What is eyebrow transplant?
Eyebrow transplant is a cosmetic procedure where hair grafts (plugs) are transferred to an area on the brows. This goal is for new hairgrowth from these grafts, resulting in a fuller look. Eyebrows constitute a very important and prominent feature of the face. With growing research and technology, eyebrow transplant has become a popular procedure. Athough it is a small area, it requires a lot of precision and knowledge regarding anatomy, eyebrow design, extraction, and implantation technique.
The most common indications of a needed eyebrow transplant are cosmetic. This can include congenital absence or inadequate hair follicle coverage, an eyebrow in need of a darker color tone, or an uneven eyebrow with a lack of the third lateral or medial portion. Other common indications are trichotillomania, scar due to trauma, burn or tumors, stable alopecia areata, madarosis due to hypothyroidism, leprosy, etc.
A suitable candidate is one who has realistic expectations, understands the limitations of the procedure, has a pronounced defect or a stable or treated disease.
The patient will be consulted regarding the amount of hair density transfer in a single session and the possibility of other sessions in the event that the full outcome is not achieved. The patient will also be consulted about the usage of makeup with an eyebrow pencil to enhance the achieved results. In 10%–15% of the hair follicles, trimming will be regularly required (biweekly in most). However, growth rate may become synchronized in time due to a recipient’s codominance.
The procedure is similar to a traditional hair transplant . Suprficial hairs were previously used which would result in bushy and false looking eyebrows which would also result in poor follicle growth. Neither desired results nor desired application was achieved in the previous method.
Follicular unit transplant (FUT) has now been used for a long duration using single hair grafting techniques. This method utilized in eyebrow transplantation is the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique that requires follicular unit grafts to be extracted from the donor site previous to transplantation. Each hair follicle is carefully under the same angle and direction as the existing eyebrow hairs.
With the growing advent of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), brow transplant can be easily preformed 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 hair donor areas are not available, alopecia universalis for instance. Eyebrow hair grafts are taken from the hairs above the ears. A surgeon transfers not just the individual hairs but the hair follicles. This helps to ensure that new hairs are able to grow in the eyebrows once the ones initially transferred shed. After given a local anesthesia, a technician or surgeon will conduct small incisions at the follicle donor sites as well as on the eyebrow transplantation sites. The entire procedure takes about 2 to 3 hours.
The patient is initially asked to recreate a desired eyebrow design. Then, a discussion will be conducted for a patient to select a desired eyebrow, ideal eyebrow, and individualized eyebrow. It eliminates the gap between expectations and outcomes which results in a happier patient. Pre-cut eyebrow templates are also available but are usually not preferred as it results in the formation of less appealing eyebrows.
Special precaution should be taken to ensure eybrow symmetry. Upon shape finalization, the untouched eyebrow is marked on the opposite side. This marking is transferred to a sterile Telfa pad with the application of moderate pressure which is then cut along the markings and results in a template . The template is horizontally reversed and placed over the opposite eyebrow area at the desired height and position. The new eyebrow site is then marked.
Recipient areas will remain open while dressing will be applied to donor areas for 2 days post-surgery. Liposomal ATP in normal saline (1:10 ratio) is given as a spray every 2 to 3 hours. Bruising and swelling may last upto a few days. Antibiotics, painkillers, and oral steroids are also prescribed for the initial 3 to 5 days.
The patient can apply makeup on the periorbital area from the next post-operative day and in the eyebrow area after all crusts have shed. Hair rinse is permitted 3 days post-surgery, that is, after dressing removal., A suitable lotion or cleanser will then be prescribed by your doctor for face and eyebrow wash.
almost all brow hair transplants fall due to anagen effluvium. Hair regrowth commences at 3 to 4 months. 4 to 6 months post-surgery, the brow growth increases leading to an increased density. Patients are instructed to apply a hair gel from the 3rd week onwards to tame misdirected hairs. No touch-up session are performed previous to 9 months of transplant.
It is best not to expose oneself to sunlight and avoid activities that lead to sweating of the face and eyebrows in the first few weeks after eyebrow hair transplant.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Eyebrow hair transplant patients note that the new hairs look natural because since they’re one’s own. The procedure may also limit the need for eyebrow makeup application. An eyebrow transplant may offer long-term results for those who’re not happy with the look of their current eyebrows and want a more permanent makeup-less solution. However, keep in mind that results can vary and cosmetic surgeries always accompany a risk of side effects. This is true even with a procedure as seemingly simple as an eyebrow transplant. Carefully weight your options and seek advice from a doctor . If you do decide to go forward with an eyebrow transplant make sure to dedicate time for research .
There are also reported downsides to the following procedure. For one, it’s costly. It can also take several months until the new follicles take form in order to witness full results. There’s also the chance that the new follicles won’t produce new eyebrow 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 not to pick at these sites. Physical exercises should be avoided for up to 3 weeks following surgery. Call your surgeon if you experience any bleeding, swelling, or pus at the site. It is completely normal to see transplanted hair shed after a few weeks of surgery. New eyebrow hairs generally start to grow over the next several months. In the meantime, you may need to trim the transplanted hairs to suit your own eyebrow length.