Handling mega session hair transplant
March, 23 2020 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
‘Mega Session’ is often used in the hair transplant lingo. But patients are not always aware of what the mega session is all about and whether they are good candidates for it. To begin with, what is a mega session? Why is it required? What does it take to sit through a mega session? How do you handle it? These and many more questions need lucid answers. Let us detail them for you.
To put it simply—a mega session is one where 2,500 or more grafts are moved in one sitting of a hair transplant surgery. The definition of mega sessions has changed over a period. In the late 90s, the movement of 1,500 grafts in a single sitting was considered a mega session. However, with improved technology and techniques, a mega session today can be anywhere between 2,500 to 4,000 grafts. This is, of course, dependent upon the number of team members and their specialisation. In addition, there is another aspect to a mega session—dense packing. It is done in order to create a dense, thick, and natural look. When a lot of grafts are placed in a small area, it is technically referred to as dense packing.
How do you know if you need a mega session or not?
Frankly there is only one way of finding out—seek expert advice. This is absolutely critical because not everybody needs it. However, anyone with advanced hair loss is a good candidate. Surgeons also look for the amount of donor hair available and the extent of the bald area to be covered. Patients who desire greater hair density may want more grafts per session. But that should ultimately be determined by the doctor.
Once it is determined that you will have to sit through a mega session, then what is the protocol? What should you be mindful of? More importantly, how can you handle it? Let us try and understand.
Information is key to be mentally prepared for a mega session. You should know that a mega session where 2,500 grafts are moved in one sitting can take up to 6-7 hours or sometimes even more. It can involve a team of 4-7 specialists—depending upon the number of grafts to be moved. In addition, the procedure will be done under intravenous sedation and local anaesthesia. Moreover, you have to be completely aware of the basic guidelines before, during, and after the procedure. It is imperative that you absorb and fully understand all relevant information to be fully mentally and physically prepared for a mega session. The better your planning and preparation, the easier it will be for you to handle it. The surgery is lengthy and can be mentally and physically taxing for both the surgeon and the patient. While surgeons conducting mega sessions need advanced technical skills, patients need to be in good health as well. Sitting for a long period of time means that the patient should physically and mentally be able to endure it.
It goes without saying that before you decide to go for a hair transplant or a mega session, you have had a series of expert consultations. In addition, you should do background check and due diligence on the clinic as well. You need to determine if the doctor and their team at the clinic has previous experience of handling mega sessions successfully. If at any point you doubt the claims and credibility of the doctor or clinic, find another one, after all it is about your hair and appearance. The health of patients undergoing these sessions has to be monitored throughout the procedure, it is therefore a job for an expert and experienced surgeon and team. From the patient’s side, their medical history or history of any major illness should be discussed.
Another important debate around mega sessions is the procedure. Which one works better — Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)? FUE involves extracting one follicular unit at a time and then transplanting them, whereas FUT involves excising a strip of grafts and dividing it into individual grafts for transplantation. There are experts out there who feel that FUT lends itself to a mega session. The FUT procedure creates only one linear scar in the donor region. Which means that the damage is minimal and the option of future procedures is always open. And because a very large number of grafts can be removed with minimum damage, patients are less stressed as in the case of FUE where the ‘out of body’ time is very high. Moreover, the time taken by FUT mega session is significantly low as compared to FUE.
A successful mega session can truly transform the way you look. And, since it is an outpatient procedure, patients will be done in one session and even resume work in a day or two if they want. But for that session to be successful you have to be mentally prepared and equipped with all possible information to make informed choices.