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Surgical Scalp Reduction for Bald Spots
Having a bald spot is no doubt embarrassing and can affect your self-esteem.
There are various causes for bald spots, big or small. Two of the most common causes are aging and genetics. The National Institutes of Health have stated that an estimated twenty-five percent of men over the age of thirty experience male pattern baldness. Women are also affected by pattern baldness, though it is usually noticed later in life. Pattern baldness in men and women is usually caused by genetics and is hereditary.
People who have certain diets are more prone to having bald spots. Anyone that doesn’t get enough of certain vitamins and minerals such as iron, are more likely to develop hair loss and bald spots.
Hormonal changes can also play a big role in hair loss for both men and women. For women it is usually menopause or pregnancy, and in men it is usually from the decrease in testosterone.
In addition to natural causes, there are also medical conditions and certain drugs that can cause hair loss and bald spots in men and women. You would have to consult a physician to determine the exact cause of your hair loss.
Scalp Reduction Surgery
Luckily, there are a lot of treatments and options available to anyone that has a bald spot. A surgical scalp reduction is a popular method for men and women who have exhausted other traditional methods of hair loss treatment. This surgery is also commonly called a hair lift or a scalp lift.
A scalp reduction is a surgical procedure in which the amount of balding skin is reduced. The surgeon would remove the bald spot, usually up to two inches, by cutting out that area of scalp. Healthy non-balding areas of the scalp are pulled together and then sutured closed.
During a scalp reduction you would be completely sedated and under anesthesia. The average length of the surgery is 1.5 to 2 hours. There is mild to moderate pain after surgery, depending on how large of an area was removed. There is only minor swelling and bruising with this surgery. Majority of people that have the surgery are able to return to normal activities in as little as three days.
A scalp reduction is a little pricey. The cost ranges on average from $2,000 to $3,000. This price varies depending on the surgeon, the location, and how extensive the surgery will be.
Who is a Candidate?
Men and women who have a noticeable bald spot are candidates for this surgery. You would have to have a healthy growth of hair surrounding the bald spot. If you suffer from certain types of illnesses or conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, you may not be a candidate. You would have to undergo a consultation and physical evaluation to be sure you are suitable for surgery.
As with any surgery, there could be complications and negative side effects, though they are not too common. Possible negative side effects:
- painful scars
- large, noticeable scars
- damage of the occipital nerve, causing numbness
- indentation deformity on the head, causing unnatural hair flow direction
- poor healing
- tissue death
Having a scalp reduction is usually a last resort for those that have tried everything. While the surgery is minimally invasive and has proven results, the outcome does not always last forever. Eventually the healthy hair growth may also begin to bald.