FUT HAIR TRANSPLANT PHILADELPHIA, PA
Follicular Unit Transplantation, commonly known as the “strip” procedure, is the most popular hair transplant method globally and is considered the gold standard in the industry.
It is easy to grasp:
Painless removal of hair follicles from the back and sides of the head and transplanting them to the balding and thinning areas of the scalp. The follicles are inserted into the skin and the hair grows in the new location, allowing for styling and cutting just like the original hair. A single visit can provide thousands of grafts, resulting in a noticeable cosmetic improvement.
HOW AN FUT (STRIP) PROCEDURE IS DONE:
Only a licensed medical doctor should perform a Follicular Unit Transplant. It should not be done in non-medical settings such as hair salons, barbershops, or shopping malls. The procedure takes place in a doctor’s office with a designated room for hair transplantation and sterilized instruments.
The process is both safe and comfortable. After local anesthesia is administered, the procedure is virtually painless.
The process for an FUT hair transplant procedure in Philadelphia, PA, starts with a visit to a doctor for an initial consultation. During this visit, the physician will evaluate the degree of hair loss and estimate future hair loss patterns. They will also determine the number of available transplantable hair follicles. The doctor will then develop a personalized plan and provide an estimate of the cost. After the plan is discussed, the patient is given time to think about it before deciding. To proceed with the procedure, they can then call the clinic to schedule an appointment and make a deposit.
PREPARATION BEFORE SCHEDULED HAIR TRANSPLANT PROCEDURE:
For optimal results, the patient is advised to stop drinking alcohol, taking vitamins, and engaging in intense physical activity 10 days before their scheduled hair transplant procedure. These substances and activities can thin the blood and potentially impact the ability of the blood to properly clot, which is essential for a successful transplant. The patient should only resume intense workouts one week after the procedure.
Patients who are on medication for conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure are generally advised to continue their medication regimen unless instructed otherwise by their primary care doctor or the physician performing the hair transplant procedure.
DAY OF HAIR TRANSPLANT:
Patients are encouraged to get a good night’s sleep prior to the procedure, however, it is common for some to feel anxious or restless in the days leading up to the procedure. This is normal, and most patients find the procedure to be less intimidating once it begins. With 25 years of experience, we have successfully performed hair transplantation on thousands of patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, without any major medical issues or complications. This demonstrates the safety of modern hair transplant procedures.
Patients are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their appointment to allow for antiseptic sprays to be applied without staining their clothing. Comfortable and casual attire is recommended as it is not suitable to wear nice clothing or a suit.
BREAKFAST ON THE DAY OF YOUR HAIR TRANSPLANT:
Patients should not fast for at least 24 hours before the hair transplant procedure and are encouraged to eat a light meal before the appointment. A muffin, bagel, or cereal is a good option, but heavy foods like 3 eggs with bacon are not recommended. Consuming sugar or having a glass of juice or pastry in the morning can help maintain normal blood sugar levels and reduce feelings of excitement associated with the procedure. Patients are allowed to bring snacks or their favorite food and can eat during the procedure. However, wearing nice clothes or a suit is not recommended as antiseptic sprays used before the procedure may stain them. Arriving at least 15 minutes earlier is also advised to allow time for antiseptic sprays to dry.
TO DRIVE OR NOT TO DRIVE:
If you live within 40 minutes of the office, you may drive yourself to and from the procedure. No general anesthesia or sedatives are used, so you can be awake and alert during the entire process. However, if you live further away, it’s recommended to stay in a nearby hotel the night before to avoid stress and traffic. It’s best to have someone drive you to and from the procedure for comfort. During the procedure, you can bring snacks or your favorite food, and there’s even the option to have lunch with your companion in the procedure area. Our waiting rooms are equipped with cable TV and Wi-Fi for those who wish to wait, and there’s even the opportunity to shop nearby on the Miracle Mile.
IN THE HAIR TRANSPLANT OFFICE:
Upon arrival at the hair transplant clinic in Philadelphia, PA, the FUT hair transplant patient will be greeted by the receptionist and welcomed by Dr. Blake Bloxham to a consultation room. The patient can choose to come alone or bring a support person or family member. During the consultation, the plan will be reviewed and discussed in detail to ensure that all questions are addressed. Dr. Bloxham will then use a sterile surgical marker to outline the areas to be grafted, including the hairline if desired. The patient will be given a mirror to see the new hair placement and photos will be taken for comparison with future progress. The patient can also take photos with their smartphone for a personal record. These follow-up photos taken 6, 12, and 18 months later are a great way to track the results and see the transformation from different angles.
The patient is then taken to the procedure room, where they have access to a private bathroom located conveniently across from the procedure area. They are free to use the bathroom at any time during the procedure.
PREPARING THE SKIN FOR THE PROCEDURE:
The patient is then escorted to the procedure room, where a comfortable chair similar to a dental chair awaits them. The scalp is then cleaned with antiseptics by two skilled medical technicians who also secure the hair with medical tape. A small strip of skin, called the “donor” area, that contains all the hair roots to be transplanted, will be cut just below the swept-up hair.
