What Do I Need To Know Before A Hair Transplant?

by | Hair Transplant

When you want to make drastic changes through hair transplant surgery, don’t you want to jump right into it fully prepared?

As an elective procedure, it’s important that you make the right call. To do that, important considerations must be made. So, to help you make an informed decision, we’ve gathered important points you need to know. Read on to know more! 

1. Check Out Other Hair Restoration Options First

This is not to discourage you from getting a hair transplant, but prudence dictates that you seek other less invasive options first before heading straight to surgery. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly because it involves limited resources (your hair) and permanent results. Therefore, it’s important to consider other treatments that involve lesser risks but are also proven to be effective.

Your other options include:

You must know that a good hair transplant surgeon would make the same suggestion. They would be inclined to explore other options first, especially, if surgery is not what’s appropriate at the moment.

A hair transplant is a mechanical solution to restore hair, but it can’t stop hair loss from progressing. Keep in mind that there are hormonal factors at play that can be addressed by medications. Hence, pharmacologic treatments help create a strong foundation on which your surgical treatment can build upon later.

2. You Must Have Realistic Expectations

It’s unrealistic to believe that a hair transplant will change your life. While it may contribute to a greater sense of self-confidence, it’s not a magic solution. Some things are outside our control, and to a certain extent, surgical hair restoration is one of them.

Unlike other surgeries, your decision to undergo cosmetic enhancement is deeply personal and strictly voluntary. With a choice as subjective as plastic surgery, it’s easy to blur the line between realistic and unrealistic expectations. Sometimes people arrive at their choice for the wrong reasons.

When you keep things in perspective, you’ll be objectively pleased with the outcome. Patients whose expectations are not grounded on reality are bound for disappointment. This is true for both non-invasive and surgical hair loss treatments.

Having a reasonable outlook also means that you understand the limitations of hair transplant surgery. This includes the fact that:

  • there is no such thing as perfection
  • things will look worse before it gets better
  • it will take months before the final results are achieved
  • even though results may give you a confidence boost, it will not change your life
  • you need to maintain the results
  • you may need more than one hair transplant session

It’s important to understand that a hair transplant can improve, but not perfect your looks. So, before investing your time, money, health, and looks, in this procedure, honestly assess your reasons for doing it.

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3. You Need to be a Good Candidate for a Hair Transplant

Hair transplant is not for everybody—or at least not yet. Any reputable surgeon would assess if you’re a good candidate for surgery because that also factors into the final results. The surgeon will assess the extent of hair loss you’re experiencing, your age, and your health status among many others. So, even if you can easily afford surgery, you still need to go through this screening process.

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4. Know the Risks Involved With Hair Transplant Surgery

While it’s easy for us to focus on the benefits, it’s equally important to be aware of the risks that comes with surgical hair restoration. Although complications rarely occur, these are still important considerations in your decision-making process.

The risks involved with surgical hair restoration include:

  • bleeding
  • swelling of the scalp and some parts of the face
  • itching
  • infection
  • bruising around the eyes
  • numbness or lack of sensation on the treated areas of the scalp
  • shock loss (sudden but typically temporary loss of the transplanted hair)
  • unnatural-looking tufts of hair

5. Know the Surgical Options Available to You

While it’s easy for us to focus on the benefits, it’s There are two main approaches in surgical hair restoration. One is the traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also called the strip method, and the other is the relatively newer option called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

In FUT, a long, thin piece of tissue is removed from the back of the scalp. Individual units are then removed from the back of the scalp. Individual follicular units are then removed from the strip through microscopic dissection.

With FUE, follicular units are directly harvested one by one from the donor area. Each follicle is removed in a random fashion using a special tool. The scarring involved for this procedure is tiny and round, up to a millimeter in diameter.

In Singapore, there are specialised versions of FUE that you can choose, such as the partially shaved and non-shaved FUE. These techniques are designed to improve the overall aesthetics, but this is possible when it’s done by someone with the skills, training, and experience.

Surgical technique is an important consideration because both vary in their level of invasiveness, cost, downtime, and risks.

6. Cost of a Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair transplant surgery is an expensive procedure, but with the right preparation and an experienced surgeon, the results are worth it. The cost is an important consideration because this would sometimes lead some patients to settle for cheaper services or cut corners to afford surgery.

The cost will depend on the type of approach used, the number of follicles needed (determined on a per graft basis), the surgeon’s fee, return check-ups, and medications. As with any procedure, the amount you pay will depend on the extent of work done.

The cost will not be the same for everyone because it’s based on each patient’s case. So, don’t expect to get a price right off the bat. A consultation must always precede the final tally of your expected fee because good service should be one that is customised to your needs. This is also why you shouldn’t get sucked in by hair transplant package deals.

7. The Skill and Experience of a Surgeon

Before you even engage a surgeon, thorough research is necessary to check out your options. It’s not enough to know that one can do surgery, you must look closely to ensure that the person you’re enlisting has the credentials to do the job.

You can look into factors like:

  • Specialisation in hair restoration
  • The length of time they are in practice as a hair transplant surgeon
  • The number of hair transplant procedures they’ve performed
  • What board certifications/credentials they have

This information can be obtained online, and you can ask further details later on when you finally get into an in-person consultation.

8. Be Aware Of The Downtime Expected From Your Chosen Hair Transplant Approach

Knowing the expected downtime for your hair transplant can help you decide on the type of approach you prefer and plan ahead. Keep in mind that it will take time for you to go back to your normal routine. It will require several days to rest and to take extensive care of your transplanted area.

9. Know The Precautions That Needs To Be Taken Prior To And After Surgery

Certain considerations must be made before and after surgery. You need to be aware because these may require lifestyle modifications to ensure a favourable outcome. You must be ready to commit to these preparations and aftercare, in that way you’ll be able to arrange your other activities around it.

10. Always Check What Others Have To Say About A Surgeon

The hair transplant surgeon you choose can make or break your hair transplant results. See to it that you check a surgeon’s credentials and experience to know if they can deliver. In Singapore, the criteria is stringent as to who gets to advertise their services as a hair transplant doctor.

You can check their website, pore over online reviews, or get word-of-mouth recommendations. Take your time to look around since this is a crucial choice in your hair transplant journey.

Ensure that you make objective steps when you commit to a surgery that can provide you with long-term changes. Once you gathered the necessary details needed to make an informed decision, then let’s talk. Book a consultation at the Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic today.

Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan
BSc (Hons), MBBS (London), Grad. Dip. Dermatology (UK), Dip. AAAM (USA), Grad. Fellow in ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery)

About Dr Tyng Tan

Dr Tyng Tan has over ten years of experience treating male pattern baldness with the minimally invasive, non-strip method known as FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Hair Transplantation.

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