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Hair Transplant

March 22nd, 2006

Q: What exactly is compression in a hair transplant? — D.O., Short Hills, N.J.

A: Compression refers to the visible tufting of grafts due to the contraction of the grafts from the normal elasticity of skin around it, after it has been inserted into the recipient site. Compression is most commonly seen when minigrafts are used in the hair restoration (minigrafts contain more than four hairs each). Follicular units don’t show visible compression, since they are already naturally compact. However, if more than one follicular unit is placed into the same site, it can exhibit this phenomenon.

Compressed grafts will become less visible as more hair is transplanted to the area, but if they are close to the hairline or in areas where a lot of density may not be planned (such as in the crown) they may have to be removed. In this case, they can be placed under a microscope, divided up into smaller grafts and re-implanted.

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