I had a hair transplant done about 3 months ago (my 3rd procedure) and it went a bit differently than what I experienced before. This procedure was done at a clinic that only used one technician. I had 2000 grafts done and it took the tech about 4-5 hours to dissect all the follicular units. The entire procedure, start to finish, took about 9 hours. Is this normal? How long can hair follicles remain alive after they have been removed?
2. Contrast between hair and skin color
3. Curly vs. straight roots
In general, we can transplant 3500 grafts starting promptly at 8am and finishing by 5pm. Occasionally, a cutter is sick or out for some reason and things may take an extra 45 minutes or so but, with sufficient manpower, even larger cases shouldn’t take forever.
With light hair roots and light skin, the cutters take longer so as to preserve every root. Therefore, with gray or blond hair, we add an hour to the estimate. With curly hair, e.g. African American hair, we figure an extra hour just to get the follicular units out cleanly and without a lot of extra tissue. It’s often like cleaning off a corkscrew. Asian hair, in contrast, is more like cutting the teeth off of a comb (very easy). Nevertheless, our longest case to date started at 8am and ended at 6:30pm including a half hour lunch break.
In addition to graft survival, after too many hours, I start to worry that the patient just wants out of the chair and can’t hold still anymore. During hair transplantation, there comes a point of diminishing returns. When the procedure runs too long, hair growth may be affected.
Dr. William Lindsey – Mclean, VA
David – aka TakingThePlunge
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