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Hair Loss on Donor Area after Hair Transplantation AKA “Shock Loss”

Q:

Dr. Mohebi,

I am a woman and I had female hair transplant surgery about a month ago.  After the surgery, I noticed a “thumb size” hair loss on one side of the treated area and it is located around the closed wound on the donor area.  The size of this hair loss area has doubled in size over the last few weeks.

I am starting to get a little bit worried. Is my hair loss permanent in that area?

A:

Shock loss around the donor area is not an uncommon complication after a hair transplant surgery particularly in hair transplants that require many grafts or when the patient’s scalp is tighter than normal.  This condition is more common among women due to the overall higher strip width to head circumference ratio.

This phenomenon is a type of telogen effluvium and the hair loss might last a few months, but it usually resolves completely with no need to have any type of treatment.

I really appreciate your question as questions like this one often help other readers of this blog.

The FUE procedure seems to be less involved with the shock loss if it is done with the proper size punch that we use for FUE graft harvesting. The older punches used to cause bigger holes that were increasing the risk of shock loss in the harvested areas.

Take Care,

Parsa Mohebi, MD