Q: What is the most common cause of necrosis (death of tissue) in the recipient area? — A.Q., Los Altos Hills, C.A.
A: Recipient site necrosis is one of the worst complications of a hair transplant and results in skin ulceration and scarring. Usually it is caused by a combination of a few or many of the factors listed below. Each by itself should not present a risk.
Pre-existing conditions in the patient such as:
- smoking (the big one)
- diabetes (juvenile more than adult onset)
- photo-damage (alters the collagen and vasculature)
- long-standing baldness (less blood supply when there are no follicles)
Poor surgical techniques:
- recipient sites that are too large
- recipient sites that are placed too closely (too dense)
- too many grafts placed at one time
- too much epinephrine used in the procedure
- multiple procedures in one session — i.e. FUE and FUE in same session, or large FUT and Graft excision, scalp reduction, etc.
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