Today I will discuss a bad hair transplant procedure result that I recently saw in consultation. The patient was on vacation in Pakistan and responded to an advertisement for an inexpensive hair transplant procedure. The patient subsequently was told that he would receive 2000 grafts (which would equate to about 5000 hairs with typical density) for $500. The patient underwent the procedure and stated that he experienced significant pain during and after the hair transplant procedure. I took the photo below approximately 18 months after his hair transplant procedure in Pakistan. What you see in the photo is very sparse growth of grafts. A patient with no hair in the frontal scalp receiving 2000 grafts should have exponentially more hair growth then you see in the photo. You also see an aggressive hairline design, which means that they placed the hairline lower than it should have been placed in a patient with severe hair loss undergoing a first hair transplant procedure. I always tell my patients undergoing their initial procedure that I would prefer to be more conservative with the hairline and create greater density than getting aggressive with the hairline thus having to spread the same number of grafts over a larger area subsequently getting a lower density result. You can always lower the hairline in successive procedures, but once the hairline is placed too low, you have a problem. There are also 2 hair grafts present in the hairline. This should never be. Only single hair grafts should be placed in the hairline to create a completely natural result. Finally, if you look closely it appears that many of the grafts are emerging from a small crater around them. As if they are not flush with the skin, but coming out of a little hole. This is called “pitting” and occurs when the grafts are placed to deep. This also should not occur in a well done hair transplant procedure.
Unfortunately there are many more unqualified physicians performing hair transplants, or delegating the essential functions of the hair transplant procedure to unqualified personnel, then there are qualified Hair Transplant surgeons performing great work. The consumer needs to beware of these unscrupulous practitioners, both in the US and abroad in order to avoid a result like you see here. This patient can have repair work to fix this, but if it had been performed correctly initially, the corrective work would not be necessary. Unfortunately in this case the damage is already done, but hopefully others can learn from this and not make the same mistake.
All the best,
Marc Dauer, MD