Why get a touch-up after a hair transplant?
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2021-05-28
A touch-up after a hair transplant is, actually, a quite common intervention, more than you can imagine. It is not uncommon for a person who has undergone a hair transplant in a clinic with not enough experience, or with a medical team that has used an incorrect technique, to request a touch-up because the operation results are unnatural or do not meet the patient's expectations.
Quite often, patients who contact our clinic and ask about how much does a hair transplant cost, do so because they have suffered a bad experience and want to fix the problems caused by a first operation that has not gone well; however, an expert should examine the results of the intervention and assess whether the patient can undergo a second transplant. Let's talk about what happens when one hair transplant... is performed to fix another.
When should I retouch my hair transplant?
The modern FUE transplant technique, which is the most used in Turkey and the one we use in our clinic in Istanbul, basically consists of transplanting healthy hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient area, where they are expected to grow and generate healthy hair. Normally, it’s estimated that more than 90% of transplanted follicles take root correctly and generate new hair; therefore, although not all do so, enough hair density is achieved.
However, in some patients - very few – and for different reasons, the rate of follicles successfully transplanted is lower: this causes the density obtained to be insufficient or irregular; it may also happen that although follicles have taken root correctly, the results of the transplant are unnatural – or even that the operation has left scars - due to the insufficient experience of the team that performed the operation.
In these cases, we can say that in the end the operation has failed and that some retouching of the hair transplant is necessary. It may also be necessary to retouch a transplant simply because the patient is not satisfied with the results: either because the surgeon did not tell the patient the truth before performing the operation, or because the patient was not a suitable candidate and – despite this - the surgeon decided to go ahead with the procedure.
Besides, another possibility is that the patient may not have waited long enough before seeing the results of the first operation: it may take up to 6 months before new hair growth becomes apparent; and let’s not forget that during the first weeks after the transplant, a phenomenon called shock loss may appear, which causes all hair to fall out: this a totally normal process, but many patients mistakenly think that it means that their operation has failed.
In any case, it is always the specialist of the second clinic where we seek to improve the results of the first operation, the one who must evaluate whether performing a hair transplant touch-up is possible, explaining with clarity and honesty to the patient what’s the situation, how the process will be, and what are the results to be expected.
What results can I expect if I retouch my hair transplant?
As we have already explained, interventions to correct problems caused by lack of experience or bad practices on the part of the medical team that performed a hair transplant without due guarantees, are very frequent. However, the failure of a hair transplant operation cannot always be attributed to the clinic or the medical team: sometimes, the results can be altered if the patient does not follow the prescribed care, for example on how to wash hair.
Once the hair surgery specialist examines the case and concludes that, indeed, the initial transplant presents problems, it is time to consider a new intervention to correct the mistakes of the first one. It may happen that only some little touch-ups are necessary so that hair density becomes homogeneous, or to correct small imperfections; but there are also cases in which the required intervention is quite more complex.
For example, it may happen that the surgeon has not defined the frontal line correctly, or that it appears separated from the rest of follicles, and then it will be necessary to repopulate the recipient area with new follicles; it may also happen that follicles have an incorrect orientation (then it is necessary to extract and reimplant them); depopulated areas can also appear, it can be necessary to hide scars... even the transplant may show a doll-like appearance.
In all these cases, and after carrying out a previous study, the main factor that will determine whether it is possible to correct the errors detected after the first operation is that the patient still has enough follicles in the donor area: if, for example, the patient had not much hair in the donor area and most of it has been used in the first intervention, alternative sources of donor hair must be found, and the surgery will be more complicated.
To avoid all these troubles - which unfortunately are frequent in people who go to clinics that follow bad practices - and to avoid to get a touch-up after a hair transplant, it is very important to choose always a clinic with a well-trained and skilled medical team. Clinicana is the best hair transplant clinic in Turkey: request your free consultation now, and ask for a free, no obligation estimate for your treatment.