Tag Archives: hair transplant scar

A Complete Guide to Hair Transplantation Scarring

Anxiety is a completely natural and reasonable response to the prospect of undergoing any surgical procedure. For this reason it’s not surprising for our patients considering hair transplant surgery to occasionally express their concerns about the possibility of scarring.  Hair restoration surgery is after all an elective form of treatment undergone for aesthetic purposes; therefore it stands to reason that excessive scarring would somewhat defeat the purpose of such a procedure. Firstly, it is important to understand that no surgery known to modern medicine carries a 0% risk of scarification. In fact, various medical oversight bodies have issued official statements condemning those who advertise any sort of surgical procedure as ‘scar free.’ However, despite these natural caveats, hair transplants remain (with good reason) an immensely popular form of treatment the effects of which, on an individual’s general wellbeing, far supersede the merely aesthetic. And we confidently assert that our clinic’s surgeries leave scarring so fine that it is practically imperceptible unless under a microscope.
To help alleviate any anxiety you may have, let’s take a closer look at hair transplants and scarring.
Scar tissue forms as part of the body’s natural healing response and, in a surgical context, is proportional to the extent and depth of the incision. Any damage to the skin can result in scarring; even a paper cut can leave subdermal scar tissue. During a commonly used technique for hair restoration surgery there are two areas of the scalp on which small incisions are made; donor area, from which the hair transplant grafts are harvested, and the recipient area where the same hairs are transplanted.
The small slits made upon the bald part of the scalp (the recipient area) are made with minimally invasive surgical implements and, if done correctly by a skilled professional, should result in no visible scarring. Subdermal scarring will not be visible. Visible scarring may result in certain cases if, for example, large implements are used or if a practitioner attempts to squeeze an injudiciously large amount of grafted hairs into the skin of the scalp. Again, while it would be disingenuous to suggest that there any procedure is 100% scar free, as there will always be some changes below the skin, under normal circumstances you should expect the skin of your scalp’s recipient area to look more or less the same as before the procedure; except, of course, that it will now be covered by a beautiful new growth of hair!
Very minor scarring in the donor area is, however, unavoidable with any currently known medical procedure. Any practitioner who suggests otherwise is, quite frankly, lying. The hair grafts must be removed by means of judiciously placed surgical incisions and a cut, by its very nature, will inevitably leave some form of scarring. The good news for you, however, is that such scarring as is expected to occur during the harvesting of hair follicles is minimal. The incisions made by highly trained professions on the donor area using the highest quality surgical implements are difficult to see once recovery is complete and will also be hidden below hair. To better understand scalp scarring in the donor area we need to discuss the two different methods for harvesting hair follicles; Follicular Unit Transplantation, also known as FUT and Follicular Unit Excision, or FUE.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – In FUE individual hair follicles are removed from a donor area of the scalp and are transplanted to the area in need. No stitches or sutures are required for this minimally invasive procedure. Tiny implements, some of them measuring less than 1mm, are used to carefully excise individual hair follicles, small forceps are then used to free the graft. The small holes left behind from the cutting and removal of the grafts fill with scar tissue, leaving small dot-like scars wherever a graft has been extracted. When performed correctly, FUE scarring is almost impossible to discern.
Correctly is, however, the operative word – to minimize visible scarring the number of extractions must be small. In an inappropriately performed FUE procedure thousands of these small dot-like scars will be noticeable which, along with visible thinning of the donor region from overharvesting, is not an ideal aesthetic situation. The appearance of scar tissue varies somewhat with skin tone. As scar tissue is often lighter in color compared to one’s natural skin tones, patients with darker skin may have more apparent scarring from FUE because of a greater degree of contrast. In either case though, the scars are difficult to notice even on those who prefer very short hairstyles; if they so choose, our FUE patients should easily be able go down to a #2 (1/4th of an inch) on the clippers while retaining excellent scar coverage.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – In FUT a strip of scalp tissue is removed from the donor area. The scalp tissue is then separated into individual grafts for the needed areas of the scalp. The resulting FUT scar is also a very fine, straight line in the donor region. Typically less than 1mm in width although patients with certain physiological characteristics may develop a scar up to 2mm in width. Both 1mm and 2mm scars are considered to be within the normal range of healing. Your small scar will be hidden by any reasonable length of hair growth. Hair grows above, below and through the scar. Hair growth through the scar is facilitated by a special closure technique; other techniques also exist that ensure, for example, that you will only ever have one scar even if multiple harvestings are required. In all typical cases the scar heals so well as to be indistinguishable even on those who prefer to wear their hair in very short styles. We have observed that even patients with hair buzzed down to as short as 3/8ths of an inch using the #3 guard on a set of barber clippers still have sufficient hair to render the scar barely discernible. The small linear incision scar resulting from FUT provides our practitioners with the greatest number of available grafts. The harvesting process causes no stress to the grafts themselves and, moreover, no further damage or scarring in the donor region. This guarantees that, if required, more donor hairs will be available for future surgeries.
Now let’s talk about subdermal scarring. Scarring beneath the surface of the skin occurs with both the FUE and FUT procedures. Owing to the nature of these procedures and also to the body’s natural scarification process,the subdermal scar is almost always going to be bigger than the visible surface scar. This is not an issue with FUT as the 1mm-2mm scar typically has only an additional 2-3 mm of  scar tissue below the surface. Thus hair follicles within millimeters of the FUT scar are totally untouched and ready for future harvesting.
On the other hand, FUE scars may form too close together if the procedure is not performed correctly. As we mentioned above, FUE cuts made too close together are to be avoided. Such overharvesting may result in an overlapping network of web-like  scar tissue (sub-dermal fibrosis) compromising the health of surrounding hair follicles and rendering further harvesting problematic. The small surface scars from a properly performed FUE procedure are, again, difficult to appreciate even on those with quite short hair.
While most patients are left with minimal, well hidden scarring (and a fully restored head of hair), the technique of Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) can be performed to further minimize scarring if necessary. SMP is quite similar to standard tattooing, although it utilizes natural pigments in place of ink. SMP involves tattooing small dots which look like shortly buzzed hairs onto the scalp which help to darken, camouflage, and break up the appearance of scar tissue thus allowing patients who wear shorter hair to effectively hide any trace of visible scarring.
For more information about FUE and FUT or to discuss any anxieties or concerns you may have regarding scarring and hair transplant procedures, be sure to contact our hair restoration surgery center today. While hair transplant surgery does cause scarring it is almost imperceptible if done by a very skilled practitioner. At Modena Hair Institute we always strive to provide our patients with the highest standard of custom hair restoration treatment available, directly tailored to their individual needs. Our specialists are eagerly awaiting your visit or digital consultation. Contact us today!

Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.

Hair Transplant Repair: What Are Your Options?

A botched hair transplant can be traumatic to say the absolute least. At best, the scalp is scarred & the distribution of hair looks less natural than ever before. At worst, serious infections can occur & have a major effect on one’s health. The emotional fallout should be considered as well; for people who pursue a transplant to tackle self-image issues, there’s no worse feeling than ending up in a worse position with less money as a result of trying to fix it. 

For people in that situation, things might seem hopeless, as though they’ve been removed from their old selves & placed away from them at an unreachable distance. We understand that fear better than anyone, which is why we’d like to let you know that there’s a way to not only undo the damage, but obtain the refreshed look you were searching for in the first place.

Many of the cases we see at Modena Hair Institute in Orange County are repairs, and they come in quite a few varieties. One major type of case we see is people who went to clinics being operated by inexperienced surgeons & assistants at a low cost. As we’ve written about on this blog before, going to a cheap clinic will always cost more in the long run, and you’ll have to pay with your confidence & appearance along with money. Many of the most serious cases come from patients who received a botched FUE transplant. Often times this is due to inexperience and obsolete technology and surgical tools; while an experienced hair restoration surgeon like Dr. Yazdan will use small punches ranging 0.7mm – 1.0mm in diameter today, older varieties used by inexperienced clinics are far larger, sometimes reaching a massive 2mm. These outdated punches will very often lead to the area surrounding each follicle sustaining great damage. Issues also tend to arise when inexperienced assistants, rather than a trained & licensed physician who specializes in hair restoration surgery, perform the procedure, since the skills required to competently perform these operations only come with years of training & education. Whether it’s one or the other, a mix of these, or other issues, it’s an unfortunate situation to say the least.

