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Arch Plast Surg > Volume 46(3); 2019 > Article
Archives of Plastic Surgery 2019;46(3):241-247.
DOI:    Published online May 15, 2019.
Comparison of postoperative pain according to the harvesting method used in hair restorative surgery
Yang Seok Kim1  , Young Cheon Na1  , Jae Hyun Park2 
1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea
2Dana Plastic Surgery Clinic, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence:  Jae Hyun Park, Tel: +82-2-512-0922, Fax: +82-2-512-0942, 
Received: 26 June 2018   • Revised: 22 January 2019   • Accepted: 26 January 2019
Postoperative pain is one of the most common concerns of patients undergoing hair transplantation surgery. Because most patients are satisfied with the cosmetic improvement after transplantation, amelioration of postoperative pain would help to increase patient accessibility to hair restorative surgery and greatly impact patient satisfaction with the final cosmetic results. This study was performed to investigate postoperative pain after hair transplantation.


In total, 241 patients (202 who underwent follicular unit transplantation [FUT] and 39 who underwent follicular unit extraction [FUE]) were eligible for the study. Postoperative pain was evaluated on postoperative days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 using the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Scale. The patients’ medical records were retrospectively reviewed for information on the harvesting method, number of transplanted grafts, size of donor design, and laxity, elasticity, and glidability of the scalp in relation to postoperative pain.


Postoperative pain after hair transplantation, assessed with the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Scale, seemed to provide very subjective results. None of the variables were correlated with postoperative pain in the FUT group. Such pain, however, tended to disappear by postoperative day 3. Patients in the FUE group experienced significantly less severe pain than those in the FUT group.


Postoperative pain was significantly less severe in patients whose donor hair was harvested by the FUE than FUT method. Postoperative pain had almost disappeared by postoperative day 3 in the FUT group, whereas only minimal pain was present even on postoperative day 1 in the FUE group.
Keywords: Pain / Pain measurement / Pain management / Hair follicle
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