Whether you are a man or a woman, hair loss can be traumatic and affect your self-esteem. Fortunately, there are extremely effective hair restoration techniques that can correct the problem of thinning hair. At Facial Plastic Surgery Associates in Houston, TX, facial plastic surgeons Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm utilize the most current mini-graft techniques that can successfully replace hair that looks natural with very little discomfort or downtime. There are multiple terms used for hair restoration surgery, such as hair transplant and hair replacement. Today, hair restoration is a more accurate and positive reflection of the success we have found with the mini-graft hair restoration approach.
What Sets Us Apart@headingTag>
Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm are facial plastic surgeons who have extensive specialized training in the face, head and neck. Dr. Kridel has authored and published scientific journal articles and text book chapters on hair restoration and has been recognized for his expertise and leading-edge techniques. He has been performing hair restoration procedures for over 20 years. Dr. Sturm completed fellowship training with Dr. Kridel, and has had additional specialized training on hair-restoration techniques. Hair-restoration candidates will be in the best of hands with either surgeon.
As a general rule, hair-restoration surgery works if you have healthy hair-growth areas to serve as donor places; typically this means that the sides and back of your head need to have some hair from which to "harvest" grafts. If you have a head that’s almost bald, you probably are not a candidate for this surgery. Hair restoration is not just for men, about 20 percent of women experience some hair loss due to hormonal changes, illness or aging. The main difference is that women’s hair loss is more likely to be generalized thinning.
Hair restoration requires thoughtful consideration and planning. During your consultation with Dr. Kridel or Dr. Sturm, you will discuss your desired results and determine which techniques are the most appropriate to achieve your goal. They will evaluate your hair loss and assess its progression. Achieving a natural appearance in restoring hair is a challenging goal. The positive effect of the procedure is not only aesthetic, but also emotional, giving many patients increased confidence and self-assurance. Therefore, it is important to select a trained facial plastic surgeon that you trust.
No More Corn Rows@headingTag>
Hair replacement surgery is quite effective and can look quite natural in the hands of a skilled specialist. What’s made a major difference in the look of hair that has been transplanted is that many years ago big clumps of hair plugs were inserted into the scalp, leaving the hairline with a “corn row” effect. Today, there are two primary approaches to mini-graft hair restoration, including the FUE (follicular unit extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transfer) approaches. Both methods retain the natural characteristics of hair growth. However, for the majority of hair restoration procedures Dr. Kridel and Dr. Sturm utilize the FUT approach because more follicular units can be harvested at one time.
"From the beginning, Dr. Kridel put me at ease. This was my first plastic surgery. I had a facelift and upper eye lid reduction. I am a 49 year old female. He was always reassuring. He explained everything about the surgery in detail. He was always on time and courteous. His staff is phenomenal. The follow up to surgery was great. He answered all of my questions and concerns. I would go back to him or refer him to my friends in a heart beat. He is an excellent Dr. who is very skilled and is truly concerned about the patient and not just money!"- L.E. / Vitals / Apr 20, 2015
"I had my rhinoplasty done by Dr. K about a year and a half ago. He was a bit on the pricier end, but it was well worth the money paid. Nose looks amazing and I am so happy with my results. Highly recommend this doctor."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Jan 02, 2015
"I had a perforated septal perforation from a previous sinus surgery. My symptoms kept getting worse, so I wanted to see if anything could be done to repair the hole. I was referred to Dr. Kridel by my ENT doctor who said he was a specialist in this type of surgery. There is no question in my mind that I made the right decision to have Dr. Kridel do the surgery. My perforation is gone, my symptoms are gone and my life is back. The attention to detail and the level of care I received was beyond my expectations. Highly recommend."- J.B. / Google+ / Nov 15, 2014
" I appear 20 years younger from having had the surgery. Not only is he competent, but friendly and answers all questions."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Nov 12, 2014
"To say Dr. Kridel is awesome is actually a gross understatement. His keen eye, precision & attention to detail is first-class."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Nov 12, 2014
The follicular unit means we are transplanting hair by the smallest possible section. For example, hair grows out of the scalp primarily in 1, 2 and 3 hair follicular units. We can then harvest those units from one area to another. With follicular unit transplantation (FUT), we harvest in strips. This is a very efficient method to obtain a large number of follicular units. The strip of scalp is removed and then microscopically dissected into follicular unit. There will be a small scar where the strip was harvested. It is important to be aware that any scar in the scalp, albeit small, will show if you decide to shave your head.
