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  1. #1
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    Default Overcoming shame of a hair transplant scar

    I got a transplant when I was 20 (1995) to stop my receding hairline. The doctor said the scar it would leave would hardly be noticeable and of course I was desperate to halt my hair loss. After awaiting the result I knew I was duped because the new hair on the front of my scalp was thin and wiry, and I had a bigger scar then expected. My confidence (and luck) with women has been devastated ever since.

    I would have shaved my head years ago but do not want to "advertise" my hair transplant because for me that would be like advertising the insecurity I had about baldness. Like it was something so horrible that it merrited disfiguring surgery. It is a double edged sword because I'm attractive to women when my head is buzzed but the shorter I shave my head of course the more apparent the scar.

    I still think shaving my head is the best way to go because my hair loss is quite extensive and therefore I understand I'm not the best candidate for more transplants. I've read many threads on scar reduction techniques, but nothing that seems it will make the scar invisible. Therefore I'm wondering what other victims of strip scarring transplants who have elected to shave their heads are doing to overcome the scar stigma. When people inevitably ask what happened what do you tell them? Does anyone have a great excuse? If you told the truth to friends, relatives and colleagues, how did people react?

    Cheers,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Administrator SpencerKobren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varonil View Post
    I got a transplant when I was 20 (1995) to stop my receding hairline. The doctor said the scar it would leave would hardly be noticeable and of course I was desperate to halt my hair loss. After awaiting the result I knew I was duped because the new hair on the front of my scalp was thin and wiry, and I had a bigger scar then expected. My confidence (and luck) with women has been devastated ever since.

    I would have shaved my head years ago but do not want to "advertise" my hair transplant because for me that would be like advertising the insecurity I had about baldness. Like it was something so horrible that it merrited disfiguring surgery. It is a double edged sword because I'm attractive to women when my head is buzzed but the shorter I shave my head of course the more apparent the scar.

    I still think shaving my head is the best way to go because my hair loss is quite extensive and therefore I understand I'm not the best candidate for more transplants. I've read many threads on scar reduction techniques, but nothing that seems it will make the scar invisible. Therefore I'm wondering what other victims of strip scarring transplants who have elected to shave their heads are doing to overcome the scar stigma. When people inevitably ask what happened what do you tell them? Does anyone have a great excuse? If you told the truth to friends, relatives and colleagues, how did people react?

    Cheers,

    Adam
    Hey Adam,

    Welcome to the forum. You'll hear me say this or write this again and again, but the truth is... you are not alone. Dealing with a poor result from cosmetic surgery is not easy, especially when it something as visible to the world as a bad hair transplant. There are thousands of men in your exact position, many of whom have simply retreated from living a normal productive life. This does not have to happen to you!

    Let me ask you this, does the transplanted area look reasonably normal? Can you buzz or shave the area without any tell tale signs of a bad hair transplant?

    If this is the case,then you are in a better position than many,and can most likely be helped.

    Here's a good article written by IAHRS Member Bessam Farjo, MD

    http://hairloss.iahrs.org/hair-trans...-less-visible/
    Spencer Kobren
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Host, The Bald Truth Radio Show

    I am not a physician. My opinions and knowledge concerning hair loss and its treatment are based on extensive research and reporting on the subject as a consumer advocate and hair loss educator. My views and comments on the subject should not be taken as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a medical professional when considering medical and surgical treatment.

  3. #3
    Member Laserhead's Avatar
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    I don't to think you have anything to be ashamed of. If strangers ask just tell them that you had a motorcycle accident of something. I don't think people will know exactly what the scar is when they see it. I don't think most people can recognize that it is a scar from a hair transplant. Unless you hang with all hair transplant patients then I think you're fine You should call the show and ask Spencer how he would handle it.

    I should be ashamed to have been stupid enough to be swindled by the laser scam!

  4. #4
    Administrator tbtadmin's Avatar
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    Arrow Additional Hair Transplant Scar Revision Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by varonil View Post
    I got a transplant when I was 20 (1995) to stop my receding hairline. The doctor said the scar it would leave would hardly be noticeable and of course I was desperate to halt my hair loss. After awaiting the result I knew I was duped because the new hair on the front of my scalp was thin and wiry, and I had a bigger scar then expected. My confidence (and luck) with women has been devastated ever since.

    I would have shaved my head years ago but do not want to "advertise" my hair transplant because for me that would be like advertising the insecurity I had about baldness. Like it was something so horrible that it merrited disfiguring surgery. It is a double edged sword because I'm attractive to women when my head is buzzed but the shorter I shave my head of course the more apparent the scar.

    I still think shaving my head is the best way to go because my hair loss is quite extensive and therefore I understand I'm not the best candidate for more transplants. I've read many threads on scar reduction techniques, but nothing that seems it will make the scar invisible. Therefore I'm wondering what other victims of strip scarring transplants who have elected to shave their heads are doing to overcome the scar stigma. When people inevitably ask what happened what do you tell them? Does anyone have a great excuse? If you told the truth to friends, relatives and colleagues, how did people react?

