The Donor Area in Hair Transplant Operations

Hair transplantation operations are becoming more popular every day. More and more people are having hair transplants to get rid of the issue of balding. One of the topics hair transplantation candidates curious about is the donor area.

The donor area is the area from which the plastic surgeons extract grafts to plant to the patient’s balding area. Theoretically, any surface on your body that contains hair can be used as a donor area. Your chest, legs, and arms have many hairs that can be used to treat your baldness. Even your beard can be used in some cases. But this is not preferable in practice. The structure of the hair located in these areas we have mentioned is different from the scalp hair. They can still be used in operations. But the results may differ depending on the patient’s hair structure.

Most Suitable Donor Area

So, where is the most suitable place to harvest donor grafts? Plastic surgeons usually prefer the hair located on the sides and back of the patient’s head. There are two reasons for this. The hair structure is the same throughout the head. And these hairs are inherently resistant to falling out. So, they provide permanent results to the patients.

However, there are several factors concerning the donor area that affect how the results will look like. Your donor area, or your nape, has to be dense enough to support for your balding area. The denser donor area means better coverage. But the quality of your grafts matters a lot too. If the quality of your grafts is low, this means your grafts have fewer hair follicles in each one of them. If the quality is high, then you will have better results.

Extraction Process

Plastic surgeons extract the required grafts during the first half of the transplantation operation. They will apply local anaesthesia to your scalp prior to the operation so that you don’t feel any pain. In the older FUT method, the surgeon will have to cut a strip from your donor area. The staff then will process this strip and prepare it for the operation by cutting It into tiny pieces. In the more advanced FUE method however, the surgeon picks each graft one by one using a special pen-shaped device.

Healing Period of the Donor Area

The healing period of your donor area changes depending on the method used in the operation. The FUT method requires stitching, so, it takes longer for your donor area to heal. It leaves permanent scars on the back of your head. In the FUE method, the donor area will completely heal within two weeks.