Hair loss could be a significant problem that affects social communication and self esteem. It would change the appearance and consequently the image of what someone might think of themselves. So naturally getting bald or getting thinning hair could easily destroy anyone’s life, no matter what their gender is. But this is not the end of the road for lost beauty. If you are looking into Surgical hair loss treatments, this is the right place for you.
There are numerous ways to treat hair loss and bring back the lost glory. Each treatment is suitable for a certain condition. For instance the treatment for partial hair loss differs from complete baldness, so the first step of hair loss treatment is gaining more information on which treatment fits your condition the best.
Hair transplant and other surgical methods are some of the most popular ways for treating hair loss. It is mostly because surgical treatments are permanent and irreversible. In this article, we go through some of the safe Surgical hair loss treatments, their advantages and their side effects.
Although it is important to understand what options you have before choosing the right treatment, it is recommended to also consult with a dermatologist or a hair loss expert.
What are Surgical hair loss treatments?
Surgical hair restoration includes hair transplantation and other techniques. Among all surgical techniques, hair transplant is the most recommended.
Unfortunately, there are many false myths around surgical hair loss treatments, causing wrong expectations of these methods. The best way to not fall into traps of false marketing is to have a better understanding of what these methods are and how they work.
Best candidates for surgical hair loss treatments
The first thing you should know about Surgical hair loss treatments is whether you are a good candidate for them. For instance, a hair transplant can only be performed by harvesting dihydrotestosterone resistant hair from the back of your scalp and transplanting it into the balding areas. Dihydrotestosterone resistant hair refers to a condition in Men with male pattern baldness who have lost their hair in a very visible way, but they usually follow a pattern. Simply because their testosterone would demand so. The hair which remains (or survives) on their head, is resistant to this demand. Therefore it will not follow the hair loss pattern. In this case, if you do not have dihydrotestosterone resistant hair, you would not be a candidate for any surgical transplantation at all; unless you have an identical twin with the same genetic makeup.
Process of surgical hair loss treatments
Another important factor about surgical hair loss treatments is the “surgical” part of them. These treatments require anesthesia, so if your health condition can not tolerate being under anesthetic drugs, then your name will be scratched off the list of people who can get the treatment.
Surgical hair loss treatments also have an aftercare stage with medications and special hair care; so consider them as serious surgeries with all of their precautions.
Another factor to consider is the amount and the area of hair loss. Generally Hair transplant works only if you have minor hair loss in the front part of your scalp, So if you are bald in the crown area, or you have a lot of hair loss, Hair transplant isn’t an effective solution for you. If you want to make sure between hair transplant and SMP, which works best for you, you can read this post.
Pros and cons of Surgical hair loss treatments
As it was said before, there are many false myths about hair transplant and other surgical hair restoration methods. Therefore it is likely you have not heard of the side effects of surgical treatments. The false advertisements have even blocked out useful information about surgical hair restoration treatments. So it is also possible you have never come across the “advantages” of using surgical hair loss treatments.
Here are some of the pros and cons of surgical hair restoration you should probably know about:
Pros of surgical hair loss treatments
- The surgical hair loss treatments have long term results. They could be a permanent solution for male pattern baldness and hair thinning in women, both caused by aging, diseases and injuries.
- Utilizing natural hair and regrowing it is the main purpose of the surgical treatment. Other non-surgical treatments could use more chemical medications and have more side effects.
- The result of the surgery is in your control, with the eventual aesthetic beauty achieved as your vision; so regardless of what others may like, you can shape your ideas on how the result should finally look like.
- Surgical hair transplant has a more natural outcome in procedures like eyebrow transplants. You can compare the treatment result photos with eyebrow tattoos or permanent makeup.
Cons of surgical hair loss treatments
- The surgery could have side effects such as hair follicles infections, scalp skin swelling and scalp itching.
- Hair transplantation is an expensive procedure in most parts of the world. For instance hair transplant costs about 18000 AUD in Australia. However, non-surgical hair loss methods have noticeably lower expenses.
- Under a few conditions, the transplanted hair could be lost. One of these situations is called “shock loss”, meaning In some rare instances, doing surgical treatment can lead to even more hair loss, the reserved ones and healthy ones.
- There is a small possibility for hair follicles to reject the transplant and die off before the hair would find enough time to regenerate. Dying hair follicles often cause itchy bumps on the scalp. And if you scratch it, you can add redness to the aftermath of this treatment.
