FUE Hair Transplant - Shock Loss or Alopecia Areata? (Photo)

Three weeks ago I had an FUE hair transplant procedure. 1500 grafts. The doctor took most of my grafts from the sides and some from the back. This week I started to notice a bald patch on my right side. It has grown as the week has progressed. It is completely smooth as you can see from the photos. I've seen some photos from donor area shock loss. I've also looked at some photos of alopecia areata. Do you have a sense of what might be going on?

Doctor Answers 7

Alopecia areata

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That looks like it could be alopecia areata. I would recommend you follow up with your surgeon and have him examine you and give you a diagnosis. If it is areata you can treat it with injectable topical steroids as well as minoxidil.


Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Alopecia areata vs shock loss

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The pattern you are showing is alopecia areata.  The stress of surgery can induce alopecia areata.  It should be treated with either topical or injectable cortisone. 

Shock loss or alopecia areata

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Alopecia areata is highly suspiceoous. This disease can be induced by a hair transplant. You need to see a dermatologist and consider a biopsy

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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It is not normal to have alopecia areata appear after a hair transplant surgery. It can be an area of over harvest.

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It is not normal to have alopecia areata appear after a hair transplant surgery. It can be an area of over harvest and shock loss.  You need to see your doctor for a proper exam.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

What is the cause of the bald spot?

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Unless you have history of getting Alopecia areata in the past, it is unusual to get it post operatively.  You need to follow with your doctor and get examined.

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

It could be

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alopecia areata and you may want to consider a scalp biopsy to verify.  It is hard to tell just from pictures  sometimes. 

Rashid M. Rashid, PhD, MD
Houston Dermatologist

Hair loss after removing donor area

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It is impossible to say if this is alopecia areata without seeing it up close. There are just so many mimickers. Alopecia areata after FUE or FUT hair transplantation is exceedingly rare. Other possibilities need to be explored include shock loss, scarring, alterations in blood supply, cysts.

A dermatologist seeing this up close would be able to confirm whether it is AA or not. 

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

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.