Hair transplant

A cosmetic operation in which hairy sections of scalp are removed and transplanted to hairless areas to treat alopecia (baldness). There are several different techniques. In strip grafting, a strip of skin and hair is taken from a donor site, usually at the back of the scalp or behind the ears. The removed hairs and their follicles are then inserted into numerous incisions made in a bald area, known as the recipient site. The procedure usually takes 60–90 minutes. The patient is given a mild sedative and anaesthetic on the donor and recipient sites. The donor site heals in about 5 days. Transplanted hairs fall out shortly afterwards, but new hairs grow from the follicles 3 weeks to 3 months later. Other transplant techniques include punch grafting, in which a punch is used to remove small areas of bald scalp, which are replaced with areas of hairy scalp; flap grafting, in which flaps of hairy skin are lifted, rotated, and stitched to replace bald areas; and male pattern baldness reduction, which involves cutting out areas of bald skin and stretching surrounding areas of hair-bearing scalp to replace them.


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