This question, from a member of our hair loss social community anddiscussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Michael Beehner:

I always hear hair transplant surgeons say that donor shock loss is very rare. I just don’t see it that way at all. If you look the Hair Loss Forum I would bet that better than 40% of the posters had at least some level of donor shock loss even if it was minor. You would know better than me of course but there just seems to be a disconnect here.

The patients I am referring to went to great docs so I am not talking about hacks here.

Dr_Beehner_photoI hadn’t noticed that many posts about that, but you could be right. However, in 24 years of transplanting, I have only had 2-3 cases of donor area shocking and, fortunately, hair growth returned in each of these patients. I think sites like the Hair Restoration Forum will get a lot of the negative comments congregating in one spot and that the overall incidence among all hair transplant surgeons is low. A very small percentage voicing their complaints in one place may make it seem more common.

I should add that the best way to close a donor wound that a doctor finds is too wide to close without a lot of tension, is to put sutures in and pull them, but not tightly, and leave the wound actually open. It will granulate in (fill in gradually wit-h scar tissue), and then at a later time, when the scalp is looser, some or all of that resultant scar can be cut out and removed. The late Dr. David Seeger was the first one to write about this preferred method of treatment, and I have resorted to it 3-4 times over the years, and never with shocking occurring afterwards.

Dr. Mike Beehner
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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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