Staying up-to-date on the latest advancements in hair restoration ensures that surgeons provide their patients with the best possible techniques and that they perform the best possible procedure on their patients. Older hair transplant methods often left people with obvious results, such as visible plugs. The hair could look more like the hair on a doll’s head, not like a naturally occurring head of hair.
If you have had a hair transplant in the past that you are not happy with, it is possible to fix it. A reparative hair transplant procedure can fix the unsatisfactory results, either giving you a more natural head of hair or allowing you to be bald. When choosing a surgeon to perform a hair transplant repair, it’s important to pick someone with ample experience not only in hair restoration, but also in hair transplant repair. Most people are seeking out the most natural appearing results.
Older hair restoration techniques have fallen out of favor with most surgeons, and Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is one of those. These techniques can leave large areas of scarring on the scalp or leave visible “plugs” in the transplanted hair, or have other problems such as unnatural appearing hairlines.
The pluggy look typically occurs when a surgeon transplants a hair graft that contains more than two or three follicular units. The graft’s big size makes it look obvious in the transplanted area. The use of large grafts also tended to leave noticeable scars in the donor area. Along with visible scarring and a pluggy look, older methods of hair transplantation could also leave the hair growing in the wrong direction or planted too deeply into the scalp creating pitting.
Another older method of hair restoration that tended to leave patients unhappy with their results was bald scalp reduction. The thinking behind bald scalp reduction was simple: a physician would remove the bald area of the scalp, reducing the size of the baldness on a patient’s head. The down side was that the technique often left patients with a large scar across their scalp. The technique also didn’t repair hair loss at the front of the scalp, meaning an additional grafting procedure was often needed.
Scalp flap surgery is another old method of hair restoration that is for the most part not used today. It’s different from scalp reduction, as instead of removing the bald area from a person’s scalp, the surgeon rotates from the side of the head a large flap of skin that contains as many as 10,000 hairs, into the frontal hairline, creating a thick, dense hairline This is also called a Juri flap or a Fleming-Mayer flap, developed by Beverly Hill surgeons Dr. Richard Fleming and Dr. Toby Mayer. A lot can go wrong during scalp flap surgery, and many surgeons didn’t have the training or experience to properly perform it. Poor results from the procedure included large scarring in the donor area, an unnatural hairline, hair growing in the wrong direction and failure of the transplanted flap.
Poor Physician Skill
While in some cases poor hair transplant results are the result of outdated techniques, in others they are a result of a lack of skill on the surgeon’s part. A surgeon who doesn’t place the hairs properly, so that they end up growing in the wrong direction, or who doesn’t anticipate future hair loss can end up performing the surgery incorrectly. There are ways to gauge whether or not a surgeon has the experience and talent needed to perform the surgery well. For example, you can look at photos of the doctor’s past work before the surgery or ask for reviews or recommendations from other patients. Choosing a board certified surgeon is very important, one that has experience and expertise in the procedures.
Hair Restoration Repair
The revision or repair process for a bad hair transplant depends on the problems an individual patient faces. If the issue is obvious or “pluggy” hair follicles, the revision surgeon can remove the grafts and reduce their size, before replanting them in a way that is more natural looking. Some patients may also require additional grafts to be placed in the area. It’s also possible for a patient to decide to have the grafts removed completely, leaving the area bald.
In some cases, a patient might want to have the scarring in the donor area repaired. A surgeon can reduce the appearance of scars in the donor site by excising them, then closing the area. Another option is to transplant hair to the scarred area, using follicular unit extraction. The FUE technique avoids making cuts in the donor area to get the additional grafts.
Choose a surgeon who has plenty of experience in repairing hair transplant surgeries gone wrong. With practices in New York and Miami, Dr. Jeffrey Epstein has many years of experience in reparative surgeries. Call (212) 759-3484 for a consultation at the Foundation for Hair Restoration in New York City. Call (305) 666-1774 for a consultation at the practice in Miami.