Our center, which is the first of its kind, offers a complete surgical treatment for male and female pattern baldness. In addition, we specialize in other causes of hair loss such as scarring alopecia of previous injury or burn. We also specialize in corrective surgery as a result of cosmetically unacceptable hair transplant surgery done elsewhere. In fact, one third of all our present patients are undergoing corrective surgery on an annual basis.
What causes hair loss?
The most common cause of permanent hair loss in men appears to be a combination of hormonal factors and heredity. Technically, this has been described as male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. Females can also suffer from hair loss which is called female pattern baldness or female androgenic alopecia. In addition, certain medications and disease processes such as alopecia areata can also result in hair loss. In general, this is usually reversible.
Who is a candidate for hair transplantation?
Any man or woman above the age of 22 who is in good health and meets the following criteria:
a) Moderate degree of hair loss.
b) Adequate donor area.
c) No history of abnormal scar formation
d) Free from any scalp disease processes such as lupus erythematosus.
What types of grafts are there?
Basically, there are three types of grafts that can be successfully transplanted:
a) Standard graft – which are 4mm grafts that contain approximately 12 to 20 hairs per graft. Unfortunately, because these grafts give a “doll’s hair” appearance. We don’t perform this procedure at our center.
b) Minigraft – This graft contains anywhere from 4 to 8 hairs per graft and ranges in size from 1 to 2mm. Typically, these grafts are placed in a tiny hole made with a rotary punch in a random fashion. The major advantage of this procedure is that it gives you bulk and finesse at the same time. To date we have performed minigraft transplants for over a thousand patients with excellent results. In fact, our center was the first in Western New York to offer this new procedure.
c) Slitgraft – This graft is just like a minigraft except instead of being placed in a punch hole it is placed in a slit made by a sharp blade. This graft is often used in both men and women who still have existing hair but have become thin. Therefore, an incision is carefully made in the scalp without removing existing hair.
d) Micrograft – These are single hair grafts that are placed on the hairline to give the most natural look available today. This procedure requires a lot of skill to perform, as an incision is carefully made in the scalp without removing existing hair. Once again our center was the first to bring this highly specialized procedure to Western New York. In fact, with this graft we can perform eyebrow transplants as well as elsewhere on the body.
How is the procedure done?
Basically, after checking your blood work and health history you are brought to the operating room and placed face down on the operating table. The donor area, namely the back or the side of your scalp, is trimmed slightly and anesthetized with lidocaine (a local anesthetic) similar to what is given by your dentist. Using a special three blade instrument a strip graft is obtained and the donor area is then sutured. Usually, the scar from this procedure is so fine that it is easily covered by your existing hair. Then, we proceed to dissect and clean the grafts while you are free to read a book or do your paper work. After this is done, you are placed on your back while we reimplant the grafts. The whole procedure typically takes between 3 to 5 hours depending on the number of grafts placed. Usually, you are seen one day post-operatively for routine checkup and then one week post-operatively for suture removal. Should you require additional surgery, we typically prefer to wait a minimum of four months before a second procedure can be done. However, micrograft or scalp reduction surgery can be done sooner.
What is a scalp reduction?
Basically, it involves surgically removing the bald skin on top of the crown and bringing adjacent skin which has normal healthy growing hair together to reduce the bald scalp. This is a major advantage in that it preserves the donor area.
What are the risks of the procedure?
Just like any surgical procedure there are risks involved. Fortunately with hair transplantation, the risks are minimal. The most common side effect is bleeding which can be minimized by refraining from alcohol, vitamin E and aspirin containing products. This is typically done two weeks prior to the scheduled surgery. Other expected complications include temporary numbness, abnormal scar formation, swelling and infection.
Will any of my grafts be rejected?
The answer is no. Since the graft is removed from an individual and retransplanted into the same individual, there are no chances of rejections.
Why will the new transplanted hair grow in an area where I have lost hair?
The hair that is lost has a genetic time clock that is predetermined and when the time is up it falls out. The hair follicles in the back and the side of the scalp can be present for a lifetime, therefore they will grow for the rest of your life.
What is the cost of the procedure?
This is a very difficult question to address since it depends on the extent of hair loss and the patient’s individual need. However, during the consultation this is one of the main issues we address. Fortunately, we have been able to keep our cost down by not spending too much money on fancy brochures or videotapes, thus passing the savings directly to our valued patients. Finally, we take great pride in offering the most modern, advanced and innovative techniques available to date. Our consultations and surgical procedures are performed with the strictest confidentiality.