Donor strip removal is a part of standard hair transplantation.

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Home >> Hair Transplantation >> Donor Strip Removal
Removal of Donor Strip in Hair Transplantation

The standard hair transplant procedure for those suffering from pattern baldness is broadly divided into two parts Ė removal of small pieces of hair-bearing grafts from a donor site and replacing them to a bald or thinning area of the scalp.

Size of donor area

Deciding about the donor site is an important part of the hair transplantation surgery. The surgeon has to decide about the size of the donor area and make decision about the recipient site.

Donor site size varies from patient to patient. Some patients have quite large occipital (related to back part of the head or skull) area where structure of the hair follicle < structure-of-the-hair-follicle.php> remains unaffected by pattern baldness. In some other patients baldness spreads far back on the scalp and the occipital area is relatively small.

A person is not an ideal candidate for hair transplant procedure if the donor area is too small or the donor area is affected by pattern baldness.

The entire process starts with the defining of the donor hair area on the occipital area unaffected by pattern baldness. Transplanting hair follicles that are androgen responsive will result in transplanted hair follicles miniaturizing in response to the androgen hormones. The surgeon must leave enough hair behind after removing the donor hair follicles. It is to ensure a natural look to the occipital hair line.

Preparation for the operation

There is a need for some preparations before the hair transplantation surgery. The patient should be dressed in a surgical gown. His/her upper body and neck should be covered with a disposable apron. The patient has to lie face down on the operation table and his/her head should be rested on a pillow.

The skin at the donor site should be sterilized. The sterilization should be done with one or more solutions swabbed over the skin and hair. The long hair of the patient should be held in place with the help of hair clips.

Before the operation hair of the donor site should be shaved with clippers or cut with scissors. This is because the long hair can get in the way of cutting the skin. It can also create problems later when the skin is micro-dissected to obtain the hair follicles. However, 2 mm of hair should be left above the skin surface so that the surgeon can see the hair follicles while cutting the donor skin.

The patientís skin is prepared for cutting by injecting it with saline solution and a local anesthesia. Saline hardens the scalp skin and facilitates its cutting with a scalpel.

Removal of donor strip

Surgeons generally use a multi-bladed knife for removing grafts from the donor site. The scalpel blades are inserted into the skin at one side of the patientís head. It is done while taking care that the blades are parallel to the hair follicles in the skin.

The whole process of removing donor strip takes less than 30 seconds. The surgeon cuts across the patientís skin to make the strip of donor hair follicles. The size of the recipient site and the density of hair follicles decide how much skin to be removed from the donor strip. After its removal, the donor strip is put into a saline solution.
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