Suffering from hair loss? You may be a good candidate for FUE hair transplant procedure
FUE hair transplant is a technique we have been using for years to restore thinning hair in men and women. FUE, also known as Follicular Unit Extraction hair transplant, redistributes permanent, healthy hairs from what Dr. Harold Ma calls the “SAFE or PERMANENT ZONE” at the back of the head where healthy permanent hair is abundant, to the more needy areas of your scalp, such as the front and top.
As a result, hairs from the PERMANENT ZONE are able to give you long lasting hair results when transplanted properly. At Freia, we utilize this fact to restore thicker, natural hair, even if you have been balding for years. Think Hair, Think Dr. Harold
Hair restoration starts with properly diagnosing the type and severity of hair thinning. We use the Norwood-Hamilton classification scale for males and the Ludwig-Savin classification system for females. Take a look in the mirror and see which grading you fall under.
If you are suffering from hair loss, the next step is in determining the number of grafts needed to cover the thinning areas with a hair design that is both youthful and natural. Those who never knew you would never know you had a hair restoration procedure, unless you tell them.
Dr. Harold Ma’s Hair Transplantation process is a relatively simple outpatient procedure. From start to finish, it will normally take two to nine hours, depending on number of grafts and difficulty of the case. Most patients find the procedure to be highly comfortable and many say it is painless. Like other minimally-invasive procedures, hair restoration follows a complete pre-op evaluation including the patient’s family, medical history, a proper scalp examination and evaluation as well as discussion of goals and longer term planning. Blood tests are routinely performed pre-operatively with our partner laboratories.
What is Hair Transplantation?
Our hair transplant procedue is a low risk, minimally invasive, highly predictable surgical procedure, involves moving healthy hair follicles from one site of the scalp to another. In other words, Dr. Ma moves hair from an area where hair is more plentiful and less likely to be lost (safe zone) to areas where hair is thinning or missing. As technology and surgical skills have advanced, it is now possible to achieve natural-looking and long-lasting results. Three methods are used at Freia, namely;
1) Strip method (sometimes referred to as follicular unit transplantation or FUT).
As the name implies, the strip method involves taking a strip of healthy hair from the back of the head. The scalp is then carefully and meticulously stitched to close the space where the strip was removed. The wound heals very well in the majority of patients to leave a very inconspicuous line. However, the strip method is much less popular nowadays as most patients do not like the idea of cutting deep into their scalp, stitching and potentially leaving a long linear scar, not to mention prolonged wound pain.
2) Traditional Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique (no linear scar, only micro dots). Due to the significant improvements to surgical techniques and instrument design, FUE has largely replaced the strip method for hair transplant. The outdated concepts that FUE is inferior to FUT no longer holds true. In fact, it was reported by the ISHRS that for the first time, the number of FUE procedures surpassed FUT. We believe this trend will continue as more patients discover the advantages FUE has over FUT.
3) The digital high precision technology: The ARTAS 3K Robotic Transplant System (no linear scar, only micro dots) click here to find out more.
While hair transplantation is most often used to restore a thinning hairline in suitable individuals, there are also many other applications that have been successfully performed at Freia. These include improving thin eyebrows (Dr. Harold Ma has specially developed a technique called “long hair FUE” for eyebrow transplant), correcting scars in the scalp, be it due to trauma or from previous FUT hair transplants. Increasingly, we also get requests to perform hair transplant for facial hair/beard or side-burns.
We also perform hair transplant procedures for sexual reassignment patients, usually to create a more feminine hair line in male-to-female reassignment patients.
Our hair technicians will then prepare the grafts by dissection under high-powered microscope magnification. The hair grafts contain between 1 to 4, sometimes 5 hair follicles. The next process involves planting the hair grafts into the recipient area. The entire process is performed under local anaesthesia, so it is highly comfortable and tolerable. As part of our regular internal audit and patient feedback, 9 out of 10 patients report little to no pain, and not requiring any pain killers post op. We hope to publish these findings and protocols in time.
Call us to see how we can help restore a more youthful hairline today! 6735-8180
Step 1: Follicular Extraction – Using instruments specially designed to remove each hair graft individually, we can avoid the linear scar normally associated with the FUT method. In addition, the rate of hair transection is minimized so your precious grafts are fully utilized. We are using the finest possible instruments (less than 1mm in diameter) to minimize any scarring to the harvest area. The result is that even experts struggle sometimes to see where hair was harvested from.
Step 2: Follicle Inspection – the individual hair grafts are carefully checked under high-powered magnification and stored in special Hypothermasol solution (not regular normal saline) at precisely regulated temperatures for better graft survival and quality.
