What is Sapphire FUE Hair Transplantation?
Being in constant change and development, medical science gives birth to more innovative techniques at any moment. Naturally, hair restoration procedures also receive their share of novelty, and they become more and more crucial for many people, since these restoration techniques create satisfactory results in terms of physical health as well as mental health, considering the fact that acquired sense of beauty attaches great importance to the aesthetic appearance of one’s.
One of these mentioned developments is the Sapphire FUE hair transplant technique. This advanced technique is performed with special instruments produced from a gemstone, called sapphire, based on FUE hair transplant procedures. It is an improved application of the FUE technique. In essence, these sapphire stone blades are used to create incisions at the recipient site, and afterwards, hair follicles are implanted in these micro slits. V-shaped tip of these sapphire blades allows the operation to become shorter in comparison to U-shaped steel blades, as they provide more incisions with minimal attempt and zero damage to scalp tissues. As a result, it an easier procedure and a more natural appearance overall.
Knowing the tool: Sapphire blades
Comprised of single crystal components, sapphire blades are a hundred times harder than steel blades, though not as hard as diamonds. Sapphire blades are able to endure long operation hours without complications, as they have a high level of durability.
The exceptionally sharp cutting edge of the blades and low friction factor rate allows the surgeon to perform with minimal tissue trauma. Consequently, scarring is reduced to a considerable extent, and recovery time is diminished. As an optimal instrument for delicate surgical techniques, sapphire blades provide several advantages, such as:
- Sapphire blades hold the edge better than standard surgical tools since they are harder and sharper.
- Sapphire blades allow making much finer incisions than standard surgical blades so that the level of cell damage reduces significantly. Clean and accurate incisions speed up the recovery period and diminish the possibility of scarring.
- Sapphire is a non-metallic gem, so it cannot give rise to metal ion reactivity. Sapphire blades do not affect lymph or blood systems in any way since they are inactive.
Are you a good candidate for Sapphire FUE Hair Transplant?
It is important to know beforehand if you are a suitable candidate for Sapphire FUE hair transplant; because deciding to undergo a hair transplantation procedure does not automatically make you a candidate for the operation as there are several parameters. When you go for a consultation, your doctor will carry out the necessary evaluations and decide whether or not to go for hair transplantation in your case, but if you wish to gain some insight before the Sapphire FUE consultation, you should consider the following factors:
- If your hair loss stems from conditions such as trauma, androgynous type of hair loss or traction alopecia, then you can opt for a Sapphire FUE transplant as a hair restoration method.
- As with any type of hair transplant technique, the density of your hair at the donor site is one of the most prominent determining factors regarding the Sapphire FUE. If you have a sufficient number of hairs at the back of your scalp, then you will be considered a valid candidate for the operation.
- The severity of your condition is not regarded as a determinant. Whether you have relatively minor hair loss or shed a major amount of your hair, you are still able to undergo a Sapphire FUE operation without complications.
How is Sapphire FUE hair transplant applied?
As in the case of any kind of surgical operation, the first step you will take is to consult with your doctor and inquire about all kinds of questions that you may be curious about or bothered with. During the consultation, your doctor will initially analyze your hair’s amount and density as well as your scalp tissues and general health conditions, while preparing for several tests. In this way, your doctor will be able to ensure that your physiological health as well as your mental condition permit a Sapphire FUE surgery. Listening carefully to your concerns, your doctor will try to determine your cause of hair loss, and make sure that your expectations are decently realistic and applicable.
Afterwards, it is time to decide on the recipient area for the transplant. The shape and general features of the patient’s face is the determining factor for the planning and mapping of the hairline as well as the patient’s expectations and wishes.
After the planning phase, you will be taken to the operation room, and injected local anaesthetic agents into your scalp. As soon as the anaesthesia takes effect, your surgeons will begin the extraction process, harvesting an adequate amount of grafts by means of a surgical instrument such as forceps from the back of the head near the neck. Once the extraction is completed, your surgeon will take the necessary steps in order to prepare the recipient area for graft implantation. Considering the previous planning of hairline, small incisions will be made according to the placement of new hair follicles, using sapphire blades. The next and final step is the implantation of hair follicles. Your surgeon will insert each of the extracted grafts into the premediated channels one by one, and finally, the operation will come to an end.
It is worth mentioning that approximately 4.000 – 6.000 grafts can be extracted in each session, and each graft consists of 2 to 3 hair follicles. Depending on the density of the hair and the number of extracted follicles, the Sapphire FUE technique enables implanting approximately 50-60 follicles per square cm. Moreover, since Sapphire FUE does not require skin-lifting or incisions to the donor site, the recovery time needed is significantly low, and the slits at the recipient area heal in a few days, without any visible scarring.
The difference between Sapphire FUE and FUE
The main difference between the classical FUE technique and Sapphire FUE is the surgical instrument used for opening implantation channels at the recipient area. As part of the Sapphire FUE, steel material razors are replaced with blades made out of sapphire, which is a gemstone never losing its sharpness. Yes, it is an extremely valuable and expensive crystal, but its effectiveness in making incisions can never be ignored.
