Dear Dr. Rassman,
A couple of years ago I remember reading an article about a hair transplant doctor at UCLA (I believe) that was able to transplant a higher amount of hair into a site by first having the scalp injected with a solution (possibly saline) to actually swell or enlarge the scalp area so more hair could be transplanted into the area. Later when the swelling receded the results would yield a higher density.
Can you comment on this. Is this something that you would recommend? Why or why not?
Many hair transplant surgeons will inject saline into the scalp to accomplish just what you are talking about. The important thing to focus upon is graft survival. Are the grafts packed so closely that the blood supply may be compromised? It is possible. I recently saw a patient done by another doctor who had the skin in the recipient area develop gangrene from a decision to put too many grafts too close together in skin that could not tolerate dense packing of grafts. The details of what the surgeon does is not a simple one thing vs another thing. A good hair transplant is the result of a complex series of decisions and takes into account not only the size of the grafts and the nature of the skin, but many other judgments. I have heard doctors focus on one thing that makes them unique, but ask yourself, “Am I being pitched a sales line here?”