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Under the procedure, a small incision is made at the back of the scalp to remove 30 or 40 hair follicles which are carefully sewn one by one onto the patient's eyelids. Only light sedation and local anesthetics are used and the cost is around $3,000 an eye.
The technique was first confined to patients who had suffered burns or congenital malformations of the eye. But word spread and about 80 percent are now done for cosmetic reasons.