While Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) has provided thousands of patients with a long-lasting solution for hair loss, due to the nature of the procedure, this traditional method results in a scar. Due to the sensitive nature of hair loss and hair transplants, many patients may feel self-conscious about the long, thin scar left by FUT procedures. While this can often be disguised by growing out the hair, hair transplant scar removal can offer peace of mind and reassurance for each patient.
An FUT hair transplant sees the removal of a strip of skin from an area of healthy hair growth in order to harvest the follicles. This is usually at the back or sides of the head. The strip is then separated into individual grafts, which are implanted into the scalp using small incisions at the recipient site. It’s the initial extraction of a strip of skin that results in the scar and while our surgeons take every care to ensure this scar is nearly sutured to reduce scarring, FUT patients will see a thin scar across the donor site as it heals, where no hair will grow.
With hair transplant scar removal, however, this can be hidden through the use of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). While there are other methods available for scar removal, our surgeons are able to conduct this additional transplant after the scar has healed in order to reduce its visibility and improve the density in the donor area.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a hair transplant technique that features the extraction of individual follicles directly from the scalp. Using a circular ‘punch’ tool, these follicles can be extracted without leaving any scarring or requiring the removal of skin. These follicles are then implanted into a recipient area in the same way as during FUT.
Due to its minimally invasive nature, the reduced scarring and limited required downtime, FUE has become the method of choice for new patients seeking hair transplants, but can also be used for reducing the visibility of scars from other hair transplant techniques. By implanting the grafts at the site of the scar, this technique allows the surgeon to replenish the lost hair growth in this area.
However, it’s important to note that implanting follicles into scar tissue may require excess care due to limited or uneven blood supply. If the scar doesn’t typically receive much in the way of blood supply, the follicles will not be able to receive the nutrients they need in order to take to the recipient area and ultimately grow. Your dedicated patient consultant may be able to determine whether this is likely to be the case when you attend your first meeting, though your surgeon will also discuss with you the risks and likely results dependant on the severity or state of the scar.
If your surgeon suggests that FUE may not work for your particular case, there are other methods available for hair transplant scar removal and our consultants may discuss this with you in further detail. This will be in order to ensure your previous transplant remains at the best quality and you find the technique to suit you.
When it comes to hair transplant scar removal, our approach centres entirely around FUE. However, for patients who may be ineligible for this treatment due to insufficient donor hairs, lack of blood flow to the scar tissue or another reason entirely, noting the alternatives may be beneficial.
One such alternative is Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP). This technique featured the application of small ‘spots’ of pigment on your scalp to match the colour, density and nature of your existing follicles. This works in a similar way to a tattoo, helping to create the illusion of a shaved head or improved density for those with diffused hair loss. While this will not provide the area with hair, it can give a visual illusion that helps to reduce the overall appearance of a scar.
In a similar manner, it can work alongside the traditional FUE hair transplant scar removal by providing the aforementioned appearance of density where there may be a limited number of transplanted follicles. While you may also undergo excision of the scar in order to reduce its appearance, FUE is often seen as the most effective method for those looking to hide the scar and restore confidence in their hair and appearance.
For more information about our hair transplant scar removal procedure or to book your consultation with a member of our team, you can get in touch on 0845 5198 948.