As we age, some people suffer from hair loss or a receding hairline. One of the ways to treat this is to get a hair transplant. The hair on our head generally grows in follicular units. Per unit usually consists of anywhere between one to four individual hair follicles.
A hair transplant is a procedure where a doctor takes follicular units from another part of your body (commonly, from other parts of the scalp that hasn’t suffered from hair loss) and transplants it to the parts of the head where you are experiencing baldness.
How Hair Transplants Work
The doctor will first clean your scalp and will give you an injection to numb the back of your head where the hair follicles will be taken from. There are two distinctly different procedures that your doctor can choose from:
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
The back of your scalp will have to be shaved. The doctor will then individually remove hair follicles from that area. This will cause little dots of blood to emerge from those roots. The surrounding hair generally covers this. The doctor then numbs the area where the hair will go and uses either a scalpel or a needle to make tiny holes where these hair grafts are neatly placed.
FUSS (Follicle Unit Strip Surgery)
The doctor removes a significant strip of skin from your head (usually around 5-10 inches). He then sews the affected area on the scalp shut. He then takes the strip of skin and divides It into a large number (500 to 2,000) tiny grafts. Then, similar to FUE, he numbs the area where the hair will go and makes tiny incisions with a scalpel and a needle and places the hair grafts neatly into them.
Dr Samuel Ho’s Approach
Dr Samuel Ho only uses the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique for hair transplantation as it provides a very aesthetically pleasing donor site as compared to strip grafting. It minimises the transaction rate of the hair shafts cutting through the roots which result in the hair not surviving. FUE allows for very fine control as only micrografts of 1-3 shafts are transplanted each time – allowing for more precise and natural placement of the hair grafts.
The downside of this technique is that it is far more laborious and time-consuming. Thus, Dr Ho tends to perform this with a big team of hair nurses and technicians to speed up the entire process. Patients will be under mild sedation in our day surgery so that the procedure, which can take several hours, is as comfortable for the patient as possible.
Am I A Suitable Candidate for Hair Transplant?
In order to be a suitable candidate for hair transplant, the donor area for the transplant must have a high count of strong, thick hair. Hair transplant is ideal for solving early-stage hair loss all the way up to Stage IV. For patients in Stage V and VI, it is best for Dr Samuel Ho to personally assess your situation before proceeding.
All stages of hair loss can be treated to various extents and early treatment is highly recommended.
Hair Transplant Recovery Process
The time taken for the procedure may vary from individual to individual. The procedure can take anywhere between four to eight hours.
After the surgery, your scalp might feel tender or painful to the touch. Your doctor will prescribe you a series of pain medications that you’ll need to take for several days. The affected areas of your scalp will also have to be bandaged for a few days. For some cases, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatories to prevent any serious swelling or infection from occurring.
Most people are able to return to work two to five days after the operation.
Is Hair Transplant Permanent?
Hair transplants have a permanently positive effect on your hair growth.
Within two to three weeks, the transplanted hair may fall out. However, this will trigger new growth that you should see within weeks of the surgery. Most patients report seeing a 60% increase in new hair growth after 6 to 9 months.
Hair Loss Restoration in Singapore
See a Doctor Experienced in Hair Loss for a Medically Proven Treatment
There are numerous advertisements touting hair restoration in the form of tonics, shampoos and creams sold over-the-counter. However, many of these do not produce results as it does not address the fundamental issue that hair loss is a medical condition originating from the cellular level of the follicle roots.
A detailed consultation with a doctor is an important first step in understanding the underlying cause of your condition. This will allow us to make the right treatment suggestion, which may be as simple as good hair care and nutrition to minimally invasive treatments such as medical injections or hair transplantation.
3 Steps to Grow Back Thick, Natural Looking Hair
Step 1 – Block DHT
DHT is the most significant cause of hair loss. To regrow hair, it is vital to remove DHT from the scalp.
To block DHT, we recommend a combination of medication with anti-hair loss shampoo and serum. This has proven to offer up to 56% reduction in DHT production by inhibiting the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme.
Step 2 – Nourish the Scalp
We recommend a combination of 3 treatments to nourish the scalp with the nutrients it needs. Firstly, we recommend the use of a Korean protocol of Scalp Stimulation using medical-grade ampoules. Next, we recommend Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT and finally, Hair Supplementation using a product such as Viviscal Professional.