The other types of repair cases we see involve patients suffering a large donor scar from an FUT transplant that fails to properly heal. Whether it’s an error in the closing technique itself (a typical result of an inexperienced surgeon’s work) or an aggressive harvesting of hair to force results, these scars are understandably devastating for our patients.

Dealing with any of these fallouts is an arduous task, and reversing them requires heavily trained hands, knowledgeable minds, and attentive eyes. This, as a matter of fact, is exactly what we offer at Modena, whether you come into our Newport, Beverly Hills, or Las Vegas offices. Through countless hours of time spent with these procedures, we’ve developed a wide range of methods to tackle botched transplants of many varieties. 

To start, we’ve found that patients dealing with damage from outdated procedures achieve significant results after we perform our repairs. As described on the Modena site, “…new, natural follicular units can be transplanted to soften or camouflage the old plugs and restore a natural appearance. In some cases, if the plugs were placed incorrectly, we can re-transplant the hair from the plugs to the correct area & [set them] in the correct growth direction.”

A patient of Dr. Yazdan who suffered a scar at an outside clinic. These images (left-right) show this patient before, immediately after, & eight months after the repair procedure.

Our years of experience also come in handy when repairing botched donor scars. Above is a photoset showing the steps in this process. A patient of ours was dealing with a scar along his posterior scalp after a botched FUT “strip” hair transplant performed at an outside clinic. To assist him, Dr. Yazdan took hairs from the undamaged parts of his donor area, transplanted follicles directly into the scar, and completely camouflaged it as a result. In less than a year, virtually nobody would be able to tell that there was any procedure done to begin with.

Even if the donor area in the back of your scalp can’t be used in a repair, which is unfortunately the case for quite a few of our patients, you still have a chance to regain your hair. When the patient in the video below came in with notable scarring & an unusable donor area, Dr. Yazdan, with the help of his longtime team of assistants, was able to extract donor hairs from the beard & chest, placing them in a way where they were indistinguishable from natural hairs from the scalp. No visible scarring resulted, and the patient gained a far denser hairline in turn.

To sum things up, a botched FUT or FUE hair transplant is far from the end of the road. When you come into Modena for a consultation, we’ll stop at nothing to determine every option you have in your hands, and we’ll dedicate ourselves entirely to giving you the look you set out on achieving from the beginning. 

Learn more about our hair transplant repair services, along with everything else we offer our patients, and be sure to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Botched hair transplant surgeries continue to rise

The rates of botched hair transplant surgeries continue to rise.
Doctors or technicians claiming to be successful hair restoration surgeons boast of their qualifications, abilities, and certifications. They claim you can have double the grafts all in one session. Best of all, you can have it for a steal of a price. This colorful narrative attracts desperate patients seeking a more affordable hair transplant option.
Unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. These inexperienced, unqualified doctors trick patients suffering from low self-esteem into compromising their hair transplant results.
Inferior qualifications, lack of experience, and absence of medical regulations abroad equal a recipe for disaster for hair transplant patients. Victims of botched surgeries are often left with unsightly scars, infections, and graft survival failure.

You can reduce your risk of becoming a botched hair transplant surgery victim by researching, asking questions, and weighing the cost-benefit analysis.
Below is a list of questions to ask your potential hair restoration surgeon during a consultation:

  • How many years of experience do you have transplanting hair?
  • Do you use a machine or hand tools to assist you in extracting and placing grafts?
  • What size punch tool do you use?
  • Do you have any before and after pictures?
  • Do you have any testimonials?
  • Are you certified by the ISHRS?
  • Will you be the one actually performing my surgery?
  • What percentage success rate do you have for graft survival and overall successful outcomes for hair transplant surgeries?

Keep in mind that doctors in countries other than the U.S. are not held to same strict medical standards. Getting your surgery abroad greatly increases your risk of having a botched surgery.
Here at Modena, we’ve helped many botched patients restore their hair. If you’ve been the victim of a botched surgery, give us a call for a consultation today.

