Many patients with hair loss issues who want to have hair transplant surgery are disappointed to find out from their hair restoration physician that they aren’t a good candidate for the procedure. There are several reasons why an individual may not be suited for transplant surgery, but perhaps the most common one is an insufficient amount of suitable donor hair that can be taken from the scalp.
Quite simply, you can’t have a hair transplant without hair to transplant. Typically, donor hair is harvested from areas of the scalp with robust growth and subsequently transplanted to balding or thinning areas. But for many individuals, their hair loss has progressed to the point that there isn’t enough hair on their scalp to extract and use in a transplant.
Fortunately, advances in technique and technology have made it possible for some hair loss sufferers to use hair from other parts of the body – such as the beard, chest, arms, or legs – in hair restoration surgery. Body Hair Transplants (BHT), while remaining a relatively low percentage of all transplant procedures, offers hope for those who may need supplemental donor hair to add to hair harvested from their scalp.
BHT and FUE
The reason that BHT is now a potential hair restoration tool is because of three other letters: FUE. That stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. FUE is a minimally invasive procedure and the primary transplant surgery we perform at the Miami Hair & Skin Institute. When we use precise, computer-assisted FUE to remove donor hair follicles from the scalp, we do not leave behind linear scars, one of the main impediments that has long limited the appeal of BHT.
In an FUE procedure, selected follicular units to be harvested are precisely removed from the donor area with an image-guided 0.8-1-millimeter circular tool in a scattered pattern, leaving most donor area hair in place so that it retains its original natural appearance. Because scars are tiny and dot-like, the donor area on patients who undergo a hair transplant should look unscathed.
Now, using FUE, we can similarly harvest hair from other body areas without leaving behind a visible, unattractive scar. We can leverage the advantages of FUE either alone or in conjunction with scalp hair in advanced cases of baldness, for improving the aesthetic appearance of hairlines, and in scarring alopecia when there is an insufficient amount of donor scalp hair.
Your hair transplant surgeon may consider BHT if:
- You are relatively hirsute with adequate terminal hairs over your beard, chest, legs, arms, and other body parts.
- Your androgenetic alopecia is in an advanced stage and the donor hair on your scalp is inadequate to provide complete or sufficient coverage.
- You have exhausted available scalp donor hair in a previous restoration surgery, with inadequate coverage of existing bald areas requiring more follicular units.
Call the Miami Hair & Skin Institute Today to Learn More About Body Hair Transplants
If you would like to learn more about body hair transplants and whether it can contribute to solving your hair loss issues, we invite you to schedule a hair loss evaluation at the Miami Hair & Skin Institute. Contact us online or call our office at 305-925-0222 today.