Men may get more then they bargained for when they have hair transplants. In a recent case study, the transplant was a success, but doctors nearly lost the patient.
The man, who was in good health, had hair plug transplants done over two visits to a dermatologist's office in New Jersey. He developed oedema (swelling) after the first procedure and was prescribed steroids.
After the second procedure, he experienced extensive bleeding at the plug site, and the affected scalp area was sutured. Within a week, the man developed a high fever, breathing difficulties, and joint, muscle and chest pain classic signs of septic shock.
The next day, he sought care in an emergency room, where doctors diagnosed him with a Staphylococcus aureus infection. Such infectious complications are rare in hair transplant procedures; nevertheless, the procedure is not without risks.
The report noted that controlling bleeding can be very difficult during a hair plug transplant, and also urged doctors to be careful in the way they use steroids to control swelling in these procedures (Infect Dis Clin Pract, 2001; 10: 101-2).