Shock loss, or the loss of native hairs after hair transplant surgery, is a real concern for any hair loss sufferer considering surgical hair restoration. The effects of shock loss can be serious, and may even cause some to postpone or reconsider hair transplantation altogether. But, is this fear justified? Is it possible to prevent post-operative shock loss?
Shock loss, loss of existing hair in transplanted area due to trauma or stress of native hair, can be seen after hair transplant procedures. This phenomenon is more common for patients who have a significant amount of miniaturization in the transplanted area. In other words, if hair loss is not completed in a particular area, shock loss will accelerate the process.
Often times, patients seek advice as to how to minimize shock loss. The primary recommendation we give is to use Propecia (finasteride), the second is Rogaine (minoxidil). Some patients wait until after their procedure and then start to see shock loss before starting finasteride and/or minoxidil. This is definitely not how prevention should be handled!
Patients are advised to begin their use of Propecia or Rogaine a few days before their hair transplant to get the medication in their system, working at its maximum therapeutic level. Some patients go as far as continuing the medication for six to eight months after their procedure simply to avoid post-surgical shock loss.
Depending on the miniaturization level for some patients, finasteride or minoxidil may not be necessary. Some patients prefer not to use the medications in general, or don’t want to use it for a lifetime. In those patients we recommend to use finasteride only for a few months after their hair restoration procedure. This will help them to minimize the risk of shock loss and they may stop it after they have fully recovered.
–Dr. Parsa Mohebi
Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc
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