Frequently asked questions regarding hair transplants, hair restoration, Smartgraft, FUE, and the benefits of Smartgraft over other options.
If you have a question not answered here please contact our clinic to schedule a consultation.
SmartGraftTM is the most advanced automated, minimally invasive device for hair restoration for use in both men and women. Developed by surgeons, scientists and engineers, this suction assisted extraction device allows the surgeon to harvest hair grafts more efficiently, safely, and in less time, while automatically keeping the grafts moist and cool until they are ready for implantation. That translates to a higher number of successful grafts and less time in the procedure room.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is an advanced, minimally-invasive method for harvesting individual hair follicles from the back of the head (called the donor area) for implantation as hair grafts. It requires no scalpel, no stitches or staples, causes no significant discomfort and leaves no linear scar.
The older strip method for harvesting hair grafts required the surgeon to use a scalpel to remove a large strip of scalp tissue from the back of the head. This required stitches to close, caused significant discomfort for a few weeks after surgery as well as a permanent, linear scar which was visible in some patients. With SmartGraftTM FUE, there is no scalpel, no stitches, the donor site heals within a few days, there’s virtually no discomfort, no linear scar and the patient can return to most normal activities as early as the next day.
The SmartGraftTM device incorporates many technical innovations that are not found in the competition: The hand piece is ergonomically designed as a natural extension of the surgeon’s hand, allowing for faster, more efficient and more accurate harvesting of hair follicles and with less surgeon fatigue. The hand piece also uses built in fiber optic illumination to light up the surgical field, again, increasing the accuracy of harvesting. The SmartPunches are designed with a beveled tip to protect the hair follicles during harvest. The device also has programmable protocols that allow the surgeon to automatically adjust the temperature, frequency and duration of a sterile solution mist that keeps the grafts moist and cool while they wait for implantation. Finally, the device is able to count and separate the grafts during harvest. These advances combine to reduce the surgeon’s and patient’s time in the procedure room.
The majority of patients with hereditary hair loss are candidates for the SmartGraftTM FUE procedure. Patients who wish to have the option to wear their hair short in the back and sides, or want the least amount of activity restriction after the procedure (eg athletes) are especially ideal. SmartGraftTM FUE can also be used very successfully to restore eyebrows, beard and hair loss from scars.
Minimally-invasive hair follicle harvest with FUE is a more detailed and intricate procedure compared to the older, invasive strip method of harvesting hair and this is reflected in the higher cost of the procedure.
As long as individual hair follicles are used to reconstruct the front hair line, and the surgeon has designed the hairline properly and with meticulous attention to detail, and as long as great care is used to implant the hair grafts, the final result of the hair transplant should be very similar, if not identical. The primary difference is in the appearance of the donor site, where FUE avoids the linear, stretched scar seen with the strip method.
Yes. Since SmartGraftTM FUE is a minimally-invasive procedure, it is a great option for both men and women who are looking to restore their natural hair.
No you don’t. If you prefer to keep your hair long on the back of your head, SmartGraftTM FUE harvesting can be done by shaving only small areas, which can then be covered by the rest of your hair. The front of the scalp does not need any shaving or trimming for the procedure.
There are very few complications following SmartGraftTM hair transplantation and they are quite rare. You can expect some swelling and redness of the scalp both at the donor and recipient areas, which is normal. There may be a bit of bruising as well. These usually go away after 2 or 3 days. There’s a very small risk of infection, which can be treated with antibiotics. There may be a bit of discomfort for the first day or two. If you are not careful you could accidentally dislodge some of your hair grafts in the first 2 or 3 days by accidentally rubbing or scratching your scalp.
You can go back to most normal activities the next day. You can even do light to moderate exercise, but you should avoid heavy lifting and heavy exercise for about a week. You can shower and gently wash your hair on the second day after the procedure, but you shouldn’t go swimming for 2 weeks. If you work at an office or have a light job you can go back the next day if you don’t mind a bit of swelling and redness. If you have a heavy job, or have to wear a hat or helmet, you should wait at least a week.
The best way to tell if you are a good candidate for a SmartGraftTM hair transplant is to come in person for a one-on-one consultation.
There is nothing stopping you from having a hair transplant before age 25 if you have early hereditary hair loss, but it is important that you talk this over with your surgeon. Before age 25 it is very difficult to predict how much hair loss you are going to eventually have, and that makes it difficult to plan the procedure. Remember that our ultimate goal is to make you happy and give you a result that will last for decades and continue to look good, and that requires careful planning and predictability. We generally recommend that you use medications (like Minoxidil and Finasteride) when you are young, and then go for the transplant when we can be sure your hair pattern is stable. That may not happen until you are older than 25 years.
Yes. Eyebrows that are naturally thin, or thin from over plucking or scarring can be beautifully restored with a SmartGraftTM hair transplant. The eyebrows will be permanent and can be custom designed to best suit your goals and wishes.
Absolutely. A beard or moustache can be restored with a SmartGraftTM hair transplant. Hair follicles can be harvested from areas under the chin where they are not visible, or if you don’t have enough hair, from the chest or even legs, to fill in and thicken the facial hair in the beard and moustache area. This works for men who naturally have very light facial hair growth, or have lost facial hair from scarring.
For more information about SmartGraft™ FUE hair transplantation, call us to schedule a free consultation