People say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. With so much attention on the eyes, it is no wonder that people want them to look their best. While some people have naturally beautiful eyelashes, others have lashes that are short, sparse or damaged. Using what surgeons call the “plug and sew” method used for balding men, doctors can now apply this technique to eyelashes, giving people living, growing and permanent lashes, according to ndri.com.
The surgeon makes a small cut in the back of the patient’s scalp to remove the 30 to 40 hair follicles needed for the transplant. The surgeon will individually sew the hair follicles onto the eyelid. Usually the surgeon can place 24 to 40 lashes on each eyelid per session. If the patient wants more, the surgeon will schedule a second session.
The patient will have a local anesthesia for the two-hour process performed in the doctor’s office. The doctor uses absorbable stitches, which are undetectable both during and after healing, according to ndri.com. The implanted hair follicles act like seeds and will continue to grow. The patient must maintain the lashes by trimming them and possibly curling them. These implanted lashes act like human hair, and people with straight hair may opt for a so-called eyelash perm. Inversely, curly-haired people may wind up with kinky lashes.
You will get medication for pain relief and swelling. It is wise to have someone take you to and from the procedure, according to ndri.com. You may have discomfort for several hours in both the eyelid and at the donor spot in the back of the head. Swelling or bruising may last for 10 days.
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Be gentle with your eyes for the week following surgery. You should avoid mascara during this period. The stitches can take up to a month to dissolve.
AS of 2009, eyelash sewing costs about $3,000 per eye.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.