Are you losing your hair fast? Planning to get a hair transplant done? It is wise to know about the procedure in detail and the side effects that may occur post-procedure to ensure that you are safe. Here we will discuss some of the significant side effects seen among patients post a hair transplant surgery.

What are the Causes of Death from Hair Transplants?

November 10, 2022 by Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Are you losing your hair fast? Planning to get a hair transplant done? It is wise to know about the procedure in detail and the side effects that may occur post-procedure to ensure that you are safe. Here we will discuss some of the significant side effects seen among patients post a hair transplant surgery.

A hair transplant refers to moving your hair to a bald patch on the head and allowing it to grow naturally over time. The hair from the back of the head is generally used for this procedure to cover the rest of the head.

Read on as we discuss the procedure and its side effects in detail.

What are the major causes of baldness?

Baldness could be genetic; if your parents or their parents had it at a certain age, you carrying their genes might have it as well. However, you don’t need to have it; you might.

Other causes of baldness are as follows:

  • Improper diet
  • Extreme levels of stress
  • Some illnesses whose side effects lead to baldness
  • Hormonal imbalance impacts your hair follicles, disrupting their function
  • As a side effect of specific medication

There could be other inherent causes of hair loss as well. If you are losing more hair than we do on a daily, please get in touch with your doctor to get to the root cause of it and treat the condition at the earliest.

Types of hair transplant

There are two basic types of hair transplant procedures. One is the slit graft procedure, where 4 to 5 hair strands are transplanted in each graft. The second one is the micrografts, where only 1 to 2 hair strands are transplanted per graft.

Side effects of and complications of hair transplant

There are many side effects of hair transplants. While some may be simple, others might lead to significant complications and fatalities if proper care is not taken at the right time. Some of the significant complications of hair transplant procedure include the following:

  • Excessive bleeding for a prolonged period after the procedure
  • Swelling of the scalp
  • Infection
  • Bruises around the eyes
  • temporary loss of sensation or numbness around the area where the transplant has been done
  • Itching around the transplanted area
  • Folliculitis, inflammation or infection around the hair follicles
  • Shock loss, a sudden loss of a part of the transplanted hair, a temporary issue

There could be other less common side effects or complications post-hair transplant procedures. You must inform your doctor if the complications are severe or persistent for more than a few days. The doctor or surgeon can suggest what all action needs to be taken to resolve or remediate the issue at the earliest.

Reasons for the complications and fatalities

Knowing the complications or side effects of medical procedures such as hair transplant is one thing. As doctors, surgeons, or even patients undergoing hair transplants, you must understand why these complications are. Only when you know the reasons doctors can you provide the proper remedies to your patients to resolve the issue. Some of the common reasons for complications post-hair transplant procedure is as follows:

Anaphylactic or Drug reactions

Some antibiotics or painkillers cause drug reactions inside the body. The cephalosporin group of drugs used as antibiotics after the hair transplant procedure can cause anaphylactic reactions. Doctors must be aware of such reactions in patients earlier and be cautious about them. Analgesics such as diclofenac sodium can also lead to anaphylactic reactions, which might also be fatal. Some doctors and medical institutions are preparing protocols to avoid such reactions. The protocol suggests doctors and surgeons not use these drugs during the surgery. Using them before or after the surgery can lead to lesser chances of fatal outcomes in patients. Surgeons are trying to restrict the use of NSAIDs during hair transplant surgeries.

Furthermore, certain drugs are given to patients to control such anaphylactic reactions. However, doctors must be cautious of biphasic anaphylactic reactions as well. After initial control of the drug reaction, the patient further faces complications after a couple of hours of the surgery. This may include breathing problems or even cause lung edema and ARDS. If an anaphylactic reaction is caused to a patient, they must be under medical supervision in the ICU for the next 24 to 48 hours. Giving a drug to control it momentarily is not the right way forward. It can become life-threatening if the right and timely management is not done. Patients might face electrolyte imbalance in the body which might also be fatal. The electrolyte balance needs to be taken care of during this period. If unchecked, it might even cause cardiac arrest in severe cases.


MRSA reactions can occur after a hair transplant if proper care is not taken. These infections can be fatal in certain cases as well. There have even been instances where people have lost their eyesight due to these infections. To avoid such MRSA reactions, patients undergoing hair transplant surgery can apply mupirocin ointment inside the nose for two days before and 2 to 3 days after the surgery.

Betadine mouthwash and shampoo can be used after surgery to avoid MRSA infections. Before the hair transplant procedure, the doctor or team of surgeons should ensure that the OT is disinfected and sterile. This would reduce the chances of infection in patients during the surgical procedure. Some antibiotics, such as doxycycline, can be given two days before surgery to reduce the chances of bacterial reactions and toxicity.

Drug overdose

Patients and doctors must be well aware of the recommended doses of certain drugs. Drug doses depend on the body weight and the physiological condition of the patient as well in some instances. Doctors must be well aware of it as well. For example, bupivacaine used to prolong anesthesia might cause cardiotoxicity. Instead, ropivacaine can be used along with xylocaine during a hair transplant. Xylocaine can also cause drug reactions, so xylocarp can be used in its place. Make sure you do not preserve xylocarp as it does not contain preservatives.

This might cause fungal infections in subsequent cases. Dr. Venkataraman, a dermatologist from Mysore, mentioned in his paper that Clonidine tablets can be used before a hair transplant for pain relief. Some doctors even recommend a clonidine tablet before the hair transplant, followed by a fentanyl patch for prolonged pain relief. This would ensure that voveran or diclofenac is not used for pain relief in the patient that might cause drug reactions. Intravenous lipids can be used if there is some symptom of xylocaine toxicity.

Missed medical history

Before going for the surgery, you must inform your doctor about any medical conditions that you might have. It will help if you inform your doctor about any drug allergies that you might have as well. If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking. Smoking is a vasoconstrictor, so the chances of getting skin necrosis are higher in heavy smokers. Avoid smoking to protect yourself from these infectious reactions post-hair transplant surgery.


A hair transplant is a safe surgery in general. Understanding the possible complications and their causes well in advance can help keep them at bay. Make sure to discuss each detail with your doctor, ask them any questions, and clear your doubts before the surgery. If you are looking for the safest best hair transplant in Delhi book your appointment now with Care Well Medical Centre. Ask your doctor about the steps you need to take post-surgery to ensure no complications and a smooth recovery process.

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Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon and the owner of Care Well Medical Centre in Delhi. With extensive expertise in cosmetic and plastic surgery, he is dedicated to providing exceptional care and transformative results to his patients. Dr. Sandeep Bhasin obtained his MBBS and MS in General Surgery from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and served as a consultant at Bhaktshreshtha Kamalakarpant Laxman Walawalkar Hospital, Diagnostic & Research Centre. Specializing in various procedures such as face-lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation, hair transplant and many others, Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is committed to enhancing his patients' natural beauty and self-confidence.

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