10 Ways in which hair transplant surgery can backfire

Though natural hair loss can’t be reversed in most cases, luckily there are surgical techniques available these days, which can, to a large extent, substitute natural hair. Hair transplantation is a cosmetic surgical procedure where hair follicles from parts of the body that are genetically resistant to balding are transposed to the parts suffering from irreversible hair fall. It’s most often implemented to treat the permanent hair loss of men. There are many different techniques available to achieve the desired end result. Even though it’s a very safe process, some people can suffer from usually mild and easily reversible, not to mention treatable, side effects. Usually these symptoms don’t last more than one to two weeks. Some of the most commonly seen side effects are:

Itchy scalp

Itchy scalp is a very frequently occurring after effect of hair transplant surgery. This is a very widespread problem and most people get affected by it immediately after the surgery. The patient needs to avoid scratching the head to combat itching since it may damage the scalp and result in blood oozing out. Worse, it may irreversibly damage the newly transplanted hair, thus rendering the procedure meaningless. Such an outcome may require immediate medical attention. It’s a short term side effect and doesn’t last longer than four to five days in most instances. It’s a curable condition and use of a saline solution or a shampoo can get rid of this issue pretty fast. This condition is usually not very expensive to treat.


Cysts are very common side effects of hair transplantation procedure and can arise almost immediately after the surgery. Areas of the scalp where the new hair has been grafted can be prone to infection. The neighboring hair follicles where the new hair have been transplanted can get harmed resulting in the formation of cysts. In some rare instances, people have suffered when the new hair follicles implanted have penetrated the skin much more than required. This condition doesn’t usually last more than a fortnight and is very easily treatable. It is recommended that patients consult a doctor since each and every case exhibits different symptoms and needs specialized advise. Medication is usually used to fix the problem but, in some rare cases, the doctor can resort to surgical intervention to remove the cysts resulting in a little bleeding. It’s not very expensive to treat and can be very easily cured.


An unintended but very common aftereffect of hair transplantation procedure is the resultant swelling of the scalp region near the forehead. It can also result in eye pain in many cases and some people have been known to suffer from a black eye. It can be a bit painful, however, in most instances this condition doesn’t last more than two to three days and a week in some rare cases. Even though it’s not really required, patients may consult a doctor to procure prescribed medicines to get rid of the swelling and attendant pain. It gets very easily cured in most cases and the treatment is very affordable. Some common antibiotics or some specific steroids can be prescribed by doctors to alleviate swelling of the forehead.


Immediately after a hair transplant procedure, a lot of patients suffer from bleeding in the scalp region. However, there is nothing to worry about since the quantum of bleeding is very less in most cases and can be easily stopped by applying a little bit of pressure on the affected region. Only in very rare instances, when the bleeding can’t be controlled, does it require a medical consultation. Doctors may decide to stem the flow of blood by stitching up the bleeding region. Typically, this condition doesn’t last more than one to two weeks and is easily treatable and completely curable.

Scalp numbness

Some people can feel that their scalp has lost a bit of sensation immediately after the surgery. However, this is normal and there is absolutely no reason to lose sleep over it. It usually doesn’t last for more than a few weeks and gets completely cured. This doesn’t require any kind of medical attention. Some people may also get a condition known as scalp tenderness where the scalp feels very sensitive but that can also be very easily reversed in a few weeks. It might require medical attention in some rare instances where the scalp gets infected but is very easy and inexpensive to treat.

Headaches and pain

A very commonly reported side effect of hair grafting procedure is when patients report usually mild headaches. As they say, “No pain, no gain” since the surgical process involves the use of a bit of force and a lot of reconstruction on the scalp area in order to implant the new hair. The good news is that the pain gradually subsides over time and typically doesn’t bother a patient for more than a few weeks. Most patients don’t require any medical attention to treat this problem since it usually goes away on its own, but some people are prescribed mild pain relievers to get over the symptoms. Needless to say, the pain relieving medicines are very inexpensive.

Thinning of hair and shock loss

There is also an additional risk involved in this procedure since natural hair of the patient can get damaged and can sometimes be difficult to reverse. This risk is deemed as shock loss in medical terminology. Research has indicated that women are more prone to get afflicted by this as compared to men. Although most of the natural hair follicles grow back within a period of three to four months, some weak vulnerable hair follicles may not grow back resulting in permanent loss of some part of the previously present natural hair. This is a very commonly reported issue. However, there is nothing to worry about since the issue gets sorted out on its own without the need of any type of medication. The hair usually regains its thickness and strength gradually over a period of time attaining its former glory very fast. It is mostly a self-healing process and doesn’t require too much expensive medication, hence in a majority of the cases doesn’t set back the patient financially.


In any surgical procedure, there is always the risk of infections occurring immediately after the surgery and hair transplant procedure is not an exception. However, this has been rarely reported after hair transplant surgery. A key reason for this is that most doctors take great care in administering preventive antibiotics before and after the surgical process preempting any potential infection. In case infections still occur, patients need to seek immediate medical attention since untreated issues can very easily aggravate causing a lot of pain and suffering. The prescribed medicines to treat post surgical infections might sometimes be a bit on the expensive side. The time taken to recover from this issue differs from person to person since the symptoms can vary.


It may seem weird but some people can literally suffer from unexpected hiccups after the hair transplant surgery. This is an extremely rare side effect and affects only a minute fraction of patients, usually not more than 4% to 6% of people undergoing a hair grafting operation. It usually gets cured on its own in a couple of days. In case the issue persists, it’s advisable to opt for medical consultation since it can prevent from getting decent sleep and eating normally. There are prescribed medicines available to treat this symptom and it usually gets rectified within one to two weeks. The treatment is usually not very expensive.


Even though it’s extremely rare, some people have been known to suffer from a scarred scalp immediately after the hair transplant operation. The scarring results in the scalp developing ridges and can look very nasty. Some people are genetically more susceptible than others to develop this problem. There are a few treatments available to treat this, like applying pressure bandages on the affected area, surgical intervention, cryosurgery, etc. Not just hair specialists, even dermatologists can rectify this problem since it mostly involves the skin areas. The scars might not completely heal in everyone’s case and the process can also take a long time for some people. Because of the complexities involved, the treatment can be very expensive.

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