Concerned with large scars after FUE transplant 36 days post-op. Any ideas why this is happening? (Photo)

FUE 36 days ago. Hair in donor area is growing back but there are circular areas ranging in sizes from dime to nickel that are not growing any hair back. There were major scabs in these areas after surgery that eventually fell off w/ time and washing. The reason I did FUE vs FUT was to avoid scarring. These scars are bigger than the FUT scars I've seen. I've never had keloid in my life so I'm not prone to that type of scarring. mixed race African American/White 44 yrs old Any ideas why this is happening?

Doctor Answers 12

Scars in the donor area

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FUE scars can form when the FUE grafts are too closely placed together. This is shock loss sometimes and when this happens it will usually reverse. 

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Scars after FUE

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It is difficult to make a diagnosis based on a photo only and without knowing the number of grafts harvested but it appears as if that area was overharvested.Alopecia areata and early keloid are other possibilities but unlikely.I would recommend having an evaluation by your surgeon and consider applying Minoxidil (Rogaine) to the affected area.

David Deutsch, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

FUE is not a Scarless Procedure, Should Only be done Experts

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It is difficult to tell if this is scarring, resulting from over harvesting or you have focal areas of hair loss (Alopecia). Did your surgeon perform the follicle extraction? See your surgeon in followup. In general, most full-time hair restoration surgeons who perform both FUE and FUT shy away from FUE in individuals with curly hair as the transection rate and graft failure increases. Even with blunt dissection below the surface the follicular supporting structure can be damaged. It should be the responsibility of hair restoration surgeons to guide patients to the best procedure for each individual.

Brian Goertz, MD
Seattle Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Large Scars after FUE

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It is difficult to tell from the photos, but it looks like you may have been over harvested in the donor area which has resulted in excessive scarring.  If so, I would STRONGLY recommend fat grafting and cellular to stimulate healing right away.   I have seen great success with this process in other patients.  

It is also possible that you have underlying alopecia areata or another form of alopecia.  It is impossible to tell from your photos, so see your doctor in follow up and find out.  

Ryan Welter, MD
Boston Hair Restoration Surgeon

Donor alopecia

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you should get the area evaluated by the surgeon who did your transplant procedure. It does appear that you have developed some areas of alopecia in the donor area, which can sometimes be seen after FUE procedures. Those areas grow back with time, obviously not where the individual hairs were taken, but the areas around that. You should try minoxidil 5% twice a day after you see your surgeon, it can help.

Rae Lynne Kinler, MD
Chicago Physician

Patchy Hair Loss

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I would talk to your doctor. This could be shock loss, which would recover on its own within a few more months. Could also be overharvesting, which will not recover on its own but you could mitigate with scalp micropigmentation or other methods. It could also be something else entirely, its hard to make an accurate guess over the internet.

Sean Behnam, MD
Santa Monica Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Healing on the donor area

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healing on the donor area takes sometimes more time (body support,the size of punches,the type of punch (sharp or not ) for extraxt the hair follicules,and of course the experience.

Dont worry it will looks much better after 2-3 month period.İts early to say if its over harvesting or not!Update your pictures.

Levent Acar, MD
Istanbul Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Circular patches after hair transplant

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The circular areas may represent patches of overharvesting.  If a hair transplant surgeon extracts more grafts from the donor area than should be removed the donor areas may appear patchy.  Secondly, the patchy appearance my represent shock loss.  At times with over harvesting or even with regular harvesting in large areas of scalp, other hair in the area may get stressed and enter a telogen phase.  This is called shock loss, fortunately   after a period of 4-8 weeks the fallen hair will grow back.

I would give it more time to see if it fills in as well as follow up with your surgeon.


Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Scarring after an FUE

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An FUE does leave a scar.  The tools used are simply smaller and therefore leave pinpoint, tiny scars that aren't usually visible unless the head is shaved to skin.  I recommend you visit with the physician that performed your procedure.  Best case, You may simply be experiencing shock loss around the harvested grafts, in which case the hair should come back.  It will take some time.  However visiting with you MD in person will surely rule out other diagnosis.

Justin Misko, MD
Lincoln Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Large scars after FUE transplant

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That is not scarring or hypertrophic scar or keloid .. no need to worry about it. But what I  see that an over harvested donor area/transient alopecia ( we hope). İf the surgeon try to get more number of grafts than in  the first weeks of surgery you may notice that kind of alopecia areas on your donor site . But it will be resolves in 3 months and new hair regrow again in donor site . So it is better to wait 2 months more before make a judgement about scar on donor site !

Ilhan Serdaroglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon

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.