When compared to metal slits, sapphire tips are much sharper and stronger; as a result of these advantages, sapphire tips reduce tissue damage to a minimum. As opposed to U-shaped channels of metal slits, sapphire tips allow the surgeons to work with V-shaped canals, reducing the possibility of tissue damage on the skin even more.
Since the superior sharpness of the sapphire tips increases the number of grafts implanted, Sapphire FUE hair transplantation creates more of a denser and natural look. Moreover, being a substance found in nature, the unique properties of the stone has a variety of anti-bacterial qualities which speed up the recovery period.
The Advantages of Sapphire FUE Hair Transplantation
The most distinct advantages of Sapphire FUE hair transplant that could play a part in your decision of whether or not to try it can be listed as follows:
- Since the sapphire blades enable much finer channel incisions, the amount of bleeding decreases significantly, and the natural qualities of sapphire do not affect blood circulation in any way. Considering all of these, the possibility of bleeding after the operation becomes extremely low.
- The local anaesthetic agents used in the procedure provides an almost painless experience, and the sapphire structure of the blades reduces the vibration that the patient feels during the operation, in comparison with the classical FUE technique. A decrease in vibration means that there is less risk of complications such as tissue damage or trauma to the scalp.
- The newly implanted grafts easily settle into their designated points, since there is almost no tissue damage.
- The anti-bacterial properties of the sapphire blades make the recovery period shorter.
- Since the incisions created with sapphire blades are as minimal as possible, the recovery period becomes relatively shorter, and the hairs growing at the recipient site have more density compared to classical FUE. With fine-tuned implantation of the hairs, Sapphire FUE provides a considerably natural result. Even if you have advanced or sudden hair loss, the success rate of the transplantation is at the maximum level.
- V-shaped tips of the sapphire blades enhance the operational convenience for the surgeons.
- In the Sapphire FUE procedure, the hair grafts are implanted in the canals that are created according to the extracted hairs, with appropriate and premediated depth and angle. The amount of depth provided by sapphire blades ensures that the angle of implanted hairs do not change, and keep growing with their original form.
Recovery After Sapphire FUE Hair Transplantation
After your Sapphire FUE hair transplant, you will be given instructions on how to apply post-operative aftercare. It is quite possible that you may experience some minor swelling on your scalp. Cold compresses and gentle massaging are the easiest but most effective way of reducing swelling. Also sleeping with your head elevated for at least three days after the surgery will notably speed up your healing process.
If you are not careful with required post-op precautions, there is always the risk of the implanted graft to be dislodged. In order to prevent this kind of issues, you should avoid exercising and swimming for at least three weeks. Furthermore, there are several substances affecting the blood circulation and even resulting in thinning blood such as cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine, so it is recommended refraining from these chemicals for a while.
You will be prescribed medications like antibiotics and painkillers as well as cleaning agents such as medical shampoos. It is extremely important to follow the instructions of your doctor; otherwise, there may occur undesirable complications, endangering the success of the operation.
Generally, the first thing patients feel anxious about after a Sapphire FUE operation is the ‘shock loss’ which is a sudden occurrence of hair loss. This issue is experienced in almost all kinds of hair restoration procedures, and it is a completely normal part of the overall process since the hair grafts need some time to adjust their new placement. Within 6 months after the sudden hair loss, you will start to notice the newly growing hairs. In about 1 year, your transplantation process will finally come to an end, and your hair will bear the traces of the desired appearance.
The success of the operation greatly depends on the aftercare routines; you shouldn’t underestimate the consequences of your own actions. You must obey your doctor’s instructions. You should be careful with your hygiene routines, avoid extreme weather conditions, sunlight, chemicals like hair products etc. Getting enough rest is also a crucial factor on the healing speed.
Risks and side effects of Sapphire Hair Transplant
Expertise-requiring surgeries such as Sapphire FUE hair transplant are always accompanied by risks of side effects during and after the operation. Although the risk of occurrence of these minor side effects is quite low and they usually disappear within a few weeks, you should still be aware of the general risks, including:
- Bleeding: One of the most common side effects of hair transplantation is bleeding after and during the operation. You shouldn’t consume cigarettes, alcohol or blood-thinning medications for at least a week prior to the operation as they can interrupt the blood flow.
- Swelling of the scalp or bruising around the eyes: Being the most natural part of the post-operative healing process, swelling is completely normal and is harmless. It can occur on the face, forehead or eyes. You don’t have to feel anxious about it, because it is definitely a temporary and painless condition seen in almost every case.
- Infection and inflammation: Sapphire FUE technique reduces the risk of infection and inflammation to a minimum as a result of the characteristics of the sapphire gem. If you regularly use your prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, you can reduce these risks to a great extent.
- Itching: Being another common side effect of the transplantation procedures, there is a high possibility of feeling a need for itching due to the crusting on the recipient site. It is a temporary condition and can be easily soothed with the help of a mild itching drug.
- Temporary hair loss: a completely normal process as mentioned above.