Do Hair Transplants Always Work?

Hair transplants have an exceptional rate of success, and there is no reason why a hair transplant would not work as long as the patient carefully abides by the pre- and post-operative instructions provided by your hair transplant surgeon throughout the various stages of this process. This may include specific dietary instructions during the period of time leading up to the procedure, and patients who use tobacco products will be asked to discontinue tobacco use for several weeks both before and after the procedure is completed. Also, one cannot take alcohol, Vitamin E, blood thinners or Aspirin about three days leading up to the hair transplant surgery. There are many other guidelines patients must follow to ensure their hair transplant procedure is a success, all of which will be clearly outlined by the doctor during the initial consultation process.

As a permanent solution to hair loss or thinning hair, hair transplants absolutely “work.” When follicular grafts are transplanted from the donor site to the recipient site, these grafts are permanent and, once established, will grow just like a patient’s naturally occurring hair. With the artistic handiwork of a skilled hair transplant surgeon, the transplanted hair will create a natural-looking hairline in which the transplanted hair is indistinguishable from the patient’s remaining hair.

It is worth noting, however, that it is possible for a small percentage of transplanted follicles to fail to become established in the recipient site. The best surgeons have a success rate approaching 100 percent, and patients should expect that at least 95 to 98 percent of the transplanted follicles will be successful in becoming established in the recipient site following a hair transplant procedure.

Of course, it is the view of the patient that matters the most when it comes to determining whether a hair transplant “works” in producing the expected results. When selecting a doctor to perform a hair transplant, patients should make a concerted effort to find a doctor and center that is not just knowledgeable and experienced, but who also understands how important it is that the patient’s specific goals and objectives are achieved.

Generally speaking, Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) hair transplants have a higher success rate compared to Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) since there is a higher probability of transecting the grafts during the harvesting process. This can affect the yield and survival rate of the transplanted grafts. This is why FUE has to be performed with a skilled and experienced team.

Finally, note that transplanted hair generally survives and grows, barring extraneous cases such as auto-immune diseases, causing hair loss. However, a hair transplant has no control or impact over existing, non-transplanted hair. If you are still losing hair, the only way to prevent further hair loss is by using Rogaine or Minoxidil 5% (available over-the-counter at most drug stores) and/or Propecia (prescribed by your physician).

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