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This is highly dependent on personal hair characteristics, the number of grafts you elect to have and the experience and proficiency of your doctor and his or her team of technicians. The procedure can last anywhere from a few hours to multiple full-day sessions.
The duration of a hair transplant procedure depends on the hair transplant technique and surgeon. Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), an older technique, has a reputation for being faster but it always leaves a lateral scar and requires more recuperation time. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), meanwhile, is the newest technique in popular practice, leaves far less noticeable scars, if any, but has a reputation for necessitating more time for the same amount of transplants.
The procedure's length, however, depends on more than just the technique. One of the first pioneers of FUE and an innovator in the field, the combination of Dr. Cole's custom-made instruments and expertise enable him to complete shaven CIT® procedures in the same amount of time it typically takes to complete a FUT procedure. This is exceedingly rare, however, and most FUE procedures do require more time than FUT procedures.
The length of a procedure, or the number of procedures, will always depend on the transplant's size. Any worthwhile hair transplant surgeon is concerned about fatigue, as it can affect results, and therefore limit themselves to a certain amount of grafts each day. Further, some techniques work best with a limited amount of grafts. Dr. Cole, for instance, typically does not do more than 3000 grafts for the shaven-patch version of CIT®: any more would require such large shaven patches the entire procedure might as well be shaved.
Further, sometimes CIT® transplants can be so large they require multiple days to complete. Luckily, they are among the least intrusive transplants in the world. Large-scale transplants do cause more trauma to the scalp, increasing the chance of side effects, but the minimal invasiveness of CIT® decreases the chance of swelling or shock loss in comparison to regular FUE. Patients can expect any session over eight hours to require procedures on at least two days. Questions? Contact us today!