In spite of the development of several advanced hair restoration techniques, there are numerous hair transplant surgeons who still conduct outdated and harmful hair restoration techniques. The reason for doing so is to avoid increased expenditure. To perform advanced techniques, the surgeons shall have to hire trained full time staff of technicians and also purchase advanced and costly equipment, which shall increase their expenditures. The time required to perform these advanced hair transplant techniques further demand longer duration as compared to the older techniques.
Some of the outdated and harmful procedures that should be avoided in surgical hair restoration are as follows:
Scalp Reduction is also known as male pattern reduction, galeoplasty or alopecia reduction. This is a minor procedure and can be performed in the physician’s chamber, under local anesthesia. In this procedure, the bald part of the scalp is accurately cut and the edges of the surrounding hair bearing skin are sewn together. In few cases, an unsightly scar commonly known as a “dog ear” scar develops. The dog ear scar is tough to repair.
Scalp reduction may further lead to few complications such as – increased hair loss within only weeks or months; infection; unnatural appearance as the direction of hair growth is changed; thinning of the scalp; hemorrhage and hematoma; suture reaction; etc.
In this procedure, a flap of hair bearing skin is transplanted from the side of the scalp to the front hairline without separating it from its blood supply. The flap needs to be twisted for the hair bearing side of the flap to face outwards hence, there shall always be an unsightly “knot” that shall be appearing. This technique is a major surgery and has to be performed in a hospital setup. Hair flap procedure is generally not recommended in persons suffering with male pattern baldness and is indicated in severely disfigured patients like burn or accident victims.
Some other serious complications associated with this procedure are- hair always growing in the opposite direction of a normal hairline; extreme scaring in the donor area; infection; poor positioning of the flap; etc.
Round or Square Grafts
These grafts are large pluggy-looking grafts which is made with a hole punch devise. As these grafts are large, they compromise the blood supply. Hair in the centre of the graft fails to grow. Cobble-stoning is a common scalp deformity which is caused by this procedure. Mini grafts and micro grafts also give a less natural appearance.
Linear or Line Grafts
In linear grafts, a linear strip of donor hair is removed from the donor site and the entire strip is transplanted. As this large graft fails to accommodate in tiny recipient sites, a trench is surgically cut in the bald area and the large graft is placed into the trench. When the hair grows, it appears as a completely man made line of hair which is not cosmetically acceptable.
This is a major form of scalp reduction, where the scalp skin is dissected or loosened below the major arteries of the scalp. To prevent the damage of these blood vessels, the nerves are cut and tied, this permanently numbs your head. This surgery requires hospitalization and general anesthesia. Hair lift procedure gives rise to visible scars around the ears. The complication of this procedure is extra hair loss.
In this technique, silicone balloons are inserted into the pockets which are created between the inside of the scalp and skull. The purpose of inserting silicone balloons it to stretch the skin on the scalp for future scalp reductions, flaps or hair lift surgery. After the incisions heal, the balloons are inflated with saline solution injections. The head is blown up to double its normal size. Scalp expander is a major procedure which is indicated only in trauma cases.
Hence, when you choose to undergo a hair transplant surgery ensure that the technique used for your surgical hair restoration is not any of the old techniques, mentioned above. The above mentioned techniques give rise to numerous complications and the appearance of the surgery is also unsightly. Therefore, the techniques mentioned above should be avoided in surgical hair restoration. Make sure that you are operated utilizing any advanced hair restoration surgery, which offers you effective outcomes.
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