Scalp scar repair

We often see patients for consultations who are dealing with the effects of having a scar on their scalp. Thankfully, there are hair restoration options to restore and repair scalp scars.
When you have a scar on the scalp, whether it’s from a hair transplant surgery or an unrelated traume, there is often a lack of hair growth in or around the scar.
The scalp is similar to the skin in that it is made up of layers of dermis. When the tissue is damaged for whatever reason, there is often damage deeper down than just what we can see on the superficial layer. Part of this deeper damage effects the hair follicles that reside there, causing a lack of hair growth.
In addition to hair loss in or near the scar, another side effect of scalp scars is scar tissue. Scar tissue is what gives scars that scar-like appearance. Your genetics, healing history, and time all play a role in the severity of your scar tissue. While scar tissue may lessen over time, generally, scar tissue is here to stay.
Hair loss coupled with scar tissue can leave many individuals feeling insecure about their scalp scars. Regardless of the cause of your scar, there is hope to restore a normal scalp and hair appearance.
Hair restoration techniques such as FUE hair transplant surgery and scalp micropigmentation allow individuals to conceal scalp scars with hair or hair-like coverage.
The FUE hair transplant surgery method to repair scalp scars is similar to the standard FUE hair transplantation procedure. Grafts are extracted from a healthy donor area (often the back of the scalp) and are transplanted into the scalp scar. The hair follicles are able to grow healthily and naturally in the scar area.
Scalp micropigmentation or SMP to repair scalp scars is a unique method in involves pigment being applied to the scalp in a dotted hair-follicle appearance. This method is ideal for those with a buzzed or a shaved hair style.
If you’d like to learn more about these methods for scalp scar repair, give us a call for a consultation today.

Press release: botched hair transplant surgeries on the rise

As medical science continues to advance, hair transplants become increasingly common. Unfortunately, so has the occurrence of botched hair transplant surgeries.
A botched hair transplant refers to a hair transplant gone wrong. Often times, patients that are victims of botched hair transplant surgeries look worse off after the surgery than they did before the surgery.
Botched hair transplants come in many different forms. It can be a bad FUT/Strip scar that has scar tissue that is highly visible, noticeable scarring in the extraction or recipient areas, or a minimal to non-existent graft survival rate.
According to hair restoration surgeon Dr. Amir Yazdan, this rise in botched hair transplant surgeries has increased dramatically in recent years. He states that when he first began transplanting hair about 10 years ago, fixing botched hair transplants made up an extremely small sample of his patients. Now, resolving botched cases accounts for almost half of his active surgery patients.
Botched hair transplants have damaging and lasting effects. Not only do they cause patients to spend double or triple what they would have if their first surgery was successful to fix their hair, but the valuable donor area of the scalp can be permanently damaged. This damage means that even a corrective surgery may not be possible.
So how do you make sure you’re not the next victim of a botched hair transplant surgery? Dr. Amir Yazdan says “research, research, research. An experienced hair transplant surgeon will have plenty of positive reviews, before and after photos, and won’t shy away from any questions.”
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Amir Yazdan’s practice or how to avoid being the next victim of a botched hair transplant, visit his website at modenahair.com.

Case Study – Botched Strip FUT Scar Repaired by Dr. Yazdan Using Scalp Micropigmentation

botched strip fut scar

Patient had Strip/FUT hair transplant surgery by a doctor who claimed to be an experienced hair restoration surgeon. During the surgery, the patient states he experienced immense pain as it felt like the technicians and doctor were struggling and pulling at his scalp tissue. When he asked the doctor what was going on he was told they were having trouble sewing the scalp back together. As the pictures illustrate, the resulting scar from this traumatic procedure left masses of scar tissue. All of this scar tissue left huge areas of no hair growth on the back and sides of the scalp.

The patient came to Modena Hair Center seeking a scar repair procedure. Dr. Yazdan assessed the scalp and the existing damage caused by the previous botched Strip/FUT hair transplant surgery. After evaluating all of their options, Dr. Yazdan and the patient agreed Scalp Micro-pigmentation would yield the best results. The patient now has coverage on the scar tissue area, creating a fuller more natural appearance of the hair.

Don’t let this be you! While hair restoration surgery is minimally invasive, it is still a medical surgery. That means your surgeon needs to be qualified and experienced. Do not hesitate to research and ask questions. A good hair transplant surgeon will take the time to walk you through the process and share their results with you. If you’d like to learn more about scar repair options, give us a call.