FUE Hair Transplant Surgery in Singapore with Dr Tyng Tan
Hair loss doesn’t have to define your looks. Get your personalized no-shave FUE hair transplant treatment plan specifically designed for your individual needs through
Modern techniques in surgical hair restoration can re-shape your hairline and restore lost hair using your own natural, growing hair, which can be styled, washed and trimmed. Hair transplantations have come to be reliable options today that even hair stylists can’t tell if you’ve gotten the procedure done or not.
What happens during a Hair Transplant?
This procedure involves the extraction of viable hair grafts from identified donor areas. The surgeon will prepare them before they are implanted on thinning or balding spots on the head using a high=powered microscope. These donor grafts are immune to androgenetic hair loss, and as it grows in this new environment, it will follow the same physical characteristics of its surrounding hairs.
Of all the available hair restoration procedures available today, hair transplant surgery has long been identified to provide a success rate. When done right, it can provide natural-looking results.
For more than a decade, we remained firm in our calling to deliver good quality service and in so doing we have helped thousands of individuals regain their confidence.
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What is FUE?
There is no linear approach to a hair transplant.
Traditionally, there is the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) which is called the strip method. It involves a long incision to remove a strip of the scalp which contains donor hairs. While it has been a reliable approach many are starting to opt for a less invasive approach. Scarring and the aesthetic outcome are also common reasons. Hence, the creation of FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction).
Hair has a natural cycle that includes shedding and there is nothing to panic about when this happens.
Alopecia, or what is commonly known as hair loss, is the unwanted loss of hair from the head and the other parts of the body. It also refers to male or female pattern baldness. There are numerous factors that could cause the condition, which makes it important to get a proper diagnosis to effectively cure the disorder.
Such causes include genetics, fungal infection, trauma, chemotherapy, and nutritional deficiencies. Other causes are certain illnesses that can lead to temporary baldness and these include thyroid disease and alopecia areata. Diseases that cause scarring like lichen planus and specific types of lupus can become permanent along with the scars they produce.
With male pattern baldness, hair loss starts to be very noticeable on the crown and then the hairline, and temples, until it finally hits the mid-anterior scalp. Though this is the common pattern, there are variations to this that are considered on a case-to-case basis. According to Hamilton-Norwood Scale, the following hair loss categories are defined as follows:
Lifestyle also has a lot to do with hair loss. With the current way people live their modern lives, most overlook important health issues that ultimately create this condition. Bad, fatty diets are easily the culprits because of the lack of necessary nutrients to keep hair shiny and healthy. Lack of sleep and other sources of stress also trigger the condition among other modern-day illnesses. Smoking is also considered as a reason for irrational hair loss.
For those who seek surgical treatment for hair loss, the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant method is a viable method for both men and women seeking to treat hair loss. It is essentially the transfer of healthy hair follicles from a donor area on the scalp and grafting them to a bald or thinning area.
Microincisions have a diameter that ranges from 0.8 – 1.0 mm, depending on follicular unit sizes in each patient. This minimizes scarring and conserves future areas available for harvesting. The procedure is done under a very high-powered microscope to allow the surgeon to work with precision, which is the key to natural-looking transplants.
So, how long does an FUE hair transplant procedure take? Generally, this type of procedure takes longer than the traditional FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation). Since it requires donor grafts to be harvested carefully to avoid transection and improve graft yield, the entire procedure can take around 4-8 hours. The surgical time will also depend on the number of grafts you will need.
The procedure is minimally invasive and is carried out under local anesthetic. This helps minimize the risks and downtime that are commonly associated with the procedure (Dua, 2010).
Patients who undergo the procedure want the results to look as natural as possible and the outcome makes it appear that way.
The hair that grows as a result of the procedure will look exactly like the hair that grew locally, hiding the fact that the patient actually had the procedure. This comes with an assured natural hairline that makes the hair look fuller but untouched. As far as the donor area is concerned, it will appear unaffected or unchanged. Minimal pain should be experienced after the procedure because of the local anesthesia that will be used during the extraction of the follicles.
If hair is worn short, as little as 0.5cm long, scarring will not be visible. If it is clean-shaven, some tiny dotted hypopigmented scars may be noticeable to varying degrees depending on the healing abilities of the patient. The Ministry of Health does not allow us to post before-and-after images online, but you may come in and see the actual photos of our previous patients.
