Beard Reconstruction after Cancer Surgery

Why does an individual require Hair Transplant after cancer reconstruction on Face?

Oral Cancer today is one of the most common kinds of cancer that requires surgically removing part of the jaw, soft tissue, muscle, and skin over the affected part depending on the stage of cancer. This lost part is usually reconstructed using muscle and skin from other parts of the body like the Pectoralis major mucocutaneous flap. Once the replacement is done the site usually undergoes radiation therapy. This part of the face appears highly unaesthetic and influences massively the self-esteem and self-confidence of an individual. Hair transplant done in this area replaces the beard hair and camouflages the surgical site and scars thereby hiding the reconstruction.

How is a Hair Transplant Surgery performed after cancer reconstruction?

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. A time gap of at least 2 years after radiation therapy should be given before the surgery is planned. Sometimes, patients are asked to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy before the hair transplant session.

Small punches of 0.9mm are used to punch fair follicles from the back of the head and they are easily pulled out with micro forceps. These hair grafts are safely stored in PRP solutions before they are placed back into the recipient area. Small incisions are made in the beard area with an 18g needle. In these slits, the harvested hair follicles are placed and allowed to heal. The patients are asked to be very cautious in not touching the area and disturbing the follicles for at least 10 to 15 days.

What to expect after a Hair Transplant Surgery post-cancer reconstruction and irradiation?

An average of about 40 to 50 % graft uptake is usually expected in each session. This is in lieu of the lack of blood supply in the recipient area due to radiation. To have good coverage, the patient might need a second surgery too. But the camouflage that is achieved with this procedure really influences the life of the patient in a very positive note. It tremendously improves the self-confidence and quality of life of an individual.

How to go-ahead for the procedure with Dr. Arun once you have decided?

Dr. Arun Panda is a fellowship-trained Facial Cosmetic Surgeon. He is well experienced in various Facial plastic surgeries, Non-surgical Facial aesthetic procedures, and Hair Transplant surgery. His practice is totally dedicated to what he mentions as “creating beautiful faces”!

Decision making is very important in this kind of surgery. Understanding the disease progression, its treatment period, and other factors play a vital role in taking the decision to perform the procedure or not. Having cancer surgeons and radiation oncologists’ opinions also is very important. Dr. Arun makes sure the surgery goes off very safely with the best outcomes. Patients need to understand the requirement of a second sitting, the outcomes, and possible complications that might be involved in the procedure. Once understanding is made, the patient is asked for investigations and medical clearance before surgery is finalized.

Statistics (scale of 1 to 10):

Invasiveness: 5
Pain factor : 3
Patient satisfaction: 10