Surgeon skill is important because the hairline is essentially redesigned. Therefore, proper placement, depth and angle need to be made to achieve a natural pattern for future hair growth and requires an artistic eye combined with surgical excellence. The FUT technique is a great choice for many patients, especially women, and men who do not plan on cutting their hair short and are seeking more coverage. A great deal can be done at one time. For example, it is not uncommon for us to complete over 3,000 grafts in a single session. Depending on the amount of coverage needed, it may take more than one procedure to achieve the aesthetic goal desired.
With the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique, the follicular unit grafts are obtained one at a time from tiny extraction sites on the scalp rather than in a strip. Each graft is carefully removed from the back or sides of the head then planted into recipient sites. Similar to the FUT technique, Dr. Kridel or Dr. Sturm will design the hairline direction, distribution, and pattern of hair growth for the most natural result. They will make the tiny incisions needed in the recipient area, as well as extract the tiny follicular grafts. Because there is not a removal of a strip of hair from the back of the head, there will not be a linear donor site scar. So this technique is more appropriate for patients that would like to shave their head at some point. Also patients whose donor area is limited due to tightness of the scalp or those who tend to heal with wide scars after suturing are good FUE candidates.
The most significant drawback to FUE transplantation is the limit of donor supply. Also, because each follicular unit is removed individually, the procedure takes a considerably longer amount of time, and is therefore more costly.
Beards, Eyebrows and Sideburns@headingTag>
Facial hair restoration techniques involve the removal of donor hair, microscopic dissection, and recipient site preparation and placement. Depending on the individual patient, FUT or FUE techniques are effective for patients that desire a full beard or to fill in thin areas of their beard for more complete coverage. This technique is also used to create side burns in patients that have minimal coverage in that area, or in some cases men who have had facelifts that left scars or hair loss in the side burn area. Similarly, some women lose tufts of hair in the hairline from facelift surgery. In addition, women and men, who have very thin or undefined eyebrows can have hair restoration for a permanent, natural-looking solution, rather than tattooing.
All hair transplant surgeries are performed in our AAAHC-accredited, in-office surgical facility. The entire procedure can take up to 3-5 hours to complete, and “twilight” or local anesthesia may be used. Recovery is dependent upon each individual and the extent of their surgery, although you can go back the next day if you like. However, most patients wait a day or two. Exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.
Hair restoration cost can vary depending on the technique and area of coverage chosen, as well as the causes of the patient’s hair loss. It is traditionally priced per graft, with FUE technique at a slightly higher cost than FUT.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $2,000 - $15,000
- Recovery Time
- 1 Week
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-6 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1-2 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
Does it Hurt?@headingTag>
No. Once the scalp is anesthetized the procedure is painless. When sedation is used, you will lose track of the 3 to 7 hour timeframe for the procedure.
You can wash your hair very gently the day after surgery with plain water. The second day you can gently shampoo your hair and beginning on the third day you can resume your normal hairstyling methods.
What About Stitches?@headingTag>
If we use the FUT technique, the stitches or staples used to close the donor area in the back of your head will be removed in about 10 days.
Why are Technicians Assisting?@headingTag>
It takes an experienced team to efficiently perform the labor-intensive task of harvesting the donor hair, cutting the donor hair into hundreds or thousands of follicular units under microscopes and then insert each of them individually into precisely cut tiny slits. Dr. Kridel and Dr. Sturm make the precise cuts in the donor and recipient areas, but highly trained technicians are needed to simultaneously create the thousands of follicular units needed in the time allowed for the surgery.
What is the Typical Result?@headingTag>
Dr. Kridel and Dr. Sturm will create a very natural looking appearance that makes it hard to distinguish from the full density you once had before genetic hair loss or trauma occurred. Since we are taking hair from one area and placing it in another, it is mathematically impossible to give you additional hair. However, to the normal eye it will look like full coverage.