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Questions & Answers  (Q&A)

How many transplant units do I need?

The amount of grafts to be transplanted and the result in terms of "optical" density or coverage are subject to two factors. On one hand they are dependant on the surface size of the target area and on the other hand on the properties of the donor hair such as the density of the donor area, size of the hair shafts, color of the hair in contrast to the skin beneath, and whether you have curly, wavy or straight hair, etc.
In order to be able to determine the necessary number of grafts in your individual case precisely, a personal counseling session with Dr. Heitmann is necessary; this is both nonbinding and free of charge.

The following scheme is for orientation purposes only and can be helpful for an initial self-assessment.
Click on the icons here on the left to enlarge the image.

Norwood scale II and IIa >                  Necessary grafts: 1500
Norwood scale III , IIIa and III Vertex >Necessary grafts: 2250 - 3000
Norwood scale IV and IVa >                Necessary grafts: 3000 - 4000
Norwood scale Va >                           Necessary grafts: 4000 - 6000
Norwood scale VI >                            Necessary grafts: > 6000

Is the result of hair transplant really permanent?

Yes. The hair roots (follicles) are harvested from the area in back of the head and just above the ears and subsequently distributed in the lightly haired or bald areas on top of the head. In this horseshoe-shaped area, also called the donor area, all the hair roots contain genetic information of being insensitive to the hormone dihydrotestosteron (DHT), the cause of hair loss. This genetic information is not lost, even after redistribution so that the transplanted hair continues to grow on the bald or lightly haired areas.

Will I get back the full head of hair from my youth? Will my hair look just like it did then?

For anyone undergoing a hair transplant the following should be clear:
The number of donor hairs in the area behind the ears are not endless, but limited.
It is therefore important to redistribute these specific hairs, which will grow for a lifetime in the most economic way - densely in the most visible areas, and to a lesser extent in others. Ideally, in the final result an illusion of more hair is created than there actually is. Hair surgery is not a magic trick and the full head of hair in a typical teenager with up to 100.000 hairs remains practically impossible. Read also: products and medication against hair loss.

An important prerequisite for your satisfaction with the results of your hair transplant are realistic expectations regarding attainable density and the size of the surface area that can be sufficiently covered in the end.

Is the treatment painful?

By using local anaesthesia the entire treatment is painless.
A local anaesthetic is injected with the utmost care in the donor area and later on in the reception area, so that hardly any pain results. In the evening and during the night after the treatment one feels a somewhat annoying wound pain, which can be relieved with light painkillers. By the next morning, even this pain will have nearly disappeared.

What needs to be taken into account before the treatment?

Several guidelines to be followed just before the hair transplant are noted below:
The day before the procedure do not drink any alcoholic beverages and go to bed on time so that you are as well rested as possible.
On the day of the treatment wear loose-fitting clothing that does not need to go over your head when putting them on or taking them off.
From ten days on prior to the treatment, do not take aspirin and other painkillers containing acetylsalicylic acid.
This also applies to amphetamines and other narcotic drugs.
In case you regularly take prescription medication, inform us during the meetings prior to the day of the treatment.
If you regularly take blood thinners or medication containing coumarin such as Marcumar, then we will first need to contact your consulting physician.

What can you expect after the treatment?

After the treatment a light to medium swelling occurs that may also affect the face a day or two later. Although the effect can even resemble a boxer after a boxing match, this swelling is completely (or almost) painless. Nevertheless, the patient may understandably not quite feel at ease in company.
Within 5 - 7 days the swelling has subsided and has become unnoticeable. A series of small scabs appear on the surface of the transplanted area that fall off after about 10 - 14 days. In case of strip surgery the sutures can be removed after two weeks. Your general practitioner can also do this if you live far away from our practice.
Within the first 2 to 6 weeks the transplanted hairs will shed temporarily.
This is completely normal as well as unavoidable.
The cause is a temporary lack of oxygen to the hair roots during the treatment.
They are weakened in such a way that the hair roots temporarily become dormant and the hair first falls out. After about 3 to 4 months the first hair roots begin to produce hair again. Moreover, when the hair starts to grow again, the progress and speed of growth varies widely from patient to patient.
Some 6 to 7 months after the treatment the new hairs will be about 5 to 7 centimeters long and seems considerably thicker than the original downy hair.
In total the hair looks a lot fuller and thicker as compared to several months earlier.
These results continue to improve even after 8 to 12 months.
The ultimate results can only expected after a year.
Normally the new hairs continue to grow during your lifetime and can be cut and styled however you choose.
No special products are needed for further treatment.You can use the regular products you always used; shampoo and if desired, gel, hair wax or hair spray, just as you did before.

What do you have to watch out for after the treatment?

Two to three days later, a light to visible swelling can occur in the area that was treated. It is painless, but can sometimes be unsightly, like a boxer after a match. Nevertheless, the patient may understandably not quite feel at ease in company.
The swelling usually goes down in 5 to 7 days. In any case in order to heal properly for the first 2 to 3 weeks avoid sports, sweating, heavy physical labor as well as working in a dusty environment. For the first four weeks, the following should also be avoided: swimming (also because of the chlorine), direct sunlight as well as the sun bed, sauna and wearing a hairpiece.
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