Background

Recommended hair transplant surgeon Dr. Carlos Wesley of New York recently authored a manuscript to be published by the “Journal of Dermatological Treatment“. The article entitled, “The Influence of Peri-Incisional Triamcinolone Acetonide Injection on Wound Edge Apposition in Hair Restoration Surgery” aims to answer the surgical question, “Do steroid injections help or hurt the wound healing process?”

The practice of injecting steroids into follicular unit hair transplant (FUT) strip scars in order to reduce excessive scarring was recently addressed by Dr. Alan Feller in the article, “Injecting Steroids into the Hair Transplant “Strip” Scar to Reducing Excessive Scarring?” In the article, Dr. Feller asserts that the benefits are, “minimal and not well-proven”. Dr. Wesley’s study was designed to measure and document these effects in order to help answer this vital question.

About the Study

The study was a single-center, prospective, randomized, controlled, single-blind study of 57 patients that were undergoing hair restoration surgery in Dr. Wesley’s clinic.  The objective was to determine if injecting a corticosteroid called triamcinolone acetonide (TMC) would affect the early stages of wound healing in the donor area.

A Folliscope (magnified focused camera used for detailed follicle analysis) was used to precisely measure the distance between the donor wound edges both at the time of surgery (once the donor had been closed) and again at the time of suture removal (8-10 days later).

Conclusion

While no statistically-significant effect on the donor wound edge apposition was revealed, Dr. Wesley states,

We did observe a trend: the administration of TMC appeared to help this early-phase healing in patients with minimal closing tension (e.g. much scalp laxity) and hinder this early-phase healing in patients with tight closures (e.g. no scalp laxity).”

Thus, based on Dr. Wesley’s initial findings, it seems that steroid injections in the donor scar may aid healing in at least some hair transplant patients.

Click here to view the entire report.

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David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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