This question, from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Alan Feller:

I was told that I could not drink alcohol before my hair transplant. Why not? And how long do I need to avoid drinking? I’m going to be in a wedding party just before my next vacation time when I can do a transplant, but how can I do that if I can’t enjoy a drink or two? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dr_Feller_photoThat’s a good question, and an important one. You should not drink alcohol starting 10 days before your hair restoration procedure because it impairs the ability of your blood to coagulate or clot. I have had patients who have ignored this instruction and they tend to bleed more during the procedure making it harder to keep the follicular unit grafts in their recipient sites and making the procedure take a lot longer than it normally would.

Interestingly, I’ve had patients come into my office for a procedure drunk! As you can imagine he was asked to come back another time.

Dr. Alan Feller

David

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.

To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.

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The following response to a question from the Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums, was written by forum member “MrGio”, Online Representative for Coalition Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr. Patrick Mwamba:

The aspects of follicular unit extraction FUE hair transplantation that patients should be mindful of is cost, transection rate of the hair transplant surgeon, and experience of the surgeon’s medical assistants. Surgical hair restoration is an investment for the patients that can be for better or worse. A patient shouldn’t pay too much and shouldn’t pay too little for an FUE session. FUE is more labor intensive than follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS), and hence there is a difference in the cost of the procedures.

Transection is the terminal damage of a patient’s precious donor resources. Since donor resources are certainly finite, patients should want to ensure that their surgeon is producing minimal trauma in their donor area. A good FUE surgeon can provide his or her patient with a relatively low rate of transection. Damaging a significant amount of hair will usually provide poor aesthetic results and insurmountable loss to restore future hair loss. There is no better way of describing this atrocity than considering a patient to be a donor of their hair follicles to medical science. Wasting hair to inefficient harvesting methods essentially realizes a patient to be an unsuspecting victim and statistic. Paying twice for a graft is tragic.

The following response to a question from the Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums, was written by forum member “Gillenator”.

I had my follicular unit extraction (FUE) with 2600 grafts 5 months ago. As I am now in the growing phase, my recipient area feels pretty tight and is itching. It also feels like millions of ants are crawling under my skin. Maybe I am just hypersensitive, but has anyone else had that feeling too at this stage? Is it going to get better, like before the operation?

My hair restoration physician looked at my scalp and said that everything is normal. I just have some red dots, which should be normal because the hair is breaking through the skin, to be on the safe side he gave me an antibiotic cream but my head feels like a have a helmet on

bald-head-helmetVery normal what you are feeling. The itching is from the effects of your scalp healing and as a result, can also be more dry because of this. A good quality aloe cream and even shampoo and creme rinse can help to bring moisture to your scalp and will reduce the itching.

The other tingling sensations are also from healing taking place under your scalp. It’s both nerves and blood vessels repairing themselves from the many recipient incisions made for your grafts.

Congrats on your recent hair transplant and you should be seeing lots of new hair growth.

The following article posted to our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was written by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. William Lindsey:

I have recently gotten pretty serious about wight lifting and dieting, but still have the urge to try to obtain that extra “edge” during my lifting. I have seen a lot of supplements that boost “free” testosterone and some of the reviews and ingredients seem promising. My question is, If I were to start taking a testosterone supplement, would I experience any kinda of hair loss? My hair is more important to me but it would be nice to add something like this to my routine. Does anyone have any experience or input on this?

Dr_Lindsey_photoHere are my two cents. Remember this isn’t a medical consultation and I don’t practice endocrinology. This is just what I think.

  1. We do 130 or so strip hair transplants a year. Every year we have two guys faint. Every year one of those guys is a big lug who’s on some type of testosterone supplement or injection. All of those guys say their balding got worse on the supplements.
  2. A guy I posted twice, my dentist, who is one of the toughest guys I know, doing extreme endurance events way tougher than the ironman that I did, noted significant hair loss when he got on a small dose of Low T therapy.

The following response was posted to our Hair Loss Social Community and Discussion Forums by Ailene Russell, Clinical Supervisor for Dr. Jerry Cooley who is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians:

So I have my hair transplant scheduled (I’m going to a world renowned doctor) and I guess I’ve been reading so many bad reviews about hair transplants and the fact that I’m 44 and a Norwood Scale 5 scares me. I read this below and I guess this is my biggest fear…Any thoughts?

“Also after 5 or 10 years if your baldness progresses to become Norwood 6 or 7 and your donor area is already depleted, can you still shave your recipient and donor area or at least can you wear what is left very short (assuming the operations was FUE with small punches 0.9 to 0.5 mm)”

Am I just being paranoid, is this doubt normal?

worried-300x300Concerns are justifiable! Ask about future hair loss and what can be done to protect and preserve the native hair. Most patients have between 6000 to 9000 viable donor follicles. Usually one hair restoration surgery is not going to risk tapping out this source, but inhibiting further balding is an important part of this equation.

Some things will depend on which hair transplant surgeon you have chosen. They all vary a little in their recommendations. Another part of the equation is the method of harvesting, Follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) vs follicular unit extraction (FUE). The method of harvesting can impact the number of donor follicles available.

