Recently, we received an email from a potential patient regarding shock loss, a phenomenon where the native hair falls out after a hair transplant (temporarily in most cases). Here’s the question from the patient and the answer directly from Dr. Arocha.
Q: I have thinning and receding of my hairline and the top of my head. I’ve tried Propecia and Rogaine, neither of which have worked for the past few years. I’m afraid that my hair will shock if I get a transplant and I don’t want anyone to know I’ve had anything done. What are the chances?
A: I am very glad first of all, that you’ve had the foresight to be on Propecia. It is the most efficacious medication there is to slow or stop the progression of AGA (androgenetic alopecia).
Poor surgical hair loss is seen rarely in our practice. That is when the hair surrounding the transplant falls out after the procedure. This can be immediate, from cutting existing hair with the site marking tool, but is not true shock loss. It is temporary because the cut hair continues to grow. True shock loss is when the hair adjacent to the transplant falls out, going into a rest phase, returning in 3-4 months.
With the tiny blades we use and the very refined surgical procedures used on our patients, the chances that shock loss will occur is very slim. If it does occur, it will regrow within a few months. If you follow pre and post op instructions, it will also increase your chances of preventing shock loss or other complications.
For more on shock loss, visit our friends at the Hair Loss Q & A Blog: shock loss article.
Another article on shock loss from Dr. Arocha.