How successful is hair transplantation?
Doctor Answers 6
Success of hair transplants are measured in graft survival, but dense coverage is often better achieved non-surgically
Thank you for your question. You’ve asked a question without submitting a photo, but you describe your situation very well: you’re 50-years-old, with thinning on top, and you describe a decent amount of hair on the back and the sides. You ask how successful hair transplant are in terms of percentages.
I can give you some guidance on how we consult patients like yourself in our practice. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I am also the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers based on a technology we developed during hair transplantation to maximize results. This is a non-surgical treatment for hair thinning for both men and women, which I will describe as part of this discussion.
When you describe thinning at the age of 50, the first question is how good does your frontal hairline look? How slow has the progression been? At 50-years-old that with the amount of hair you have, the onset was fairly later in your life and the progression has been slow. So the question arises - is hair transplant your best option? This is a question we struggled with for many years, until the past few. When somebody came with a desire to have more hair before we developed Hair Regeneration, hair transplantation was the only option. The challenge was how much coverage you can achieve and what would be the survivability of the grafts. In the hair transplant field, doctors often compete by stating numbers of grafts and cost per graft. However, a year later, it is really how many grafts survive and how much coverage you have.
The challenge with someone with thinning hair is you have existing hair. When hair grafts are placed, putting aside graft survivability, existing hair will shed permanently, which is often referred to as collateral damage. At a certain point, there is a challenge in how much coverage we are able to achieve because you are losing a certain of your thinning hairs. With the understanding that the thicker hairs are from the permanent zone will give you a little coverage, but in the end density becomes problematic. This is a question where I look at our results, I realized there was an opportunity.
We developed a process called Hair Regeneration using a material called extracellular matrix combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The original intention for this technology was to help the hair grafts heal better, and a side-effect was thinning hairs became thicker. Now, in our practice if someone has a reasonable density as evaluated through microscopy, then we tell people not to do hair transplant but to do Hair Regeneration because we are able to stop the progression of hair loss. We are able to restore or reactivate hair that hasn’t been growing, and we can induce thinning hair to shed to allow for thicker hairs to grow in.
I observed that with Hair Regeneration in the right candidate, the coverage effect can actually exceed hair transplants. Timing is very important and is very much an opportunity. Before anyone goes through a hair transplant in our practice, we first aim for stabilization. Even if they have advanced hair loss, we want to maximize stabilization, reactivation, and regrowth. The limitation of Hair Regeneration is the number of salvageable hair follicles, so if somebody has a frontal hairline that is really receded, hair transplant is still a very good option, but if they have existing hair, I always recommend Hair Regeneration.
I think you should first meet with doctors who have experience with this technology as well as hair transplantation. You need to be cautious because in the hair transplant field, a lot of people are trying to offer something similar to this technology, but mainly try to get you to do hair transplant. In our practice we have almost eliminated the need for hair transplant for people with thinning hair because the reality is, once they have good results with Hair Regeneration, they’re typically satisfied and don’t move forward with surgical procedures. This is our experience in our practice, and we treat men and women from all over the world with thinning hair with over a 99% success rate using Hair Regeneration.
In answering your question in terms of percentages, there is always a range and it is very individual, so it is hard to give an exact number because you have to look at the context of the level of hair loss, the overall medical situation, and the type of hair being transplanted. There are a lot of factors that contribute to survivability and maximum outcome. We help people first with Hair Regeneration, and very often that is more than enough to avoid hair transplantation altogether. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question.
You should have a hair transplant based on the consultation you have with your doctor. It is successful but you need to
Successful Hair Transplant
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Transplants work well most of the time
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.