Can You Get Hair Restoration Surgery After Radiation Treatments?

I have a bald spot on the crown of my head that was caused by radiation treatments that I received to cure my brain tumor. Its been a year and a half since I've received the radiation and my radiation doctor says that the hair is not going to grow back. Is hair restoration surgery a good option for me?

Doctor Answers 10

Hair transplants after radiation

Once an experienced doctor examines you and determines the health of your scalp, you may be a candidate for a hair transplant

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Hair transplant as well as SMP may be an option after brain surgery and radiation treatment.

Hair transplant as well as SMP may be an option after brain surgery and radiation treatment.  It would of course depend on your exam.  The combination of SMP and Hair Transplant surgery can give you the look of fullness.  The VIDEO shows women with SMP an Hair Transplants but men benefit as well.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Hair Transplant after Radiation Cancer Treatment

The sudden loss of growing hairs as a result of chemicals or radiation is known as Anagen effluvium. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy halt the growth phase of hair follicles, and result in the sudden shedding of hair. Hair Restoration Surgery can work in burn (radiation) sites very well. My colleague and New York Hair restoration expert Dr. Gary Hitzig has performed several cases that have been successful. We generally do an evaluation and a test session first to determine the best possible treatment for hair loss. Also, you may be a candidate for ACell treatments, pioneered by Dr. Hitzig, which has amazing resulted in rescuing dying hairs, duplicating transplanted hairs and preventing further hair loss.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Hair Transplant after Radiation

Yes, hair transplant can be a very natural option in a patient after radiation.  The one issue is potential scarring in the area may inhibit the blood supply of the new hair.  Your surgeon should be able to address this issue in your particular situation and counsel you on options.  Good luck!

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Hair Transplant after Radiation

Yes, in fact, this is an indication for performing a hair transplant.
Because of the challenges in assuring full hair regrowth, I suggest you
seek out a highly experienced surgeon in this area.  I usually recommend
that patients wait a minimum of 18 months following the completion of
the radiation therapy.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Hair Restoration after Radiation Treatments

If the hair has not grown out by now your doctor is correct.  It is unlikely it will recover.  I have tried hair transplants in radiated areas and unfortunately only about half of the grafts ever grew in.  Getting hair to grow in a radiated area can be very difficult. 

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hair restoration after Radiation Therapy

If you have lost hair following radiation treatment for a brain tumor you have obviously had radiation damage to that skin and the hair will not regrow. Rather than putting transplants into skin with possibly compromised circulation I would transfer hair bearing scalp with a flap from the surrounding normal tissue with or without expansion depending on the size of the bald area and the tightness of your scalp.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Hair Restoration Surgery After Radiation Treatment

Hair restoration surgery is definitely an option for your condition. Namely, FUE hair transplant or even strip surgery will work if the surrounding hair is in tact. If you don’t have enough donor hair on your scalp, body hair transplant is also a viable option today. I would not recommend scalp reduction as it can result in visible scarring called “slot formation.” For that matter, if you’re choosing between strip harvesting and follicular unit extraction, the latter will result in the least amount of scarring in both the donor and recipient areas.  FUE hair transplant is a great option for anyone with hair loss from:

  • Male pattern baldness
  • Excessive scarring from previous surgery
  • Hair loss due to accident, burn, or chemotherapy/radiation treatment


Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Scalp Flap or Multiple hair transplant sessions after radiation

The options for hair restoration on your crown will depend on the size of the area that is bald and the quality of the surrounding scalp.  If the area is small enough, a simple excision of the area, with either a rotation flap or advancement flap after galeotomies is one option.  For larger balding areas, a scalp expander would be inserted, followed by a scalp flap procedure.  Hair transplants are also an option for some coverage, but multiple sessions are likely necessary.

Kevin Ende, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Hair restoration after radiation therapy

I have many successful hair restoration procedures done on patients who lost hair from radiation therapy for brain tumors. My usual approach is to expand the adjacent scalp with a balloon expander for about 6 weeks and, then with a second procedure, move the stretched hair bearing skin over the bald area which is cut out. This gives a result immediately . Hair transplants could also work.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 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.