Hair and Hair Loss Treatment: Surgical Treatment for Hair Loss
Today we explore the surgical treatment option called Strip Donor Transplant.
Strip Donor Transplant
Strip Donor Transplantation for treatment of hair loss was the first surgical treatment available to patients and the gold standard for 20+ years.
For this procedure, the patient either sits in a chair like in a dentist office or lies flat, face down, like on a massage table. The patient is usually given an oral sedative and the scalp gets local anesthetic.
It’s a long procedure that can last up to six hours for a 2000 follicle transplant. The patient’s hair is clipped short, and the surgeon cuts out strips of scalp with the hair follicles intact from areas on your head where the hair is thick. The strips are handed off to techs who cut the strips into tiny pieces of skin including a follicle, and then these little pieces are transplanted into parts of the scalp where the hair is very sparse.
Advantages of Strip Donor Transplant
The advantages are first that this is a tried and true method. This method has been successfully used for more than 25 years. Scarring is generally minimal. The grafts of follicles have a good success rate, possibly because more flesh is attached to them than with other surgical methods.
Disadvantages of Strip Donor Transplant
When strips of scalp with follicles are dissected for transplant, there is often a loss of follicles that are damaged when the strips are cut in small pieces. There is also a small unlucky population that will have more significant and noticeable scarring which is not always predictable. Some people naturally make bigger, heavier scars called keloids. Also, the skill of the surgeon plays a role in how much scarring you may or may not have depending on the closing technique used. This type of hair transplant surgery is not the best choice if you intend to wear your hair very short in a style that will make scarring more noticeable.
This concludes Part 5. In Part 6, we will discuss other surgical treatment options to help you with hair loss.