Is my donor area overharvested? Is there hope? (Photos)

Hello doctors, about 11 days ago I received a hair transplant in Istanbul. About 5,100 grafts were extracted and placed into my beard. I hadn't been able to look at my donor area until now and it look incredibly depleted. Is this a case of overharvesting? The doctor said it should look much better in 3 months. Confused and embrassed.

Doctor Answers 5

5100 grafts would be considered a very high number / large session. Your concerns are justified.

5100 grafts would be considered a very high number / large session.  Your concerns are justified since the harvested hair will not grow back from the donor area.


Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Overharvesting of the donor area

Yes, from the pictures it does look like the donor area is overharvested. The single best solution is scalp micropigmentaiton (see below) which makes it look great

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Safe Donor Area

I cannot clearly tell from your pictures the extent of the FUE extraction area but if it approximates the shaved area it is not appropriate. It is impossible to get 5,000 FUE grafts from the safe donor area. You can get 5,000 grafts but a great number of them may be programmed to be lost from male pattern balding. 

Brian Goertz, MD
Seattle Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Overharvested donor area?

You may very well be right: that's a lot of harvesting, and over harvesting seems to be more and more common. But I t's impossible (for me, anyway) to assess what your donor area looks like from the photos, since RealSelf does not provide a means for enlarging them. The only thing I can say is, time will tell. Also, I hope you don't go on to have any significant hair loss from your scalp, because there will be a limited number of donor follicles with which to replace it. Thanks for your question, and best of luck to you.

Jonathan Ballon, MD
Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

It is possible

to harvest that many grafts? they must have harvested/counted individual hairs.   I guess it could be the # of grafts but that definitely sounds extreme.  Why did you choose a place you could not do a follow up with? 

Rashid M. Rashid, PhD, MD
Houston Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 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.