In Part 1 of what happens if a hair transplant goes wrong we discussed the recipient area. Specifically the hairline and graft placement. How a hair transplant uses genetically strong hairs. When moved the result is permanent. In this article we will discuss the donor area and how this can cause a hair transplant to go wrong. The reasons and the consequences involved when a hair transplant goes wrong.
The donor area is the be all and end all of a hair transplant. Without a good donor area then no hair transplant is possible. Regardless of the technique used the donor area must possess good hair characteristics. Donor management is vital. to ensure the zone is maintained in the best condition possible. This should be a prerequisite for any Doctor anyway. But especially for a cosmetic procedure. With the intention to improve the look and feelings of the individual.
Follicular Unit Transplant and Follicular Unit Extraction have allowed for improvements in donor management. A more natural appearance in the hair growth from the hair transplant procedure. Even with improvements in techniques a hair transplant can still go wrong.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
By far the greater marketed and desired of the current hair transplant techniques. FUE removes the hair units individually. Using a round punch instrument to make to remove the hair follicle. The donor surface area is wider than the FUT donor zone. The FUE technique has proven to be a superior option for those with minimal thinning. Those maybe Norwood 2, 3 and possibly 4 hair loss stages. It has opened a new door to those who have undergone multiple “older” procedures.
Male pattern hair loss is progressive. Treating the minor hair loss stages maybe possible but what with the more advanced stages. The individual´s donor hair characteristics have to be much higher than average. Follicular unit hair density and good hair characteristics to ensure sufficient FU numbers can be safely extracted and leave options for the future.
FUE donor surface area may cover a larger surface area but that does not mean more grafts can be removed. Without that is making the donor thin and or obviously scarred or damaged. Remember the scalp surface area is not reduced in size. But, with FUE, the number of hairs in the area is reduced. The more hairs removed the lower the hair density becomes.
How low is too low for a donor hair density
Larger baldness NW cases may not be suitable for FUE alone. Without over harvesting the donor area most candidates do not have the capability to reach much more than 4500 grafts/FU. Certainly ill advised in one procedure or over multiple procedures. Large FUE sessions are not advisable to be undertaken. FUE maybe minimally invasive for an individual punch. But multiplied by 4000 plus and the end result is very different. As a result, there would be more scarring and impaired yield in the recipient.
What happens when too much hair is removed from the donor area. What happens when a hair transplant goes wrong? Even on a good donor with FUE. Over 50% needs to be removed to treat advanced hair loss stages.
This leaves large “hair less” areas. More visible scars. The donor becomes “open”. Meaning it is permanently damaged beyond repair. Further hair removal is impossible. Without making the area worse. As a result, future hair loss cannot be treated. This can leave an unnatural pattern of hair growth along with an unsightly looking donor area. With a patchy moth-eaten looking hair coverage around the sides and back.
Permanent Damage and Shock-loss
Loss can occur to the native hair. In the FUE hair transplant donor area. Shock loss. The medical term for shock loss is effluvium, meaning shedding. This can temporary or permanent. Trauma to the area and the surrounding hair and skin. A natural reaction to the surgery that can cause the existing hair to shed. Shock-loss usually affects the miniaturised hair. The hair nearing the end of its life span. Shock loss is more common when a large session is performed. Or too much medication is given.
Do Your Research
When looking into repair surgery it is important to thoroughly research. It is a specialty field. Generally, an online consultation will not suffice with repair cases. The Doctor will want to see you in person. Assess the skin damage, the lay of the hair, orientation, direction and measure your donor capacity. This will allow the doctor to build up a picture of how they will approach the repair, which techniques to employ, the potential graft numbers that can be achieved.