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Cosmetic Surgery

Hair Transplants

Forty million Americans are bald or well on their way toward it. Half of all men and over a third of all women will eventually experience a significant enough hair loss on their heads to be considered bald. Countless methods have been suggested to counteract baldness. By far the best involves transplanting hair follicles from the lower back of the head to the front and crown. The technique first was done in 1952 and has grown increasingly popular. Last year, 80,000 hair transplants were done. The majority were in the United States, with average prices about $7 per graft and a typical transplant requiring 1,000 to 3,000 grafts. That amounts to thousands of dollars for a hair transplant procedure — but the price is much lower in other countries.

Hair transplant is a detailed process that can take three to five hours, involving thousands of tiny incisions. Much of the work is done by technicians; the surgeon is primarily responsible for placing the puncture holes for the transplanted hairs. A typical scalp has 200 hairs per square centimeter, but only a 10th as many are needed to give the illusion of full coverage. The key is to create a natural appearance with clever spacing and slanting of the follicles. Poorquality transplants look like corn rows and are obvious. This is why you want a skillful surgeon. After surgery, semipermeable dressings take care of blood seepage and tissue fluid. In the following 10 days, the dressings are changed at least daily, while virtually all of the transplanted hairs fall out. During this time, you must not shampoo and you must protect your head from the sun. Within two to three months new hair will grow from the moved follicles and gradually thicken over the course of six months. Meanwhile, there may be further hair loss from other parts of the head. Some people have additional transplants as needed. Since the equipment to do hair transplants is minimal, the service is offered in many places around the world. However, it is wise to choose carefully. Ask to see photos of previous work, and choose a clinic with a good reputation and a high volume. Also, it is a good idea to ensure that the surgeon you think is going to do the transplant is really the one who does it — and not a trainee or other doctor. Cyprus has developed a reputation as a good place for hair transplants. Although many heavily discounted services are advertised in India, keep in mind that hair of Asian people is much thicker and more oval than that from people of European ancestry, so transplanting skills developed on one type of hair may not be the same as on the other.

Content taken from the book MEDICAL TOURISM TRAVEL GUIDE

Book cover Medical Tourism Travel Guide by Paul Gahlinger Sunrise River Press

The Medical Tourism Travel Guide is the essential guide for anyone considering a medical trip overseas. It tells you everything you need to know to get top-notch medical care in world-class medical facilities at a cost far less than treatment in the United States. The author, Dr. Paul Gahlinger, has personally visited a great number of the facilities described in this book, and here he shares information on hundreds of clinics, hospitals, and spas in about 50 countries, as well as important tips on how to travel, how to pay, how to prepare, what to do, and what to avoid.

With kind permission of Paul Gahlinger. For more information visit Sunrise River Press