Step 3 – Fortify with FUE
Hair transplant using Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is viewed as the best and most effective method in many countries, including Singapore. Many patients utilise FUE hair replacement services to regain their hair and are very satisfied with the natural looking results.
Improved Outcomes of Hair Transplant
If you have not responded to treatments, a hair specialist can perform a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The FUE technique has improved in recent years, making Hair transplantation in Singapore a popular and effective option. The process is safe and minimally invasive. It is performed under sedation and local anaesthesia so that the patient is relaxed and comfortable.
Balding often happens at select areas of the crown, for example in males the top of the head is where balding usually occurs. 2 unique features happen in male pattern balding. 1) There is a ring of resilient hair surrounding the bald spot that is resistant to DHT 2) These hair are often healthy bunches growing with 2, 3 or even 4 strands per follicle.
This means that hair from healthy areas are IDEAL donors. When hair from these healthy areas are transplanted to the bald areas, they will retain the DHT resistant characteristics and continue to grow thickly and naturally.
Hence, after a hair transplant, you will have a full head of hair that is resilient against DHT. This process is completed in a day and you can return home right away.
What Is Fue?
Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, is the transfer of hair follicles from a healthy donor area to bald or thinning areas on the head. The donor follicle will then grow and survive at the transplanted area. This is a highly effective and permanent solution.
How Is the Treatment Performed?
A device known as a punch, is used to skillfully extract follicular units from the donor area. This is done under a high-powered microscope that allows the surgeon to work with great precision. There are usually no visible scars and patients can return to normal activities the following day.
Advantages of hair implants:
Safe and Minimally Invasive
Significant complications are rare
Effective and natural looking
Long lasting solution
Hardly any downtime
Prices start from $6000/-.
Post Transplant Care
Post-transplant care is highly recommended to maintain your hair transplant and improve follicle survival. As part of our post-care review, we will advice you on a post-transplant regime to help you care best for your new follicle transplants.
Breast reduction surgery aims to achieve symmetrical, smaller and more aesthetically appealing breasts, with correction of any ptosis if required. This is performed at Allure using a vertical short-scar, superior-medial pedicle technique popularized by Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay. The removal of excessive breast tissue and reshaping of remaining breast tissue, excision of excessive drooping skin, changing the nipple-areolar complex position, and liposuction is performed to achieve symmetrical attractive and smaller breasts with minimal scarring.
Nose fillers are a popular and effective minimally invasive procedure used to reshape the nose to correct deformities and achieve better aesthetics. Nose fillers are also known as “liquid rhinoplasty” or the “liquid nose job”.
In general, the goal of nose fillers is to alter the shape of the nose, nostrils or the bridge. A smaller, crisper nose tip and a higher nose bridge are generally favourable results for nose fillers, with the strongest emphasis being on creating a higher nose bridge.
(for more control over tip definition and shaping, a surgical Rhinoplasty is recommended)
How Nose Fillers Work
Most commonly, doctors use hyaluronic acid fillers in order to alter the shape of the nose. Hyaluronic acid, otherwise known as glycosaminoglycan polysaccharide, is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in our bodies. Therefore, it has very low antigenicity (chance of causing bad immune reactions) and is very safe when injected into our body.
Before the actual treatment takes place, a numbing cream will be applied to the relevant parts of the nose. This generally takes around 10 to 15 minutes for the effects to fully kick in.
A doctor will then use a syringe and needle on specific areas of the nose in order to alter its shape and create a more appealing look. The actual procedure takes only a short time of around 15 to 20 minutes.
Dr Samuel Ho’s Approach
Dr Samuel Ho regards nose fillers as a prelude to a surgical rhinoplasty so that one can try the look of the nose that one desires. Fillers to the nose tend to “degrade” in appearance over time; nose bridge fillers tend to look very good at the first instance, but repeated use often results in a “filler-nose” appearance, one that is overly wide and high, with an ill-defined appearance.
Dr Ho often performs rhinoplasties on patients who have had fillers done to the nose. If it was recently done, there’s a need to dissolve the fillers 1 week prior to the procedure to return the nose to its original state and minimise the bruising and swelling that occurs after the rhinoplasty. (the agent used to dissolve the filler results in a few days of significant swelling).
Fillers to the nose tip should be used with caution as it is a watershed region, particularly if the nose has been injected with filler multiple times previously or if there was surgery/trauma to the nose before.
Pain and Downtime
In general, the procedure is not painful. The doctor will apply topical numbing cream in order to make the experience tolerable.
