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Approaches to Hair Transplant Scar Repair

2/12/2009 11:59:49 AM

Question:

I had a hair transplant five years ago where they took a strip of the back of your head and left a scar. I have seen online that certain hair restoration clinics offer scar reduction services. I wonder if you have any thoughts on the effectiveness of those procedures and possible complications. Also, if I after that wanted to do more hair transplants, would I be able to?

Answer:

Hair transplant scar repair is typically approached in two different ways and the approach taken often depends on the patient's ultimate goals and current need for repair.

In order to attempt to minimize your scar, a surgeon may harvest the original scar and close the donor area using today's gold standard trichophytic techniques. The trichophytic closure enables your own natural hair to grow through the scar since when the donor area is closed, one side of the wound is trimmed and the other overlaps it. If your goal is to also to restore more hair and assuming the scalp is elastic enough, a wider strip will be taken containing the old scar and new hair follicles. The hair follicles will be used to add density or coverage to balding areas whereas the new closure will be an attempt to minimize the appearance of the scar. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that your new scar won't stretch even using the latest techniques. However, in many cases, the appearance of the scar is successfully reduced and you'll have more hair than when you started.

Alternatively, using the follicular unit excision (formerly known as follicular unit extraction) (FUE) method, a qualified surgeon can extract one follicular unit graft at a time and transplant them into the scar. Transplanted hair growth when it matures will help camouflage the appearance of the existing scar. This scar repair technique is typically used when scalp elasticity is minimal or a patient doesn't intend on having any subsequent hair transplant strip procedures. Proceeding with another follicular unit transplantation (FUT) procedure will eliminate the viability of this method.

Bill
Associate Publisher/Editor


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