Is it Worth it to Have Hair Replacement with Follicular Unit Extraction?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have an elective procedure is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having a hair replacement procedure with follicular unit extraction (FUE).
Micro-grafting with follicular unit extraction is a procedure in which tiny sections of scalp (less than 1mm) are removed from hairy scalp, and these are transplanted into bald scalp, where they will usually begin growing hair after a few months. For more on what it’s like to have the procedure, please see Hair Replacement with Follicular Unit Extraction: the Procedure and Recovery.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective procedure with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the provider who will perform your procedure if you decide to proceed.
Any treatment has risks, and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can weigh them against the benefits.
There is a chance of infection in the scalp wounds. Infection could occur at the donor sites or in the recipient sites. If infection occurs, you will need antibiotics; it could also lead to some of the transplanted hair follicles failing to survive. There is also a chance of excessive bleeding at the incision site. Additionally, the scar at the donor site may be too wide, due to tension on the wound as it heals. This could mean that the scar is noticeable, even with hair covering it. Sometimes, scars also form at the recipient sites; there may be small bumps in the area. It may be possible to remove some of these scars with an additional surgery, but not always.
There is also the risk that you won’t be happy with your results. While most transplanted follicles survive and successfully start growing new hair a few months after the transplant, some follicles don’t do so. In some cases, a significant proportion of the follicles will fail to grow new hair, and this may have visible effects on your results. You might also feel that the transplanted hair looks unnatural. As hair loss progresses, a “patchy” look may result as hair is lost in areas near where transplants were placed; this could mean that you need an additional set of transplant sessions, to maintain your youthful look.
While there are risks, and they should be carefully considered, most people who have hair transplant with micro-grafts are satisfied with their results. Androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, common with aging) can have a significant effect on a man’s self-esteem. Men who experience hair loss at younger ages may be more affected, but men of any age may experience a loss of self-confidence as they lose their hair. They may feel that they’re taken less seriously, or are less attractive. They may look young in other ways, but the hair loss causes them to appear old. And for people who’ve lost sections of their hair for other reasons (such as scars from burns), the effects are often even more dramatic, with many avoiding contact with the outside world, or feeling that they must wear a hat or wig at all times.
Hair replacement surgery offers the possibility of restoring the hairline, making it similar to what it was before hair loss began. This can restore a healthy, youthful appearance to the hairline. The effect on the appearance of the face can be dramatic, because the hair frames the face and significantly affects its aesthetic qualities. Once the hairline is restored, confidence and self-esteem can soar, bringing back a feeling of youth and vitality.
The cost for hair transplant surgery is around $5,000. This cost varies depending on several factors, including the region and the particular surgeon. You should check with the provider(s) you’re considering to determine the exact cost. Keep in mind that financing is often available. For more detail, visit our Hair Transplant with Follicular Unit Extraction Cost page.