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Are Hair Transplants Dangerous?

A recent question was asked in the newspaper- is having a hair transplant dangerous or invasive? This blog will help answer the question for those of you who are interested!

Is a hair transplant dangerous?

In short the answer is- it can be. If you are operated in a clinic or by a surgeon that is inexperienced, unregulated and unlicensed it is certainly dangerous.

Choose a clinic that is regulated, established and a surgeon who is licensed and you should expect your hair transplant to be safe with good results. But what does it mean to have a procedure that is “invasive”.

The word invasive essentially means how much the surgery involves cutting into your skin. Like any other surgery, hair transplantation obviously involves undergoing some cutting into the skin and is considered “minimally invasive“. This is because the depth of each cut is normally not more than half a centimetre and is very small.

At The Treatment Rooms London we have sometimes seen patients come from clinics that are unregulated and unlicensed who have deeper cuts than this. It can result in terrible complications including permanent scarring like skin necrosis. We strongly advise you to do your research. Any clinic you go to in the UK should fit the following conditions:

  1. Have a Care Quality Commission License
  2. The surgeon should hold a GMC license

You can check both these conditions by clicking the following links:

  1. Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  2. GMC

What is a safe hair transplant?

A hair transplant can be a safe treatment. It relies on a few different factors which you should be aware of.

  1. Having a full consultation with your hair transplant surgeon
  2. Finding out how the operation will be carried out
  3. Having clear goals on what you expect from your surgery and see if this matches your surgeon’s expectations too

Have a full consultation with your hair transplant surgeon

It is important you get to know your surgeon and their clinic. Trust is an important part of any patient journey. Having a hair transplant is just the beginning and you will need to trust your surgeon to understand your wishes.

Secondly, you will need to meet with your hair transplant surgeon to vet their experiences and their qualifications (e.g. GMC licence). They should be able to give you a full consultation around your hair loss, the likely diagnosis and counsel you around the pros and cons of every treatment (not just a transplant). Sometimes, it might be in your best interests to delay a hair transplant rather than jumping straight into it.

Find out how the operation will be carried out

It is important you know where and how your surgery will be carried out. Having the operation in a CQC- registered clinic is the first step. Ask about how your surgeon and their team keeps a clean sterile environment so there is minimal risk of infection when you have surgery.

Have you thought about what type of surgery you will be having? There a two main hair transplant procedures (FUE and FUT). You should ask your surgeon which procedure you would benefit most from.

Have clear goals on what you expect from your surgery and see if this matches your surgeon’s expectations too

What is your current pattern of hair loss and what do you want to achieve by having hair loss treatment? Having a hair transplant might be an option for you but there is a limited amount of hair your surgeon can transplant. If you are young you might want to plan your transplant to account for further hair loss in the future. 

A transplant will never match your original hair density. However, by strategically placing hairs your surgeon can give you the illusion of having dense hair. You will need to have an honest conversation with your surgeon about what you would like from a hair transplant. Be prepared for your surgeon to guide you on what they think is also best for you- accounting for the following factors:

  1. How much hair you have lost so far
  2. How much hair you can have transplanted
  3. Whether you will lose more hair
  4. How much density your surgeon can safely achieve
  5. Whether you might require 2 sessions for a safe procedure 

Finally, the next concern you should then have is what you should expect when it comes to your hair transplant recovery. You surgeon should be able to inform you on your recovery and provide clear instructions about how you should care for your transplanted hairs in the days following the operation. For more information on common FAQs our patients ask us click on the following links:

  1. Common FAQs
  2. Patient recovery and aftercare
  3. What you can expect after a hair transplant

Hair Transplantation at The Treatment Rooms London

The above guidance is a basic requirement all hair transplant clinics should be providing their patients. At The Treatment Rooms London we are happy to answer questions or concerns our patients have about a hair transplant. Understandably, it is a large undertaking and choosing to have the procedure is a considered decision. Our 3 top tips are to take your time, be comfortable with your clinic and make sure you trust your surgeon.

References

  1. https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/dear-doctor-should-i-encourage-my-husband-to-get-a-hair-transplant-37839766.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4507484/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840892/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271303/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12174065
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825128/
  7. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/men-hair-loss-17/hair-transplants
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimally_invasive_procedure
  9. https://www.treatmentroomslondon.com/beware-of-the-hair-transplant-black-market/
  10. https://www.treatmentroomslondon.com/unregulated-hair-transplant-clinic/
  11. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gangrene/
  12. https://www.treatmentroomslondon.com/safe-hair-transplants/
  13. https://www.gmc-uk.org/
  14. https://www.cqc.org.uk/
  15. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/hair-transplant-death-man-wanted-more-grafts-in-1-go/articleshow/68366127.cms
  16. https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/mumbai-man-dies-hours-after-hair-transplant-what-are-the-side-effects-and-health-risks-associated-with-hair-replacement-surgery/380340
  17. https://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/india/man-dies-within-50-hours-ofundergoing-hair-transplant