Can laser surgery help in hair transplants?

Lasers have been used in hair transplantation since 1992. Initial results were variable (in some cases, using a strong continuous laser beam caused traumatic injuries). The procedure remains controversial today.

The FDA has approved newer and safer technology, especially the use of pulsating lasers. Still, laser surgery isn't a mainstream hair replacement option. The procedure uses a laser's light beam, which is rapidly pulsed up to several hundred times per second. The pulsing avoids heat buildup and preserves vascular layers of scalp.

Each pulse of the laser removes small amounts of bald tissue. Recipient sites generally include holes ranging in size from 0.3 to 0.8 millimeters. After all the recipient sites are finished, a small probe enters the scalp's vascular layer. This procedure must not damage the vascular layer's components.

Pain is reduced by placing an analgesic cream on the scalp followed by a local anesthetic.

The donor area is harvested using simple scalpel techniques (lasers don't do the job here). After donor grafts - or sometimes strips - have been removed, the area is sealed using an infrared coagulation device. The open areas are closed with sutures. The sutures can be removed in about 10 days.

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