Is hair transplant painful?

  • By Dr. William Yates
  • 19 Oct, 2014

Is hair transplant painful?

If you are one of the many Americans who have been affected by baldness, you are not alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, by the age of 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of hair loss, and by the age of 50, approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. While many people believe baldness only affects men, it’s quite the contrary. In fact, women make up 40% of hair loss sufferers. No matter who you are, hair loss-whether total loss or thinning- can have devastating results on a person’s confidence and self-image.

Does this sound like you? If so, hair transplant surgery may be the best option for you. One of the most common questions for any procedure is “is it painful?” We all know how sensitive our scalps can be- even pulling out a strand of hair can hurt! However, in the case of hair transplant surgery, there is less to fear than you think. Actually, many patients equate this procedure to going to the dentist- possibly in inconvenient, slightly uncomfortable event with the same degree of manageable discomfort.

When the numbing wears off after the surgery, many patients experience a tender, sore scalp while other patients report have no pain at all. With the advancements in technology, there is minimal cutting, resulting in marginal pain, depending on the techniques that are used. That is why it’s imperative to do your research and ask your doctor what method he or she uses. Doctors who use the latest technique use only the follicular unit instead of large amounts of surrounding donor graft tissue.

Remember to do your research, go to your doctor prepared with a list of educated questions, and speak to the doctor’s past patients to hear first-hand accounts of their experiences.

    Dr. William Yates, The Hair Loss Expert.

    By Dr. William Yates 22 Dec, 2017

    In our past blog post , we talked about what is Regenerative Medicine and the role that Stem Cells play. We are now going to explore more about the uses of Regenerative Medicine and its benefits in different medical fields.

    Uses of Regenerative Medicine

    Through the use of stem cell therapy, doctors are developing completely new ways to treat and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, nerve disease, bone and joint conditions. It is also utilized to help Skin Trauma Victims, Skin Aging and Hair Regeneration.



    Skin is our largest organ and it experiences the most exposure over time, hence suffering from aging. As time passes our skin develops fine lines and wrinkles that can successfully be treated with Regenerative Medicine. Injecting the areas to be treated with your own cells yields great results and minimal risks. The most sought after procedures are:

    - Platelet Rich Plasma . Using a sterile tube, your own blood gets spun by a centrifuge in order to separate the components of your blood; blood cells are divided from the plasma which now contains a higher than normal number of platelets, this is known as platelet rich plasma or PRP.

    These platelets are the cells that promote cell growth and regeneration that when injected into the face, neck, hands or desired area, act as a trigger for your skin to generate collagen growth, tissue regeneration, smoothing and tightening your skin, giving it better texture and tone.

    -Fat grafting & Adipose Cell Therapy. This innovative technique allows for a neat transfer of fat which is rich in mesenchymal stem cells. Adipose derived stem cells, are easily separated from fat tissue allowing for a minimally invasive “natural filler” to be used to plump areas of need or fill in lines and aging skin while stimulating growth factors.



    Regenerative Medicine has opened doors to the possibility of replacing damaged organs/cells with healthy ones while overcoming the risks of immunosuppression. In the cosmetic industry, the most sought out regenerative medicine procedures are:

    -Scar Treatment. After trauma, our skin heals itself sometimes leaving scars that can be treated with regenerative therapies followed by the use of Low Level Laser Therapy to promote healing.

    -PRP for Hair Growth. Using the same principle of blood separation by centrifuge, the Platelet Rich Plasma is injected into the scalp activating natural growth factors that stimulate hair growth and slows hair shedding.


    Organ Regeneration

    This process involves delivering specific types of cells to sick or diseased organs with the purpose of regenerating organ function. Bone marrow transplants are the most popular type of regeneration, however as science develops, new and improved ways to apply cell regeneration toward the need of organ transplants and organ donation.


    Regenerative Medicine provides us with the most cost effective with minimal risks and long term solutions for our health, be it cosmetic procedures, hair loss solutions and even life saving outcomes. At Dr. Yates LifeStyle Med we strive to provide our patients with the best quality of care, give us a call to schedule your procedure!

