Expander / Extender
A transplantation of follicular units using FUE or FUT is not always possible - in certain special cases a normal hair transplant is not the best choice or even contra-indicated. In such cases - after a very strict indication - the use of extenders or expanders, or their combination with a hair transplant, is often the right way to achieve satisfactory results.
This technique can be used to reduce the size of large bald patches or - in the field of reconstructive hair surgery - as a way of reducing the size of scars resulting from burns, accidents, previous transplants or infections.
To do this, an elastic band and 2 rows of small metal hooks are implanted into the bald scalp. The extender works like a rubber band, gradually pulling the scalp together and making it smaller. Through this pulling together, a fold of skin is created which needs to be removed by surgery. The result is that the previously bald patch is now covered by the parts of the scalp with hair. This operation can be repeated many times, enabling baldness to be completely eliminated.
The Frechet extender consists of an elastic band made of silicone and hooks made of titanium. After implantation it is invisible.
The expander technique is another method used to reduce hair loss and remove scarring. A balloon made of silicone, the so-called expander, is inserted under the part of the scalp covered by hair. The latter is then stretched by gradually inflating the balloon. An operation is then performed to remove the bald patches / scars, with the hair-covered scalp formed by the expander then being used to cover the former bald patches.
Both techniques - expander and extender - are carried out under local anaesthesia and enable scars to be corrected so well that they are hardly visible any longer. Both use implants inserted under the scalp for a short period, and both methods require a lot of patience, as the results are often - as with a hair transplant - only visible after a number of months.
This method is suitable for correcting problems often occurring after extender treatment. One such common problem is an unnatural hair growth direction.
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