Scarring from previous surgery in the scalp: what are my options?

Options for scars


It's common to have a variety of surgical procedures in the scalp. Some individuals experience injury to the scalp and need stitches. This can sometimes leave permanent areas of hair loss. Some individuals have cosmetic surgery to the scalp (ie facelifts). This also can leave permanent hair loss for some patients. 

Overall, anytime surgery is performed on the scalp requiring stitches, some degree of hair loss can occur and sometimes can be permanent. It's a good idea to speak with a hair restoration physician.

Options for restoration


Whenever someone comes in to see me about restoration options, there are a few options to discuss. 

1. Waiting longer

It's sometimes helpful to wait a bit longer to see if some growth can occur (growth can be delayed after traumatic injury so waiting is sometimes helpful).


2.  Hair transplantation

It can sometimes be beneficial to simply add a few grafts in the area through traditional hair restoration means. Hair can be moved from the back of the scalp (donor area) into the area of hair loss created by the original surgery


3. Surgical Revision

 I might advise some patients to see a plastic surgeon to revise the area. This involves cutting out (excising) the original scarred area and resuturing (re-stitching) the area in a variety of creative ways to make smaller.   There are many factors that go into determining whether a patient is even a candidate for surgical revision.


4. Scalp micropigmentation (SMP)

SMP is a helpful technique for small areas of scarring. It involves placing tiny dots in the area of scarring. These dots mimic the appearance of hair cut in cross section. They reduce the appearance of the scarring.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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