Today I will discuss a patient of mine who presented with a form of scarring alopecia called Lichen Planopilaris. This resulted in the loss of all the hair follicles in the frontal and mid scalp as well as the eyebrows and sideburns. The patient initially thought that the hair loss was androgenic alopecia, but after my examination and subsequent scalp biopsy the diagnosis was confirmed. It is imperative that the hair transplant surgeon has a thorough knowledge of all the forms of alopecia as different causes result in different outcomes and some are candidates for hair transplants and others not.
In this case the biopsy also showed that the scarring alopecia had “burnt out” and was no longer active. We decided to do 3 small areas with test grafts to see if they would grow before considering a more expansive procedure. What we found was excellent growth in all the test areas after only 12 weeks. After discussing with the patient and letting him know that there still is a chance that we won’t see the same growth rate that is seen in healthy scalp, and the patient decided to proceed with a more extensive procedure.
Below you can see the photo before the test grafts and the test grafts that have grown. I will continue to provide updates on this very interesting case.
All the best,
Marc Dauer, M.D.