Avoiding Pitfalls in Planning for a Hair Transplant

Although many technical advances have been manufactured in the field of surgical hair restoration over the past decade, particularly with the widespread adoption of follicular transplantation, many problems remain. Almost all revolve around doctors recommending surgery for patients who are not good candidates. The most common reasons that patients shouldn’t proceed with surgery are that they are too young and that their hair thinning pattern is too unpredictable. Young persons also have expectations that are typically too much – often demanding the density and hairline of an adolescent. Many people that are in the early stages of hair thinning should simply be treated with medications, instead of being rushed to go under the knife. Plus some patients are just not mature enough to make level-headed decisions when their problem is indeed emotional.

In general, the younger the individual, the more cautious the practitioner ought to be to operate, particularly if the individual has a family history of Norwood Class VII hair loss, or diffuse un-patterned alopecia.

Problems also occur when the doctor fails to adequately evaluate the patient’s donor hair supply and doesn’t have enough hair to perform the patient’s goals. Careful measurement of a patient’s density and other scalp characteristics allows the surgeon to learn exactly how much hair is available for transplantation and enable him/her to design a pattern for the restoration which might be achieved within those constraints.

In all of these situations, spending a little extra time listening to the patient’s concerns, examining the individual more carefully and recommending cure plan that is in keeping with what actually could be accomplished, will go a long way towards having satisfied patients. Unfortunately, scientific advances will improve only the technical aspects of the hair restoration process and will do little to insure that the task will be performed with the proper planning or on the appropriate patient.

Five-year View

The improvement in surgical techniques which have enabled an increasing amount of grafts to be placed into ever smaller recipient sites had nearly reached its limit and the limitations of the donor supply remain the major constraint for patients getting back a complete head of hair. Regardless of the great initial enthusiasm of follicular unit extraction, a technique where hair could be harvested directly from the donor scalp (and even the body) with out a linear scar, this process has added relatively little towards increasing the patient’s total hair supply available for a transplant. Petersfield hairloss The major breakthrough will come when the donor supply could be expanded though cloning. Even though some recent progress had been manufactured in this area (particularly in animal models) the ability to clone human hair reaches least 5 to 10 years away.

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