How many follicular units are needed for a capillary graft?

Published in Capillary graft

In a hair implant, what’s the most accurate number of follicular units?

Determining how many follicular units are needed for a hair graft is one of the main aspects to be addressed before a capillary treatment of this kind begins, so for that purpose we will have to consider a series of questions that we expose next:

Objectivity of expectations in all cases

This wisdom refers to both the surgeon and the patient. That is to say, at a first moment, it will be the specialist who, based on his knowledge and experience, will elaborate an approximate idea of ​​the results and, later, transmit it to the person who is going to undergo the hair transplant.

That is, if the alopecia of the individual is quite advanced - types VI and VII on the Hamilton-Norwood scale - and his hair is excessively fine, under no circumstances can a capillary graft of considerable volume be materialized.

In this sense, creating false expectations in the patient, the only thing that would lead to their dissatisfaction with the surgical outcome. In other words, if a person has lost practically three-quarters of their hair, there is only the possibility of improving their appearance by only populating part of the area affected by baldness.

Follicular units needed for a capillary graft is one aspect to have to be taken in this surgery.

Follicular units needed for a capillary graft is one aspect to have to be taken in this surgery.

When, in a case like this, the objective is fixed in the recovery of capillary density presented by the subject's scalp during his youth, the necessary hair would not be available in the donor area to carry the procedure to term.

Assessment of hair loss, donor area and capillary structure

From a realistic point of view, the final number of precise implants in each patient will vary according to the following factors:

  • Difference of hue between the hair and the skin.
  • Existing capillary concentration in the donor area.
  • Elasticity of the scalp.
  • Number of hair follicles in each unit.
  • Characteristics of the hair itself.

All these aspects have to be taken into account by the expert in hair surgery, coordinating them with the wishes of the patient and quantifying the number of follicular units needed for a capillary graft. In any case, it is not easy to predict if a person will be pleased with the results obtained after the hair micrografting.

Estimation of whether a single session is better than several short surgeries

In case of having selected the FUSS (Follicular Unit Strip Surgery) method for the practice of the hair implant, the most common is to carry out mega capillary sessions, in each of which 3,000 to 4,000 follicular units needed for a capillary graft can be transplanted in a single day.

On the other hand, when the technique of individual extraction or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) is going to be the one used during the subsequent surgical process, and since the obtaining of follicles requires a longer duration in such situations, it’s more frequent that the procedure is completed in several days, whether successive or not.

If we analyze both possibilities from the patient's point of view, it’s also necessary to consider the final price of each mode of hair graft surgery and also assess whether, with the budget available, you could face it in a single session .

3,000 to 4,000 follicular units needed for a capillary graft can be transplanted in a single day.

Number of follicular units required according to the patient's age

What are the surgical expectations of younger patients?

In more occasions than in principle can be recognized, the incompetence of the surgeon can be decisive. To give false hopes to the patient, will lead with absolute certainty to his displeasure in relation to the obtained results, reason why this situation should be avoided with a detailed exposition of the surgery and its possible advantages.

Thus, the probability that a person who lost his hair years ago will meet his expectations and assume the final result of the intervention, is greater than that of someone younger who is starting to fall hair.

The desire of young patients will be, in all cases, to recover the first hairline that enjoyed in their best years, not accepting another result. However, given the definitive nature of a hair graft, the specialist will always have to look further in time and not exhaust the capillary reserve of the donor area.

Due to this confrontation of interests, there are times when, patients who have not yet reached a certain age, cannot be classified as suitable for the implementation of the implant. The opposite happens, as we have said, with older patients, who will observe their new image satisfied and will remind them of another era.

Is it possible to establish an exact number of follicular units to be grafted?

It is true that many of the patients are in a middle position compared to the two previous situations, so it is in these cases where the surgeon should advise them about the real objectives that could be achieved and the probability that they will finally be achieved.

The surgeon evaluates the follicular units needed for a capillary graft.

The surgeon evaluates the follicular units needed for a capillary graft.

Due to the nature of the hair and the veteran's experience in these areas, suggesting a fixed amount of follicular units needed to implant does not have to be the best recommendation. That is to say, it is an approximation, perhaps somewhat superior to the one that can subsequently materialize.

The purpose of the surgeon will focus on satisfying the patient's needs with maximum tact, making him see:

  • The success rate in relation to the application of the process.
  • The final price of the entire hair treatment.
  • The number of sessions that may be necessary.

The notoriety of the results of a capillary micrografting varies according to the area to be repopulated and how many implants have been placed for this purpose. Even so, the value of the patient being able to form an approximate idea about the precise follicular units needed for a capillary graft and the number of sessions is beyond doubt.

How is the maximum extraction of follicular units determined?

On what depends the minor or greater obtaining of follicular units?

A donor area is considered optimal when the evolution of the hair that lives in it is constant, because it has the necessary genetic information for it. Normally, it is the lateral or temporal area and the posterior or occipital area.

With the aim that the capillary density of these areas is not drastically reduced, you should not extract -to later graft- more than half of your hair. For example, in a situation of moderate alopecia, it could be transplanted safely around its eighth part, which translates into 12,500 follicles or 3,000 to 4,000 units.

The image of capillary abundance is related to the inequality between the color of the scalp and the hair, but, above all, to the density of the hair, which in turn depends on:

  • The amount of hairs.
  • The thickness of each strand.
  • The tonality that it presents.
  • Its structure: if it is smooth, curled, etc.

Why is it difficult to specify the number of units in an implant?

The patterns of male alopecia are, unfortunately, growing. That is, although hair loss may experience some deceleration after 40 years, it will not completely cease, which is why the planning prior to surgery must ensure the naturalness of the results despite the passage of time.

How many follicular units are needed for capillary grafting is one of the main aspects to be addressed before a capillary graft.

An increasing number of young people who have not reached their thirties are requesting to undergo a capillary surgery. However, patients of this nature, whose hair loss is still moderate, must understand that at this point the definitive evolution of their baldness cannot be determined.

Therefore, these patients need to be assessed carefully. Only in this way could a well-founded conclusion be reached as to whether it’s more convenient to opt for a conventional hair treatment or opt for hair implant surgery. In any case, the visit to a good specialist will always be of great help.

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