    By Dr. William Yates 08 Dec, 2017

    Regenerative Medicine is a branch of medicine in the areas of tissue engineering and molecular biology, this type of medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged to restore normal function while using your own cells, hence minimizing complications.

    Regenerative medicine has been available since the early 1990s and became widely known with Dr. Haseltine from the University of Wisconsin and John Hopkins Medical School. During research, Dr. Haseltine noted that the cell’s unique ability to regrow had the potential to be used into what we now know as Regenerative Medicine.

    Regenerative Medicine has the potential to curb the costs of general medicine by providing patients a more effective and long-term solution to a better quality of life and even to their cosmetic needs. 

    Stem Cells, what role do they play?

    Stem Cells have the ability to turn into many different types of cells such as: skin cells, tissue cells and so on. Stem Cells are the basis of Regenerative Medicine because of their healing and regeneration properties.

    ´╗┐Want to know more about Regenerative Medicine? 

    Stay tuned, the next post will be about the Uses of Regenerative Medicine.

    By Dr. William Yates 26 Oct, 2017
    Restylane’s main active ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid. This gel form injectable fillers are meant to smooth away facial wrinkles and folds, also provides subtle lip enhancement as well as smoothing lines around lips and can also add lift and volume to cheeks.
    By Dr. William Yates 18 Sep, 2017

    Neuromodulators are injections that once applied, serve as a wrinkle-relaxing. The key ingredient is Botulin Toxin (read more about it here ), a small amount of the neuromodulator is injected directly into the underlying muscle, triggering a gradual relaxation and smooth appearance of the area injected.

    At Dr. Yates LifeStyle Med, we have two types of Neuromodulators available. Botox and Dysport. Cosmetically, these are used to treat wrinkles, frown lines, crow’s feet and other areas where crevices have formed.

    -Made by Allergan
    -Minimally Invasive
    -FULL results can be seen within two weeks
    -FDA approved
    -Results typically last about 3 months

    -Made by Galderma
    -Minimally Invasive
    -Results can be seen 24 to 48 hours
    -FDA approved
    -Results can last between 3-4 months

    To learn more about Botox (click here )

    Dysport has a different process formula than Botox but they target wrinkles in the same way. With both products the results are temporary, however an experienced Injector can maintain positive results with regular treatments approximately every 3 to 6 months.

    To make the best decision about which Neuromodulator would work best for you, a consult with the Injector based on each person’s different needs will help you make the choice.

    You can read more about our Nurse Injector Carol here.

    By Dr. William Yates 21 Aug, 2017

    Hair Loss Awareness Month

    On our previous post , we talked about the Who and the Why for Hair Loss, as a continuation, this week we bring you more information.

    What are the symptoms of Hair Loss?
    When it comes to Head Hair Loss, the thinning appears gradually on top of the head. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead, Women in the other hand, retain the forehead line as the part in their hair starts broadening.
    Patchy and circular bald spots, are not very frequent but can happen and be very itchy and bothersome.

    By the time most patients see a Hair Transplant Surgeon, they have already lost about 50% of hair at an area.

    What to do about Hair Loss?
    Non-Surgical Options:These options are to help retain hair, improve the quality of the hair you are holding and potential regrowth.
    -Minoxidil (Rogaine) , this is an over-the-counter treatment that will increase blood flow as well as oxygen and nutrient delivery to the follicle.
    -Finasteride (Propecia) , this is the only FDA approved oral medication for male pattern baldness. This products works best when used to treat patients with male pattern baldness and has been shown to provide about 30% improvement when used for at least 6 months.
    -Laser Devices are the only FDA approved devices to help with Hair Loss treatment. Low Level Laser Light Therapy promotes tissue repair while helping with regeneration to stimulate cellular activity. This type of therapy has proven highly effective to treat Hair Loss as well as wound healing, nerve regeneration, joint pain relief, and other conditions.
    Low Level Light Therapy, can be used at the Surgeon’s office for treatments that last between 30 to 45 minutes. There are also LLLT devices like the Laser Cap or Capillus Laser that can be bought and used in the comfort of your home.
    -PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) , this procedure is performed at the Doctor’s office where blood is taken from the patient, the blood is then placed on a centrifuge where the blood is separated from the platelets.
    Platelets are high in proteins that accelerate wound healing and regeneration, the Platelet Rich Plasma stimulates the hair follicle to boost up the follicles and helping hair grow longer and thicker.
    -Follicular Micro Pigmentation (Scalp Micro Pigmentation) , is an advanced method of cosmetic pigmentation (similar to tattooing). FMP is done by highly specialized equipment, techniques and an experienced professional to inject pigment into the epidermal level of the scalp in order to replicate the natural appearance of real hair and can be used alone or in conjuction with other treatments.

