What is the largest number of grafts that can be safely transplanted during one session? What can happen if too large a number of grafts are transplanted?
Over the last several years, hair transplant procedures have become larger and larger with it possible to transplant as many as 4,000 or more grafts in a single procedure. The factors that determine the greatest amount of grafts include, of course, the need for such a large number of grafts, i.e. more density of hair loss, the donor supply with more dense donor scalp being able to donate more grafts, and lastly the proficiency of the surgeon and of his team, for hair transplantation is clearly a team effort requiring an extensive amount of work by a lot of individuals. Typically for most patients with male pattern hair loss, procedures of 2,200 up to 2,800 grafts are most common and for women the procedures more typically are 1,600 up to 1,800 grafts, although this number can go lower and higher. The degree of hair loss is an important determining factor for how many grafts can be safely transplanted because if too many grafts are placed in too small of an area or into an area that already has existing hair, there can be a risk of poor regrowth, especially if the trauma to the scalp is increased by the use of large incision blades and also due to shock loss of existing hairs. An experienced surgeon can both counsel the patient and avoid these complications.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS