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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999 Jul;104(1):222-32; discussion 233-6.

Revision surgical hair restoration: repair of undesirable results.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Miami College of Medicine, Fla., USA.


Surgical hair restoration has been performed as a treatment for male pattern hair loss for more than 40 years. Although techniques have changed dramatically over the past several years, making it possible to achieve natural-appearing results, there are still many patients with unacceptable outcomes. These patients may have had procedures performed in the past with antiquated techniques or performed recently with substandard techniques. The causes of unfavorable results can be classified into one of three categories: technical errors, poor planning, or complications. The results in these patients can be dramatically improved through a number of different reparative surgical techniques. The majority of these techniques can be performed in an office outpatient setting. More than 40 patients unsatisfied with previous surgical hair restoration have been treated with the different techniques reviewed in this article. All patients had successful outcomes with significant improvement in appearance. Despite the increased challenges when performing reparative surgery, outcomes were favorable in all patients, with small to significant improvements in appearance achieved. Some of these challenges include the limited supply of donor hairs, reduced scalp laxity, and theoretically reduced vascularity due to scarring and transected blood vessels, and patient skepticism. Furthermore, the few complications that occurred were minor and correctable, including one case each of poor hair growth associated with extensive small graft (consisting of one to four hairs) transplanting, and of scalp scarring associated with the removal and primary closure of a large number of "plug" grafts (typically grafts 3 to 4 mm in size consisting of seven or more hairs) in a single procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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