Wound Healing for the Hair Transplant Surgeon

Click on the image above to download a PDF version of Dr. Wasserbauer's entire article on wound healing.

Dr. Wasserbauer is a regular contributor to the Hair Transplant Forum International, a publication distributed by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS.org). In the March/April 2012 Issue she was asked to compile and comment on the evolution and physiology of wound healing in the hair transplant procedure. Her paper was the featured cover story.

In the article overview Dr. Wasserbauer states:

“Wounds created with a scalpel heal faster than those created by destructive means (laser or chemical cautery among them) so avoiding excessive tissue damage (such as with the use of tissue spreading) results in faster healing.

Any foreign debris will slow wound healing by making the body do more work and possibly causing infection, so removing all spicules of hair and having high levels of vigilance with suture removal will improve outcomes.

Keeping tension from the wound during healing is key to speedy recovery. There are several means that can be employed to minimize tension, chief among them being sub-cuticular sutures, avoiding lifting, and avoiding wide strip excisions where elasticity is low”

And concludes:

“In the final analysis, it is the experience and judgment of the surgeon that will result in a good outcome or avoid a poor one. Like it or not, the wound healing experiences of every hair transplant procedure a surgeon performs will reflect on his or her practice and on our medical specialty as a whole. Thus, we all owe it to each other and our patients to do everything in our power to produce optimal healing.”