Understanding Your Medical Hair Restoration Options and Their Side Effects

Medical hair restoration is a major decision that entails preparation and consultation. It poses to be one of the best hair loss solutions that promises permanent results. However, medically restoring the hair also entails the use of other topical or non-topical treatments for better results.

While hair restoration has been a medical procedure for decades, science has developed and improved the process to ensure a safe and natural appearance of the hair. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery is the premier organization in providing the most updated and quality procedures for alopecia (hair loss).

Hair Transplant Surgery:
When hair transplantation was just an idea to many, surgeons were doing the doll plugs and cornrows procedure. It provided an unnatural look to the hair just like that of dolls’ hair. The modern day hair regrowth treatment improved to micro- and mini-grafting procedures that provided natural-looking growth. For aging men and women, a series of operations is possible because they have a higher incidence of baldness.

Single hair-graft procedures have relatively minor side effects like discomfort during the operation, swelling and scabbing which will heal after a week or two. Serious problems like bleeding, infection or prominent scarring occur very rarely because the procedure is highly perfected and the surgeons adept.

Alopecia Reduction Surgery:
Also called scalp reduction, alopecia reduction surgery replaces the bald scalp with healthy hair-bearing scalp. This procedure is very selective because only candidates with enough supply of donor hair can have the surgery. There are points to discuss before the procedure: health, extent of baldness, laxity of scalp and reasons why the patient would prefer this kind of method.

The usual side effects of alopecia reduction surgery range from temporary soreness to swelling. Severe complications like scarring and “stretch back” at the excised area are not frequent.

Scalp Expansion Surgery:
Scalp expansion surgery is usually paired with the alopecia reduction procedure. It implants a balloon-type device that causes the bald areas of skin to be covered with hair-bearing scalp. After the operation, the area with the implant temporarily inflates and will be removed after a successful scalp expansion. Side effects include bleeding and infection on the area and a postoperative scar that can easily be hidden.

Scalp Flap Surgery:
The goal for scalp flap surgery is to repair causes of malformation, an area of traumatic damage and male pattern baldness. This kind of surgery is usually reserved for patients with congenital defects and to reconstruct the bald area of skin. Severe side effects include “kinking” of the blood supply resulting in partial or total loss of the scalp, numbness on the area, scarring on either the donor or recipient area and permanent hair loss.

Medical hair restoration can be a very stressful experience due to the modification of the physical appearance. A healthy relationship with the surgeon will help in managing the stress because the procedure is thoroughly and carefully planned. A patient who is considering an operation of this nature should have a positive outlook to prevent anxiety and look forward to the finished results.