I have been fortunate and my hair transplant went well and with no complications. However, I am very aware that some haven’t been as fortunate as me. First of all, it obviously pays to use an experienced physician and I can tell you, with my hand-on-my-heart, that the peace-of-mind associated with that really is worth its weight in gold and irreplaceable.
But, if the worst does happen and your surgery doesn’t go to plan, what can you do about it?
Well, first of all, you have to consider some important points. A lot of the poor results we see today are mainly due to poor planning or improper execution of hair restoration surgery. It’s not always possible to repair poor transplant work and if there are multiple problems then the problem is compounded.
The first thing that you as a patient need to remember is your doctor may not be able to fix everything that’s gone wrong. Partial improvement can be an option when repairs are needed but before doing any repair work it is important to find what elements of the old work need repairing. To do this, you must identify what aspect of the transplant concerns you the most and you must tell your surgeon. Establishing priorities is essential and is key to you getting satisfaction.
Some of the potential problems are that the grafts are too large or pluggy, there are hairline problems, ridging, scarring and hair wastage. There are more problems but these are the main ones.
When your surgeon carries out his transplant procedure, he is aiming to achieve the correct density of normal hair. The problem is if the patient – you – doesn’t have enough donor hair to fill in all the gaps. The result can be too many plugs (and too dense/thick) or uneven [bald] patches of hair between the plugs. These can be caused by a number of reasons and should you be unfortunate to have the dilemma of a scattered or an uneven look, you had better speak to your surgeon.
There are four problems associated with ‘hairline problems’: too low, too high, too broad, and your hair is pointing in the wrong direction. If you suffer from this kind of problem then the only recourse is to enquire into another transplant to repair the faults.
Ridging is not so common in today’s modern surgical procedures but was a regular feature in older and larger grafts. It was where tissue was heaped next to where the plugs were inserted. This extra tissue created and elevated a ridge to the point where it was visible from the rear.
Scarring is unavoidable in any surgery but with hair transplant surgery it is invisible and doesn’t prevent hair growth. Scarring can occur in the donor or recipient area and can be minimised by applying surgical techniques.
Hair wastage can be reduced by careful surgery and a good surgeon/surgical team using modern technology. A team using incorrect procedures or outdated techniques can waste as much as 50% of the total hair removed and it is important, at every step of the way to know that the team you are paying to carry out your transplant are the best you can afford.