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Hep C Hair Transplant (HCV)

Even in the healthiest of people, hair loss (alopecia) is a common occurrence. On average, a person loses anywhere between 50 to 150 hairs every single day. That quantity of hair loss is not usually an issue, because a healthy head of hair has over 100,000 individual hair follicles. It’s when people begin losing even more than the typical 50-150 hairs per day that hair loss can become a problem. An abnormal amount of hair loss can have a number of different causes, such harsh chemicals, care, and products; hereditary factors; and medical conditions like hepatitis C (HCV) and some of HCV’s treatment regimens for HCV.

While it is thought that the effects of hepatitis C on the liver can indirectly impact the health of one’s hair, skin, and nails, one of the most common culprits of hair loss in people who are living with hepatitis C is HCV treatment regimens containing therapy.

Why does hepatitis C (HCV) cause hair loss?

A healthy liver breaks down toxins in your cells and helps your body eliminate them. When the liver is compromised from the effects of the hepatitis C, virus or from the effects of treating the hepatitis C virus, toxins build-up in the body’s tissues, nutrients have a harder time reaching cells, and inflammation can occur. Excessive toxins, lack of nutrients, and inflammation can all manifest as deficiencies to hair, skin, and nail tissues, because they are lacking the energy and components necessary to repair and regenerate themselves. In extreme cases, a patient might even experience jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes), due to too much bilirubin – a bi-product of a healthy recycling of old cells – backed up in the system.

Which method of hair transplantation is carried out in Hep C (HCV) patients?

In our clinic, hair transplantation in HEP C patients is carried out in a sterile and appropriate environment together with our experienced doctor. The method we apply is the FUE method. This technique is the process of removing hair follicles from the scalp, in form of individual, bilateral, triple follicular units, without any incisions and sutures with the help of a micromotor, which has special tips of 0.6-1.1 mm diameter. It is the only root extraction method used in hair transplantation. Healthy adult individuals with adequate hair in the area between the two ears, we which we call the donor area, are considered suitable candidates for hair transplantation.

FUE Hair Transplantation for HCV Patients

The method that is named as FUE Hair Transplant, in other words follicular unit extraction, is a method for hair transplant defined in 2004. First time it was defined, it was performed with a special pen-like instrument as shown in the following figure.

In this method named Punch Biopsy, a pen-like apparatus is placed in skin to the depth of the hair’s root and the follicular unit was removed as a whole. For example, if the patient needs 2000 grafts, this procedure was repeated 2000 times. Even though this method, which costs a lot of time both for the patient and health personnel, was replaced with a motorized system, there are still doctors insisting to use this method.

The only difference of this method known as Fue Motor from other old methods is the fact that the operator doesn’t have to remove the follicular unit manually. Actually the basic principle is the same, but the operator gains significant amount of time with this new method. The apparatus at the tip of the punch biopsy pen is connected to a motor and the speed of the motor can be adjusted to the requested level. The thickness of the tips can be changed and tips at the requested lumen diameter according to the donor area can be inserted. The time it saves is of course not the only advantage of the fue motor. The tissue deepness can be standardized thanks to the motorized method, and this removes the obligation to check the tissue deepness constantly. And again with the Fue Motor, grafts can be removed from closer areas and more grafts can be removed from the same region with the motor. Another advantage of the motor is the lower chance of breaking up grafts with 2-3 or even 4 roots, in other words the higher success in protecting the integrity of the follicular unit.

Figure: FUE Motor and Tips Because of these reasons, Fue Motor enables the hair transplant operation to be performed much more comfortably. Even though the method of removing the roots is different, the phases of opening channel and implanting roots are the same.

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