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Hair Loss: Procedures to Avoid

Scalp Reduction continued...

Scalp reduction problems also include:

  • Accelerated hair loss, more than the natural course your hair would take. This hair loss can occur within just weeks or months and often doesn't return.
  • An unnatural appearance because the direction of hair growth is altered.
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhaging and hematoma (blood pooling)
  • Stretch back, a problem in almost 100% of scalp reduction cases. The stretched part of the hair-bearing scalp that has been stitched together loses its tightness and stretches out partially or totally, leaving a visible bald area created by the stretching. The dog ear scar is not only unattractive; it is extremely difficult to repair.
  • Suture reaction, in which the stitches in the deep layers below the skin can cause pain and swelling. The body can reject the sutures, causing holes in the scalp at the suture sites.
  • Loss of hair for future transplants. Scalp reductions do not preserve hair for later use, as some physicians may try to claim. The same wreath of permanent hair is stretched to cover the wider area in the crown, thereby thinning the permanent hair that would normally be used as donor hair for transplantation.

Hair Lifts

This is a more radical form of scalp reduction. Dissection or loosening of the scalp skin is done at a level below the major arteries of the scalp. The procedure may leave parts of your head permanently numb.

Unlike other scalp reductions, this is major surgery, which requires hospitalization and general anesthesia. It leaves visible scars around the ears, and additional hair loss is often a result.

Published on March 1, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from the American Hair Loss Association

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