Hair Transplant Surgery

Surgery Overview

Hair transplant surgery involves moving scalp hair and hair follicles from an area with a lot of hair to an area with thinning hair or baldness. This technique can produce a natural look on the forehead, and a natural, dense look on the top of the head.

The follicles and hair are removed from one part of the head with either a tube-like instrument called a punch graft or with a scalpel. The hair strands are then transplanted into tiny holes or slits in bald areas of the scalp.

In most cases, you will need several surgeries to achieve the coverage you want.

What To Expect After Surgery

Often, hair may fall out after it is transplanted, but new hair will regrow in the transplanted hair follicle. But it may take a period of time before you can see the new hair growth.

The success and amount of hair coverage on a treated area depends on how many hair follicles remain healthy after being transplanted. You will probably need several surgeries to get the hair coverage you want. Healing between surgeries usually takes several months.

Why It Is Done

Hair transplant surgery is used to cover bald spots on the scalp.

How Well It Works

The success of hair coverage depends on how many hair follicles remain healthy after being transplanted. You will probably need several surgeries to get the coverage you want.

Risks

Risks of hair transplant surgery include:

  • Death of the hair follicles after being transplanted, in which case no new hair will grow.
  • An unnatural look with a patchy hair pattern.
  • Infection.
  • Scarring.
  • Excessive bleeding.

What To Think About

Hair transplant surgery may be a permanent treatment for hair loss. But it can be expensive, and it may take several surgeries and up to 2 years to achieve the coverage you want.

No other factor may influence the results of cosmetic surgery as strongly as the doctor's level of experience. Don't be afraid to ask about the doctor's experience with the procedure you are considering. To learn more about choosing a doctor, see Choosing a Surgeon and Facility.

Complete the surgery information form (PDF)surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised May 29, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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