What is a repair hair transplant?
It is a procedure to correct the above problems to give a good result. It can include
- redoing most of the first procedure by adding density
- Correcting an abnormal hairline, either by Removing some grafts from the first procedure that are too low and replanting where they are needed; or by adding grafts and correcting the shape
- Correcting donor scars from the first procedure
- Correcting the cobble stoning or irregularities by laser or radiofrequency.
A repair transplant should be differentiated from a repeat hair transplant. A repeat hair transplant is done when the first transplant was successful, but the hairloss progressed, and more grafts are needed for the new bald area.
What are the challenges of the repair hair transplant?
A repair transplant is always tougher than the first procedure for the following reasons
- Part of the donor area has already been harvested. . Direction, elasticity have been altered and this makes the procedure tougher- and the transection rate higher. So it is important to be careful not to over harvest the scalp. This might mean that beard and body hair transplant might be needed.
- The recipient area already has some grafts. It is important to identify which of these are worth keeping, and which might need to be removed.
- The recipient area is scarred from the first surgery. Hence blood supply might be altered. In some cases more than one session might be needed for repair.
- In some cases, it is not clear why first transplant failed- there are rare instances of a dermal or hormonal or genetic influence which affect the grafts
How can bad donor scars be improved?
A bad donor scar can occur either fron FUT or FUE. In FUT there might be a very wide scar. In FUE the donor might be over harvested, or grafts might have been taken too close to each other leading to patchy areas of hairloss. These can be improved by
- Scar revision- this is useful in wide FUT scars, where the scar can be removed and resutured with trichophytic closure
- Micropigmentation- areas of hairloss can be camouflaged by using pigment to cover the exposed area
- Grafting- few grafts can be implanted into scars to reduce their visibility
What to expect during your repair hair transplant?
A detailed assessment and counselling is done and a clear idea is given to the patient. A revised hair line is designed and documented. Different factors which affect results and what can be expected is explained. Patient should always understand that: first hair transplant is the best chance for success. A repair is a repair – it is about making a bad situation better.