Are you concerned about the side effects of a hair transplant? Is one of them the worry of surgery and the risk of cancer? Check out our answer below along with other risks that could be a factor.
Hair transplant is a surgical procedure that involves moving hair from one part of the scalp to another. It is considered safe and effective. However, it is not known to cause cancer. Some people may experience side effects, such as infection or bleeding, but cancer is not one of them.
What are the risks of a hair transplant?
The list is wide and varied, but thankfully cancer is not on the list. There are many risks with hair transplants. It’s like any other invasive surgery or cosmetic surgery; there is always a risk associated.
However, unlike other surgical procedures, the risks with hair transplants are exhaustive, and it’s intrinsic with such an extensive procedure.
Hair transplant surgery can last longer than a heart transplant! Thousands of individuals’ hair follicles are meticulously harvested from the donor site and then grafted through micro incisions on the scalp.
It takes hours of concentration from the transplant team while keeping the patient comfortable with local anaesthetics.
Excessive bleeding after surgery
Your head has an enormous blood supply, and depending on the extent of hair grafts, you could bleed excessively. If this continues for a day, you may need additional stitching and compression bandages to stem the bleeding.
Scarring is familiar with some methods of hair transplants, and until your hair regrowth occurs can be unsightly. It mainly occurs with FUT follicular unit extraction.
The surgeon removes a strip of the scalp containing the hair follicles and is stitched into place. Some surgeons still use this procedure for speed, and other procedures cause less bleeding.
Is a significant concern after a hair transplant. The operating theatre may be sterile, but infections can set in quickly once you are out of there.
Any medical procedure risks infection, and the scalp can be more prone as it is generally open to the elements.
If you notice any strange smells or anything abnormal such as a high temperature or hotness of the scalp, head back to your surgeon.
It’s hardly surprising you will experience some amount of swelling after surgery, given the number of incisions you have on your scalp. However, if you experience swelling moving down to the face and eyes, this is not normal.
It’s normal to have bruising, but if it is excessive moving onto your nose and black eyes, you need to consult your surgeon again.
You may experience numbness in your scalp for several months after surgery. This can be considered normal but a distressing side effect of hair transplant surgery.
Does hair transplant cause any disease?
Apart from the extensive list of side effects and risks from hair transplant surgery, there is no connection between hair transplants and diseases.
This assumes you will take good care of your newly transplanted hair follicles and follow the post-operative protocols.
If you do not follow the post-operative protocols and infections set into the wounds, many blood-related disorders could become apparent, like septicemia.
Septicemia or sepsis is the most extreme manifestation of an infection and can be life-threatening. Blood poisoning needs immediate treatment.
However, if you follow the post-operative protocols, the chances of any infections are mitigated.
Is hair transplant fatal?
There was a reported instance of the death of an Indian student after a botched hair transplant surgery in Chennai.
After the post mortem, it was found that the death had occurred due to an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia being used.
Can this be blamed on the hair transplant procedure? The surgical procedure would have been undoubtedly successful in such a young male,
However, it seems unclear if the patient was under general anaesthesia or was allergic to the local anaesthetic being used.
This unfortunate event happened way back in 2012, his death was during hair transplant surgery, but it’s reasonable to think the procedure did not have any direct influence on the death.
You have to assume hair transplants are not fatal despite being an invasive procedure.
A clear lesson comes from this incident, and it’s this. Check and research the facility you are considering for your hair transplant surgery. It’s ok to ask for references and the BIo of the surgeon performing your hair transplant surgery.
If you feel the hair transplant clinic is not being transparent, then walk away. There is a wide choice of professional clinics that are fighting for your business.
Are there any long term side effects of hair transplant?
Yes, you may experience some scarring that will remain with you for the rest of your life. Choose a surgery where scarring is minimal. If you have a predisposition to hair loss, you could lose your hair in the future and be left with scars on your scalp.
You will experience this for up to 8 months, and if unlucky, it could be permanent. Scalp laxity is the lack of movement in the scalp when under tension.
If at the front of the scalp, it can be permanent and may affect your eyebrow movement, giving an expressionless feature around the eyes.
A worrisome side effect is nerve damage and the lack of sensation in the scalp. Nerves can be severed and dislodged. Nerves do regrow at a prolonged rate of 1 mm every year so that recovery can take time.
In some cases, nerve damage is permanent, and there is little you can do about it. You signed away your rights for recourse when you entered into the hair transplant contract.
The medical term for ingrown hairs is quite common and happens in hair transplants when the hair is not strong enough to break the skin.
It’s irritating but no big deal.
Hair transplants and cancer
The good news is you do not have to worry about cancer from a hair transplant, and we have covered a few other considerations.