Side Effects of Hair Transplantation

It is undeniable that looks and confidence are important. Nowadays, there are many people who have lost their confidence due to hair loss and receding hairline. Hair transplantation is a procedure that can solve the problem. However, not anyone could perform this procedure as it is a combination of medical science and art. Therefore, what must be considered before undergoing hair transplantation is choosing a competent and qualified hair surgeon. The surgical performance may be poor and results may substandard if the hair surgeon is insufficiently qualified. This article will discuss the possible errors, side effects and complications of hair transplantation techniques, as well as the mitigation these side effects and risks after getting hair transplant.

Treatment Errors

Treatment errors can occur during the consultation and explanation before hair transplantation, surgery or post-operative care. Most of the errors are caused by hair transplant surgeons, either directly or indirectly.E

Advice and Clarification Errors

Before undergoing hair transplantation, there may be several errors as follows:

  • Incorrect diagnosis: Sometimes, patients with baldness and misdiagnosis may have poor results because hair transplantation is not a suitable treatment for all types of hair loss problems. Therefore, choosing a competent physician is of paramount importance.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Patients often have unrealistic expectations of the results such as a desire to have hairline like a young person though they have almost no hair left. Therefore, hair surgeons must provide honest information and point out the patient’s problems and possible approaches to hair transplantation treatments based on facts and don’t give the patient a hard-won hope.
  • Lack of information: Patients are not provided with sufficient information about the potential risks of hair transplantation.

Surgical errors

Errors can occur for a number of reasons during surgery and these errors can lead to undesirable outcomes:

  • Inadequate qualification: The main causes of the errors are inadequate qualification of the hair surgeons and inadequate attention to medical standards. Patients should seek information about hair surgeons, before and after pictures, specialist positions, number of previous cases. This is in order avoid undesirable results of hair transplantation.
  • Improper methods/technics: The most commonly used hair transplant methods in the past were FUE and FUT, each with their own pros and cons. However, neither method is suitable for all patients and there are still quite a number of side effects. But with the advancement of current medical science and the development of equipment and tools used in hair transplantation, new techniques such as DHI and Long Hair DHI have been developed in order to provide the most natural results for the patients.
  • Improper extraction: FUT method can cause large scar on the back of the scalp. Therefore, this method is not suitable for patients who want to wear short hair. In FUE method, if too many hair follicles are extracted, it can make the donor area thinner and unnatural. Therefore, improper extraction of tissue or hair follicles can also cause unnatural wounds.
  • Incorrect preparation and implantation: Larger number of grafts and larger distance between grafted result unnatural doll-like result. Therefore, grafts should be of the right size and implanted as close to each other as possible.
  • Cleanliness in the operating room: Lack of hygiene during surgery significantly increases the risk of infection, which can affect the result of hair transplantation.
  • Insufficient or inappropriate equipment: Outdated or damaged surgical equipment can result in poor hair transplant results.

Aftercare errors

Errors and mistakes can occur either from the hair surgeon or the patient, even after hair transplantation.

  • Hair surgeon’s mistakes: The hair surgeon may not provide the patient with complete information on care and practice after hair transplantation, resulting in poor hair transplantation result.
  • Patient’s mistakes: Even after providing with complete information on post-treatment from the hair surgeon, some patients may neglect it, which may affect the result of the transplant.

Side Effects and Complications

In addition to human-caused treatment errors, there are other side effects and complications that cannot by controlled by the patients and hair surgeons:

  • Risk of infection: Like other operations, hair transplantation is at risk of infection, but it is relatively low.
  • Bleeding: The patients may experience bleeding after the operation due to trauma to the scalp where gauze can be applied to initially stop the bleeding in that area.
  • Swelling: After surgery, the forehead and eye area may swell. However, this condition is temporary and usually disappears within 3-5 days. Sleeping with your head high can help reduce swelling.
  • Itching, tightness, and numbness: Patients may experience temporary stiffness and numbness immediately after surgery.
  • Scar pain: Patients may occasionally experience pain at the suture area after hair transplantation, especially with FUT method.
  • Scab formation: Small scabs may form in the donor and recipient areas where these scabs fall off after 14 days.
  • Shock loss: Shock loss may occur may occur in the early stages after hair transplantation, which is caused by injury of the skin tissues in adjacent areas. This symptom is temporary.
  • Coughing or hiccupping: Although they are rare side effects, some patients experience persistent coughing or hiccups for a few days after the hair transplantation. The exact cause is still unknown. However, this complication is temporary and does not pose a threat to the patient.

Dr. Suthida Arayametee

– Doctor of Medicine, Chiang Mai University

– Grad.Dip.Clin.Sci.(Radiology), Chiang Mai University

– Diploma in Practical Dermatology, Cardiff University, UK

  • Certificate of completion: Fundamental of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Training Course
  • Certificate of attendance: Implanter Workshop for Hair Transplantation, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital
  • Certificate of Completion: Medical Weight Management Specialist, School of Antiaging and Regenerative Medicine, Mae Fah Luang University
  • Certificate of attendance RELIFE Master Network Module 3 Advance Workshop for Thread Lifting (Definisse Free Floating)
  • Certificate of attendance Mid-Face Correction & Enhancement using thread, botulinum toxin, filler Workshop by No 1 Trainer
  • Certificate of attendance: RELIFE Master Network Module 2 Advance Workshop for thread Lifting (Definisse Double thread technique with 23-cm-thread)
  • Certificate of attendance: 9th ITCAM Hands-on Cadaveric Dissection of Toxin and Filler Injections and Thread Lift
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