For nose fillers, there isn’t any immediate downtime after the procedure and patients can expect to return to action with about an hour’s rest. Some patients report feeling some mild discomfort and sometimes post-operative bruising and swelling is expected. However, within 24 hours, most negative effects will have subsided.
How Long does Nose Fillers Last?
Unlike an actual rhinoplasty, the results of nose fillers are generally temporary and last so long as the hyaluronic acid remains in the tissue. Once the fillers dissipate, the nose returns to its normal shape. This usually takes between six to twelve months. The time it takes for fillers to return to normal may vary from individual to individual.
Hyaluronic acid, unfortunately, slowly dissolves into our skin tissue. Hence, your doctor might require you to come back to get touch-ups done every few months. This is to ensure that your nose continues to maintain its new shape.
Crooked Nose Treatment
There are many possible reasons someone might have a crooked nose. A crooked nose would refer to any nose that doesn’t follow a straight, narrow line on the middle of your face.
In general, crooked noses are a cosmetic concern. However, there are situations where a crooked nose can affect your breathing.
Causes of Crooked Noses
In general, there are 2 main causes of crooked noses.
Bone, cartilage or tissue issues
Our noses are made out of bone, cartilage and tissue. These work together in a complex system in order to form a functional nose. This might get affected by certain birth defects, physical injuries, nasal infections or other surgeries like rhinoplasties.
Your septum is a wall within your nose that separates the right and left nasal chambers. Patients with a deviated septum have a septum that slants either to the right or left, causing a blockage.
A deviated septum can be a tricky nasal condition to live with as they sometimes affect breathing, sleep and can cause nosebleeds.
Only a doctor is qualified to properly diagnose the reason for a patient’s crooked nose.
Treatment for Crooked Noses
Treatments for crooked noses generally fall into 2 categories, surgical and non-surgical.
Surgical treatments for crooked noses include rhinoplasties, where the shape of the nose is surgically altered. For patients with a deviated septum, sometimes a doctor will recommend a septoplasty, where the wall in the middle of your nose is straightened and put back into place.
For more cosmetic nose problems where the airways don’t need correction, there are options such as nose fillers or nose threading. These treatments can camouflage the crooked nature of the nose by filling in areas of the nose.
Dr Samuel Ho’s Approach
Firstly, the underlying cause for the crooked nose must be determined – is it the septum or nasal bones that are crooked? Occasionally, it may be the soft tissue (skin) that results in deviation, such as when scarring is present. In general, this crookedness can be dealt with in 2 different ways - one can correct the cause of the crookedness or one can camouflage it.
The difference between the two methods is the recovery involved. Camouflage techniques typically result in shorter downtime, but may not be feasible if there is a functional problem that has to be corrected, such as nasal obstruction. Correcting the underlying cause, such as nasal bone osteotomies (breaking the nasal bones) or septoplasties (to correct a crooked middle cartilage piece) typically have a longer recovery period and might have a slightly higher complication rate but are generally needed to correct a functional problem.
The more appropriate method is only chosen after a careful discussion between Dr Samuel Ho and the patient as every patient’s requirement and expectations are different.
Face Thread Lift
Face lift threads may vary in terms of thickness and density. Threads with small cones around them are inserted into the skin via a needle. This produces a visible “lift” to the skin which creates a youthful, vibrant look.
How Face Thread Lifts Work
The sutures made by the threads has the effect of pulling the skin back and therefore giving the face a tighter look. Also, these threads inspire a healing response from within the skin, causing the body to direct a large surge of collagen to the treated area. Collagen is extremely important in combating ageing and giving the skin a youthful look.
The Face Thread Lift Process
First, your doctor will inject you with a local anaesthetic in order to numb the relevant parts of your face. This takes around 10-15 minutes to fully work. Under local anaesthesia, a doctor will use a needle to insert the threads horizontally into different parts of the face, to create a lifting effect. Sometimes, a doctor might opt to use a blunt cannula to insert the threads.
The total number of threads needed varies according to a few factors. These factors include:
The existing face structure of the patient
How much enhancement is required
The thread that is being used (e.g. HIKO threads)
This entire procedure takes anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes.
Dr Samuel Ho’s Approach
Dr Samuel Ho personally prefers coned threads to barbed threads as he feels the core strength is less compromised and therefore the lifting effect is more sustained. Typically, 3-4 threads are required on each side to thread the lower face and a further 3 threads are required on each side to treat the neck. Dr Ho usually avoids using threads to thread the brows and eyelids as it may not provide for a very natural appearance.
