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Hair Loss - Surgery

Surgery to cover bald areas of the scalp may be used to treat hair loss. If successful, surgery may be a permanent treatment for hair loss.

Surgery choices

The most common types of surgery to treat hair loss include:

  • Hair transplant surgery. During this surgery, your doctor will move small grafts (pieces of skin with hair follicles) from areas of your scalp with full hair to areas of your scalp that are bald or thinning. The grafts may include single hairs or up to 30 hairs in one graft. This is the most common type of surgery used to treat hair loss.
  • Scalp reduction. Scalp reduction involves removing large areas of bald scalp from the head. Sections of the scalp with growing hair are then stretched and sewn together to fill in the bald areas.
  • Scalp flaps. Scalp flaps involve moving a large section of scalp containing hair from the side and back of the head to a bald area. One side of the flap remains attached to the scalp as the section of scalp with hair is moved to cover a bald area. The complication rate of this procedure is higher than other procedures because of bleeding, scarring, and infection after surgery.

What to think about

Surgery may be a more permanent solution than medicines to treat hair loss, but it is expensive, it involves surgical risks, and there is a chance that not all hair follicles will remain healthy.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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