Revising Previous Hair Transplants
With the advancement of hair transplant technology and the ability to have a hair transplant surgery with very little downtime and minimal scarring, we are starting to see a surge in patients wanting to “touch up” previous hair transplants.
There are many reasons why a patient may be considering a revision to a previous hair transplant or may even just be wanting to do a second or third hair transplant, if possible.
The main reason that we see the most is to add more density to certain areas. Creating a natural and dense hairline is the absolute most important part of a hair transplant. The frontal hairline is what frames your face. As long as you have a nice, thick frontal hairline, it looks like you have hair and takes away from the perception of actually being bald. We see this with patients who have had a hair transplant in the past to restore hair loss in the frontal hairline but have now lost more hair in that area, leaving it looking thinner than what would be ideal.
If the patient does have a great frontal hairline, they may want to start bringing back some fullness of hair in the rest of the scalp or filling in a balding crown area. This is the area that needs to be assessed and implemented in a very strategic way. There are a few reasons why a very thought out, strategic plan must be followed in these areas. The most obvious one is that you will lose more hair! If you suffer from male pattern baldness, then it is your destiny to eventually become bald. So it is important that you do not end up with the wall (frontal hairline) and island (crown) of hair. This will look even worse than it did when you just had no hair here. Trust me when I say that you will look ridiculous if you have hair only in the front of your hairline and a patch of hair in the middle of your head.
Another reason we see patients wanting revisions is that they have had previous hair transplants using the very old method of hair plugs and have now lost the hair around those plugs, leaving the commonly known “doll hair” look. So they want to transplant hair around those plugs to give the area a more natural look.
The last reason we see patients wanting to do revisions is actually not necessarily to change the hair that was transplanted, but to fix the scar that was left from doing a hair transplant using the FUT or “strip method”. With the FUE (follicular unit extraction) technology, we can repair and minimize the scarring left from a previous hair transplant by “coring” out the scar tissue and placing hairs in and around the area so that the scar is less noticeable and can allow for a short haircut again.
One day we will have the ability to take a single hair follicle and “clone” or “multiply” it, but for now we still have some great advancements that can be used to revise previous hair transplants.