Hair Implant: What is it? Differential Diagnosis, Procedure, Care and Efficacy

A hair that is leafy, shiny and full-bodied is the dream in all the cultures of the world.

Hair has always been an important aspect of people’s physical appearance.

Statistics reveal that one out of every two men in the world suffers from alopecia and typical male hair loss of genetic origin.

The hair transplant is a practice, increasingly requested by men.

This procedure consists of taking a piece of skin located in the back region of the head and preparing them, to then perform an implant in the areas where it is required, and obtain a natural appearance.

This type of transplant does not produce any type of rejection, as it is an autograft.

Causes of alopecia

Generally cases of baldness are a condition and not a disease.

Baldness is often caused by a genetic predisposition.

There are other causes of alopecia, which may be definitive or transient and may be caused by:

  • The alterations of psychological type.
  • Dermatitis on the scalp.
  • Ectodermal dysplasias of the congenital type.
  • Immunological disorders
  • Presence of endocrine diseases.
  • Stress.
  • Sequelae of scars due to surgery or trauma.

Diagnosis for the recommendation of a capillary implant

It is necessary to make a differential diagnosis of the causes of baldness , to define if it is due to the existence of congenital diseases, immunological diseases or psychogenic diseases.

That is why different tests are needed to evaluate whether hair transplantation is possible or indicated in such cases.

Due to the fact that alopecia is a hereditary condition in most cases, it is not possible to combat this genetic predisposition.

However, the production of hormones can be inhibited thanks to the administration of an androgen antagonist such as finasteride.

To prevent the advance of alopecia and preserve the amount of hair, the administration of finasteride with minoxidil is recommended

Combining a vasodilator and hair follicle stimulant, which becomes a very effective treatment.

There are other treatments such as a series of vitamins, amino acids, hair lotions, anti seborrheic shampoo, also the use of dietary supplements.

These are treatments for the hair follicle nutrition, but they will never get the hair out again.

In those areas that are partially or completely bald, the hair implant represents the only solution to recover hair density.

The capillary implant has been shown to be effective in cases of alopecia of cicatricial, inflammatory, degenerative or psychogenic origin.

So, this treatment is indicated to solve those consequences caused by some conditions of the scalp.

Process

Men and women over the age of 18 are candidates for a hair implant procedure.

This technique is minimally invasive and is performed on an outpatient basis since it does not represent a risk factor for other conditions of the patient.

The surgeon will evaluate the most suitable implant for each patient.

The specialist who can perform a hair transplant, is a qualified medical surgeon.

A doctor with studies in the principles of tissue transplantation and in the biology and graft plasty, a plastic surgeon with extensive experience and training in hair transplantation.

The procedure is based on a graft of units of follicles that move from the donor area of ​​the same individual, to the receptor area called the alopecia area.

The follicles that will be implanted are extracted from the posterior and lateral side of the head, because these areas are not genetically susceptible to the fall caused by the hormones.

The follicles obtained in these areas and transplanted to the recipient’s area will be vascularized carrying out their normal growth cycle.

In addition, because grafts are used, scarring in the bed of the thinning areas will facilitate graft incrustation for life.

Before performing the treatment, the surgeon makes an outline, together with the patient, of the most appropriate design taking into account the degree of alopecia, age and aesthetic characteristics desired by the patient.

This extraction of the tissues is a quick practice and is performed under local anesthesia.

Usually, a 20 cm long x 1 cm wide strip of tissue from the scalp in the occipital region is removed, or some mini incisions are made with specific instruments.

The wounds left by this extraction are closed by suturing.

This part of the procedure leaves a linear scar in the case of the strip or almost invisible when it comes to the mini incisions, which in both cases is disguised with the patient’s own hair.

The advantages of this technique lie in the fact that there is enough tissue that can be used by the patient himself without any inconvenience due to rejection.

Once this tissue is removed, each of the follicles is separated to perform the immediate implant by the group of plastic surgeon assistants in charge of this task.

When the implants are performed they will be executed one by one, an average of 5000 follicles per session can be transported.

This allows the covering of a surface of a size equivalent to the palm of the hand for each session.

In those cases with very advanced alopecia, it may be necessary to practice the implant in several sessions (from 2 to 3).

You should wait about 12 months between the practice of one session and the next, in order to recover the elasticity of the scalp.

To avoid excessive bleeding, a vasoconstrictor mixture is applied that prevents it, which is injected at the time of extraction and then when the implant is made in the receiving area.

In addition, due to the depth of the implant, which does not reach more than 2 to 3 mm, it is not possible to damage any vessel, nerve or important structure in the head.

Thanks to the use of local anesthesia that is used, this procedure is not painful and only a certain discomfort caused by anesthetic injections is perceived, in addition the patient remains awake throughout the process.

Sedation will only be performed if the patient is nervous or prefers to be sedated.

Post operative care of the hair implant

Once the implant is made, the patient must follow a minimum post-operative protection measures.

The bandages that are used to cover the area of ​​the wound once the implant is made are eliminated the next day.

It must be protected from the sun during the first days and the realization of an intense physical activity is not recommended during at least 3 weeks after the procedure.

In case of edema, the local application of ice and the prescription of an anti-inflammatory are recommended, which usually eliminates the swelling in 2 or 3 days.

Once the capillary implant session is over, the doctor usually prescribes drugs such as antibiotics, analgesics and anti-inflammatories for 3 days, to prevent infections and inflammations that may occur.

It is necessary for the patient to maintain regular hygiene after performing the procedure.

A head wash should be performed once a day, with the help of a small cosmetic brush and followed by the application of a gentle massage of the area of ​​the implant with the tips of the fingers.

This practice guarantees the asepsis of the grafts, they remain clean and it is possible to detach those small cicatrising scabs that form after the implant.

The growth of implanted hair follows the normal growth cycle.

After 3 months of the implant being performed, hair growth occurs at a normal rate of approximately 1 cm per month.

It is necessary to wait 9 months to observe the final results.

Efficiency of the capillary implant

Approximately 90% of the grafts are effective.

In some patients, this efficacy can go up to 95% or decrease to 80%.

But in either case the percentage of effectiveness observed is sufficient to ensure excellent results with adequate amounts of hair in the area of ​​the implant.

The ultimate goal of this implant is the personal satisfaction of the individual to achieve a greater amount of hair.

A well-made capillary implant will achieve a completely natural appearance.

In this procedure the patient’s own hair is used, and hair is done by hair, following a correct orientation, with the concept of aesthetic design that must be consistent with the harmony of the face.

In addition, special microsurgery instruments are used to minimize injuries, in order to produce great results without leaving traces of the procedure.

Hair implants made in patients with dark, thick or curly hair produce better results than in those patients who have blonde, fine or straight hair.

Once the implant is done, no special care is required.

The hair can be washed every day, it can be allowed to grow to the desired length and it can be combed with the same frequency as would be done with natural hair.

It can be dyed or handled according to the patient’s predilections, since these follicles infer the same strength of normal hair.