period is shorter as well. Yet another reason could be the higher levels of success seen in FUE.
Should you go for FUE Hair Transplant in Malaysia?
Just because FUE is the latest technique and has a short recovery period, does not mean you can/should choose the procedure. The latest technique will naturally be expensive. Also, not everyone is an eligible candidate for FUE. You need to have enough healthy hair follicles. Whether you are eligible or not depends on a host of factors such as your hair type, the extent of hair loss and the pattern of hair loss.
The cost of the procedure depends on several factors as well. How much you pay is determined by – how experienced your doctor is, how popular is FUE in your region, how much hair needs to be transplanted and so on…
Some tips to prepare for the procedure…
Usually, an anaesthetic is injected prior to the procedure. Therefore, you will not experience any pain during the procedure. However, your doctor will suggest some tips to follow before the procedure. These may include the following.
- Practice massaging your scalp to increase blood flow in the area
- Avoid smoking and drinking when the surgery date is approaching
- There are a set of tablets/medicines to avoid before the surgery (blood thinners, anti-depressants, supplements etc… discuss your routine medications with your doctor)
- It is not recommended to get a haircut before the surgery.
Are there any risks?
There is virtually no medical procedure that has zero risks. No matter how advanced a procedure is, it comes with its set of risks. If you are unsure about how the hair will regrow, what improvement you can expect etc… clear your doubts with your doctor before you sign for the procedure.
Immediate side effects include swelling and irritation at the targeted site. In most cases, this lasts only for 2-3 days. Patients are advised to take anti-inflammatory tablets during the recovery period.
Right after the surgery, there will be bandages on your scalp. After they are removed, keep the scalp exposed. Do not wear a cap/scarf over your head. Recovery is quick and may take 2-5 days. However, significant changes start appearing only after 2-3 months post-surgery. Be patient and take good care of your scalp until you see substantial hair growth.