Using this method, following careful anesthesia of the area to make sure it is completely numb from any possible discomfort, a narrow strip of scalp from the permanent zone is removed by Dr. Anderson, and under a dissection microscope, these follicles are separated from each other. Dr. Anderson then closes the incision using a Facial Plastic Surgery technique. After healing, there will be a fine line scar, usually 1-2mm in thickness, in the donor area where the hair was taken. This scar is easily hidden by your existing hair in the donor area. Dr. Anderson then uses highly specialized instruments to create the recipient sites in the areas of hair loss. This needle-like instrument is used to create the recipient sites, which are slightly smaller than the needle a doctor or nurse uses to draw your blood from your arm for blood work labs at regular doctor visits. In short, very small recipient sites are created in the area to be transplanted. Each person has different sized follicles, so Dr. Anderson calibrates the recipient site instrument to the exact size of your individual hair follicle size. As these recipient sites will determine the pattern and direction of the new hair growth, this very critical step is only performed by Dr. Anderson.
The follicular units, or “grafts,” are then placed with surgical precision into the sites prepared for them. The number of grafts transplanted varies from person to person and mainly depends on how much hair you have lost. Typically, around 2,000 grafts, each containing one to three hairs, are transplanted. It is possible to transplant up to 3,500 grafts in a single procedure day.
After the procedure, which typically lasts three to eight hours depending on how much hair is required for transplantation, the patient leaves the office without any bandage and a medical hair-net to cover the newly transplanted hair. Since Dr. Anderson is careful to remove the hair from the head, and not the neck, after the procedure there won’t be any increased pain from turning your head side-to-side or up and down. The skin in the area of the wound moves in tandem on either side of the wound, so there is not stretching or pulling on the wound as it heals. This provides for smaller scars and much less pain than if the follicles were removed from the neck. Most patients are able to return to work the next day, though many decide to take two to three days off from work to allow the follicular unit grafts to securely heal in their new location. If you are traveling and coming in from out of town for your procedure, you are able to fly or drive home the next day. The sutures are removed 10 days following the procedure. If you are traveling for your procedure, know that the sutures can be removed easily by your local doctor. Alternatively, if you prefer, Dr. Anderson can use a dissolvable suture so that there is not a need to return to the Anderson Center for Hair or to your local doctor for suture removal.
Who is a Candidate for the Linear Method?
If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, you are most likely an excellent candidate for the Linear Method. A consultation with Dr. Anderson is always recommended for evaluation of your specific pattern and cause of hair loss.
- Male Pattern Baldness
- Female Pattern Baldness
- Previous Hair Transplant Surgery
- Corrective Hair Restoration Procedures (pluggy grafts, unnatural appearing grafts, etc.)
- High Hairlines