When Full-Thickness Skin Grafts Are Used, Do the Hair Follicles in the Graft Survive and Grow in the Recipient Area?

When Full-Thickness Skin Grafts Are Used, Do the Hair Follicles in the Graft Survive and Grow in the Recipient Area?

Doctor Answers (8)

Hair Follicle Growth

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Usually only a small percentage of hairs will grow in a full thickness skin graft.  However, if a flap of skin is advanced or moved to a nearby area to cover adjacent scar then those hair follicles do, in fact, typically survive.
An in depth consultation with your surgeon will help clear up these points.  Good luck!


Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Skin grafting is not recommended for hair transplants

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Yes, it is possible for the graft to survive and grow in the recipient area. However, skin grafting is not recommended for hair transplants since there have been so many advances in the field. Skin grafts contain almost all of the epidermis and dermis that surrounds the hair follicle and many tiny grafts are transplanted. Today‚Äôs most advanced techniques transplant one to four follicular units in their natural groupings. Whereas follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) removes a strip of scalp to harvest follicles, follicular unit extraction (FUE) harvests of individual follicles of hair are removed under local anesthesia.  Because FUE is done using single follicles, no large amount of tissue is removed, there are no visible scars after surgery, nor is there pain. Typically there is no need to return to the clinic after surgery as there are no stitches to remove. Recovery from FUE is within seven days.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Hair Follicles in the Grafts

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Typically not, the hair follicles in full thickness grafts usually do not survive, although a small percentage can in fact continue to grow.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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In full thickness skin grafts do hair follicles survive and grow in recipient area?

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Yes.  If skin graft includes follicles and the follicles have adequate blood supply hair can still be grown.

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Does Hair Survive in a Full-Thickness Skin Graft

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There is some survival of the hairs in a full-thickness skin graft, but this is limited with decreased  density compared to the original donor area. The  follicle survival will depend on the technique and the size of the skin graft.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Skin Grafts and Hair

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When an entire undamaged hair follicle is transferred from one area of the body to another, survival is certainly possible.  This is how hair transplants work in a basic sense.

Kevin Ende, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

When Full-Thickness Skin Grafts Are Used, Do the Hair Follicles in the Graft Survive and Grow in the Recipient Area?

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IMHO, this is an unknown.  The hair follicles may or may not survive and it will most likely be a combination of both.  If you don't want the hair follicles, have the surgeon trim the undersurface of the graft to damage the follicles.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Unwanted hair transplanted in a skin graft

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Sometimes a modest percentage of hair follicles in a full thickness skin graft taken from an area that has hair will survive . This possibility can be lessened by the surgeon trimming off the bulbs of the hair folicles which are on the underside of the graft.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.