What Happens Before, During And After A Hair Graft?
We received an email from Vijay asking about us grafts.
Dear doctor, I would like to know more about hair grafts. What happens before, during and after a hair graft?
Thank you so much for writing to us and we will certainly try to give as precise an insight as possible into the world of hair grafts.
A hair graft or follicular unit consists of 1-3 and sometimes 4 hair follicles along with the surrounding connective tissue, blood and nerve supply. Transplanting a follicular unit ensures better survival and uptake rather than isolating a single hair.
Before: Before you can actually go in for a hair graft, you need to know whether you actually need it and whether you are an apt candidate for the same or not. When you visit a doctor or come to our clinic, we will spend some time in gauging your hair loss, and depending on the grade of the same, we will suggest a transplant and the number of grafts required. Most importantly, we need to check if there is a clear enough donor area, from where we can harvest sufficient grafts, without disturbing the donor area too much. The grafts are taken from the scalp, but if the donor area is poor and more number of grafts are required, an experienced surgeon can also take grafts from beard and body.
During: The actual hair grafting session can be done by two techniques, FUE or strip method. In the strip technique, we will remove a portion of the scalp, from the donor area consisting of sufficient hair, and this is sectioned into smaller segments to obtain individual grafts. In FUE method, individual grafts are extracted from scalp using small punches. In both the cases, the grafts are then planted onto the marked areas. During extraction of grafts, we will ensure that the donor area does not start to look bare either. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that your head provides the illusion of having a lot of hair, till the time the hair actually takes root.
Once this process is over, in strip cases, the “donor” area is closed up with stitches. However, we will make sure that the stitches are minimally invasive and are covered by the hair in the surrounding area. In cases of FUE, no stiches are needed and the area heals by itself without scarring. Generally, more than one session is required to achieve a full head of hair and we would suggest that you keep a gap of few weeks, between each session. We ensure that we clean the scalp properly and apply bandage, if the need be.
After: A few days after the completion of the procedure, we will check the grafts as well as the donor area to ensure there are no infections. This is the time when the stitches will be removed and very soon, there will be hardly any visible scars left. There can be a few side effects, but these tend to go away in a matter of days. These could include swelling, itching, numbness for a couple of days. We will provide some medicines for the first week and detailed advice on precautions to be taken to ensure that these side effects are reduced and the healing process is optimal.