Lumpy Scalp After Hair Transplant

I had a hair transplant 7 years ago. I now have a very lumpy (almost deformed) scalp which seems to be getting worse. It seems to be on top of my head and is now almost in my forehead. Is this a side effect of the surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Lumpy Scalps after hair transplant are unusual

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A lumpy scalp is an unusual consequence of having a hair transplant procedure.  You should be evaluated in person by a dermatologist or hair transplant surgeon to determine what is going on.  You could also post some pictures since the word lumpy can have many different meanings.  Cyst formation is certainly a possibility, but piggybacking grafts should have nothing to do with this since your transplant was seven years ago.

Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon

Your lumpy scalp may be a consequence of cobblestoning

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Obviously, I would have to see you to determine what is going on but if the lumps are in the areas that you had your transplanted hairs then the physician or team could have placed the hair follicles more than 2 mm above the surrounding scalp causing the condition you are having.  conversely, they could have put them too low, which would cause pitting or could cause cysts which could cause your problem too.  another problem could be that the hairs were piggybacked on top of one another, in other words one graft was placed on top of another inadvertently that could be leading to cyst formations.  that would be less likely if they are everywhere.  something else that could be is scar tissue.  if the grafts were too small for a large hole then scar tissue can develop around the graft and the perimeter of the hole.  this is why a quality team is as important as the surgeon making the sites and the design work.  it could also be a skin condition that is unrelated to your transplant or less likely related to it.  i think the best person to go to is to see a dermatologist.  sorry to hear that you are going through all of this.


dr. sam lam, dallas, texas

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Lumpy scalp after a hair transplant

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You report having a lumpy scalp after a hair transplant. A doctor who is familiar with hair transplants should examine you to determine what the problem is. There are many causes of this

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lumpy scalp can mean you have a scar.

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Lumpy scalp can mean you have a scar.  It is always a good idea to check with your doctor for an exam and explore options.  Lumpy scalp is NOT a side effect of surgery.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

HairTransplant and Ridging

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You should schedule an appointment with your hair surgeon immediately to discuss the issue. There may be other underlying factors that caused this. A ridgeline of scar tissue visible at the hairline or anywhere on the scalp should not occur. True ridging results from the use of bulky grafts and used to be common in older times when multiple follicles are grafted together giving rise to the so called “doll’s hair.” With the advent of single follicle transplants (FUT and FUE), true ridging is a rare event

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Lumpy Scalp after Hair Transplant

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There could be several causes for the uneveness or lumpiness you described.  Some patients can develop multiple cysts after a hair transplant but these typically go away after a few months.  In years past when patients had large grafts with ten to twelve hairs per graft you could also get an uneven scalp.  However, if this extends beyond the area of hair transplant it is probably another process and you should see a dermatologist. 

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

Lumpy Scalp after Hair Transplant - Not Typical

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This is not a typical outcome, and is a form of ridging.  Likely the procedure was not a microscopic follicular unit grafting, so the skin resulted in scarring.  It can be treated by a surgeon experienced in advanced reparative techniques.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Lumpiness after hair transplant

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At the 2010 International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery in Boston, a similar case was presented by a hair transplant physician where there were lumpiness and bumps that appeared about a year after hair transplant. This was contributed to a granulomatous reaction to the hair follicles, which is rare. My best advice is for you to see your surgeon or a dermatologist and have a biopsy performed. Also, please remember there are a lot of different hair conditions and diseases as well and a dermatologist evaluation is highly recommended. So your condition might not even be related to the hair transplant. Dr. Behnam.

Ben Behnam, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon

Lumpy Scalp after Hair Transplants

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A lumpy scalp ater hair transplants could be seconday to the level of graft placement in the skin. I cannot explain why you have this problem in your forehead below graft placement. See your sugeon for an examination, explanation, and recommended treatment.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Lumpy scalp after hair transplants.

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This is not normal and you should see your surgeon and get a second opinion. Lumpiness can be caused by several factors and the surgeon needs to see your scalp.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.