What is an eyebrow transplant?
An eyebrow transplant is a cosmetic procedure where hair grafts (plugs) are transferred to your brow area. This goal is that new hairs will grow from these grafts, producing a fuller look. Eyebrows constitute a very important and prominent feature of the face. With growing information, eyebrow transplant has become a popular procedure. However, though it is a small area it requires a lot of precision and knowledge regarding anatomy, designing of brows, extraction and implantation technique.
The most common indications of eyebrow transplant are cosmetic such as congenital absence or inadequate coverage, of a normal appearing eyebrow requiring darker colour or an uneven eyebrow with lack of lateral third or medial portion. The other common indications are trichotillomania, scar due to trauma, burn or tumours, stable alopecia areata, madarosis due to hypothyroidism, leprosy, etc.
A right candidate is one who has realistic expectations, understands limits in density achieved, has a pronounced defect than purely cosmetic purposes and stable or treated disease.
The patient should be counselled regarding the limit of density achieved in a single session and requirement of a repeat session if desired density is not achieved. The patient should also be counselled regarding need for doing make-up using eye brow pencil to enhance the results achieved. Furthermore, there will be some misdirection in 10%–15% follicles and trimming would be regularly required (biweekly in most). However, growth rate may get synchronised with time due to recipient codominance.
The actual procedure is similar to a traditional hair transplant .Previously, hair-bearing superficial temporal artery island flap leading to brush looking eyebrow and whole strip grafting causing poor growth were used.Neither the desired growth nor desired direction was achieved with either of these primitive techniques. Follicular unit transplant (FUT) has been used for a long time using single hair grafting.
The method utilized in eyebrow transplantation is the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique that requires follicular unit grafts to be extracted from the donor site before transplantation. Each hair follicle is carefully implanted back one at a time under the same angle and direction as the existing eyebrow hairs.
for brow transplant. However, with growing advent of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), brow transplant can be done easily without the unease of any sutures and with minimal downtime. There has been use of artificial hair implantation for eyebrow reconstruction, especially in cases where donor area is not available, for example, alopecia universalis.Eyebrow hair grafts are taken from hairs above your ears. A surgeon transfers not just the individual hairs, but the hair follicles, too. This helps to ensure that new hairs are able to grow in your eyebrows once the initial transferred ones fall out. After you’re given a local anesthetic, a technician or surgeon will make small incisions at the follicle donor sites, as well as at the sites of transplantation in your brows. The entire process takes about 2-3 hours.
Usually, the patient is first asked to recreate the eyebrow known as desired eyebrow. Then, an effort is made to have active inputs from the patient to choose from desired brow, ideal brow and individualised brow. It eliminates the gap between expectation and outcome leading to more happy patients later. Pre-cut eyebrow templates are also available but they are usually not preferred as it leads to formation of less aesthetic eyebrows.
Special precaution should be taken for ensuring symmetry of eyebrows. After finalising the shape, mark the normal eyebrow on one side. This marking is then transferred to a sterile Telfa pad by applying moderate pressure which is then cut along the markings, and a template is obtained. This is then reversed horizontally and placed over the opposite brow area at desired height and position and the new brow is marked.
Post – Transplantation:
Recipient areas are kept open and donor area dressing is done for 2 days. Liposomal ATP in normal saline (1:10 ratio) is given as a spray every 2–3 hourly. Bruise and swelling can last for few days. Antibiotics, painkillers and oral steroids day are given for initial 3–5 days.
The patient can start doing make-up on the periorbital area from the next post-operative day and in the eyebrows after all crusts have fallen off. Hair wash starts after 3rd post-operative day, that is, after removal of dressing .After that, you should use a suitable lotion or cleanser prescribed by your doctor to wash your face and eyebrows.
. Initially, almost all brow transplanted hair fall due to anagen effluvium. Hair regrowth begins at 3–4 months. In next 4–6 months, number increases leading to increased density. Patients are instructed to apply hair gel from 3-week onwards to train misdirected hairs. No touch-up session are done before 9 months of transplant.
In the first few weeks after eyebrow transplantation, it is better not to expose yourself to sunlight as much as possible and to avoid activities that lead to sweating of the face and eyebrows.
Advantages & Disadvantages:
Proponents of eyebrow hair transplants note that the new hairs look natural because they’re your own. The procedure may also limit the need for brow makeup. An eyebrow transplant may offer long-term results if you’re not happy with the look of your eyebrows and want a more permanent solution. However, results can vary, and there’s always a risk of side effects with cosmetic surgery. This is true even with a procedure as seemingly simple as an eyebrow transplant.Weigh all your options carefully and ask your doctor for advice. If you do decide to go forward with an eyebrow transplant, take time to research .
However, there are also reported downsides to this procedure. For one, it’s costly. It can also take several months until the new follicles “take” so that you see full results. Finally, there’s a chance that these new follicles won’t produce new hairs.
What’s the recovery like for an eyebrow transplant?
The recovery period for an eyebrow transplant is relatively quick. You’ll notice some scabbing around the brows within the first few days. It’s important to not pick at these.You may need to avoid power exercise for up to 3 weeks following your surgery. Call your surgeon if you experience any bleeding, swelling, or pus at the site.You’ll start to see the transplanted hairs fall out after a few weeks. This is completely normal. Your new brow hairs should start to grow over the next several months. In the meantime, you may need to trim the transplanted hairs to brow length.