Scars are an inevitable outcome of hair transplant surgery. There is nothing as scar-less hair transplant surgery. Though, the newer hair transplant techniques have undoubtedly improved in causing less scarring as compared to the older techniques.
Few hair transplant procedures leave behind no visible scarring in the recipient area (areas in which the hair is transplant) while in few procedures such as in Follicular Unit Transplantation there is a single visible line in the donor area; in strip incision techniques, a linear scar is visible on the scalp and in Follicular Unit Extraction there are several tiny round visible scars seen in the donor area (area at the back of the head, from where the hair is taken for transplantation). Hair transplant scars can be caused due to the hair plug or may be caused due to the depression and elevation of the grafts (used in mini-grafting procedures) or due to a thickened or stretched donor scar.
Scarring can cause a cosmetic issue especially when old techniques are used or when current procedures are not performed properly or in cases when the patient is a poor healer. Few scars are small and can be easily hidden while few scars may require the need of scar repair. It is observed that after several hair transplant procedures, wide scars get visible and ugly; needing scar healing procedures. The appearance or size of scars is dependent on the type of hair restoration technique used, amount of tissue eliminated and the experience of the surgeon.
Scarring in the recipient area can be eradicated by keeping the recipient area very small while scarring in the donor area can be reduced by carefully approximating the wound edges and using inert material to close the wound. Permanent, unsightly and visible scars can be a matter of concern as it can cause low self-esteem in the patient. Hence, it becomes essential to address this issue of scar formation in patients before they develop an inferiority complex regarding the scar.
Techniques of Fixing Scars
There are several techniques which can help in healing significant scarring. Though, the method for healing hair transplant scars differs from patient to patient based on the type, appearance, pattern and intensity of the scars. The method adapted needs to be tailor-made for every patient as every hair transplant repair patient presents with different set of problems.
Some of the most beneficial methods to heal scars are –
Scar revision surgery – In this technique the scar is excised or the direction of scar is altered. The scar is eliminated and the scalp is pulled back together and re-sutured. Caution has to be taken in reducing any tension on the scar, else the suture shall re-open. Due to this procedure too, scar can develop but then it shall be much smaller compared to the original one. Scar revision surgery is indicated when the patient wants to get rid of the scar completely. This scar repair surgery enhances the appearance of the scar. Few of the scalp scar revision techniques used are ‘Trichophytic Closure’, ‘Trigrowthic Closure’ and ‘Double Edged Trichophytic Closure’.
Placement of follicular unit extraction into scars – This procedure is a very helpful procedure which is used for concealing hair transplant scars. Here, the donor grafts are taken from the chest hair or beard and are implanted on the scar, they are then given time to grow. This treatment is best suitable for those patients who have a high hair density in other sites of the body. Growing of grafts in scars makes the scarred areas of the scalp less visible.
Camouflage – Here, the hair is directly transplanted into the scar.
Scalp Micropigmentation treatment – In this procedure, the hair transplant scar can be effectively camouflaged. This procedure is suitable even for patients with less quantity of donor hairs.
Injections – Thickened scars can be flattened with cortisone injections.
Fillers – Depressed scars can be raised with dermal fillers.
Laser skin resurfacing treatment – Irregular surface can be made smooth with laser treatments. This procedure helps in reducing the actual look of the existing scalp scar tissue.
Hence, when you opt for hair transplant surgery; do a thorough research regarding the transplant procedure, the experience of the surgeon and the outcome of the procedure. After the procedure, even if you develop scars then you need not worry as you can take the help of above mentioned techniques to heal the hair transplant scars.
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