Surgical Treatments for Hair Loss

Hair loss is showing an upward trend in the current societies world-wide and it is acknowledged as a major concern mainly due to the fact that the symptoms of alopecia (or hair loss) are appearing early nowadays. What was a pertinent issue of the age groups above 40 years in the past is seen today in early 20s now. Moreover, alopecia is not an isolated issue; it can be an early warning sign of many underlying disorders that need to be treated with patience and dexterity. There are a lot of associated stereotypes with hair loss. Victims face lots of psychological complexities coupled with emotional trauma as the society still look down upon them.

This scenario makes the need for permanent solutions for hair loss pertinent, especially for the youth. This is where the surgical techniques come in. While choosing a lasting solution for hair fall we need to be aware of the various techniques used and be clear about our hair fall type as well because the type and cause of hair fall determines the surgical technique used. Generally, hair transplant is considered the best solution. But, there are various methods of hair transplant. There are several alternatives available as well.

Hair Transplant:

In hair restoration procedure through hair transplant, hair is removed from the non-testosterone affected follicles in the back of the head where no thinning of hair is observed and then correspondingly placed in the frontal regions of the head where the balding is prominent. There are two techniques in removing grafts. They are:

  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):

This method is used when the thinning is localised and for less surface area of the head. Here the grafts are obtained by cutting and removing follicles one by one from the surrounding area.

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT):

This method is used when there is a large balding patch like the typical horse-shoe shape of the male balding pattern. In this method, an entire strip of hair is cut out from the scalp and then the individual grafts are separated.

Scalp Reduction:

This method is becoming a redundant technique mostly due the fact that the result does not look very natural. Moreover, there is advancement in the different types of surgical techniques available today. However, this process is faster than most of the other techniques. In this method, the hair is cut out and the bald region is covered by the existing hair which is sewed together to form a layer. The result is that your head looks full of hair once again though you can have a a scar running down below the new-formed layer of hair and a few skin stretch marks

Rotational Flap Surgery:

Rotational flap surgery is also an archaic technique for surgical technique for the treatment of alopecia where the tissue in the back of the head with the perennial supply of hair is present for one’s lifetime due to dense presence of hair follicles. The result is immediate with a head full of hair look. This technique is mostly redundant due to a major drawback that if the candidate has sustained hair fall, he might regain bald patches and relative thinning in the middle portion of his head and then followed by dense hair again.

Tissue Expansion:

Tissue expansion is a restoration technique used by plastic and cosmetic surgeons to grow additional skin or other tissues. The skin is made to grow with the help of mechanical over-stretch. This technique is specifically helpful for patients who survive extreme injuries such as degree 1 and degree 2 burns and it is not possible to make their hair grow through any other technique.

In this technique hair expanders are placed below the skin of the scalp where the hair growth is observed to be maximal. This area is inflated with saline water and within a few weeks the expanders stretch the skin using the saline water and correspondingly the hair bearing area is increased. The expanders and fluid bags are then removed later. As a result of this procedure, the expanded skin conceals most of the bald spots and the baldness is less diffused.

Hair Cloning:

This is a technique that promises an effective treatment to androgetic alopecia (or the common genetic hair loss). This technique is regarded as a lab restoration procedure and is believed to be instrumental in revolutionizing the treatment of alopecia. This is a technique being researched by pioneering restoration physicians.

In this technique, a sample of the patient’s germinative hair follicles are multiplied outside the body and subsequently re-implanted on the scalp of the patient. Consequently, they will grow new hair follicles, resulting in new natural and permanent hair. It is an ambitious and expensive technique which is still under research. But, it has many research patrons because hair cloning techniques have the potential to permanently cure general hair loss very effectively.