Choosing to repair a previous hair transplant can be a big step for some patients, although once taken, can be extremely gratifying. As hair transplant techniques have improved over the years, along with technology utilized in the procedure, so has the quality that has been available to patients seeking a hair transplant procedure. Therefore, reparative procedures can increase the natural appearance of previous to repair previous, sometimes inferior results. For many patients, the result of the initial hair restoration is a “pluggy” look. Should the patient choose, the old hair plugs can be completely removed, and a new procedure can be performed utilizing the latest methods of treatment that were previously unavailable.
A reparative procedure can be an excellent solution to hair loss that has occurred as a result of prior surgeries or scarring of various sorts.
Surgical procedures, even performed at the utmost quality of care, at times, still result in the appearance of scars for some patients. This appearance of scars often depends upon the patient’s ability to heal, as each individual will have a varying rate of healing and some may scar more easily than others. Scars from prior surgeries can lead to elevated hairlines on the face or unwanted loss of hair in other parts of the body. Hair transplantation into these areas works wonderfully as a way to camouflage the minor scars that may develop. This is perhaps most often seen in patients after having a facelift or browlift. Thankfully, the reparative hair transplant is a minor and relatively simple procedure. Hair transplantation is utilized upon the scarred areas both behind the ear and in front of it to help to obscure the visibility of any scarring from a facelift. It is important to keep in mind that this procedure does not remove the scars, it only acts as a means to conceal them, although it is quite effective in concealing the scarring. An individual may require more than one session of hair restoration to develop full levels of concealment with which the patient will be satisfied. The timeframe between the initial procedure that led to the scarring and when the hair transplantation can be performed varies depending on the individual, but typically, patients wait about approximately four to six months. As always, it’s best to consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action to take.
Will Rogaine re-grow the hair I have lost?
Rogaine works mainly to stop or slow down the progression of loss. In some cases it can help re-grow a bit of hair, but rarely will a drastic improvement be seen. Results only last as long as you keep taking it.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS
If I had a scalp flap procedure 20 years ago that now looks unnatural, what can I do about it to have it repaired?
Up until the early to mid 1990s, scalp flaps, when performed properly by qualified surgeons, were reasonable procedures to perform on select individuals – given the less than perfect aesthetic results of micro/minigrafting procedures. Personally, I stopped performing these complex surgical procedures in 1995, after limiting them to only select patients.
Today, it is possible to significantly address and repair the major aesthetic problems that result from scalp flaps. The abnormally solid hairline can be softened. The donor site scarring can be repaired with grafting and/or with scar repairs. The rounded off frontotemporal recessions can be made more receded. As a surgeon who was trained in this procedure, I am able to understand the dynamics of these surgeries, and repair them to their greatest degree.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS
I visited Dr Epstein a couple years ago regarding a repair procedure. I have significant ridging in the hairline and at the time Dr Epstein had mentioned a surgical procedure to address the ridging problem. He said at that time it was very new/experimental. I was wondering if this procedure has been further advanced or pursued, and if it is a viable option. I have tried a series kenalog injections with Dr XX – went up to kenalog 40 cc – but with no reduction in the ridging.
For people who go for a second hair transplant procedure, do you go right into the same donor spot as before or do you go around it?
Dear Dr. Epstein,
I am considering having my second transplant in the future.
After my first transplant I was concerned that I may have lost some grafts due to wearing a hat (which I require for work) and also I had some concern about loosing grafts while sleeping and washing.
Could you please tell me, If I do decide to have another transplant, at what time do the grafts become totally secure in the scalp? (in how many days/weeks)
Also for what reason do you believe this to be the case?