Hair Restoration FAQ

At the Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin, we believe information is essential to making a sound decision about your appearance. When you visit Dr. Richard Chaffoo in San Diego County for hair restoration surgery, you will receive personalized answers to your specific questions. On this page, he has provided answers to some of the questions his patients ask most often.

The Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin is the first hair restoration center in the U.S. operated under the direction of a triple board-certified plastic surgeon and a board-certified dermatologist. For answers to your questions, request a consultation with Dr. Richard Chaffoo or call our office at (858) 623-6333.


What is hair restoration surgery?

Hair restoration surgery, also called hair transplant and hair replacement surgery, gives San Diego patients a permanent solution to thinning hair. Hair follicles are removed from areas that typically do not go bald, and are transplanted where they are needed. The hair is your own and results are permanent.


What should I think about when choosing a hair restoration practice?

It's essential to carefully consider the qualifications and experience of the doctor(s) in charge of the facility; your results and wellbeing depend on it. Because hair loss can be due to genetics or medical concerns, it's wise to be seen by a board-certified dermatologist and a board-certified plastic surgeon. Board-certified dermatologists have specialized training and experience in diagnosing and treating all medical causes of hair loss. Board-certified plastic surgeons have extensive training and experience performing aesthetic surgery of the face and head, and reconstruction and repair of the hair and scalp. The Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin has this unique combination of specialists.


Why Choose the Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin

Our hair restoration practice stands out for its excellent results and track record of satisfied patients. Here are some of the factors that set us apart:

  • We were the first hair center in the U.S. operated by a triple board-certified plastic surgeon and a board-certified dermatologist.
  • Our surgeon, Dr. Chaffoo, has more than 30 years of experience and a comprehensive understanding of the latest and best techniques. He's supported by a highly trained team featuring dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart and world-class surgical technicians.
  • We operate in a state-of-the-art surgery Center of Excellence on the campus of the prestigious Scripps Memorial Hospital.
  • Learn more about why the Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin may be a great fit for you.

Will it be obvious that I've had hair surgery?

In the past, hair restoration was accomplished with hair plugs that contained 16 to 20 hairs. Today, modern techniques such as NeoGraft® follicular unit extraction (FUE) transplant hair in tiny, natural groupings of approximately 1 to 4 hairs called follicular units. Natural-looking results also depend on the skill and experience of the surgeon and medical team. Dr. Chaffoo considers many aesthetic factors when planning each hair restoration procedure, including matching the texture and growth pattern of the existing hair. Visit his photo gallery to see actual patient results.


What is the difference between the traditional strip method and NeoGraft FUE?

The most significant difference between the two methods is in how the donor grafts are harvested. With the strip method, hair follicles are taken from a strip of scalp that is surgically removed from the back or sides of the head. This incision must be closed, often under tension, with sutures or staples, and results in a noticeable scar and often lasting discomfort such as tightness or numbness. This scar often widens and further thins out the hair on the back of the head.

With micro FUE techniques, hair follicles are removed in their natural groupings; there is no incision. There is very minimal manipulation of the harvested grafts with the NeoGraft system and the new grafts are immediately bathed in a normal saline solution to keep them moist and fresh. The grafts are then inserted within the scalp in areas of baldness by making tiny openings in the scalp, thereby avoiding any scar or disturbance of existing hair follicles and minimizing the possibility of permanent numbness or tightness of the scalp. Most importantly, the donor area from where the grafts are harvested heals by itself within one week with maximum preservation of existing hair follicles and the avoidance of a noticeable linear scar, unlike the strip technique.


What is recovery like?

Most patients experience only mild discomfort during recovery from NeoGraft that can usually be treated with non-prescription pain medication such as acetaminophen. Some patients return to work the next day, and many take a couple of days off. Strenuous activity should be avoided for a few days. You will receive detailed aftercare instructions when you arrive for your procedure.


Are the final transplant results different between NeoGraft® and the traditional strip method?

While more grafts are likely to survive with NeoGraft, the appearance of your final results mainly depends on the experience, skill, and aesthetic eye of the doctor in charge of your procedure.

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