When a hair transplant is eligible
Light spots, receding hairlines or a balding baldness used to be part of getting older. Fate, nothing to do. It's different today.
For example, doctors can transplant hair from one part of the body to another. But the method has its pitfalls. It is not suitable for everyone, should only be done by specialists - and it is expensive.
In a so-called own hair transplantation own hair roots are removed from a densely hairy head zone and transplanted into bald spots, explains Frank G. Neidel, President of the Association of German Hair Surgeons (VDHC).
Whether such a treatment comes into question depends, among other things, on the cause of the hair loss. "In addition to hereditary hair loss and hormone fluctuations during menopause, the causes can be certain illnesses, malnutrition or medicines," explains Anke Kapels of Stiftung Warentest.
If there is a disease behind the hair loss, the hair will eventually grow again. Therefore, sufferers should have the cause clarified by a doctor, says Klaus Walgenbach, Medical Director of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery at the University Hospital Bonn and spokesman for the Center of Competence located there hair.
The second prerequisite is that there are still enough sufficiently functioning hair follicles with hair roots. Finally, only what is still available can be transplanted. Usually the doctor finds hair roots on the head in the lateral and posterior hair ring, which can then usually be transplanted everywhere where a denser hairiness is desired.
"It is important to provide intensive consultation and information to the patient before the procedure," explains Walgenbach. A hair transplant is not always recommended. If, for example, balding is already well advanced, there simply can not be enough donor hair for adequate coverage.
If the patient and doctor decide on the procedure, it will be done on an outpatient basis. The patient is put into a twilight sleep. With local anesthesia, the doctor removes healthy hair-producing roots from the hair wreath and transplants them into hairless regions.
After that nothing happens. The hair roots rest, after two to six weeks, the first fine hairs fall out again. About three to four months later, the roots set off and produce strong hair, which is then permanently preserved. But for ever and ever the result does not necessarily last. "The younger the patient is in surgery, the higher the follow-up costs," says Neidel. Hair loss is a lifelong process.
The cost of a hair transplant is several thousand euros, the exact amount depends on the individual case. As a rule, the health insurance companies do not grant subsidies. Foreign institutions often advertise on the Internet at much lower prices - but caution is required. There are also charlatans in Germany. But at least there is the possibility in this country, to obtain information from the doctor's office about the attending physician.