I had hair transplant surgery 15 months ago, and the back of my head is still numb and tingly. It starts from the incision line and goes up to the top of the back of my head. The numbness and tingly has not changed at all. I told my doctor about this numerous times, and he just stated each time that it will go away. Years ago, I had two hair transplant surgeries of 800 grafts and 250 grafts. After those two surgeries, I had no numbness at all. However, with this surgery, which was over 2000 grafts, I had numbness and tingly right after surgery, and it hasn’t changed yet. Is there anything that I can do?
During the surgery, I heard one of the helpers say to the person who was cutting the strip of hair that he cut too deep. Could this be a possible cause of the numbness? Is there anything that I can do? It’s a constant annoyance, day in and day out. I’m also getting head aches. Could this be the cause of that?
Thank you for your time
Generally speaking, any scalp numbness from a hair transplant surgery should go away after about one year. If the doctor cuts too deep or cuts a large nerve (called the greater occipital nerve) the numbness may be permanent. It is one of the rare unfortunate risks associated with hair transplant surgery.
The concept and theory of hair transplant surgery is easy. The execution and practice is highly variable. There is no formal training in hair transplant surgery and just because a doctor is a Plastic Surgeon does not mean he/she is a capable hair transplant surgeon. There is no American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for hair transplant surgery (like there is for Plastic Surgery). Just because a doctor belongs to hair transplant societies such as ISHRS and ABHRS, it does not mean they are “board certified” or trained in hair transplant surgery. It just means they paid a membership fee. Thus, choosing a well qualified, well trained hair transplant surgeon is difficult and highly variable.
Having said all this, your doctor may be a well trained and reputable surgeon and this may just be one of those rare unfortunate instance of the risks associated with surgery.