Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-56
Donor sealing: A novel method in hair transplant surgery

A's Clinic, A-9, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi - 110 019, India

Correspondence Address:
Arvind Poswal
A's Clinic, A-9, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi - 110 019
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.25199

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Keywords: Donor Sealing, Hair Transplant

How to cite this article:
Poswal A. Donor sealing: A novel method in hair transplant surgery. Indian J Dermatol 2006;51:55-6

How to cite this URL:
Poswal A. Donor sealing: A novel method in hair transplant surgery. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2006 [cited 2022 Jan 24];51:55-6. Available from:

  Background Top

Donor sealing is the method employed to decrease visible scarring following full thickness punch excision of the skin in follicular unit extraction in hair transplant surgery. In hair transplant surgery, various methods are used for extracting intact individual follicular units from the scalp. Most of these techniques involve the use of punches of diameters ranging from 0.75 mm to 1.25 mm. Following the extraction of the follicular units the donor area wounds are left to heal by secondary intention. Healing by secondary intention leads to formation of scar tissue at the donor site, which is visible as white dots.

The technique of donor sealing involves the use of the epidermis of the follicular unit grafts to close the donor area wounds to: a) avoid visible 'white dots', b) hasten the healing process.

In cases where donor sealing was done the wound appears to heal by primary intention since the epidermis is in close proximity to the surrounding epidermis. With well-approximated wounds, a continuous layer of epidermis forms within 48 hours.[1] The epidermis on contact with the epidermis of the surrounding skin heals by primary intention, while the lower part of the skin, i.e. the dermis heals by secondary intention; however that part which heals by secondary intention is not visible. The sealing material is analogous to the split thickness skin grafts used in skin grafting surgery.[2]

It was observed that the size of the punch does not alter the outcome as far as visible scarring is concerned since even with the use of smaller size punches of 0.7 mm, small hypo pigmented areas still occurred in cases where donor sealing was not done.

Donor sealing is, therefore, an effective way to reduce/minimize visible scarring following follicular unit extraction.

  Technique Top

The donor areas were shaved and cleaned with all aseptic aseptic precautions. The donor area was then infiltrated with local anesthesia (2% lignocaine with 1:100000-adrenaline preparation diluted in equal parts with Ringer's Lactate solution). The hair follicular units were then extractes using punches with diameter ranging from 0.75 mmm to 1.1 mm.

The hair grafts were extracted and kept in Ringer's Lactate solution. The upper part of the hair graft viz: epidermis was horizontally cut. The process was done under 2.5X magnification. The epidermis thus obtained is referred to as the sealant material. Taking all aseptic precautions (after the hair follicular units were transplanted into the recipient sites) the sealant material was placed in the donor extraction sites. Care was taken to keep the sealant epidermis flush with the level of the surrounding epidermis. The area was then bandaged for 24 hours. At the end of 24 hours, the bandage was removed. The patients were advised to daily wash the area with lukewarm water and mild soap solution. They were advised not to do any vigorous physical activity and not to rub the donor areas for 10 days. The patients were followed up on a regular basis at 10 days, 20 days, 3 months and 6 months postoperatively.

The postoperative outcome was recorded, viz: the degree of postoperative visible scarring and hypo pigmentation at the donor sites.

  References Top

1.Marchesi, VT. Inflammation and healing anderson's pathology, 8th ed, 1985.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Johnson TM, Ratner D. Skin graftis. In Ratz JL ed.: Text book of Dermatological surgey, 1992.  Back to cited text no. 2    

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[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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