Everything You Need To Know About DHI Benefits, Risks, & Costs
Once you made the decision to have a hair transplant surgery, you started doing your own research to find out as much as you could about your options. This is a good idea because it means that you will be able to have a more detailed discussion with your hair transplant surgeon to figure out the best option for you. You found plenty of information on FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) hair transplants and suddenly you came upon DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) hair transplants but you couldn't find as much information on it. There's a reason for this - the FUT and FUE hair transplant methods have been around for decades but the DHI method is one of the latest advances in the field of hair transplants.
What Is DHI?
To understand DHI, you first need to know the difference between FUT and FUE - in FUT a strip of tissue with hair follicles is excised from the back of the scalp and the incision is then sutured. Hair follicles are extracted from the strip of skin and implanted into the recipient areas. In FUE, there is no excision but instead, a punch is used to extract follicular units (each with 2-5 hair follicles) and these extracted hairs are then implanted into the recipient areas. FUE allows body to head transplants where hair can be extracted from the chest, back, arms, and legs and implanted into the scalp.
DHI is a type of FUE hair transplant method and the main difference is the way in which the hair is implanted. In an FUE hair transplant, the hair transplant surgeon makes incisions over the entire scalp and places the follicular units into these incisions. However, the DHI hair transplant technique requires the use of a patented tool to implant each hair, one at a time into the scalp without the need for any incisions. Alternatively, a robotic hair transplant system may be used. This system calculates the required depth and angle for each hair follicle which is why it is also known as robotic follicular unit extraction.
The Pros And Cons Of DHI Hair Transplants
It is unwise to focus solely on the benefits of DHI without taking into account the negative aspects of this procedure. In fact, it is wise to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of DHI and other hair transplant procedures with your hair transplant surgeon so that you are aware of all the possible side effects of DHI before making a decision.
The Advantages Of DHI
"The DHI tool ensures that hair extractions are well-distributed so there is minimal risk of DHI scars"
The DHI hair transplant process does not require any incision which means that it does not cause a linear scar as in the case of an FUT hair transplant. FUE can cause small round scars in the areas from which hair is extracted, especially if the extraction points are too close together. However, with a DHI process, the hair extractions are well-distributed and so there is no scaring.
The DHI tool controls the depth, angle and the direction of the implanted hair follicles.
We use another specialised tool, the DHI implanter, to control depth, angle and direction of implant, so your new hairs grow as your natural hairs. There are no stitches and no scars with a DHI Direct Hair Implantation, so you recover quickly.
Highest Graft Quality
A DHI Direct Hair Implantation is a very safe procedure with low risk of complications, and a very high rate (over 90%) of hair survival. Our DHI method is superior to other hair transplant methods currently available so let us show you how the DHI difference can help restoring your hair and your confidence, permanently.
The Disadvantages Of FUE
Slow Process That Can Span Days
"A DHI hair transplant for 3000 grafts can take over 10 hours which is why surgeons give patients an option to divide their treatment into shorter sessions over 2-3 days"
An FUT hair transplant that provides 3000 grafts generally takes about 4 to 6 hours while an FUE hair transplant takes 6-8 hours. However, DHI can take a lot longer which is why patients might need to have shorter sessions over 2-3 days. If you wish to complete the entire DHI procedure in a single day, be warned that the process can last for 10 hours or more.
"DHI is the most expensive hair transplant method as a 3000-graft hair implant can cost approximately 2-3 lakhs"
DHI is considered to be the best hair transplant method but it is also the most expensive as a DHI hair transplant with 3000 grafts can cost approximately 2-3 lakhs. On the other hand, an FUE hair transplant will work out to about 1 lakh while an FUT would be just 60 thousand. The DHI costs are comparatively higher because of the technology that is employed during this process.
The DHI Procedure: What To Expect
There are more DHI hair transplant risks as compared to other hair transplant methods so FUR pre-care commences 14 days before the scheduled date of the procedure. In the 2 weeks prior to your DHI hair transplant procedure, you will need to quit smoking and drinking as these habits will decrease the effectiveness of the hair transplant surgery and increase the risk of DHI side effects. These are the DHI steps that your hair transplant surgeon will follow:
1.The surgeon will trim or shave the donor site and then inject your scalp with a long-acting, local anesthesia. General anesthesia is not required but you may be given a sedative to help you relax since the procedure is quite time-consuming.
2. The hair transplant will then use a scalpel to excise an elliptically shaped strip of tissue from the back of your scalp. The width and length of this strip will be determined by the laxity of your skin at the back of your scalp as well as the number of hair follicles you require. The excised strip has a maximum length of 30 cm and a maximum width of 1.5 cm.
3.The wound will then be sutured using a technique called Trichophytic Closurewhich makes DHI hair transplant scars less visible.
4.The strip is carefully dissected into follicular units by the hair transplant team - each unit is a grouping of 2-4 hair follicles. Every single graft is carefully prepared for the transplantation.
5.The surgeon will make miniuscule incisions in the area to be treated and these hair follicles are then inserted into the incisions. The surgeon can transplant over 3,000 hair grafts in a single session.
6.A semi-permeable dressing is used to cover and protect the donor area. Normally, DHI dressing is removed after 7-10 days. Your surgeon may suggest a tumescent mixture of saline, xylocaine, epinephrine, and triamcinolone as studies show that this method can prevent edema in up to 97.4% of cases.
Who's A Good Candidate For DHI?
DHI is ideal for people with advanced hair loss - especially at their hairline as they require high graft numbers. Men who have hair loss caused by male pattern baldness for 5 years or those who are classified as a Norwood Scale Class 3 or above will benefit from an DHI hair transplant. DHI might also be the only option for men who have not reacted positively to medical treatments for hair loss. DHI can also help people who have lost their hair due to trauma such as burns or lacerations. However, people who are entirely bald would not be considered ideal candidates for an DHI hair transplant surgery.
DHI is an effective hair restorative surgery but it is important to disclose your complete medical history to your surgeon. People who are on certain blood thinners will not be able to opt for this type of hair transplant surgery as the risk of DHI side effects would be much higher for these individuals. It is also important that you have realistic expectations from your DHI surgery. Find out if your surgeon has a portfolio with DHI hair transplant before and after pics so that you have a clear idea of what you can expect from your DHI hair transplant surgery. It's equally important to discuss all the possible side effects of a hair transplant surgery and how you can reduce these risks. Learn everything there is to know about balding treatments so that you can make an informed decision.