There is more than one factor that affects the success rate of hair transplant operation. The primary ones are; professionalism of the operator, quality of donor area, tissue quality of the needy area and largeness of operation area. However, there are other factors too. It is known that while hair transplanting, it takes much time to extract a hair follicle and transplant it. In the meantime, keeping hair follicles alive directly affects the success rate. Consequently, transplanting 1000 grafts or 5000 grafts will not be successful if the hair follicles are not alive.
How do we decide the proper environment for keeping hair follicles alive?
First of all we should know that our body is created by billions of cell, which are in a certain order. Therefore, every hair follicle is formed of thousands of cells. Keeping the cells alive is keeping the hair follicles alive. Cells, which are fundamentals of living beings, need some certain conditions to stay alive. Primarily, hair follicles that were taken from the donor field should be preserved in a proper liquid environment.
Time that hair follicles stayed alive, changes according to liquid’s properties. Our cells have a specific osmotic pressure. Cells take nourishment and store their foods owing to osmotic pressure. If you put a cell into a hypertonic environment it loses water, in a hypotonic environment deplasmolysis happens and if the process continues cell becomes laked (hemolyses). In either case, lifetime of cell will become shorter. The best environment for a cell is an isotonic environment.
Because of that, isotonic environments that have electrolyte balance should be preferred to keep the hair follicles alive. The best solution for liquid is %0.9 NaCl solution. This solution is the best for preserving the hair follicles.
While the hair follicles are waiting in the %0.9 NaCl solution, lifetime of hair follicles are extended by using cool-packs, special rooms and special equipments. Our goal is protecting the cellular structure to provide tissue integrity. For this reason, while extracting and transplanting hair follicles are kept alive. Generally a hair transplant operation takes 5 to 8 hours according to graft number, tissue quality and donor area quality. If the necessary procedures are followed, hair follicles are going to stay alive for 12-14 hours.
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