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Scalp Reduction
Scalp Reduction

Scalp reduction is a series of surgical treatments

designed to treat androgenic alopecia (baldness). By stretching the skin of the scalp, its hairless portions can be removed and the area of bald skin decreased by closing the space with hair-covered scalp. Although statistics regarding the number of scalp reduction procedures performed in the U.S. are not readily available, it has been reported that the number of scalp reductions performed has reduced as the popularity of hair transplant surgery has increased.

Cost of Scalp Reduction

According to various sources, the cost of scalp reduction may range from $1,500 to $4,000. The national average fee listed here refers to the surgeon's fee only and does not include charges for the surgical facility, anesthesia, and anesthesiologist – nor does it include any medical tests, prescriptions, or other miscellaneous costs related to any component of scalp reduction surgery.

"The cost of scalp reduction

may range from $1,500 to $4,000."

Many practices offer multiple financing options for scalp reduction.

Find a Scalp Reduction Surgeon

While the information contained in this website will provide you with a good introduction to scalp reduction, it cannot replace medical advice. When considering this treatment, please consult a qualified provider. (To assist your search, use our physician locator.)


How is Scalp Reduction Performed?

Scalp reduction is normally performed using a local anesthetic in the scalp, along with a sedative to put the patient in a “twilight” state. Usually, a portion of the scalp (two to five centimeters wide) can be removed in one session, and the remaining skin is then stitched back together. Newer methods of scalp reduction may also be used, including scalp expansion and scalp extension. A brief overview follows:

Scalp expansion: Balloon-like devices (tissue expanders) are implanted under the sides and back of the scalp where the hair is still growing. These are gradually inflated over a four to 12 week period, resulting in an increase in the amount of loose hair bearing tissue as the skin stretches. The following scalp reduction surgery creates a greater amount of loose bald skin than would be possible if it hadn’t been stretched before surgery.

Scalp extension: Scalp extension involves the use of a surgical device, made of two rows of hooks connected by elastic bands. The device is placed on the under surface of the scalp during the first scalp reduction procedure. Over a one-month period, the tension in the bands gets tighter, constantly and gently pulling the hair-bearing tissues upward. This loosens and stretches the scalp, and allows for a greater scalp reduction.

With any of these methods, the number of treatments required will be determined by your physician.


How much pain is associated with scalp reduction?

Common side effects include some pain, swelling, and numbness following treatment.


Risks of Scalp Reduction

Scalp reduction is likely to leave scars on the bald areas of the scalp, which can be camouflaged by hair styling or hair grafts. Stretching back of the skin may occur. Rarely, an unnatural appearance called slot deformity may occur.


Who is the ideal candidate for scalp reduction?

Good candidates for scalp reduction are patients with good hair growth on the sides and back of the scalp. This is so that the skin can be stretched upward to cover the bald scalp that is to be cut. In addition, the patient must have hair that is thick enough to be grafted on the hair-bearing portion of the scalp.


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