Plastic Surgeon Questions Hair Care

Does a hair transplant require invasive surgery?

I am bald at a young age. Is a hair transplant an invasive surgery? Is it painful? How long would it last?

9 Answers

Hair transplant is an invasive, but only skin-deep procedure. The hair once transplanted which takes is permanent, lasting as long as the site from which it was taken called the donor site.
Cutting your head to procure a hair graft is indeed invasive. However it does not require general anesthesia or hospitalization. It is usually done over a 4-6 hr period and extremely well tolerated. I had it done and flew 2 hrs home directly after it was completed.
Hair transplanting with modern follicular unit extraction (removing one or two hairs with a circular type machine) is not invasive and minimally painful. The hair transplant will last as long as the hair would have lasted in its original source location.
Hi this is a great question. There are multiple ways to address hair loss. The common procedure we consider "hair transplant" is a follicular unit graft placement. This requires harvest of hair follicles from the back of the head and transplanting them to the areas of hair loss. Depending on the amount of hair loss anywhere from 1500 to 3000 follicular units can be grafted in one sitting. This procedure is not a very invasive or painful procedure. Today most surgeons use a robot to harvest each follicular unit individually and all that is required is to numb the area of the harvest and the area of the transplant. After surgery there is some mild aching or discomfort but it lasts for only a few days.
It's a small procedure done under local anesthesia, lengthy, but not painful and hardly more "invasive" than dental work.
No, this is an outpatient treatment that takes about two hours in the office. Patients come in and go home the same day. One day off of work.


Dr. Gerstle
Hair transplantation is now quite advanced. Using robotic technology and other advancements makes this procedure very benign and non-invasive. Be ready for a 7-10 hour session and some slight discomfort, and get your check book ready (a bit pricey at $10,000-15,000). Results vary, but overall are very satisfactory with nice cosmetic improvement!


It is a non-invasive surgery and it is not painful.
Hair transplant surgery is invasive. Most would call it minimally invasive depending on the way the procedure in performed. It is usually done under a mild sedation. At first the scalp has to be anesthetized with injections. This can be a little painful, but then it becomes numb. A strip of hair is then surgically removed from the back of the head (this is where the most resilient hair is found). It can also be removed by a techniques that removes individual follicular units (this will leave minimal scar). The follicular hairs are then separated, and carefully placed within the area of the scalp for transplantation. This is done with small punctures to the scalp. These are then allowed to heal, being very gentle with the scalp for a week or so. New hairs typically do not start to grow for 3-4 months after. This hair growth can last for many years. However, you still can experience some hair loss over time.