Hair transplants

With the patient under local anesthesia, transplanting hair is a grafting procedure that takes 4 to 5 hours. A strip of scalp is removed from the back of the head, then cut up into grafts of hair. Hundreds of tiny slits are made in bald areas, and the hair is transplanted one or two follicles at a time. More than one procedure is usually necessary, and some patients have temporary swelling in the forehead or numbness in the scalp. It takes about 3 months for the transplanted hair to start growing again. Each procedure costs several thousand dollars. There is an alternative to grafting. In a transplant procedure called “the flap” a flap of skin with hair is lifted from the scalp and rotated into the place of the bald spot and then stitched at the hairline. The flap is done in 4 or 5 surgical procedures over a period of a few weeks. Because it is never completely severed from the scalp, as is the case in grafting, the flap doesn’t lose its blood supply. As a result, the patient heals faster and the hair keeps growing.