The Telegraph
Saturday , February 22 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Hair raising treatment at hand
- Health hub to charge less than private hospital for transplant facility

Receding hairlines would soon be a thing of the past. If doctors at PMCH are to be believed, the health hub would launch a hair transplant facility — a first for any government hospital in the state.

Dr Amar Kant Jha Amar, superintendent, Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) told The Telegraph: “We would soon start hair transplant at the hospital. The plastic surgery department recently did a hair transplant on a patient around one-and-a-half months back. To my knowledge, this was for the first time that hair transplant was done at the hospital. However we want to make this a regular facility at PMCH. So we have decided to start hair transplant facility at our department.”

He added: “Doctors of the plastic surgery and the skin departments know how to do a hair transplant.”

Talking about the hair transplant procedure, Amar said: “Hair is taken from the area of the scalp having dense hair and it is transplanted in the bald region. Hair strands are transplanted at a fixed distance so that they grow properly. Transplanted hair takes three to six months to grow. The donor area is not visible. The only evidence of surgery is a thin line under the hair, which grows vertically on the back of the head.”

He added: “The whole procedure takes 5-6 hours. Patients can go home the same day or the very next day. The procedure doesn’t require any specific instrument. All the instruments used in normal skin surgeries are used in hair transplant procedure.”

Amar said while one has to shell out Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for the procedure in private hospitals, at PMCH, one would have to spend less.

“At PMCH, most of the treatments are provided free of cost to the patients or they are made available to them on subsidised rates. One thing is for sure that patients would avail this treatment at a very low cost.” said superintendent Amar.

When The Telegraph asked him about conditions in which the hairfall occurs, he replied: “There are internal factors as well as external, which are responsible for hairfall. Internal factors include fungal infections, hormonal changes, allergic reactions of some particular drug, diseases like cancer (after chemotherapy) and hereditary reasons. One of the external factors, which can lead to hairloss is dandruff, while in certain diseases like typhoid and hypothyroid, it occurs. Excessive use of cosmetics, shampoo, conditioners and straightening can also cause damage and hairfall. During straightening of hair, the heat damages the protein content in the hair causing it to fall. So one should avoid all these.”

There are two main ways in which donor grafts are extracted in today’s age — strip excision harvesting and follicular unit extraction.

Modern transplant techniques began in Japan in the 1930s, where surgeons used small grafts, and even “follicular unit grafts” to replace damaged areas of eyebrows or lashes, but not to treat baldness.