- Since hair follicles are harvested from other hairy parts of the head, it might lead to reducing hair density in those parts, revealing wide scars of the surgery.
Surgical hair loss treatment options
Besides hair transplant (which also has various types of surgery procedures) there are other surgical ways to help hair loss. Unfortunately, some of them are not approved by the surgical society due to major dangerous side effects. But the others are claimed safe and are quite as popular as hair transplant. Here we look into a few of these surgical methods:
As you may know, in a hair transplant surgery, grafts are removed from the back of the head and placed on areas where there is no hair or hair thinning is noticed. There are 2 ways to remove grafts without any permanent scars:
- Follicular Unit Extraction also known as FUE is a method where these grafts are removed one by one by cutting around the area.
- On the other hand, Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT will be operated. In this method, an entire strip from the scalp is cut out and then the grafts are separated. Therefore if there are more bald areas on the head, FUT can have the best result. Naturally, FUE is more suitable for small patches.
Anybody can go through the surgical procedures because it is mainly concerned only with the scalp skin. So, pregnant women can also safely undergo hair transplants. Also, this procedure is done under the effect of local anesthesia, so it does not directly interfere with the functioning of the heart, etc.
There are always risks anyway, and as we said before, hair transplant should be considered as a serious surgery. That is why patients with heart diseases should consult with surgeons before taking this treatment. Heavy drinkers and smokers are also not allowed to undergo the hair transplant treatment because of the risk of internal and external bleeding.
Also check out the free health advice form Australian government on hair transplant.
Scalp reduction for hair loss
The scientific society has its focus on improving hair transplant methods. That is why with all advanced new techniques in this field, other options like scalp reduction are becoming redundant. The reason why patients are considering this method lesser than before is in the outcome. The result does not look very natural. However, it is a quick way to get your hair back.
In scalp reduction surgery, bald patches are cut off and the rest of the scalp is sewed back together. This will make your head look full of hair once again but it can leave a scar running down the middle of your head and also the scalp skin stretches.
Both men and women can attain a good look out of scalp reduction surgery. It also used to be specially recommended to those who had top-hair baldness; because the process involves moving part of the scalp skin to cover bald areas.
Rotational flap surgery
Rotational flap surgery is another old surgical hair loss treatment. In this process, the tissues at the back of your head will rotate so that they come back to the front of the head which immediately gives an impression of a full head of hair. The back of your head has more hair follicles, so it can recover from hair rotation.
The flap surgery also has a flip side. The hair grows in the backward direction and if you continue to have hair loss, you will have bald patches or thinning in the middle and then thick hair growth again.
Tissue expansion is mostly recommended only in extreme cases when someone has lost hair due to burnt skin or injury, so growing hair is not possible.
In this method, the tissue expanders are put under the skin where hair growth is maximum. This area is inflated later with saline water for a few weeks. This will stretch the skin and increase the hair-bearing area. The bags will be removed later on and those areas are moved closer to the bald spots to conceal them.
Which surgical hair loss treatment is for you?
Simply the answer to this question depends highly on your hair condition and how intense your hair loss is. With better information on how these methods work and the final results of each one, you can decide which one is better for you.
Surgical solutions for hair loss have different result timings. For example, hair transplant takes about 6 months to show the results. So if time is a vital factor for you or if you want to see instant results, you must consult with your doctor before each procedure, to make sure you get what you want from that method.
Except for tissue expansion which is almost a plastic surgery for those who can’t grow their hair anymore, almost any other surgical treatment is recommended for baldness with only one condition: you must have at least the minimum amount of hair at other parts of your scalp like the back of the head or side hairs. However, you must also know that hair transplant is the most common among all these methods for proper candidates.
As you can see, there are numerous ways to treat hair loss surgically. Apart from surgical solutions for hair loss, you can also look into non-invasive hair loss treating options to see if you are a candidate in any of them. Also, before choosing any methods, make sure you have done enough research about it. In only hair transplant itself, there are many different innovative ways to treat hair loss, each specified to various hair conditions. Make sure you have found the right surgeon for yourself which fits your condition.
If you are suffering from baldness or thinning hair, we recommend you also read about non-surgical methods for hair loss treatment. After that you are probably ready to choose the best and safest method for your hair loss treatment.