Statistics don’t lie. It may be quite disturbing to hear that, according to the American Hair Loss Association, 69% of men will have experienced some form of hair loss by the age of 35. It gets worse. By the age of 50, 85% of men will be afflicted with significantly thinning hair. The main culprit is genetics. Other factors include stress, diet, and autoimmune diseases. Whichever the case, baldness isn’t necessarily something a man—or woman—has to live with. Treatments for the problem abound. Among them, getting a surgical hair transplant is perhaps the most effective—and natural—combatant.
The Follicular Unit Extraction method has been in practice since 1988. To describe it, a surgeon extracts follicles one by one from a donor area of the patient’s body and implants them in the recipient area. The donors may come from pretty much any part of the body that carries them. For men, this could mean not only the scalp, but the beard or even the underarm. Women don’t have it quite so easy, but FUE surgery is still incredibly effective for them. Now comes a statistic that isn’t so depressing: In a recent poll, it was found that 83% of people who received FUE treatment were satisfied with the results. Most people are back to work mere days after the procedure, whereas the final results can be expected after about one year.
FUE is virtually painless and leaves no visible scar. These are just some of the advantages afforded to anyone who chooses what is likely the most modern way to restore lost hair. But can anyone afford it? Just how much does an FUE transplant cost? As with so many other of life’s questions, the answer depends on the variables.
Variables such as the following ones:
The extent of the patient’s hair loss
We’re certain it comes as no surprise that the more work your surgeon has to do, the more the procedure is going to cost. The approximate number of hairs per day, maximum, a surgeon can transplant is 4,000—or 2,000 grafts. Patients with extensive hair loss will likely need more than one visit to the office, and wind up paying a larger bill at the end of the day.
Hair transplant clinics exist all over the country. What they charge is often affected by which
city they’re in. For instance, a typical average FUE transplant in Cleveland will run about $6000. In Los Angeles, that same procedure can run from $8000 to $15000. The doctor’s qualifications will also play a role. A board certified surgeon will charge more than, say, one who is board eligible, or does not specialize in the field.
The type of FUE surgery being done
Many clinics have their own specialized way of performing FUE. For instance, Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration in San Francisco offers what they call the Celebrity Hair Transplant and the Power Hairline. Both are forms of FUE, and both were developed by that clinic’s founder, Dr. Parsa Mohebi. FUE can even be done with the help of a robot. The ARTAS system uses a robotic arm plus computer software to perform follicular unit extraction. Through microscopic photography, the software identifies which donor follicles are best for harvesting. From there, the robot arm makes a partial extraction, leaving the rest for the surgeon to perform.
What am I going to pay for FUE?
With the above variables at play, a patient can expect to be charged anywhere from $6,000 to $100,000 depedning on how much hair is needed, and the cost per graft. Which can range from $3/graft, up to $14/graft. Some clinics charge a one-time fee that includes everything—the procedure, products for post surgical care, and other medications. Other clinics charge extra for what’s needed after the procedure takes place. It should also be noted that most insurance companies consider hair transplants as cosmetic, and as such, will not cover the cost.
FUE is a highly advanced method of hair transplant surgery. Considering its success rate, and the fact that it restores not only hair, but a more positive self-image as well, its cost is not so unreasonable. To find out more about FUE, contact your local physician.