Dr Ho also assesses the “weight” of the patient’s skin prior to the thread lift to ascertain if the lifting effect will be sustained. If it is too “heavy”, he will let the patient know as much, and advise them on other more suitable options.
In general, thread lifts provide an immediate period of lift and patients should be made aware of the degree of lift possible. Thread lift results can improve up to 3 months from the original procedure.
How Long Thread Lifts Last
Within 6 months to a year, the threads will naturally and safely dissolve within the skin. However, the effects of a thread lift last for 1-2 years, lasting even after all the threads have dissolved.
The downtime is minimal and many refer to this treatment as a “lunchtime lift” as patients can often get the procedure done during their lunch break and return to work straight after. Side effects are rare and generally mild. These include:
Mild bruising and swelling around the thread insertion areas
Female genital rejuvenation typically involves the vaginal vault (vaginoplasty) and the external labia majora and minora (labiaplasty).
Women who choose to undergo these rejuvenative procedures typically are the postpartum mothers and those in the older age group. For each, there are both surgical and non-surgical options.
I will discuss labiaplasty first as this is the more commonly requested for procedure, and I divide the procedures into 2 groups - those for the labia majora (outer) and those for the labia minora (inner). These tend to result from ageing and the accompanying hormonal changes and there is typically volume loss as well as tissue excess, producing a flat and deflated labia majora and a thin and floppy labia minora. There is also accompanying dark pigmentation in place of the more youthful pinkish appearance. Although this is usually a consequence of ageing, I do get a number of younger, pre-pregnancy ladies who also have these symptoms.
The non-surgical method of rejuvenating the labia would be through the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers that are injected to the labia to replenish the lost volume. However, this is a temporary solution and must be repeated annually or so. The other downsides include bruising and possible embolism resulting in tissue death, if inadvertently injected into a vessel, although this is rare.
This procedure takes about an hour and is performed under light sedation.
Surgical methods of rejuvenating the labia include:
The use of fat grafting to the labia majora, where the patient’s own fat (from the tummy or thigh areas) are removed and purified before being injected into the labia. This produces a full appearance that should last a few years or more, depending on the age of the patient.
Removal of the excess floppy labia minor (usually the dark pigmented part) and a rotation flap to create a short youthful appearance. The scar is hidden internally and cannot be seen after healing. The degree of removal can also be predetermined as not everyone wants complete removal. It should be noted that care should be placed on removal of the clitoral hood so as not to damage the sensory nerve to the clitoris; excess removal can also result in dryness and over-sensitivity.
This day surgery takes about an hour and is performed under light sedation.
Vaginal Rejuvenation Methods
Vaginal rejuvenation is usually performed for post-pregnancy mothers who may experience vaginal laxity as a result of multiple vaginal births, large birth weight babies, large episiotomy cuts with inadequate repair or other forms of natural vaginal birth trauma. They typically seek to reduce the size of their vaginal vault in order to achieve better sexual intercourse with their spouse, and this degree of reduction also syncs with the partner’s penile size.
Non-Surgical Vaginal Laxity Treatment
This can be achieved non-surgically over multiple sessions for a small degree of tightening, through the use of a vaginal tightening device that is inserted like a probe. The procedure involves a combination of lasers as well as radio frequency to achieve gradual mucosal tightening over time, much like a non-surgical facelift.
Surgically, a vaginoplasty will involve the removal of a strip of mucosa, as well as a plication of the underlying muscle. This produces a more sustained tightening of a greater degree than can be achieved non-surgically. Vaginoplasty can be repeated on both sides of the back of the vaginal vault to achieve even more tightening, if required. I typically perform this procedure under moderate sedation, rather than general anaesthesia, as it is a relatively pain free procedure. It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours and is a day surgery procedure.
Patient Recovery Periods
Recovery is fairly straightforward for my patients and involve the use of sanitary pads for about a week due to the blood stained discharge that will occur. There is no stitch removal and they simply have to apply antibiotic ointment twice a day for 1 week till wound healing. They have to abstain from sexual intercourse for 2 weeks and other physical exercise for 1 week. For vaginoplasty, they will require lubrication for the initial few episodes of sexual intercourse that will usually be quite tight until the scar tissue relaxes fully.