    Surgical Options:
    -Hair Transplant is a surgical technique that moves hair follicles from one part of the scalp “donor site” to the area in need of hair “recipient site”. Although primarily used to treat male pattern baldness, it is now also used to treat females and the transgender community to achieve the hair line goals they desire.

    Types of Hair Transplant:
    -Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is the old fashion “Strip” surgery where a linear strip of hair gets removed from the donor area and then the follicles get extracted to be implanted into the recipient site. This type of Hair Transplant, leaves behind a noticeable scar and while you get more hair follicles, not all of them are the best quality for transplant.
    -Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a technique where the surgeon removes follicular units containing 1 to 4 hairs using tiny punches of between 0.6mm to 1.0mm in diameter. The surgeon then uses fine needles to puncture the receiving sites and placing them in a customized density and pattern to promote a realistic hair pattern. FUE gives a great result while looking natural and scar free.
    FUE can be done manually by a highly experienced surgeon or by robotic means such as ARTAS or Neograft, however, these have a downside when it comes to the punch size being relatively large when compared to other manual extraction.

    Stay tuned for our next post about Prevention and Products!

    By Dr. William Yates 08 Aug, 2017

    The American Hair Loss Association estimates that around 80 million people in the US alone, are experiencing some type of thinning or hair loss. Due to the amount of people suffering from Hair Loss, the American Academy of Dermatology has designated August as National Hair Loss Awareness Month.

    At Dr. Yates Hair Science, we take our commitment to Hair Restoration very seriously and that’s why we’ve put together a series of posts to explain to you the reasons behind hair loss, all the possible lines of treatment and prevention. Stay tuned for weekly updates during this month to support Hair Loss Awareness Month.

    Who suffers from Hair Loss?
    There are approximately 35 million men and 21 million women suffering hair loss around the world.
    40% of people experience hair loss by age 35
    65% of men experience it by age 60 vs. 80% of women by the same age
    Hair Loss also affects children of all ages.

    Why does Hair Loss Happen?
    -Male Pattern baldness / Female Pattern Thinning (Androgenetic Alopecia): These two account as the number one cause for Hair Loss, the cause of it is genetics/family history. Hair grows in cycles, for sufferers of this type of hair loss, the hair growth cycle begins to slow down and weakens as the hair follicle shrinks, resulting in thinner hair and shorter strands of hair. With time, the cycle of growth fully stops and no new hairs grow.
    -Traction Alopecia: This form of hair loss is primarily caused by constant tension being applied to the hair, although it’s most common in females, males and children can also suffer from it.
    -Scarring Alopecia: This can result in permanent hair loss in the scarred areas. The most common conditions are some forms of lupus and sarcoidosis. For unknown reasons, the body starts forming scar tissue.
    -Alopecia Areata: This is also known as “patchy hair loss” and it’s caused by the body’s autoimmune system attacking hair follicles typically leaving a circular pattern bald spot.
    -Hormonal changes, stress: These changes tend to be temporary. Hair loss due to hormonal imbalances (like pregnancy, hormone therapy, thyroid problems) can be solved by targeting the culprit.
    -Infections: Fungal infections, like Tinea Capitis (Ringworm), are to blame for hair loss (mostly in children), this condition can easily be diagnosed and solved by a Primary Care Provider.
    -Cancer: Cancer treatments can cause people to have hair loss by attacking all cells in the body, hence making the growth cycle of hair break down. This type of hair loss, is not permanent, once the treatments stop, hair generally grows back.

