Scalp reduction surgery

Scalp reduction surgery

Scalp reduction is the removal of a bald patch of the scalp which is then covered by the rest of the scalp. The surgeon cuts away the bald patch and then stretches the rest of the scalp (covered with hair) over that spot. The aim is for an even coverage and a natural looking head of hair. This surgery is carried out in two stages.

If done correctly, the patient or the casual onlooker will not notice any changes to the scalp.

Used to treat extensive balding

If you have major hair loss then scalp flap surgery may be a good option. This surgery is often performed in conjunction with a hair transplant although this depends upon the patient's requirements.

One example of this is the insertion of donor hair into the front hairline. The hairline is a particular sensitive area and cannot be treated with scalp flap surgery alone but is treatable with both procedures.

Scalp reduction can be performed before, during or after a hair transplant. It can also be carried out with a brow lift to remove the signs of ageing from the forehead and around the eyes.

Advantages of scalp reduction surgery

These include:

  • Quick procedure with instant results
  • Evenly distributed hair coverage unlike other types of hair transplant.
  • Reduces the need to remove strips or follicular units from the donor area of the scalp, e.g. back of the head.

In essence, this surgery involves moving a part of the scalp containing permanent hair over a bald patch.

Are you suitable for scalp reduction? The decision about this depends upon the quality and quantity of hair in the donor area of the scalp: the pattern of hair loss and whether it will work alongside hair transplantation. It helps if you have a stretchy scalp as well.

Disadvantages of scalp reduction surgery

There are downsides to this procedure as well as the obvious benefits. These side effects include:

  • Scarring: this may include an indentation alongside the scar known as 'slot deformity'.
  • Pain which lasts for several days
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Bruising

Plus the pattern of hair can look artificial and out of synch with the rest of the original hair.

This is viewed as an invasive procedure when compared to the sophisticated follicular unit transplantation(FUT).