Estimating the Cost of Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplant surgery is an aesthetic procedure and thus not covered by any health insurance policy. It is usually perceived as a big investment and many hair loss patients immediately turn it down as a potential treatment option. However, the affordability of hair transplant surgeries has improved over the past few years, as has their quality. Unlike other non-surgical hair restoration methods, hair transplantation is a permanent solution, delivering guaranteed aesthetic results. The cost of hair transplant surgery is usually quoted in $ per graft and it can vary between $3 and $10 per graft, with $5-$6 being the average.
The factors affecting the price per graft include the extent of the surgery and the number of sessions required, the technique used and the location and reputation of the clinic and the doctor. The more grafts required, the lower the price per graft. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is usually twice as expensive per graft as follicular unit transplantation (FUT). The price per graft can vary not only between clinics but also within the same clinic, depending on the reputation of the doctor who is going to perform the surgery.
The price per graft, however, does not necessarily reflect the quality of hair transplant surgery. Therefore, it is advisable to check the results of a surgeon's work by reviewing his/her previous work in personal meetings with their former patients. For those who seek good quality but at a lower price, it might be necessary to travel thousands of kilometres to the other side of the world for a cheaper hair transplant.
The factors determining the number of grafts needed are the extent and shape of baldness, the colour, thickness and waviness of the patient's hair and the patient's expectations in terms of how far back they want to go in restoring their original appearance. Hair transplant surgeons create an illusion of density and therefore wavy, thick hair, whose colour is close to the colour of the patient's skin, will provide the best results for a given number of implants.
Most people can get a good result from 1,500 - 2,000 transplanted grafts, which at $5 per graft would cost no more than $10,000 but for patients in advanced stages of baldness, hair surgery can be a lot more expensive undertaking. The maximum number of grafts that can be transplanted is around 8,000. For those who need a large number of implants, the less expensive method of hair transplantation - FUT - is used, which also happens to be technically the only viable option for large scale operations. When estimating the total price, you should also ask the clinic whether the cost per graft already includes the cost of anaesthesia, pre-surgery medical check, any extra medication, accommodation (if necessary), etc. And finally you need to keep in mind that following the hair transplant surgery you will have to commit yourself for life to some form of effective hair loss treatment, most likely finasteride pills, in order to prevent further loss of hair in areas adjacent to your newly transplanted hair. Should your hair continue receding you may need another procedure in the future.