DermSurgery offers new procedure for hair restoration using Automated Follicular Unit Extraction Device
DermSurgery Associates, we offer hair restoration for men and women across Greater Houston, TX who are suffering from hair loss and are looking for a natural looking solution to restore their hair’s volume and appearance. Board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Zhang now offers hair transplants for men and women using the SmartGraft technology at the DermSurgery location in Southwest Houston. This procedure offers patients great results, in less time, with a faster recovery.
What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant?
At DermSurgery Associates, we offer micro-grafting with follicular unit extraction (FUE), where we take groups of hair follicles from the back of the scalp and transplant them to areas of the scalp or eyebrows where hair is needed most. This procedure is usually used on larger balding areas of the scalp and for thinning hair to fill in sections where hair has been lost.
The FUE hair transplant procedure is preferred by patients over the traditional “strip method” because it does not require invasive surgery. There’s no scalpel incision, virtually no pain, no stitches, and no linear scar. Local anesthetic is used and hair grafts are removed one by one from the donor area (typically the back of the head). In 24 to 48 hours all the micro-incisions are healed and there are no stitches involved. Patients can go back to work the next day and resume normal activities just a few days after the procedure.
The FUE procedure works for both men and women, on the eyebrows and facial hair as well as the scalp.
Who is a good candidate for FUE using SmartGraft?
Patients who are frustrated by their hair loss and are not getting the results they want from other treatments are good candidates for FUE. Patients who would like the option of wearing a very short haircut in the back or sides of their scalp, or those who want the least amount of activity restriction after their hair transplant procedure, may be good candidates for FUE. FUE can also be used for ‘scar camouflage’ procedures for patients who have had prior “strip” procedures and for surgical scars.
Will I achieve natural results?
Yes! Prior to the procedure, Dr. Zhang will plan a natural appearing hairline that is appropriate for you. During the FUE procedure, grafts that contain mainly one, two, three, or four follicles called “follicular units.” are removed from the back of the scalp and are implanted with care and precision into the recipient area. Best results will be seen 6-12 months after the procedure.
Is FUE/SmartGraft suitable for both men and women?
Yes. FUE/SmartGraft is a minimally-invasive procedure and is a viable option for both men and women looking to restore their own living and growing hair with transplantation.
Do I have to shave my head to have a FUE/SmartGraft procedure?
No, if your hair is long enough, harvesting using the FUE/SmartGraft can be done by shaving small areas which can be covered by your other, existing hair.
“Dr. Zhang explained my problem, causes and treatments. Kind and excellent “bedside” manner.” – P C.“I’m so grateful my friend was able to be seen by you…he was having a really hard time until he met Superhero Zhang in his words…such a great Doctor…Thanks” – Tysha K.
What are the risks involved with SmartGraft hair transplantation?
This is a very low-risk procedure, especially when compared to the strip transplant method, which removes a large portion of skin and creates a long incision scar. Because Dr. Zhang only removes single follicular units with one, two, three, or four hair follicles in each, the impact on the scalp is minimal. There is no scarring and the tiny spots where the follicles were removed heal very quickly. That makes this a very low risk for infections. There isn’t any bleeding. There is no general anesthesia, so there is no potential for reactions.
How long will the results of my SmartGraft hair transplantation last?
Not all the transplanted hair follicles will “take” and return to hair growth. The success rate for transplanted follicles is around 60 percent. Because these follicles come from the back of the head, an area resistant to pattern balding, they will continue to grow new hair in the transplanted areas. This is a permanent change.
That said, if the area is thinning, that process will continue as the original hairs that are susceptible to pattern balding will stop growing hair. But as that trend progresses, you can have more hair transplanted to keep pace with the balding.
Will I need more than one transplantation session?
During your consultation with Dr. Zhang, the two of you will discuss how much hair you want to return to the thinning areas. Once you understand the system, you may seek to have a second or third session down the road. That would allow you to better keep up with hair thinning, or you could simply want the transplanted areas to have more, thicker hair.
How should I prepare for my FUE hair transplantation procedure?
If you are taking any blood thinners, Dr. Zhang needs to know, as these will inhibit clotting with any slight bleeding that may occur. The same is true for taking any anti-inflammatory medications and aspirin for one week prior to your transplantation session. If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to stop for one week prior and two weeks after your procedure, as smoking restricts blood flow to the scalp.
Don’t shave or cut your hair in the recipient area for at least two weeks prior to your procedure. This will help Dr. Zhang to design your overall hair transplantation pattern.
The day of your procedure wash your hair thoroughly. Don’t drink any coffee or other caffeinated beverages that day, as they can increase bleeding and sensitivity to medications used during the procedure. Arrange to have someone drop you off and take you home.
What happens after my SmartGraft procedure? What will the post-operative care involve?
After your session with Dr. Zhang, your scalp will be tender, and you’ll need some pain medication for few days. For the first couple of days, you’ll have bandages on the treated areas, and you’ll receive antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications to lower the risk of infection and to calm irritation. Compared to strip harvesting and even the use of scalpels with FUE methods, the SmartGraft system is far more comfortable and recovery is easy.
You can wash your hair within three days after your procedure. We’ll show you how to do so. You’ll use a surgical sponge and soapy water to keep the recipient area clean and to stop it from developing crusting on the transplanted follicles. It’s important not to rub, and not to use a towel to dry the transplanted area. For the first week or so, you’ll let that area air-dry. After one week, you’ll be able to shower pretty much as normal.
When will the transplanted follicles begin to grow new hair?
The first two to three weeks after your SmartGraft session can be frustrating, although Dr. Zhang explains exactly what is going to happen during your consultation. Over these two to three weeks, all the transplanted hair will fall out. But this doesn’t mean the follicles have failed to take; it is simply the follicles’ reaction to the trauma of transplantation. Not all the transplanted hairs will survive, as described above. The hair follicles then settle in and return to the anagen (growth) phase in 3-4 months, producing new hair and returning fullness to the transplanted area.
Is there anything I need to do to maintain my results with SmartGraft?
For the initial one-week period after your treatment, you’ll need to not towel try your hair and be cognizant of your new hair grafts. But after that short recovery, you’re good to go. You can shower and swim normally. After all, it’s your hair follicles growing your hair; they’ve simply been relocated.
There isn’t anything you need to do to maintain your results. Unfortunately, hair loss will continue with your non-transplanted hair on the top of your scalp. So, you will have continuing thinning as some of the older hair follicles move toward dormancy. As mentioned above, you could opt for another SmartGraft session with Dr. Zhang in the future to keep pace with future thinning.
Am I a good candidate for a procedure using FUE/SmartGraft?
The best way to determine whether you are a candidate for hair transplant using FUE/ SmartGraft is a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lisa Zhang.