Does Keeping the Sutures or Staples in Longer After a Hair Transplant Help Produce a Thinner Scar?
Is there any evidence that suggests waiting a full two weeks for suture removal, as opposed to nine or ten days after hair transplant surgery will produce a thinner donor scar?
This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Michael Beehner of Saratoga Springs, NY who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.
For many years we took the sutures out at around 7 days after hair restoration surgery. Around 6 years ago we switched to taking most patients sutures out at 10 days after a first hair replacement session, 12 days after a second session, and if a patient had a third procedure, 14 days for that surgery.
The more important point is that for any hair replacement patient with a slightly tight closure or who had “hyper-elastic” scalp tissue, we have the sutures taken out at 14 days, even for the first session. On rare occasions I have gone to 16 days, but the trouble with going past 14 is that the stitch material (or staples) start to become imbedded with skin tissue creeping over it, which makes the removal more difficult and more painful.
What is actually happening when a hair loss patient goes those extra 4-6 days with the sutures in place, you give time for the hair-bearing scalp above and below the suture line to start to relax and stretch out. In this process the remaining hairs become infinitesimally further apart, which the human eye can’t detect. Keeping the sutures in keeps the wound scar from being pulled apart on from above and below during those early days when the tension is the greatest.
Mike Beehner, M.D.
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