There should also hardly be any obvious scarring since the procedure is not invasive, making it perfect for patients who are suffering from incipient and advanced hair loss.
Hair Transplant Downtime
A lot of our busy professional clients opt to do surgery on a Friday and return to work on Monday with little or no detection. Consult a hair transplant doctor to know if you are a suitable candidate for this.
FUE hair transplant results can be optimised using supplemental treatments. Two reliable therapies that our clinic uses to augment surgical outcome are Regenera Activa and Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).
Regenera Activa is a treatment that uses your own cellular factors to stimulate a regenerative process in growing hair. It involves tissue specimen collection, the separation of cellular components to obtain the necessary cellular factors and administering it in affected areas of the scalp. This is an FDA-approved treatment that supports the growth of implanted hair grafts.
LLLT is another FDA-cleared solution that boosts hair growth. It irradiates photons into the scalp tissue which is absorbed by weak cells stimulating hair growth. It requires months of consistent use to trigger the desired regenerative action.
Regenera Activa and LLLT offer good restorative action by stimulating biological responses to boost hair growth. Any prescribed hair loss medications that were regularly taken prior to surgery must be continued, these complementary treatments strengthen post-surgical supportive care.
Though the total price of the procedure varies on the extent of work needed to cover the affected area, which includes the number of grafts that you need plus the surgeon fees and other incidental fees, expect to shell out something around $6k and above.
Cost is always a major determining factor as to whether a patient will undergo a hair transplant or not. However, one can quickly get frustrated while scouring the web because this won’t lead you to a definitive answer – an actual quotation.
The only way to get one is through an in-person consultation. A hair transplant surgeon must first assess the extent of your hair loss and your desired outcome. Your age, sex, and amount of viable donor grafts are essential considerations. These factors can help doctors arrive at an accurate quotation based on the approach that you prefer.
Patients should also steer clear from packages that offer a fixed amount of grafts at a lower price. These arrangements provide no guarantee for the aesthetic quality you seek.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHY A HAIR TRANSPLANT DOESN’T COME CHEAP?
Although it is minimally invasive compared to other elective procedures, a hair transplant also demands a certain level of expertise.
In Singapore, hair transplant doctors must fulfill specific criteria issued by the Singapore Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (APOC). These serve to safeguard the quality of hair transplant services in the country. So, when you go for a consultation, make it a point to ask if your hair doctor is APOC-approved.
Since the process is not just merely transplanting hairs and arranging them on a whim, it means that the level of expertise to achieve natural-looking results will come at a price. However, when you make an effort to prepare for it thoroughly, you can make it worth every penny!
2. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGEON?
Donor hair is limited. Everyone has a variable number of available donor hair. It does not increase over time with frugality once hair transplant is carried out. Choose a doctor with the experience you are comfortable with as donor depletion and scarring can potentially have severe, detrimental effects on a young patient. When in doubt, wait, rather than rush in for cheap surgery.
Doctor Tan is a Graduate Fellow in Hair Restoration Surgery, as certified by the ISHRS, having trained in hair transplant for nearly a year and fulfilling strict training requirements set out by the ISHRS at one of their 5 training centres worldwide. She has also contributed chapters to hair transplant textbook and Hair Loss International forums, and was an invited speaker (1 of 2 speakers) for AAAM (American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine) talks for doctors on hair transplantation.
We pride ourselves on 100% dedication to hair transplant patient. Doctor Tan does not take on any concurrent patient to concentrate on the hair transplant patient on the day of the procedure. We use hair transplant equipment from the USA (Cole Instruments) designed by Dr Cole who is a proponent of the FUE approach and investor at the same time. Our team is trained overseas by veteran hair transplant doctors in the industry, an effort Doctor Tan has invested in for quality results for her patients.
3. IS HAIR TRANSPLANT WORTH IT?
Hair Transplant should be a last resort (i.e. tried available medical options) but in terms of results, majority of patients find more rewarding/worth it when done by a good doctor, especially if the transplanted area has receded/bald as no herbal/medical options would restore it otherwise.
4. DOES HAIR TRANSPLANT REALLY WORK?
Yes, a hair transplant is an effective surgical treatment that restores hair growth in areas where there is limited or absent growth. With good patient selection, it can provide natural-looking and long-lasting results. Donor grafts will retain their DHT-resistant characteristic even if surrounding hairs continue to shed.
