Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but please feel free to call our office if you need additional information.
RFUE is an advanced surgical procedure that transplants hairs as natural, individual follicular units that consist of one, two, three or four hairs each.
Hair transplant procedures can be performed using two different techniques: Strip Surgery or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Strip surgery involves surgically removing a strip of skin from the donor area (usually across the back of the head) and individually removing the hair follicles from the area to be transplanted to the recipient area. The FUE technique uses a punch-like device to remove one follicular unit at a time from the scalp and then places them in the recipient area with the use of a customized blade.
There are other techniques also used in hair restoration, including the Frechet procedure, the Marzola version and Rose's version. Dr. Bishara will work with you to determine which technique is best for you.
Some of the most important things to consider include:
- Age - Undergoing surgery at an earlier age can be riskier, as long-term results are uncertain and future hair loss is unpredictable.
- Medication - Taking medication can help prolong or maximize the results of surgery, as hair transplants do not prevent future hair loss. It is recommended for most patients considering surgery to take finasteride and/or minoxidil for long-term hair restoration.
- Family history of hair loss - Although hair loss is unpredictable, using your family history as a basic guideline can help determine your future hair loss pattern.
- Expectations and goals - Being clear and realistic about your goals and expectations can help ensure patient satisfaction. It is important to communicate these thoughts with your doctor to determine whether or not your goals are possible.
- Cost - Hair transplantation is an expensive procedure that can cost upwards of $10,000. It is important for patients to be fully aware of these financial aspects before committing to surgery.
Deciding to undergo hair transplantation should be a thorough, educated decision, not one based on emotions or rushed impulses.
- Patient's education and understanding of the risks associated with hair transplant surgery
- Results of previous, more conservative treatments
- Understanding that the results may change over time
- Financial aspects
- Amount of hair lost
- Duration of hair loss
It is important for all patients considering hair transplant surgery to be fully aware of the risks associated with this procedure. It is fully possible for hair loss to continue and alter the results of the initial procedure, requiring the need for additional treatment then, but with less available donor grafts.
The decision to perform hair transplant surgery on a younger patient is a personal, ethical decision that must be agreed upon by the patient and surgeon.
- Amount of hair loss
- Donor supply available
- Amount of coverage desired
- Amount of density desired
Hair loss can be measured by the Norwood or Ludwig Scale, the score from which can be used to calculate the approximate number of grafts that will be needed. However, the actual number for each patient can only be determined after a consultation with your doctor, during which the goals and possible limitations of your surgery are discussed.
The number of procedures you will need depends on many different factors, including your amount of hair loss, donor supply, donor density, goals for surgery and more. Even patients with minimal or stable hair loss often seek additional procedures to enhance their results even further.
It is important to have patience and maintain realistic expectations before rushing into their next treatment session. Patients must also take into account the added costs of two or three procedures and factor this into their decision to undergo surgery.
On the day of surgery, patients should wash their hair in the morning and arrive at their doctor's office with plenty of time to prepare and ask any last-minute questions. Many patients find it easier to wear a buttoned-up shirt that can be easily removed, and bring a loose hat with them for after the procedure.
All travel and medication plans should be taken care of before surgery so that patients don't have to worry about it while recovering. Dr. Bishara may provide additional preparation instructions depending on each patient's individual procedure.
It is important for patients to realize that each person is different in terms of their recovery time, hair growth time and individual results. Comparing your results to other patients is not recommended, as your results will develop at your own time and speed. Maintaining realistic expectations and waiting patiently can help ensure patient satisfaction.