It seems like some doctors shave the recipient area for a hair transplant while others do not. Why is this? What are the dangers if the recipient area isn't shaved? My recipient area was not shaved for my last hair transplant.
I think you are going to find that there are varying opinions on the topic, both from patients and leading hair restoration physicians.
In my opinion, I believe there is a time when shaving is necessary, and almost critical. However, these cases are reserved for transplanting hair in between and around an abundant supply of natural hair.
Because parallel (sagital) incisions make sliding in between and around existing natural hair easier, hair loss doctors who regularly use sagital rather than perpendicular (coronal / lateral) incisions may be able to get away without shaving.
Some physicians will religiously shave because they believe it provides an optimal working environment and promotes better hair growth yield while minimizing shock loss. Others won't shave and believe they can produce results on-par with surgeons who do shave. Hair restoration physicians who don't shave the recipient area when transplanting hair in between or around existing natural hair typically take a longer time to complete the surgery, but believe it does not negatively impact hair growth yield or facilitate shock loss.
There are a number of detailed threads on this topic on our hair loss forum. You are encouraged to use the "find" feature to see what patients and leading hair transplant surgeons have been saying.
Bill - Associate Publisher