    Come back and find out about what you can do to stop hair loss, prevention, treatment and more, all happening during Hair Loss Awareness Month.

    By Dr. William Yates 31 Jul, 2017

    Botulinum Toxic type A is a neurotoxin protein approved by the FDA to use for temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe facial frown lines and also for other medical uses.

    In 1987 a medical practice split between a Dermatologist and an eye Doctor, noticed that the BOTOX injected near the eyes to treat blepharospasm (uncontrollable eye twitching) was also diminishing the patients’ frown lines, some patients were even asking for it even if the eye twitching wasn’t present. It took a few years for the FDA to approve BOTOX for cosmetic use, but since then, it has become the number 1 non-surgical cosmetic procedure and although providers were targeting mostly females, BOTOX has rapidly become the number 1 cosmetic procedure for males as well.

    Botox is cosmetically used for treatment of wrinkles, most often the wrinkles on forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines. When a wrinkle is injected with BOTOX, the muscle cannot contract, hence softening/disappearing the appearance of the wrinkles.

    How is the BOTOX applied? How soon will I see results?
    BOTOX should only be applied by a Medical Doctor or Registered Nurse, certified and knowledgeable of facial anatomy and neuro-muscular dynamic. All BOTOX applications should be done in a medical setting.

    BOTOX treatments vary in length depending on the areas to be treated, but it is mostly a rapid procedure. The MD or RN will assess your face and ask you to gesture and wrinkle in order to determine where the injections will be best administered at, then they will clean the area to be treated and inject.
    Results are typically seen 24-72 hours and full results within two weeks, the results last between 3 to 4 months depending on the area treated.

    What not to do after?
    Although you can go back to your daily activities, it is advised that you avoid laying down for the next 4 hours and that you don’t touch the treated areas.

    Dr. William Yates is a Board Certified Surgeon, owner of Dr. Yates LifeStyle Med, we thrive in providing our patients with the utmost care and satisfaction. Our team of experts are all medically trained, Allergan trained and our Nurse is a Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses and The Illinois Medspa Association.

    Call us today, to schedule your free consultation!

    By Dr. William Yates 17 Jul, 2017

    With so many people telling you different things, it can be hard to know what is true and what is false in terms of the causes of hair loss. There are a lot of old wives’ tales and you should make sure to know what the truth is so you do not purposefully avoid something you don’t need to.
    A question that people commonly ask is if blow drying your hair can cause you to experience hair loss. The people who believe this may actually avoid drying their hair, but this is actually a myth. You cannot get hair loss by blow drying your hair, but if you blow dry your hair on a daily basis, you can dry out your hair which can cause damage and breakage. However, only the shaft of your hair is impacted when you dry your hair and not the actual hair follicles. You can absolutely still dry your hair, but may want to avoid using the highest heat setting.

    Some people worry that if they wear a hat, they will cause hair loss. There are many reasons that people wear hats, whether it be a fashion statement or to cover up any thinning or balding hair. Unless you are wearing a hat that is too tight and is actually causing a loss of blood circulation to your scalp, you will not be causing any further hair loss. Hats can be worn as often as you like and you do not need to worry that it is causing any hair loss.

    Another common question that people ask if is shampooing your hair every day will cause your hair loss to speedup. This is also a myth. The hair loss process will not be accelerated by using too much shampoo, but you can damage your hair shaft. Your hair can become greasy very quickly if you use too much shampoo. It is often advised that people should only wash their hair every other day to keep it healthy, but this will depend on the person.

    Stress is known to have a lot of negative effects on our health and most likely you have heard that it can cause hair loss. This is actually true. However, hair loss that is associated with stress is usually only temporary and once the stress is assuaged, the hair growth will return to its normal rate.

    Genetics and hair loss are said to be connected and many people want to know if heredity is causing their hair loss. This absolutely is a cause of hair loss for some people. Although not all cases of hair loss will be caused by genetics, this is a very common cause of hair loss for both men and women. Hair loss can be inherited from both your mother and father’s side of the family.

