Hair Loss After Brow and Face and Neck Lift

Can you tell me how common it is to have some hair loss particularly on the sides of the head with a strip of thinning hair just past the incision line from a lateral brow lift, face lift and neck lift. I also have about a little larger than a nickel size bald spot now further down that line from the incision. I have this on both sides but really my left side is worse than my right side. Thanks Vicki

Doctor Answers 11

Hairloss (Allopecia) after Browlift: Common and may take time to regrow.

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Any incision in the scalp can cause the hair follicle to go into a hibernation phase and the hair can fall out. This is temporary and will regrow. Hair-loss can also be from injury to the follicle from heat from cautery or the loss of blood flow to the temporal hair area because of too small of an area left there. It is more common in a hairline brow-lift. I would wait at least 3 months to see if there is hair re-growth in the areas you are concerned with, though is after a year the areas of balding can be safely removed and hair-bearing scalp closed to hair-bearing scalp.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Trussler

Hair loss after Brow lift and Face Lift

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 Hair loss can occur whenever the scalp is dissected beneath the follicles.  This is increased, IMHO, by using staples and other forms of closures that are less gentle on the hair-bearing scalp than smaller gauge nylon sutures. 

 There's a method of placing the two edges of cut scalp at the proper orientation to ensure increased viability of the follicles.  I have found, after performing Face Lifts, Neck Lifts and Brow Lifts for over 20 years that closing the scalp with 3-0 or 4-0 nylon (no staples) and using Rogaine along the incision line beginning at 1 month post op for a full year dramatically improves the amount of hair in and around the scalp incisions. 

Hair Loss after Surgery

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There are different types of hair loss that can occur after facial plastic surgery.  Around the incisions, there can be temporary hair loss that many times will resolve with time.  Distortion of the hairline, including it getting pulled back, can occur due to the tightening of the skin backwards especially of the sideburns but also along the frontal hairline.  Lastly, there can be some overall thinning of the hair especially in the upper temporal regions due to the pulling of the skin.  Most of these conditions can be nicely treated with hair transplantation, but it is always best to try treating these areas with Rogaine and time.

Hair loss after facial surgery

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In some cases hair will grow back after loss from these procedures.  Flaps too thin, damage from cautery, or too much tension on the tissues are the common causes.  It may take several months before you see any recovery.  Donald R. Nunn MD Atlanta Plastic Surgery.

Hair loss is not infrequently a sequelae of brow and face lifts.

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Hair loss especially early after extended face and brow lifts is not an uncommon sequelae.  However it will usually return with time.  It is more frequent in patients who begin with thin hair or have "tight" foreheads and scalps.

Fortunately it usually will recover with time. If it does not, the options are micrografting or reexcision and closure.

Dr. Mayl

Fort Lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Hair loss after facelift

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I tell my patients hair loss can occur after face/brow/neck lifts for two reasons.  First, incisions and tension can sometimes lead to hair loss do to their affect on blood flow.  Second some people believe that general anesthesia and/or the "stress" of surgery can lead to generalized hair loss.  In both cases the hair loss can stop and hair can regrow.  I often recommend to my Facelift patients that they regularly use Nioxin shampoo before and after their procedure and rogaine as well to potentially reduce the potential for hair loss.  Do not take this as medical advice/Consult your plastic surgeon - I can not state that this would apply to you I am simply stating what I do routinely in my practice.

Heavy handed surgeons can damage hair in these surgeries.

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The good news is that hair can regrow.  Often the surgery simply caused root shock.  However, it can take 6 months for the hair to return.  If it does not grow back in this period, it was permanently damaged by your procedures.  If this is the case, an very experienced hair grafter can place micrografts into these areas to help restore the hairline.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Hair loss

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I do a lot of the procedures you mention. In my experience, hair loss is uncommon. The causes are too thin a flap, cautery of the hair follicles and tension at the suture line. Most likey your hair will come back.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Hair Loss is Not Uncommon Following Facial Rejuvenation Surgery

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Hair loss is not uncommon following facial rejuvenation surgery.  In the vast majority of cases hair loss is a transient phenomena and resolves with time. Occasionally, it can be permanent and requires secondary treatment.

Hair loss with scarring can occur for a variety of reasons including tension on the wound closure, use of the cautery and thinning of the skin flaps.

A variety of options exist for treating permanent hair loss following facial rejuvenation surgery.  These include surgical scar revision, hair transplantation and the use of Rogaine.

The majority of patients are happy with their surgical result even when hair loss occurs.  In most cases, scars and hair loss can be easily hidden.   When hair loss is visible secondary procedures may be necessary and in most cases solves the problem.

Hair loss after browlift

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With an open brow lift, it can occur at times. Especially if a subcutaneous plane is used. A scar revision can be done to remove some non hair bearing skin in the area. A hair transplant can usually be done by your surgeon if hair hasn't returned in 4 months.

Richard Dale Reynolds, MD
El Paso 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.