    Cheers,

    Adam
    Additional articles that may help you:

    Looking For Options To Conceal My Hair Transplant Scar So I Can Shave My Head

    How Can I Minimize The Visibility of My Hair Transplant Scar?

    Hair Transplant Strip Scar - Can It Be Repaired?

  5. #5
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    Default front transplanted area is a little cobbly

    Hi Spencer,

    The transplanted area runs along the front left and right of my original (high school) hairline. I've just started shaving it as the hair has thinned out in between and so this front strip of wiry hair looks unnatural. I would say its not highly visible, but when light shines on it the shaved transplanted area looks cobbly (a pattern of little evenly spaced bumps). I can probably live with this but do hope to have the plugs pulled here too. Is that possible?

    I've attached a pic of my scar with my head buzzed pretty short.

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by SpencerKobren View Post
    Hey Adam,

    Welcome to the forum. You'll hear me say this or write this again and again, but the truth is... you are not alone. Dealing with a poor result from cosmetic surgery is not easy, especially when it something as visible to the world as a bad hair transplant. There are thousands of men in your exact position, many of whom have simply retreated from living a normal productive life. This does not have to happen to you!

    Let me ask you this, does the transplanted area look reasonably normal? Can you buzz or shave the area without any tell tale signs of a bad hair transplant?

    If this is the case,then you are in a better position than many,and can most likely be helped.

    Here's a good article written by IAHRS Member Bessam Farjo, MD

    http://hairloss.iahrs.org/hair-trans...-less-visible/
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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  6. #6
    Administrator SpencerKobren's Avatar
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    Arrow Hair Transplant Scar Repair with FUE

    The good news it that the old "plugs can be removed. If the cobble stoning is not too bad there's a good possibly of significantly improving the appearance of the skin with laser skin resurfacing. In some cases the skin can appear completely normal again.

    Your scar is pretty typical and uniform. It doesn't look like there was any significant strechback, so I think you're in good shape as far as the possibility of concealing it.

    While there are no guarantees that all grafts will grow in scar tissue, it is possible to significantly lessen the appearance of the scar or break it up with a small fue procedure. In some cases the scar is completely camouflaged.

    Check out Bigmac's blog. He recently had some fue work done to improve his scars.

    http://www.baldtruthtalk.com/blog.php?b=21
    Spencer Kobren
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Host, The Bald Truth Radio Show

    I am not a physician. My opinions and knowledge concerning hair loss and its treatment are based on extensive research and reporting on the subject as a consumer advocate and hair loss educator. My views and comments on the subject should not be taken as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a medical professional when considering medical and surgical treatment.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    Hi Adam,

    Please allow me to first say thank you for sharing your story and picture with us. I and probably many others appreciate your transparency because every case adds to the knowledge base of what can be potentially done in the repair arena.

    You had your procedure at a very transitional time in the HT industry. I remember it well because I started researching and following the field in 1980 before the internet was even around. I must sound like a dinasour! Anyways, in 1995, there was still alot of open donor work (plugs) being done however the more progressive doctors had already been transitioning into the micro-mini technology. Instead of using punching out plug grafts from the donor, they began to dissect an actual linear strip of scalp tissue and then had surgey techs dissect that strip under magnification. No one was using scopes back then so to dissect the strip into follicular units was near impossible if not impossible altogethor. Too much transection would occur. Micro's were two and three hair grafts, and minnis were four plus hair grafts. Still not very natural appearing on the hairline. I wonder if that's what you had done.

    Still in that time period, closing the area after the strip specimen was excised, closure methods were in their infancy and IMHO, did not improve until later into the late 90's and into the turn of the century did improved closure methods like the double-closure technique improve the probability of keeping the scar from stretching so much. Elasticity was not an issue for punch out grafts so quite frankly, HT docotrs did not experience their patients having scar stretch back until they started the strip methods. From my observation, I doubt that you had a double closure method. You must have had a fairly large session because the scar goes ear-to-ear which was somewhat rare back then. I was used to seeing guys with shorter, wider scars from that time period. It was not until after many men ended up with wide scars that the industry realized that elastcity is a major factor regarding potential scar stretchback so many docs began to take the strip thinner and longer. I think one of the main reasons docs took wide strips was because it was easier to dissect into grafts that way. As I said no one used microscopes to dissect back then. It was more cutting tissue, not microsopic dissection like the tops docs use today.

    Sorry for my rambling of history. Back to your case. Start researching online the docs with the best reputations for repair work. IMHO, most of them will either want to extract the large grafts in your hairline for two reasons. They are too low situated on your hairline now that you are 34 years old and not getting younger. The second reason is that they are too large of grafts because natural hairlines commence in single hair FU's.

    Some may recommend that you begin scalp stretching exercises to extend laxity to do a potential scar revision to make the linear scar much thinner. Then they may want you to come back after complete healing to do a FUE into the scar follow up session. You would be amazed at the end result. I have seen it done many times. Not every case is the same however. What is the implication? You need a reputable doc proven in repair work who is skilled and experienced in both strip AND FUE. It may very well take a combination of methods to bring about the best cosmetic result in your case.

