A hair transplant surgery that is used to repair bad or deterred results of previously performed procedures is referred as Corrective or Repairing hair transplant surgery. This is usually done on patients who are dissatisfied with their results usually because having had out dated hair restoration procedures done in the past such as mini-grafting; strip harvesting; or scalp reduction surgery and getting unnatural results, hair plugs, or scars. Other reasons might be of a poorly performed surgery or inappropriate candidates. All these problems can be fixed under a corrective surgery with intelligently planned procedures and technology.
Traditional hair transplant surgery is now outdated. This was done with mini-grafting technique in which 10-12 hairs were taken from the patient’s back of the scalp by only one way that is called strip harvesting. A linear strip of skin is cut off from the back of the scalp with numerous hair follicles stuck in it. The hair follicles were dissected from the skin by cutting the skin into tiny pieces and each piece contained 10-12 hair follicles, quite irrelevant of the naturally occurring follicular units. The dissected hair is called a hair graft, which is then planted with a needle into the bald area of the scalp. As this is the basic idea of the whole procedure the hair would grow normally covering the bald patches. However, despite serving the purpose of covering the baldness, the results appeared a dense patch or plug of hair as if glued with gum paste, it was obvious and unnatural.
Scalp Reduction is a procedure in which the skin from part of the bald scalp taking from the crown area is just removed and the edges of a more hair bearing skin is stretched to close and sutured thus technically reducing the bald scalp, partially. It is nonetheless subject to many complications like stretching back of the hair bearing skin; unwanted scarring; unnatural look of the scalp; infection; hemorrhage. These procedures are hardly in use nowadays, and physicians and surgeons advise patient’s against it.
A corrective surgery is done by ideally removing the larger grafts with FUE technique and re-dissecting them according to the hair follicular units that can be retrieved and replanted to the area in a more natural looking pattern, if there is transection of hair grafts in the process, then more hair grafts are extracted freshly from the patient’s back of the scalp. This process is called hair graft excision, and the larger holes which had the larger holes are closed and sutured as finely and any scar tissue is also removed, conclusively meaning a more naturalistic appearance.
Sometimes, the results of a previously done hair restoration is not as bad, and the larger grafts that are otherwise are planted in proper direction, a hair camouflage can be a less costly affair to fix the problem. In hair camouflaging, small-1, 2 and 3 hair follicular units or micro grafts are used to transplant in front and subsequently in order to camouflage the larger grafts and thus improve their look to a more naturalistic appearance, without taking off all the hair grafts and this can limit the time and cost of the overall procedure. Hair Camouflaging is a very affable procedure that saves time and cost than a complete graft excision, and also saves more grafts from transection in the process. This lead many surgeons to believe that this procedure can completely replace the graft excision procedure, however, this is not true, because despite being affable with smaller grafts with larger grafts camouflaging will obviously make it more dense and unnatural hence, both graft excision and hair camouflaging is important for a corrective hair transplant surgery.
Depending on the actual condition of the bad hair transplant, a corrective surgery can also be done in combination of camouflaging and graft excision to attain the possible result. In this not all grafts are removed, only the ones that cannot be camouflaged. A combined repair needs a skilled hair transplant surgeon who can strike a proper balance between graft excision and camouflaging.
Scarring was a regular complication with old hair restoration procedures of strip harvesting and scalp reduction, and with the newer innovation of Follicular Unit Extraction, these scars can be fixed or camouflaged beyond recognition. While a scalp reduction procedure often depleted the quality of donor hairs and made the scalp very tight, making a corrective surgery extremely difficult; a strip harvesting technique left a widened linear scar from behind the ears one end of the scalp to the other. The scars can be fixed in with the FUE technique by only a very skilled professional surgeon, and is used to harvest some donor hair and plant immediately on top of the scars in order to hide it completely. And this does work but may require more than one session in case of complicated cases. But the end result can be expected a fair one for sure.