Can scar revision with artas or neograft conceal a hair transplant donor strip scar?

I would like to able to shave my head and the donor scar be undetectable. If not are there any other options? Please help!!

Doctor Answers 14

Can a linear donor scar from a hair transplant be concealed with FUE?

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The short answer is yes.  Obtaining the original density of hair in your donor scar won't be possible, as the scar tissue simply doesn't have enough blood flowing through it to support a full density of newly transplanted grafts.

For scar camouflage, options are:

1) scar removal and revision by an highly experienced scalp surgeon if indicated, with or without tissue expansion
2) FUE into the scar; typically 2 or more small sessions will be required
3) following FUE the scar to provide some texture, the skin of the scar, which is typically lighter than the surrounding skin of the scalp, can be tattooed with a specialized scalp micropigmentation procedure (SMP), which are temporary tattoos that will need to be revised about once every 2 years or so.

However, as you mentioned that you'd like to "shave my head" following a linear strip procedure and have the donor scar be "undetectable", this is not likely ever to happen.  This is definitely something your hair restoration surgeon should have disclosed to you prior to you signing up for surgery.  These techniques can help to decrease the visibility of the scar, allowing for shorter hair styles, but following a linear procedure, is it typically not possible to shave your head without the scar being at least a little bit noticeable, despite the techniques mentioned above.  All scars are, by definition, permanent, as your physician should have mentioned to you as well.

Options for Scar Revision

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There are a few options to repair a donor strip scar.  Sometimes the scars can be revised depending on how bad your scar is.  Grafts can also be transplanted into the scar to minimize it's appearance.  We also do micro pigmentation (tattooing) into the scar to help hide it.  

All of these options will help minimize the scar. It is unrealistic to think it will become "undetectable" with any repair procedure if the head is shaved.

Amir Yazdan, MD
Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Considerations in Fixing Scars Using FUE

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An FUE procedure can help camouflage a widened FUT scar. In order for the grafts to take, the scar must be thin and soft. A patient may require one or more steroid injections into the scar to soften it and prepare the scar to receive the follicular unit grafts. It is important to note that while transplanting hair into a scar can help to camouflage the scar when you wear your hair short, it will not make the scar totally undetectable if you choose to shave your head. In our opinion, the ARTAS robotic system generates consistently superior grafts compared to the hand-held Neograft device and these will grafts will have better growth in scar tissue.

Yes it can make it much better

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FUE is the best option to option to obtain the grafts to hide a strip donor scar. It definitely will help and possibly erase the stigmata. You need an experienced FUE surgeon to deal with that properly

Scar Revision after Hair Transplant

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Scar revision done with proper technique is the best way to minimize the scar. During scar repairs, I excise the scar microscopically and re-allign the follicles on each side. Extracting follicles by FUE will leave additional scarring. If you plan to shave your head bald, scarring will be apparent from both FUT and FUE. I have seen a lot of very bad scars both FUE and FUT. Not all FUT scars are created equal. I have added a link to further you investigation. Hope it helps!

Transplanting into Scars

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If you have a transplant from a donor scar there are there options:

1. Follicular units can be put into the scar to try to camouflage the appearance of the scar. This is essentially a small hair transplant done by FUE into the scar.

2. The scar can be tattooed using scalp micro pigmentation (SMP).

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist


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There are a few options for scar revision.  You can punch out the scars with the Neograft to cause contraction to lessen a widened scar.  This will improve the scar but it will still be perceptible if you shave your head completely.
Another option is to transplant hairs into the scar so that if you wear you hair short the scar won't be obvious.
The last option is dermal tattoo with skin pigment.  This can work but generally only if the scar is white and not raised.
I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to go over your options.  Good Luck! 

Adam Saad, MD
Atlantic City Plastic Surgeon

FUT Scar Options

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While it is possible to improve a FUT scar with FUE grafts, there are some special considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Grafting into a scar can lead to uncertain results. Some dense scars lack blood supply and will not support a graft to grow. The circulation can be tested by your hair restoration surgeon by numbing up a small area of the scar and seeing if sterile pin pricks will cause bleeding.  I also like to inject scars I treat with a steroid solution to soften them up to help them support the new hairs.
  2. Is it worth using FUE grafts?  Until cloning techniques become available and we no longer are limited to our current supply/demand considerations and restrictions of hair restoration procedures, each graft you use to fill a scar is a graft that you cannot use elsewhere.  Some FUT scars are quite large and some guys have multiple scars, so to place hairs into all the scars can easily eat up quite a few grafts.  While this may be a good option if the scarring is your main concern, however if you have thinning elsewhere, you may want to use the limited donor hairs you have left to address that.  There is no right or wrong answer here.
  3. FUE placing is not the only option.  As some of my colleagues have correctly pointed out, SMP is often a good option for FUT scar masking.  It's important you go to a an experienced SMP artist who uses proper SMP pigment.  SMP is much less expensive than FUE revision and does not limit an FUE revision later if still desired.

Justin Rome, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon

Scar Revision Surgery

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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is an excellent technique to reduce the visibility of and conceal a donor linear strip scar. FUE devices like ARTAS and NeoGraft do not contribute to cosmetic outcome of any hair surgery.  Many patients are unaware that a FUE device does not make a hair restoration procedure better than another device. There are other great FUE harvesting devices that may be better then the two mentioned.  It is always the physician’s aesthetic eye, skill, and experience; and not a FUE device that ultimately determines the patient’s cosmetic outcome.

Performing hair restoration surgery requires proper training and knowledge. Many surgeons perform hair surgery without proper training, or they don’t perform the surgery and illegally delegate the procedure to hair technicians. This is a felony. A board certified hair restoration surgeon is the ideal and ethical choice to perform hair transplant surgery and they abide by high ethical standards and best practices. Board certified physicians from the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery have passed a written and oral exam demonstrating their knowledge and expertise in performing hair surgery.  

I use a punch grafting technique to excise as much scar as I can. I also combine this with Scalp Micropiogmentation (SMP). A hand held motorized FUE device and a 0.8 mm circular round sharp punch are used to punch into the scar and remove scar tissue. The scar tissue is removed and FUE grafts are then placed into the created punch wounds. This technique provides a natural appearance and better coverage may be achieved. The procedure may need to be retreated depending upon graft survival. 

Hiding the FUT scar with FUE

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You can definite minimize the scar by adding grafts into the scar.  With that said, you should not expect 100% of the graft to grow in the scar as the blood supply is limited in scar tissue.  You may want to consider SMP to minimize or disguise the scar. Many of my patient are happy with the result!

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