Step 3: Site Making – Dr. Harold Ma personally makes all the sites where the hair grafts will be planted. The angles, direction and distribution of grafts are critical to get the most natural appearance, the best possible density and the highest chance of grafts survival. This crucial step is not left to technicians or nurses, which some centres are known to do.
Step 4: Dr. Harold Ma “No Touch Implanting” – The harvested hair grafts are implanted skilfully (using our “no-touch” technique) into the recipient site. The “no-touch” technique is unique because the hair bulbs, which is the critical factory of the hair shaft, is protected from trauma and stress typical of older methods of implantation.
Step 5: Bandaging of scalp to protect grafts for 24 hours, then removal of bandage the next day for wound recovery laser treatment.
The advantage of FUE is that it does not leave any noticeable linear scar on the back of the scalp, where the hairs were harvested. You can normally keep your hair very short with FUE. On the other hand, even under the best stitching technique, the strip method will leave a very faint and inconspicuous line on the back of the scalp, where the strip of hair was harvested. The pain levels are much lower compared with the strip method.
We firmly believe that the FUE technique is better for the following reasons:
We are very excited to introduce the ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant system (Robotic FUE) since 2013.
As the hair grafts are extracted from the back of the scalp, they will usually come in groups of between 1 to 4 hair follicles. Our nursing staff will group them according to the number of hair follicles.
In good hair design, hair grafts with one hair follicle are good for creating a soft natural front hair line. The 2’s and 3’s are best used further back in the main body of hair to create the natural and dense full volume.
At Freia, we believe patients should pay only for the number of grafts transplanted. Ultimately, it’s what goes into your head that counts. We want you to get the maximum value out of your surgical procedure.
Dr. Ma also firmly believes in forward planning. He will guide you on the actual number of grafts to use for the best effect, and not waste precious grafts in case they are needed a few years down the road.
In the early days when FUE was first developed, some hair transplant surgeons would try extracting a few hair grafts to ascertain suitability for FUE. This is known as the Fox test. Nowadays, we find that this is largely unnecessary as we have the necessary tools and skills to deal with even the most challenging cases. This means obtaining good quality grafts predictably, with low transection rates.
Other applications for FUE hair transplant
Natural long lasting results
Gone are the days of the “plugs.” Modern technology today helps you achieves a natural look and this is made possible by a better understanding of the scalp and hair biology, refined surgical techniques and ever-improving surgical instruments. Hair line design is crucial to achieve that natural look. The scars from our techniques are hardly perceptible and none will ever know you had any surgery done.
Speak to Dr. Harold Ma today to see if you are a suitable candidate.
The Freia Promise
At Freia, you can be assured of the highest standards in hair transplant technology and skills. Here are some reasons why you have peace of mind when you choose your hair transplant procedure with us:
Since 2006, Dr. Ma has had years of experience in treating hair-loss, and he has honed his hair transplantation skills through extensive travels across the globe, from the US to Europe and even our neighbours in Asia. A firm understanding of Asian hair type has helped him and his team combine the best of both worlds: the latest in international hair restoration standards and hairline design and the most appropriate techniques suited to Asian hair types. Come and see our large portfolio of actual before and after photos in clinic.
Call us to see how we can help restore your hairline today! +65-6735-8180
I am an international patient considering Dr. Harold Ma’s FUE procedure. How long should I plan my stay?
Our regional and international clients typically spend a minimum of 3 days in Singapore: Arrive in Singapore and check in to the hotel on the first day, have the FUE procedure on day 2 at 9am, go back to rest in the hotel in the late afternoon, return for a review on day 3, before flying home.
Our staff are fluent in Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin, Thai, Filipino and Burmese. You can have a Skype consultation with Dr. Ma prior to your arrival, to have all your concerns and questions answered.
You have a choice of all 3 techniques of hair transplant at Freia: The traditional Strip/FUT, FUE or the ARTAS Robotic FUE procedure, so you can make a balanced, informed decision on what is best for you. Think Hair, Think Dr. Harold.
Through the years, Dr. Ma has had the privilege of meeting, learning from and discussing the finer points of the art of restorative techniques with surgeons the world over. They include renowned doctors from USA and Europe, who have been in this field for close to 20 years. We would like to give special mention and thanks to Dr Robert Haber, Dr Matt Leavitt, Dr Ron Shapiro, Dr Marc Dauer and Dr Sundarason, just to name a few.
Starting from January 2017, Dr Ma is honoured to be a Clinical Investigator collaborating with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) on hair biology.
In less than 2 months, we have seen positive breakthroughs such as the expansion of primary keratinocytes where cells were seen migrating out of the follicles.
Through this collaboration, we are poised to unlock the final mysteries of hair loss and hopefully put Singapore on the map for hair loss research.