NUMBING THE SKIN:
The physician will then examine the shaved region and thoroughly sanitize it once more. The patient will be positioned lying down on their back, and local anesthesia will be administered to the head. This involves a small needle that delivers the medication through the skin, causing a slight pinch but is not as painful as some patients may anticipate. There is no need for general anesthesia during any part of the procedure.
REMOVING THE DONOR STRIP:
The patient will then be positioned in the chair with their back facing the doctor. The doctor will proceed to remove small sections of skin from the scalp, while the patient remains unaware and unbothered as they watch TV, read the newspaper, or text. The doctor immediately closes each section with stitches or staples before moving on to the next.
It’s important to note that the scalp, especially in the donor area, has a high level of flexibility, which allows for the small gap created by the strip removal to be easily closed by pulling the skin together. Although there may be some initial pulling during the staple or stitch placement, this will dissipate once the staples or stitches are removed.
Each section of hair is then handed to the medical technicians who use advanced stereo microscopes to meticulously remove the hair roots. Typically, there are 8 technicians at Feller or Bloxham.
Once the medical tape is removed, the hair falls back into place and covers the entire donor area, making it impossible for anyone to tell that a strip was taken just hours earlier.
MAKING THE RECIPIENT SITES:
The patient is then positioned in a semi-reclined chair. The hairline and top are numbed with anesthesia. The doctor inspects the harvested grafts and custom cuts the blades to match their sizes, which range from 0.7mm at the hairline to 1.1mm at the top. Each slit, measuring about 4mm deep, is made according to the pre-drawn pattern on the scalp. Most patients fall asleep within an hour while the doctor makes the thousands of slits. After the procedure, patients are encouraged to take a break, stretch, and use the restroom if needed.
PLACING THE NEW GRAFTS
The patient will then be seated in the procedure chair, with three technicians entering the room to stand on both sides. The technicians will insert the hair roots into the slits made by the doctor. The patient usually doesn’t feel any discomfort and can relax by sleeping or watching a movie while the procedure is ongoing. The duration of the implantation process varies depending on the extent of the procedure and can last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
Once the hair strip has been divided into individual follicular units (grafts), teams of three technicians will work in shifts to transplant the grafts into the areas of the scalp affected by balding or thinning. The staff will remain alert and focused throughout this phase of the procedure, and the doctor may make additional incisions if needed to accommodate more grafts or access additional donor areas.
QUALITY CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY:
The procedure is meticulously monitored for quality control. The team of technicians work together, with each one keeping an eye on the others, to ensure the best outcome. The doctor also oversees every aspect of the procedure and documents it through photos and videos, which can be reviewed by the patient. This level of transparency and surgical accountability is rare and unique to the Bloxham and Feller hair transplant clinic, setting it apart from other clinics. With the patient’s permission, the clinic can even share these photos and videos online for everyone to see, further demonstrating the clinic’s confidence in the high-quality work performed there.
CONCEALING THE PROCEDURE:
After the procedure, the treated area may appear as if the scalp has been trimmed and sunburned, but it will quickly heal. To conceal the fact that a hair transplant was performed, a protective hat is provided. The patient will also receive a post-operative briefing which includes instructions on showering and sleeping in the following days. Although patients can return to work the next day, it is recommended to take a minimum of three days off. However, those who work remotely may only need to take one day off.
POST OPERATIVE CARE:
The patient is permitted to wash their hair and take a shower starting from the next day after the procedure. They can even go swimming in the ocean within three days, as many patients choose to do so for vacation purposes. After ten days, the patient should visit the clinic to have their staples or sutures removed. If not from the local area, the clinic can recommend someone nearby to do it for free or any urgent care center or doctor can assist.
Three days after the procedure, small scabs from the transplanted grafts will start to fall off, leaving the patient with short hair. The skin may appear reddened for up to two weeks, but will eventually return to its normal color. The new hairs may begin to shed after two weeks, which is a normal process. During this time, the hair roots are still anchored and healing in the skin. The “sleeping stage” lasts until the fourth month, after which the hairs will start to regrow. By the sixth to seventh month, the hair should be long enough to show a noticeable cosmetic difference and by the ninth month, the transformation should be obvious. Most patients find this process almost miraculous.
Over the course of 23 years since our clinic opened, we have not encountered a single instance of a patient experiencing hair loss or any medical condition related to their hair transplant. This record of success, although not a guarantee, is based on our extensive experience of performing hair transplants on a large number of patients.
FOLLOW UP VISIT AND PHOTOS:
After getting sutures removed, there is no need for further appointments. However, for those who underwent follicular unit transplants, we request visits at 6 to 12 months and 18 months to monitor the healing process. To track the progress, taking photographs is highly encouraged and if visiting the office is not possible, patients can send their photos taken on their phones to us. The after photos will then be paired with the before photos to create a before and after comparison. Feller and Bloxham in Philadelphia, PA, is so confident in the stunning results that they offer to hide the patient’s identity by digitally concealing their faces and displaying the before and after photos publicly for others to compare and choose the best FUT hair transplant surgeon for them. This is a unique service not commonly provided by hair transplant clinics, with only six offering it in the United States.
Your hair will grow naturally, just like it did before. You can visit your preferred barber for a haircut and style that is identical to what you previously had. Nothing else is required. Your body will handle everything on its own. There is no need for special shampoos, ointments, or medication. So, bask in your new hairstyle and go about your daily routine with ease.