Complications After Hair Transplant

Q:

Thanks Dr. Mohebi,

Your input is much appreciated.  The shock loss you had mentioned has been my concern, as a few of my frontal hair seem lighter than before.  You had mentioned that the shock loss might be visible for a few weeks to months – will it be the case that after that shock loss stage, the hair will likely return back to original form?

There’s a very important question that i would like to ask you, and was thinking the it would be great for the blog to have.  Basically, when you saw my before and after picture, i feel like i changed a bit.  The “after” picture seems like i have more redness, and i’m hoping it’s not the case where the hair transplant affects the circulation (e.g., tight donor area/scalp affecting the blood flow to my head).  My surgeon told me before the procedure that i will eventually be back to the way i was before (i.e., the “before” picture), but just have a new scar and more gafted hairs.  That’s the ultimate question: would you agree that a patient who does a hair transplant will relatively return to the condition that he was before the particular sugery (w/ of course, a new scar and more hair)?  This is what keeps me up at night, thinking perhaps my scalp has worsened, or i am now more prone to lose hair.  I hope that’s not the case, and every patient should be aware about before she or he gets a hair transplant done.

Thanks again for your help.  If I see you in person at your office, I might be interested in discussing about future scar work.

shock lossA:

What is hair transplant shock loss

Some of the hair shafts that fall off due to shock loss might come back. Especially if the shock loss happens in an area with permanent hair like back of the head. However, losing hair in the frontal area because of shock loss might not be completely reversible. But, you have to understand that falling hairs are the ones that were supposed to fall off anyway and a hair transplant just accelerates the loss.

How to prevent shock loss

Again, using finasteride can significantly reduce the extent of shock loss. After surgery, in the transplanted area, the tightness should not affect the circulation of the scalp. After a few days to weeks, on the donor area, the tightness goes back to normal.

Donor scar in strip hair transplant

And to answer to your last question, I do not agree you go back to the condition before surgery with only a new scar and some more hair. What I personally do in a repeat surgery is remove the old scar; the patient at the end has only one scar that at times may be even better than the initial scar.

How to improve the appearance of the scar

I perform trichophytic closure when I think it is the final surgery that the patient may need.  Trichophytic closure is when we close scalp skin on the back in a way that hair can grow through the scar.  Trichophytic closure reduces the contrast between donor scar and surrounding areas that eventually improve the appearance of the scar, so you are not more prone to hair loss because of your hair transplant.

In some cases and when we are looking for even less visible scar, the scar may get filled with FUE into the scar in a few months from the initial surgery.

Be patient and you should be able to see results in the coming months.