Is it possible to have more than one hair transplant?
What determines how many I can have?
This is partly determined by the surface area needed to be covered, your donor hair quality and the planning and management of the donor hair and donor area in general. Typically most people can have 3 maybe 4 hair transplant procedures over time, with good planning and todays hair transplantation techniques it should not be necessary to have many more.
Donor management is vital to ensuring the donor remains in the best condition possible over time. Also to ensure the donor area can be safely used to the maximum potential over time. Your donor zone, as well as recipient area, is in the best state prior to any procedure being performed, known as a “virgin scalp”. At this point skin and hair properties will never be better, so has the best potential. FUT and FUE harvest hair from the donor area in different ways; FUT relies more on skin laxity as a thin strip of hair bearing tissue is removed and the area sutured leaving a fine line. This makes little change to the donor hair density.
FUE relies on the size of the surface area of the donor and hair density as the graft extractions are made individually, having to leave at least one follicular unit between each extraction point to not leave obvious hair less areas. If treating high Norwood scale hair loss it can be easier to manage the donor area to achieve high numbers. A high NW will require 4000 plus grafts and to achieve total restoration can require 6000 plus grafts.
When needing large graft numbers the FUT technique is generally more efficient in terms of time and donor management. FUT in one day can reach over 6000 grafts on the right candidate. A second procedure will not be able to reach the same high numbers as the first due to changes in laxity becoming slightly less lax. If a first procedure can yield around 5000 grafts then a second is likely to achieve around 2500 plus grafts.
FUE procedures are generally smaller due to the extraction process taking much longer and harder due to the procedure being blind and having to ensure too not over-harvest the donor area. FUE procedures can be performed to treat high NW candidates but requires a very high donor hair density and generally cannot be achieved in one procedure. It becomes harder to not over-harvest the donor after every procedure.
You will see many more large FUT procedures compared to FUE when treating high Norwood Scale candidates as a result can be achieved faster and more efficiently, even if a second procedure is required.