Hair Restoration Surgery
One of the most frustrating things a person can experience is the loss of their hair. The most common form of hair loss is known as “Male Pattern Baldness” (Androgenic Alopecia). Virtually all men (and women), as they age, will experience some degree of hair loss. The extent and pattern of the loss depends on hormones and genetic predisposition.
The hair on the sides and back of the head, unlike that on the top and front of the head, is resistant to the effects of hormones that contribute to male pattern baldness. Through hair restoration surgery, these hair roots can, therefore, be moved to any area and will continue to grow healthy hair. This “donor dominance” principle is what makes all forms of hair transplantation surgery possible.
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Surgery does not increase the number of hairs on the head but only redistributes the existing hairs from the more dense areas to the thinner ones. Far from the “hair plugs” of the 1950’s, the techniques that Dr. Velargo uses for hair transplants are so sophisticated that hairs are placed in groups of as little as one to no more than four called follicular units. This, along with the artistic manner in which Dr. Velargo designs the hairline and the pattern of hair transplantation, provides natural-looking results.
Not all patients are ideal candidates for surgery, however. It is important to note that not all hair loss is of the male pattern baldness variety. Some cases of hair loss are related to thyroid dysfunction, infection, nutritional deficiencies, immune disorders, trauma, or medications, among others.
In many of these cases, hair restoration surgery might not be indicated. Medical therapy or time alone may be the best solution. The ideal surgical candidate is the patient with thick wavy or curly hair who has a receding hairline or a patch of baldness on the top of the scalp or crown.
Prior to consideration for surgery, Dr. Velargo recommends a trial of minoxodil (Rogaine) as well as finasteride (Propecia) in select patients. Even after surgical correction, the use of one or both of these medications will help with additional hair growth.
Dr. Velargo performs two types of hair transplantation on both men and women – follicular unit transplant (the strip method) and follicular unit extraction.
In addition to hair transplantation, Dr. Velargo also performs hair repositioning surgery by moving flaps of hair-bearing scalp to areas that are bald. There are many methods of performing these types of procedures based on patient anatomy, hair type, and pattern of hair loss, but they are often referred to as scalp flaps.
Some flaps may require a tissue expander be placed under the scalp for maximum mobility and increased surface area. Dr. Velargo will discuss these procedures in detail with you if they are indicated.
Hair restoration is not an instantaneous solution but a long-term solution that usually requires two to three sessions, depending upon the size of the balding area(s).
Dr. Velargo will evaluate your hair loss carefully to determine a surgical plan for your hair restoration. Hair restoration requires considerable skill in order to not only preserve the health of the hair follicles that have been harvested, but also to place the grafts properly for healthy, natural-looking hair growth.
What can hair restoration accomplish?
Hair restoration surgery can permanently restore hair to areas of hair loss. This not only pertains to the scalp but also other areas of the face or body that have less hair than desirable.
Dr. Velargo can also remove a small amount of hair during a facelift, neck lift, or brow lift and transplant it on the eyebrow for those who have suffered eyebrow hair loss. He can also transplant hair to the moustache or beard area for men who have suffered hair loss, are unable to grow hair in these areas, or have scars in the beard distribution.
It is also possible to transplant hair to the temporal tuft in those female patients that have suffered the ill effects of hair loss secondary to an improperly placed facelift incision. Harvested hair can be transplanted virtually anywhere on the body that the patient desires additional hair growth.
Does insurance cover hair restoration?
Because hair restoration is a cosmetic procedure, insurance companies do not provide coverage for it.