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Hair Transplantation – Do You Ever Need Multiple Sessions?

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Hair transplantation should not be a cookie cutter approach.  In fact, one of the great benefits of FUE hair transplantation is just how easy it is for us to customize the procedure to fit the patient’s specific desires.  With FUE, we are literally able to transfer one hair follicle at a time to thinning areas.  Since it is so customizable, often patients will opt later down the road to have additional sessions to add more follicles.  In the first hair transplant session, often times the entire area of the scalp requires coverage. Additional sessions may be desired once full results are achieved to add more fullness or to account for future hair loss.

Second Hair Transplant Session

It generally requires anywhere from 12-18 months to see the full results of an FUE hair transplantation procedure. At this point, patients can begin to reevaluate where they are with their results and if additional filler grafts are desired.  If a patient is looking for a second hair transplant session, it should be considered only after the hair from the first session has fully grown in. Over the course of the first year, the hair will continue to improve, increasing in diameter, texture and length.  These changes can markedly influence the look of the hair and may change any desires for a second treatment. Once the hair has reached its styling length the patient with the advisement of their physician can make the best aesthetic judgment regarding the placement of additional hair grafts.

Goals for the second hair transplant could include increased density in the previously transplanted areas, greater refinement of the hairline, or filling in areas for greater overall coverage.

Number of Grafts Required in Transplant Sessions

The total number of grafts needed for an additional hair restoration session can vary widely based on the need of the patient and their specific hair characteristics.  Although the goal should be to accomplish full hair restoration in one treatment, there is a limit to the number of grafts that can be transplanted in one session.  It is important to note that as the number of hair grafts increase, so does the risk of vascular compromise (decreased blood flow to the area cased by injury to the scalp) and this may cause less than optimal graft growth.  That is why we generally limit our hair restoration procedures to no more than 3000 grafts per session.  As a result of this limitation, some patients may also look to add additional grafts at a later date.

The blood supply to the scalp is very rich and can generally support a large number of transplanted grafts in a single session. However, sun damage and smoking are some of the factors that can significantly compromise blood flow and these risk factors must be identified in advance by the hair transplant surgeon so that proper steps can be taken to ensure optimal results.

Because these types of factors critical to all hair transplant procedures, it is important that the hair graft physician focus on maximizing hair graft sessions and keep patients well informed of their options and after care.To learn more about this procedure, contact Hall Plastic Surgery at 855-851-4832.

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