    Hair loss can be an emotional and traumatic experience for both men and women. The good news is that there are many different hair loss treatments available. If you are experiencing some thinning hair or balding you would like to learn more about what hair loss treatments would be a good solution for you, you can contact the experienced hair loss physician, Dr. Yates. He will be able to determine what is causing your hair loss and will let you know what your options are for treatment.

    By Dr. William Yates 22 Jun, 2017

    It has often been said that stress can cause your hair to turn gray, and although there is not necessarily hard proof of that, stress definitely is a main reason why so many people suffer from hair loss. There seems to be more and more stress on men and women these days and these growing levels of anxiety are causing more people to seek treatment for their hair loss.

    So how exactly does stress cause hair loss? Fortunately, if you are only experiencing low levels of stress, you are not going to lose your hair because of it. Hair loss caused by stress comes from a larger stressful experience or incident.

    There is also not just one factor of why stress can cause hair loss, but is actually a combination or several factors. When you are under a great deal of stress, your body produces more adrenaline and any excess adrenaline that your body does not use is converted into cholesterol. When you have raised levels of cholesterol, it increases your level of testosterone. For people with a sensitivity to testosterone, it can negatively impact their hair follicles.

    Your immune system can suffer if you are feeling stress or anxiety, and this makes you more susceptible to getting an illness or an infection. This can impact your hair’s growth cycle, since the average person has 90% of their hair in the growing cycle, which will usually last a few years before it goes into a resting stage and then falls out. On average, people lose 100 hairs each day, but if your hair’s growing cycle is disrupted, it can cause more hairs than usual to go into the resting phase, and can also cause a lot of hair to fall out all at once. This will usually happen around 2 months after a stressful event or an illness.

    Most people who suffer from this type of hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, only experience temporary hair loss and their hair will usually resume its normal growth cycle once they alleviate the cause of their stress. Once you have gotten rid of your stress, you should notice significant improvements in your overall health, in addition to your hair growth.

    If you have already started to notice thinning hair or bald spots, if you continue to look at your hair in the mirror to check if it has gotten worse, you will only be adding to your stress. There are excellent hair loss treatments available that can restore your confidence, such as scalp micropigmentation.

    If you are experiencing some thinning hair or balding you would like to learn more about scalp micropigmentation, you can contact the experienced hair loss physician, Dr. Yates. He will be able to determine what is causing your hair loss and will let you know what your options are for treatment.

    By Dr. William Yates 13 Jun, 2017

    Many transgender persons who decide to undergo surgery during their transition elect to have hair transplants in addition to other procedures and therapies. There are a lot of things to consider when performing transplants on trans individuals, so finding a doctor with experience working with their unique needs is vital.

    Patients undergoing a male-to-female (MTF) transition and those undergoing a female-to-male (FTM) transition both present specific challenges with respect to hair restoration. For both groups, significant alteration to hairlines are often necessary to provide desired results. Variations in directional flow of hair and potential for future hair loss should always be taken into account

    MTF transgender patients are typically looking to achieve a more feminine hairline and/or combat naturally occurring male pattern baldness. Feminine hairlines are lower, flatter, and rounder than masculine ones, but the most important factor is fitting the hairline to the patient’s face in a natural and complimentary way. Hairpieces and wigs can help for certain patients, but most who have the means would prefer to have their own hair they can grow and style.

    FTM patients often get hair transplants to appear more masculine. In many cases, this includes transplantation of facial and chest hair in addition to alteration of the natural hairline. FTM patients are often prescribed a hormone regimen which promotes facial hair growth, but the density is not always ideal. These hormones can also cause trans men to begin experiencing male pattern baldness, so thickening of hair on the scalp may still be necessary.

    Dr. Yates uses the same procedures for trans individuals as he does for his cisgender patients, but has worked with a number of transgender patients. He knows what it takes to achieve optimal results and believes that experience and understanding are key to providing his transgender patients with everything they might need.

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