5. WHEN IS A HAIR TRANSPLANT INDICATED?
When you are not actively undergoing a period of active hair shedding (telogen effluvium), chemo-induced shedding, (anagen effluvium), in the absence of certain scalp conditions like active alopecia areata, active lichen planopilaris, active frontal fibrosing alopecia or other scarring alopecias, to name a few.
6. WHO ARE SUITABLE CANDIDATES FOR FUES?
The right patients for FUE should be in good health and with adequate donor density. This means that there should be enough hair from the donor area because the backsides of the scalp can provide very little hair for FUE.
Age is also a big factor, which means the patient has to get this procedure when the hair loss pattern has been stabilized. Young people are advised to follow other treatments for the meantime.
Men and women who are dealing with pattern baldness (Androgenetic Alopecia for the men, and Female Pattern Baldness for the women).
7. WHAT ARE THE THREE WAYS OF PERFORMING FUE?
Dr. John Cole developed three different ways of performing FUE hair transplant.
1. The fully shaved technique – Patient has the whole head of head shaved to 1-2mm in length. This allows the surgical team to be able to carry out the operation with ease and also allows the patient to appreciate uniform growth of hair which starts 2-3 days after the surgery.
2. The partially shaved technique – Only the donor area where hair is extracted is shaved to aid the follicular unit extraction (FUE). The area remains coverable by the hair on top and below the surgery site.
3. The C2G – No shave hair transplant – Only the donor area where hair is extracted is shaved to aid the follicular unit extraction (FUE). The area remains coverable by the hair on top and below the surgery site.
This is a non-shaving technique. Hair that is to be removed from the donor site is painstakingly trimmed by experienced staff one by one such that the majority of the hair remains untrimmed, giving it a natural look even after the surgery is complete.
We hope to bring in the PCID (Power Cole Isolation Device), an automated follicular unit extraction device invented by Dr Cole himself, into the clinic soon. This powerful machine offers speed in the extraction of follicular units at the donor site.
Among the three, the C2G is the most expensive because it paves the way for the patient to have the transplant without shaving a single hair strand for it, taking away the downtime that you need for the other two. It is a suitable option for those who do not want to change their appearance to the public after getting hair transplant done.
Dr. Tyng Tan has been trained to perform these techniques. The choice of approach will depend on the preference of the patient, taking into consideration the hair loss issue that he is suffering from.
8. WHY FUE OVER FUT?
No scars will develop from the procedure, which makes it a good option for those with a history of keloids and thickened or stretched scars.
Recovery time is shorter because the minute holes that are created for the hair grafts heals within a shorter period of time compared to the strip method, or FUT.
The patient will not be forbidden to do strenuous activities, which is the case for FUT patients because their scars are prone to widening when the patient does strenuous exercises.
9. WILL FUE LEAVE SCARS?
The surgery will leave 1mm scabs, which are expected to shed in a week or 2. It will then look like small red dots which, depending on your body’s healing characteristics, may eventually match your skin tone, become lighter (hypopigmented), or remain a little red.
10. WILL I GET FULLER HAIR AFTER FUE?
This depends on the pre-existing density of the donor area and the amount of hair that was involved. If too much hair was removed, it might have a patchy look. Generally speaking, it still depends on the individual characteristics of the patient.
11. WHAT SHOULD BE THE POST-OPERATIVE REGIMEN?
At this point, do not apply shower pressure on the head for 2 weeks and opt for the use of cups of warm soapy water to clean the head after the procedure.
Use only peroxide, alcohol, witch hazel, or tea tree oil to clean the blood and other infected areas. Once the scabs have shed, use aloe vera gel or spray as often as needed.
1. Gupta AK, Lyons DC, Daigle D (2015) Progression of surgical hair restoration techniques. J Cutan Med Surg 19: 17-21.
2. Aman Dua, Kapil Dua. Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2010 May-Aug; 3(2): 76–81.
3. Zito PM, Raggio BS. Hair Transplantation. [Updated 2019 Oct 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547740/
Reviewed by Dr. Tyng Tan, on May 6, 2020
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About Dr Tyng Tan
Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS is one of the few doctors approved by the Singapore Medical Council to carry out both FUE and FUT hair transplant (which includes non-shaved FUE where donor hair length is preserved and reduction in downtime after surgery is possible to achieve). Her special interest is in hair loss and hair transplantation and she is recognized as a graduate fellow of the ISHRS after completing a lengthy fellowship at an ISHRS approved institution.