Burn trauma can leave behind both physical and emotional scars. Unfortunately, burning accidents are all too common among children and adults as kitchen appliances, smoking, candles, and lighters are within nearly every home in the U.S. As a victim of a burn trauma, you may experience hair loss and trauma to the scalp, making it difficult to grow new hair and reclaim some of your physical characteristics again. Through the process of hair transplantation, surgeons are now able to help many burn victims to begin recovering inside and out.
Features of Burn Trauma on the Scalp
When the hair and scalp are involved in a burning accident, permanent hair loss is often one of the results. Many burn victims also experience thick scar tissue along the area of the scalp and face, making surgical interventions seem more difficult. Blood supply can become a concern as well, especially to the scarred areas. Various side effects can also occur based on the type of burns and degree of trauma sustained. Your hair transplant specialist can provide you with an in-depth analysis of your trauma effects and a comprehensive plan to replace hair to the affected area.
Hair Transplant Procedures for Burn Victims
While there are different methods used for successful hair transplants today, the most common version used for burn trauma victims is follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Using this approach, your hair transplant surgeon will relocate follicular units of hair in small amounts, usually one to four at a time. These follicular units are typically harvested using the time-efficient strip method, which will leave behind an undetectable scar if performed correctly. One tiny strip of skin is removed from the hair-bearing scalp and then broken up into small follicular units by experienced technicians.
Meanwhile, the hair transplant surgeon will create recipient sites throughout the scarred area of the scalp. These must be made in accordance with the natural hairline design of the patient to provide the most realistic looking results. Your hair transplant surgeon will work to maintain the angle, depth, and consistency of your natural hair to achieve your desired results. Many patients can complete the process in around three or four treatments, but this may depend on the severity of the trauma and the amount of scalp affected.
Results of Hair Transplants on Burn Victims
The first hair transplant treatment for a burn trauma victim was performed in 1939 by a Japanese dermatologist. By removing circular patches of the scalp and implanting them into the burned area, he was able to grow new hair over the scar tissue and damaged skin. Since then, advancements in hair transplantation have taken these treatments to new levels and improved patient success rates.
Today, burning victims who seek hair transplantation may be pleasantly surprised with their results. In fact, treating hair loss from burns with transplant methods has one of the highest success rates. Research has shown that such treatments yield the best results following burn trauma, making them an ideal choice for patients with scarring along the scalp.
Scalp Expansion and Scalp Flap Reconstruction
Dr. Sheldon S. Kabaker was one of the world’s pioneers in the use of tissue expanders to reconstruct burned scalps starting in the early 1980’s. Before that time he was known for his scalp flap and scalp reduction techniques that were often applied to reconstruct scalps with burn scarring. No two scalp burn deformities are the same. However with the right set of circumstances, scalp expansion followed by creative flap reconstruction can give far superior and faster results than hair transplants.
To book a consultation with Dr. Kabaker, contact his office, which is located at 3324 Webster Street in Oakland, California by calling (415) 379-9015.