Whether lost as a result of genetics, illness, or plucking or other trauma, eyelashes can be restored with transplantation. These intricate procedures involve the placement of individual hairs into the upper eyelid, using techniques that essentially “thread” the hairs so that they will grow in an upwardly curled direction.
To perform these procedures, hairs in the scalp are placed into the “eye” of special curved surgical needles, where they are then threaded into the upper eyelid. In a typical procedure, 80 to 100 or so hairs, placed usually two-at-a-time, are placed in each eyelid, or less if there is only a small area that requires filling in.
The result: longer, thicker, fuller eyelashes. These hairs need to be curled and trimmed on a regular basis, and some patients choose to undergo a second procedure in order to achieve greater fullness. The procedure can be combined with eyebrow transplants, or even other plastic surgery procedures.
This two to three hour long procedure is essentially painless, and requires the donor scalp hairs to be a minimum of 3 inches long in order to permit proper threading. There are risks with the procedure- of tiny cyst formation on the eyelid, and the more serious risk of hairs scratching the actual eye- and so while this serious risk is of very low frequency, patients needs to be advised as to them, and are always encouraged to first try the medication Latisse®, which is designed to help grow fuller eyelashes.