I want to improve hair density in my eyebrows, mustache, beard and sideburns using the latest technology in stem cell hair multiplication.

grouchoFor something as minimal as eyebrows, I wouldn’t be too concerned about hair multiplication.  Hair multiplication is only necessary when available donor hair is used up and more is needed to restore hair to the balding areas.  Furthermore, hair multiplication has not yet been perfected.

That said, hair can be taken from the sides and back of your head using today’s state of the art hair restoration surgery by an expert hair transplant surgeon and transplanted to the eyebrows and facial hair giving them a fuller look.

Bill
Managing Publisher
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David
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.

To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.

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Specifically with salt water swimming and strip surgery, how long should one wait? If it’s a choice between swimming underwater bare headed and swimming with a swimming cap, I’m guessing you would say to swim with out the cap…. but does salt water damage the implanted hair follicles’ chances of success?

Aluminum-No-Swimming-Sign-K-2605This is not an easy question to answer because there is more than one issue at hand.

  1. The safety and healing of the implanted grafts.
  2. The care of the strip scar.
  3. Sun exposure.

Opinions vary from hair transplant surgeon to hair transplant surgeon. However, when it comes to the safety of the follicular unit grafts, the earliest one should consider ocean swimming is two weeks post-op. At this stage, the grafts are securely anchored and protected below the scalp and there should be no concern for infection.

The next thing to consider is what will you be doing. If you’re just going to laze about in the shallows and enjoy the water then you’re unlikely to be engaging in any activity that might result in scar stretching. However, if you’re going to be actively swimming laps or performing other activities that put undue stress on the wound closure, you may end up with a wider than average scar. Wound healing can take several months.

Finally, exposing your recipient and donor areas to excess sun too early can permanently darken the healing skin. This is known as hyperpigmentation. It is also suggested that too much sun on the recipient area during the first few weeks after surgery may affect hair growth.

Dr_YamanThe Hair Transplant Network only recommends surgeons who meet our demanding standards. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that our community has approved Dr. Resul Yaman for recommendation. To see how we recommend hair restoration physicians, click here.

Dr. Yaman, his technique and results were carefully reviewed by our hair restoration forum and social community in consideration for recommendation. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. To see what our members are saying, visit the “Potential Recommendation of Dr. Result Yaman of Istanbul, Turkey“.

Given Dr. Yaman’s dedication to state of the art follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant surgery and the feedback we received, Dr. Yaman has been approved for recommendation on the Hair Transplant Network. To view Dr. Yaman’s recommendation profile, click here.

Thanks to everyone who provided their valuable input regarding Dr. Yaman’s potential recommendation. You are encouraged to congratulate him by clicking on his featured potential inclusion topic above.

For hair loss sufferers considering hair transplant surgery in Turkey and beyond, we strongly encourage you to consult with and consider Dr. Yaman for your next procedure.

Onward and Upwards,

Pat, Bill, Dave and Blake – The Hair Restoration Team for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q & A Blog and the Hair Restoration Forum and Social Community

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The following article posted to our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was written by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. William Lindsey:

Dr_Lindsey_photoI wanted to summarize my thoughts on platelet rich fibrin matrix (PRFM), as it relates to integration into my hair transplant practice.

I’ve now been out of residency just over 20 years, I know what I’m good at and have stopped doing things that I struggle with or tend not to consistently work. Hair is roughly 60% of my practice in facial plastic surgery, and we get really quite good and quite consistent results by following a few principles.

First, I’m pretty blunt with people and don’t sugarcoat things. While nobody can make everyone happy, and medicine is not math where things always add up, by being honest from the initial consultation, our incidence of disappointment is low. Not zero, but pretty low.

Second, we avoid the 3 pitfalls of hair:

  • Too low of a hairline
  • Too little hair over too much bald head
  • Minimizing scars as much as possible.

Third, I have a great staff with very little turnover. These guys and girls are excellent at dissection and gentle placement.

The following article, posted on our Hair Loss Social Community and Discussion Forums was written by recommended hair restoration surgeon Dr. Tejinder Bhatti:

Dr-Bhatti-photoI first described my “Golden Harvest” technique on the Hair Restoration Forum and Social Network in 2010 and have been following cherry picking principles ever since to get a better harvest of quality anagen only grafts.

“Cherry picking” is another agricultural term so typical of hair transplant surgery like “harvesting”, “plantation”, “corn row”, etc. Cherry picking (Golden Harvest) denotes harvesting of “golden follicles” (anagen follicles in full bloom and at their hardy best). The advantage of harvesting golden follicles is specific to the follicular unit extraction  (FUE) technique and leads to-

  1. Early results
  2. Better hair growth
  3. Better appreciable density

The patient pays only for the grafts that grow best!

How do we detect golden follicles?

  1. MECHANICAL SELECTION: 3-5 days before the procedure, the patient is advised to wet shave the donor area. The hairs that grow out rapidly on the day of the procedure are seldom telogen hairs. The anagen hairs are targeted effectively through this technique and we reap a golden harvest. What is apparent as 3 hairs always leads to a 3-hair graft, unless of course there is a partial transection.
  2. VISUAL SELECTION UNDER HIGH MAGNIFICATION: Using 6x magnification, clearly reveals the robust nature of a cluster of follicles. Only robust hair shafts in full bloom will give an anagen follicle.

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