Hair Transplant FAQ

As the only triple board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego with a dedicated hair transplant and restoration center, Dr. Richard Chaffoo has answered thousands of questions about treatment options. To help you understand the treatment and all it entails, Dr. Chaffoo invites you to review answers to the most common questions he hears at his La Jolla practice about hair transplant and restoration using the NeoGraft® system.

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Patients with further questions who would like to speak personally with Dr. Chaffoo, can request a complimentary consultation or call our office at (858) 997-0096.

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Dr. Chaffoo

Triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo provides exceptional results and patient care.

  • What does FUE hair transplant mean?

    Many hair restoration providers in La Jolla and greater San Diego perform a traditional "strip" procedure, which removes a strip of hair follicles and leaves a significant scar. During a follicular unit extraction, or FUE, procedure at Dr. Chaffoo's Hair Surgery Center, he harvests individual follicles from the back of the head where hair is thick and meticulously transplants them to thinning areas. It does not require stitches, as the strip method does, and recovery time is much shorter.

    Who can perform NeoGraft procedures?

    Any licensed physician trained by the manufacturer can perform hair transplant using the NeoGraft system. At our hair surgery center, we have a hand-picked staff with many years of both experience and training in all aspects of hair surgery. The staff are also involved in the education and training of hair surgery staff throughout the United States at national meetings.

    For more information, visit Dr. Chaffoo's Neograft specialty site.

    How is NeoGraft different?

    One drawback of manual FUE transplants is that they require a surgeon to handle each hair follicle for some time after it has been removed and before it is transplanted. The longer a follicle is handled, the more likely it will be damaged. Also, this is tedious and takes a long time, leading to surgeon fatigue and compromised results. The sections of the scalp that are removed also tend to be large, sometimes requiring stitches that later need to be removed and often resulting in noticeable scars on the back of the head.

    The NeoGraft system is a special kind of FUE transplant that uses a handpiece to extract follicles and transplant them using pneumatic pressure. The follicles are stored in a chamber in the handpiece before they are transplanted, cutting down on damage and ensuring more follicles produce hair. Using the NeoGraft system, the surgeon is able to remove follicular grafts that are tiny — far smaller than is required in a manual FUE transplant procedure. It takes much less time than manual transplantation and doesn't leave a linear scar behind.

    Who is a good candidate for NeoGraft?

    Patients who like to wear their hair short are perfect for NeoGraft because it leaves no linear scar, as other methods do. Men and women can both benefit, and people who have concerns about activity restrictions after surgery appreciate the quick turnaround of NeoGraft. Learn more about hair restoration for women

    Does it hurt?

    A local anesthetic is used during the procedure to control pain. The skill and experience of the surgeon and staff make a big difference when it comes to patient comfort, and there are few practices around the world that feature a hair surgery staff with our collective qualifications.

    What is recovery like?

    Most patients report mild discomfort during recovery, and over-the-counter pain medications are recommended. Because the grafts that the surgeon removes using the NeoGraft handpiece are so small, discomfort is less than with some other transplant methods. Some patients return to work the day after their procedures, and many take a couple of days off. Major activity should be avoided for a few days. Patients receive detailed aftercare instructions.

    "After doing my research into hair restoration, there was no reason for me to consider anything else but the NeoGraft way."
    — Dan R.
    Your results may vary.

    How long will it take the hair to start growing?

    Many of the follicles will actually shed their hairs after they are transplanted, which is normal. Then hair will grow at a normal rate after the first few months. It usually takes several months to a year for full results to be apparent.

    How long will the hair last?

    The transplanted hairs will last as long as they would have at the donor site. If further thinning occurs, another NeoGraft session can be done to fill in. One benefit of this method is that it leaves plenty of follicles in the donor region, so more harvesting can be done if necessary down the road.

    Will it look natural?

    This depends very much on the skill of the surgeon and medical team. Dr. Chaffoo is one of the best-regarded hair surgeons in the region, and he has extensive experience placing follicles in natural-looking positions where the hair grows in the right direction to be aesthetically pleasing. Patients are invited to visit the photo gallery on Dr. Chaffoo's dedicated hair transplant website to see results that speak for themselves.