Describe "shock loss" and how long this can last?



A "shock loss," the medical term is telogen effluvium, means that our hair responds to trauma of one sort or another. So if we become ill, or we get a high fever, say someone has chemotherapy, or if they've had trauma of some sort, the hair can go into a shock phase, or what we call telogen effluvium. Now, with the hair replacement surgery, it's not a very common phenomenon, but again, the more aggressive the procedure is, so if you're doing a strip technique for example, you're using cautery, you're putting in sutures or staples which of course have to be used in those older, outdated techniques, you are more likely to get a shock effect. And so, basically, the nice thing about our technique is that we're making simple openings in the scalp between the existing hairs, say in the frontal area or in the crown region, and we're gently inserting the grafts around the surrounding hairs.

Now, there might be some thinning of that hair, so there may be a period of time, say after about the first few weeks, where patients may notice a more progressive thinning of hair around the area where we've transplanted the grafts. That may last for 2 to 3 months, but typically, the hair will grow back in that area, so the shock loss is temporary. One of the ways to reduce that is technology that is least disruptive to the surrounding hair follicles, and then also many of our patients will suggest right after hair transplantation surgery, say within about a week to 2 weeks, they'll start some minoxidil, or Rogaine® topically. We'll usually have them on a regimen a few weeks beforehand. We think that there are some studies that indicate that shock loss might be reduced. Now, there are some terminal hairs, or hairs that are at the point where they're about ready to fall out anyway, and so there is a chance, of course, that some of those hairs that fell out from a "shock loss" were really hairs that were destined to fall out permanently anyway – and those may not come back. But the likelihood is that if they don't come back, they were on their way out anyway.

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