Q: Dr. Eppley, I recently had scalp expansion (last surgery two weeks ago) and it looked great. Now two weeks later, I am losing most of my hair next to the suture line and where the expander at the top of my scalp was. Is this normal or will I now need yet another surgery to repair this damage?
A: Le me explain the infrequent phenomenon of scalp expansion hair loss. It is not rare to have hair ‘shedding’ (temporary condition) from the stress of a tissue expander if the amount of scalp expansion is large or is being done in the presence of existing scalp scars and tissue loss. This should to be confused, which is an understandable confusion, with actual hair follicle loss. (permanent condition) Hair is very sensitive to stress since it easily be changed into the telogen phase where the hair shaft separates from the hair follicle. Once the stress period is over (after the scalp surgery is complete) the hair follicles will resume growth at some point and new external hair will begin to appear. There may or may to be some scar widening from the tissue expander insertion site.
Dr. Barry Eppley