Hair loss can sometimes be associated with scarring. For example, some patients I see have hair loss from previous cosmetic surgery, including facelifts. Some patients have scarring from previous burns or trauma to the scalp. In addition, there is an entire group of hair diseases known as “scarring alopecias.” Can a hair transplant be performed into scars? Will the transplant be successful?
One of miraculous aspects of hair transplantation is that hair follicles can grow in scar tissue. For patients with scars from cosmetic surgery, I will restore hair density in a single session. For those patients with scar tissue from scalp disease, or other complex scarring processes, I will wait 2 years after the disease has been declared quiet or "burnt out." At this point, I will generally recommend placing a few test grafts in to an area and observing the survival of these grafts over a 6 month period. If the graft survival rate is high, I will proceed with surgery. If the graft survival is poor, I will either declare the patient not to be a candidate for surgery, or place the patient on additional treatment to ensure the disease has truly become burnt out.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299