    That leads to my last recommendation. Get examined in person once you have narrowed your final selection of repair docs. Scap laxity cannot be tested through pics as you already know. It is difficult to get a gauge on the level of exisitng blood flow/supply in the scar area withoput seeing the area in person. See what I mean? That's why it may be more advantageous to remove dead scar tissue with a scar revision before implanting FUE grafts into the area at a later date. Improving the blood supply to the area can and will improve the chance of graft survival. The more hair that will grow in the scar, the better chance of disguising or camouflaging it.

    One of the realities of getting a HT is the fact that we may not be able to buzz our hair extremely short in the future. Our scalps will never be the same as it was before the procedure.

    I think you have some good potential to improve the area visually speaking though. Best wishes to you Adam!

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    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. Glenn Charles, Dr. Jerry Cooley, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

  8. #8
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    Default Scar revision after having FUE follicles transplanted into a scar

    Dear Gillenator,

    I really appreciate your thoughtful note, and the historic background info on the development of HT techniques. How I wish I would have waited a while longer.. but I was young and "the sky was falling on me" because of hairloss. Being out on a mining site is reason for my delayed reply.

    There's a little more to my story. Slightly after the picture was taken I did go to a Dr. Jones (Oakville, Canada) who said he could reduce my scar by about 75% with FUE implants into it. His opinion was that a scar revision had a significant probability of stretching back out. They said they just happened to have an opening the next day (as opposed to a long wait) so I took it. I had 150 grafts put into the scar; that was October 23rd, 2008. I must say the scar does appear a little smaller to me now, but it certainly hasn't diminished 75%. Dr. Jones said to check in with him in March so I will give it some more time.

    From what I can gather Dr. Jones seems to have a good reputation and gets a lot of publicity from talks and articles he gives. I will however research other options for additional procedures.

    Do you know if having had FUE implants would complicate me from having a scar revision? I guess one good way to find out and get an opinion from another highly reputable doctor.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varonil View Post
    Dear Gillenator,

    I really appreciate your thoughtful note, and the historic background info on the development of HT techniques. How I wish I would have waited a while longer.. but I was young and "the sky was falling on me" because of hairloss. Being out on a mining site is reason for my delayed reply.

    There's a little more to my story. Slightly after the picture was taken I did go to a Dr. Jones (Oakville, Canada) who said he could reduce my scar by about 75% with FUE implants into it. His opinion was that a scar revision had a significant probability of stretching back out. They said they just happened to have an opening the next day (as opposed to a long wait) so I took it. I had 150 grafts put into the scar; that was October 23rd, 2008. I must say the scar does appear a little smaller to me now, but it certainly hasn't diminished 75%. Dr. Jones said to check in with him in March so I will give it some more time.

    From what I can gather Dr. Jones seems to have a good reputation and gets a lot of publicity from talks and articles he gives. I will however research other options for additional procedures.

    Do you know if having had FUE implants would complicate me from having a scar revision? I guess one good way to find out and get an opinion from another highly reputable doctor.
    You're very welcome. Let's back up for a moment. When the term "reducing" is used, it implies just that. That the scar tissue will be reduced, meaning partially removed. Did Dr. Jones test your elasticity and then determine that you were too tight for a revision?

    I just find it highly suspect when he tells you there just happens to be an opening "the next day". If he had done a scar revision, you have to heal first before any grafts are inplanted in what is remaining. In other words, there is no way they can charge you for any grafts when they cannot implant any. Having a scar revison and then FUE grafts added later is a two stage scenario. See what I mean?

    Not that I am accusing him of anything, but there's probably not much income in doing just a revision and nothing else.

    Having you do scalp stretching exercises for six months or so could have potentially created enough laxity (play in the scalp) to remove some scar tissue. I think that more than anything would have given you the best cosmetic repair result and a much thinner scar to start adding grafts to. I mean you could have started scalp stretching and then let's say in six months, no laxity was gained, then I could see his point much better. But anyone who has dark hair against a light complexion is going to have a much more difficult time camouflaging the scar. IMHO, it is impossible to camoflauge a scar by 70% with that wide of a color contrast. You don't have to be a licensed physician to see that!

    But I guess it's easy for a lay person like me to be suspect since I am not a doctor and never performed a scar revision. My opinion however is based on 29 years of clinical observations in this industry. I just feel IMHO that it would have been better to at least see if in fact a scar revision would have worked after trying the stretching exercises.

    Also, did he discuss different closing methods with you which can greatly help to prevent scar stretchback before getting you in the next day for FUE?
    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. Glenn Charles, Dr. Jerry Cooley, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

  10. #10
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    I would run for the hills if a doctor all of a sudden had an opening for me the next day after a consultation. This smells like desperation to me for some easy cash. I hope things work out for you, but I don't like this doctors tactics. Sounds VERY sleazy to me. Sounds like he took advantage of your desperation.

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