What to Expect from a hair transplant procedure – steps, recovery and more
Many people suffer from different sorts of alopecia, which can directly affect their quality of life. Even though it doesn’t seem like a serious problem at first, hair loss can be very difficult to deal with, especially if it is encountered at an early age. This is the reason why they choose hair transplants, an innovative way to treat alopecia. It is a surgical procedure that involves many aspects that a person should know about before deciding whether to have it performed on them or not. The most relevant pieces of information are listed below:
Are you suitable for this procedure?
First of all, you need to determine whether you are suitable for the procedure or not. A hair transplant procedure might not be required in some cases. You need to determine four different factors that may influence the results of a hair transplant. These are:
- How big the surface you want to cover with hair is?
- How fast are your currently lose hair?
- Are there any medical conditions that cause hair loss?
- Are there any diseases that could affect the success of the hair transplant procedure?
After answering these four questions, you can determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure or not. Different health affections can be the cause behind your hair loss, and it won’t stop unless you treat the condition first. Even after you will go through the hair transplant process, the hair might continue falling because of these affections. In order to ensure the success of the procedure, you must run a thorough set of tests to determine if your health status is appropriate for a hair transplant. A discussion with your doctor should clarify any question you may have. Keep in mind that the doctor might recommend alternative treatment methods if required.
Are there any other options you should know about?
Alopecia is a dermatological disorder that affects all of your hair follicles, but it is more visible on the scalp. The evolution of this disorder is chronical, meaning that you will end up losing all the hair on your body. It has no other implications that may put your life in danger, but it causes psychological consequences such as anxiety, depression and a lowered quality of life. If you find yourself in this situation, a hair transplant is the most suitable option.
If you don’t suffer from alopecia, but other health conditions that may cause hair loss, you can try alternative treatments. Your doctor can prescribe medication meant to stimulate hair growth. In most cases, patients notice positive results, as studies have shown. The only disadvantage of alternative treatments is that they usually take long until they show results. These sorts of treatments should only be used under the surveillance of doctors. The cost of the treatment must be considered. Hair transplants can be quite pricey, while medication may be cheaper.
What type of doctor will perform it?
It is important to understand the difference between a plastic doctor and a dermatologist. A plastic doctor’s duties are limited to wound healing, reconstruction after congenital defects or acquired as a result of trauma, tumor excision, burns, etc. The dermatologist, on the other hand, handles a wider range of interventions. Even though they represent aesthetic changes, hair transplants are cosmetic surgeries that reconstruct something caused by an affection, so both plastic doctors and dermatologists can perform them.
The doctor you choose should be specialized in hair restoration and be part of ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery). Checking the clinic’s reputation should help as well. See if you can visualize the results of previous patients on the clinic’s website and read about the doctors as much as you can. For instance, clinics like DK Hair Klinik, a hair transplant clinic in Antalya, are approved by ISHRS, EADV (European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology), ESCAD (European Society of Cosmetic & Aesthetic Dermatology) and TURKDERM (Turkish Dermatology Association), which makes them a safe choice.
What side effects can be encountered?
As in the case of any other surgical procedures, there are some side effects that you should know about when choosing a hair transplant. These include:
- Small scars
These side effects are very rare and the risk of them becoming life-threatening or dangerous for the patient are minimal. It is highly important to follow the advice you received from the doctor after the procedure was done. Here are several tips that should make the recovery period shorter and safer:
- Sleep on your back using a tall pillow for a week after the surgery to avoid touching the scalp area
- Avoid bending over a few days after the surgery to prevent too much blood gathering in the scalp area
- Avoid using any sort of hats or caps, unless it is recommended by your doctor
- Avoid spending too much time in the shower
- Direct sun exposure should be limited to a minimum
- Follow the diet recommended by your doctor
The recovery period differs from one person to another, depending on how serious alopecia was. The hair grafts will start falling in the first ten days after the surgery was completed and the scalp will be fully healed in around 6 weeks. The growing process should be completed in one year. For a safe recovery, you should consult your doctor before using any sort of shampoo or cosmetic product on the scalp area.
Other details you should know about
Once your scalp is fully recovered, you should know that transplanted hair can be treated just like normal hair – no special treatment required. Many patients fear that regular actions such as washing hair may damage the effects of the hair transplant, but this is not true. Only the recovery period involves using specific products and avoiding certain actions because it encourages the hair to grow strong. After following the aftercare instructions and the growing cycle is completed, you can treat your hair normally. Hair transplants are permanent procedures.