As with any surgical procedure, a hair transplant can come with various risks that you’ll need to be aware of prior to undergoing the surgery. While a hair transplant is typically considered to be safe, the process can cause some pain, swelling and inflammation of the scalp in the minutes, hours and days following the procedure. Here, we’re taking a closer look at the risks and side effects of a hair transplant.
Typically, any side effects which follow a hair transplant will be minor and will often clear up within a few weeks of the procedure. These short-term side effects include:
Bleeding & Swelling Of The Scalp
One of the most common side effects patients may experience is bleeding and swelling of the scalp. The nature of the hair transplant means that follicles will be removed from areas of the head that see healthy hair growth and be transplanted into the treatment areas through incisions. While the FUE method is far less intrusive than the traditional FUT method, which requires strips to be cut from the scalp, there is still a possibility of some minor bleeding and swelling as the transplants heal.
Itching is a common side effect of any surgery as areas of the body are trying to heal and as a result, it’s an understandable common occurrence after a hair transplant. It is important, however, not to scratch the scalp to relieve itching, as this can lead to the displacement of the newly transplanted hair follicles. It could also lead to dirt being passed into the wounds, which could ultimately lead to an infection and become dangerous. If the itching is prolonged after the hair transplant procedure, it may be a result of the shampoo you are using, but you can contact one of our aftercare specialists for further information on how to prevent an itching scalp.
Inflammation or infection of the hair follicles is known as folliculitis and can occur as a complication of a hair transplant. Infections of this kind can often be treated by a mild antibiotic cream, lotion or gel. If the infection becomes more serious, then it is advised to contact our aftercare specialists in order to gain additional medical help or advice.
Shock loss refers to the scenario when newly transplanted hair suddenly falls out post-procedure. This is a surprisingly common complication, but it is not one for patients to be concerned about. In fact, patients who experience shock loss will find that their newly transplanted hair will re-grow within a few months, as the follicles transplanted into their scalp will remain intact.
While there are a number of short-term complications, these are often resolved within the first few weeks after the procedure takes place and the hair begins to grow back. However, there are some long-term complications which may also need to be considered:
The laxity of the scalp could be impacted after a hair transplant procedure, due to the trauma your head is put through during the surgery. This is most common after the FUT procedure. Typically, the scalp will regain the majority of its laxity within the first six-eight months after the procedure, but it will continue to loosen after this. If the patient had a loose scalp to begin with then the scalp is more likely to return to full laxity, while a tighter scalp prior to the surgery will see a more noticeable change.
Grafts Which Fail To Take
While our success rate here at Longevita is high, there are some circumstances where a patient’s grafts will not take to the scalp and therefore a repetition of the surgery is required. All of the surgeons we work with are fully insured, offering peace of mind and support for each of our patients if this is the case. In the event that your hair transplant procedure has not taken, the patient consultant will review the progress of growth and take any required action.
A long-term complication after a hair transplant can be a ‘hair curl’. This means that the hair follicle which has been transplanted into the scalp has curled under which could result in ingrown hair. This can be highly irritating for a patient and could result in infection. If there are a large number of curled hairs on the head, the results of the hair transplant may appear unnatural.