I am approaching the 3 months mark post ARTAS® robotic (FUE) hair transplant. Should I see more growth?
Q: I had 2,400 grafts in Oct. 2014 to my crown, temples and forelock. Healing exceptionally well: most grafts did not shed, recipient area redness is gone, donor area was undetectable within 10 days. At 1 month follow-up, surgeon stated I was healing better than anyone he had seen. Had 3 month today and he said the same. Have had acne in the recipient areas. Haven’t noticed much in the way of growth yet. The grafts that did not shed grew slightly in the first month, but not since. Should I be concerned?
A: (by Dr. Ken Anderson, MD) You should expect to see continued growth for 12 months after an ARTAS® (or any) hair restoration.
A hair transplant procedure, whether performed with a linear strip method, or with an FUE procedure, as the ARTAS® System performs, places a physiologic shock on the hairs being transplanted. Think about what the follicles go through: they are removed from the scalp, and their blood supply, then placed into a tissue bath that is cool, around 4 degrees C. Then the follicles are replaced back into the scalp. There are several different types of micro-injuries that the follicles endure, one is due to the cooling of the grafts to slow their metabolism while they are outside of the body, and another one occurs when the follicles are replaced back into the scalp, and it’s called a “perfusion-reperfusion injury.” This causes many of the transplanted follicles to come out of their growth phase (anagen) and enter the shedding phase (telogen). The resting phase of hair follicles on the scalp is roughly 3-8 months long. The hairs that shed out after being transplanted will return slowly, and asynchronously from month 3 to about month 8. Some even experience growth for fully 12 months.
I tell my patients to pretend that every day from the day of surgery to one year from that day is like a long movie, with each day being a single frame in this movie. We won’t know exactly how the movie ends until the movie ends. Further, it’s different each and every single day as the follicles slowly re-enter the growth phase from month 3 to about month 8. So, in the next 3-5 months you should expect significant growth.