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 11

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

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.

Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Options for Scar Revision

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 20 reviews

Yes it can make it much better

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

Transplanting into Scars

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).

Considerations in Fixing Scars Using FUE

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.

Robert M. Bernstein, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Not completely You will Always See the Scar

FUE to strip scar will help disguise your scar. But it will NEVER allow you to shave your head so your scar is undetectable.  Actually it will make it look WORSE.

Think about it.  You are having a hair transplant to the scar.  Then you are SHAVING it.  This is not going to hide your scar.  You will still have the scar and the transplanted hair may even make your scar look worse as the transplanted hair will not completely match your surrounding hairs in texture and hair direction.  Furthermore, your FUE scar will now be an issue with tiny white dots (when you shave your head).

FUE to the transplanted scar can work if you keep your hair long, but it will not work if you shave your head.

Even Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) which I perform at my clinic will have limitations.   You can see all my before after photos on this site and my website but  YOU WILL STILL SEE THE SCAR in certain lighting and angles. No treatment will make the scar undetectable.  The goal is to make the scar less detectable and not noticeable to the general public at a casual glance.  

This is why you need to see a doctor for a realistic assessment.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Scaring after FUE

Basically, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a revival of the old punch technique obtaining donor hair with a small circular cutting instrument. There are different instruments used in the market to do FUE extraction siding punches, one is the ARTS. ARTS instrument uses punches to harvest follicular units one at a time from the donor area. You do not get a linear scar which you may get with FUT, however you still get small circular scar after FUE no matter which instrument is used for extraction.
So it is very important to chose an experienced doctor and discuss the options in detail to make sure it meets your concerns and expectations.

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Scar Revision after Hair Transplant

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!

Brian Goertz, MD
Seattle Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Scar Revision with FUE

ARTAS and Neograft are two devices that help surgeon extract follicular units for hair transplantation through FUE procedure.  FUE is a very successful method of extracting and implanting hair follicles into the donor scar of a previous strip hair transplant or any other scalp procedure.

There are also other methods to improve some of the scars in the donor area such as simple exception (revision) of scar and SMP or introducing pigments that resemble hair into the scalp scar.

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Laser scar revision first and FUE transplant second

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique with either Neograft or the ARTAS robotic procedure can camouflage the donor strip scars.  Scars, however, are not ideal recipient sites for transplanted hairs.  Also, not all scars are created equal. Some donor transplant scars are raised (hypertrophic) and red.  Scar remodeling with vascular lasers (pulsed dye laser or 532nm KTP laser) and/or intralesional steroids can improve the texture and color of the scar as well as make the scar can better recipient sites for transplanted hairs.

Terrence Keaney, MD
Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.