How much will treatment cost?
The cost of treatment depends on the nature and extent of the hair loss and what treatment options are best for you.
Consultation with your family doctor or dermatologist for investigation and medical management of hair loss is generally covered by OHIP.
Medical treatment such as Propecia and Minoxidil vary in cost from $25-100 per month depending on the combination and format of medications that are used.
Grafting procedures vary widely in cost depending on the area to be transplanted. More advanced procedures such as scalp-plasty or scalp-reduction operations are assessed on a case-by case basis.
Under some circumstances, elective surgical procedures are deductible from your income as a medical expense. Patients are encouraged to contact their tax-professional.
There are several options for financing elective surgical procedures.
You are encouraged to contact us to arrange an appointment so that your specific questions can be addressed.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is an operation in which hair follicles that are not susceptible to pattern hair loss (usually from the permanent fringe of hair at the back and sides of the head) are relocated to areas of the scalp that are bald, or destined to become bald. Hair can also be transplanted to other areas including the eyebrows, eyelashes, moustache, beard and body.
The field of cosmetic hair transplantation was born in the late 1950’s and has evolved dramatically over the last 50 years. With modern techniques, follicular unit grafting, pluggy, unnatural “doll’s hair” results are a thing of the past. Follicular units are naturally occurring groupings of one, two, three and sometimes four or five hairs.
In a modern hair transplant, follicular units are removed from the back or sides of the scalp to the hairline and other areas of the scalp that exhibit hair loss. Depending on the goals and individual characteristics of each patient, the follicular units from the donor area can be removed all at once in a long strip and then divided into individual follicular units using microscopic surgical dissection. Under some circumstances, the follicular units are removed individually using an alternative technique referred to as follicular unit extraction. Regardless of the technique however, our meticulous cosmetic surgical techniques usually result in virtually undetectable scars.
Once the follicular units have been prepared, precise instruments are then used to create tiny recipient sites in areas of the scalp that are bald (or destined to become bald). The creation of the recipient sites requires surgical skill and artistry in order to achieve a long-term result that will continue to look totally natural even as the patient ages.
Once the recipient sites have been created, the grafts are individually inserted into place. The transplanted hair is your own and will continue to grow for the rest of your life, just as it did in its original location. It can be washed, brushed, cut and styled just like any naturally occurring hair.
Using modern techniques and instrumentation, our team is able to create a natural appearance with the hairline, density and coverage that are appropriate for each individual patient.
Hair transplantation is performed under local freezing with mild sedation in a comfortable office setting.
The side-effects of hair transplantation surgery are relatively minor and serious complications are extremely rare. Modern hair transplantation surgery in our setting is comfortable, predictable, and produces pleasing results.
Does it hurt to have a hair transplant?
Part of our philosophy is that hair transplantation should be a comfortable and virtually pain-free experience. With the use of light sedation, local anaesthetic and gentle and meticulous techniques, the vast majority of patients report that they experience little or no pain. Many actually enjoy the experience, asking questions, chatting with the staff, listening to music, or watching a movie as the procedure progresses.
What if I don’t want to look like I’ve had a hair transplant?
Many potential patients state that the only thing that they would find worse than baldness would be a bad hair transplant. The sight of unacceptable, obvious, pluggy, and frankly embarrassing results produced by older, outdated techniques would give anyone second thoughts.
The field of transplantation has come a long way from the days of “corn-rows” of hair plugs. Grafts have gradually gotten smaller, hairline design more sophisticated, and technology more advanced. The advent of follicular unit transplantation with stereo-microscopic single-hair graft preparation is now generally regarded as the end refinement in surgical technique, able to yield results that are predictable and undetectable. Often, patients’ hair stylists are not able to tell that a transplant has been performed.
What is the difference between “follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS)” and “follicular unit extraction (FUE)”?
Follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) refer to different techniques of harvesting the hairs that are to be used for transplantation.
FUSS involves removing one or multiple strips of donor tissue from the back or sides of the head. This strip is then dissected into smaller grafts, usually individual follicular units, using stereo-microscopes or other high magnification. The resulting wound in the donor area is then meticulously sutured, usually using a cosmetic surgical technique known as “trichophytic closure” which allows adjacent hair to actually grow through the fine linear scar thus rendering it almost completely invisible.
FUE is a different technique whereby individual follicular units are individually extracted from the donor area using a very small cutting tool called a punch. The resulting holes in the donor area are so small that they simply heal over on their own with no need for sutures. The purported advantage to this technique is that unlike in FUSS, there is not a single, long donor scar.
Many centres only offer FUE surgery, aggressively marketing it as a “no-scalpel” technique. This can be misleading for some patients because while strictly speaking, no scalpel is used, FUE is still a surgical procedure requiring similar preparation and having the same (albeit low) potential for complications such as scar formation. It is just that instead of one long incision, hundreds, or even thousands of smaller ones are required.
FUSS and FUE techniques for hair transplantation each have their advantages and disadvantages and can achieve excellent results. Our philosophy is that each candidate for hair restoration should be assessed and the most appropriate technique selected.
Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT)
When examined under a microscope, hair can be seen to grow in natural groupings that usually contain between one and four hairs. These natural groupings are called follicular units (FU’s). When donor hair is divided into grafts for transplantation, preservation of the integrity of these FU’s allows the hair to be transplanted in a way that maintains a very natural appearance. This is in stark contrast to the unacceptable appearance of historical hair transplants that paid no attention to FU groupings and simply inserted coarse plugs which could contain as many as 20-30 random hairs.
The advantage of performing hair transplants using exclusively individual FU’s is that by mimicking nature, unparalleled naturalness can generally be achieved and even a small session can produce a stand-alone result that will continue to look natural, albeit thin, over the patient’s lifetime.
Our ultimate goal is to achieve a satisfying result for our patients.
We believe in a combined approach where the patient’s wishes, as well as technical factors such as hair and skin color, donor supply, hair caliber and curl are taken into account. We strive for an appropriate balance of coverage, density and naturalness for each patient’s hair transplant.
How many procedures will I require?
The number of procedures required depends on several factors including treatment goals, the degree of hair loss, and the availability of donor reserves. Some people are satisfied after only a single procedure, while others will desire further treatment in order to add density, refine the hairline, temples or crown, or to keep up with progressive hair loss over the years.
Regardless of the number of transplant sessions that are ultimately carried out, we design each one as a “stand-alone procedure.” This means that each transplant will be specifically designed to look natural throughout your entire lifetime regardless of the extent of future hair loss or future surgery.
What can I expect after my hair transplant?
Hair transplantation is done as a day surgery procedure with patients able to go home on the same day. In general, no bandages or dressings are required. Most patients have only mild discomfort following a hair transplant and hair can be gently washed on the first day following surgery. Most people choose to take a few days off work but some people resume their normal schedule within 1-2 days. We discourage heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for one week following surgery.
Following a hair transplant, new growth will commence within about 3 months and the transplanted hair then grows at the normal rate of about 1cm per month and continues to thicken over time.