The information below is a generalized hair transplant post op recovery outline
compiled together after interviewing several different hair
transplant clinics. This information is only meant to be informative
to potential hair transplant patients and is intended to give
you some idea of what it will be like in the days following
Every doctor and hair transplant clinic
has their own set of detailed guidelines to follow for
your hair transplant recovery and you should always follow
Immediately after your surgery, your doctor or a nurse
will go over the steps you need to take to insure no damage
is caused to your newly implanted hair grafts. Following
these steps carefully is important because your new hair
grafts will be sensitive to external damage for a few
days until they heal and "take root" in your
scalp. Your clinic will also provide you with prescriptions
for pain, fight infection and reduce swelling.
Since most clinics will provide you with a sedative and
local anesthia before your surgery, you will not be able
to drive yourself home after your surgery. A spouse or
friend will have to drive you home from the clinic. Or,
if you have taken a flight to reach the hair transplant
clinic, the clinic will surely help provide you with transportation
back to your hotel or directly to the airport, depending
on what arrangements you have made.
Pre Op Hair Transplant Guide
Before you even have your hair transplant surgery, your clinic
will likely make several recommendations to you which may include:
1. Don't take aspirin, ibuprofen alcohol or coffee several
days before your surgery. These elements cause the blood to
thin and may hinder proper blood clotting necessary for healing.
2. Since you will be given a local anesthia, do not drink liquids
or eat any food 8 to 12 hours before your surgery.
3. Make sure you have told your doctor of any medications you
are taking prior to your surgery.
Post Op Hair Transplant Guide
The newly implanted hair grafts will be highly visible after
the surgery and susceptable to infection and external damage.
For these reasons, you will definetely want to take a ball cap
with you to the clinic before the surgery. However, before putting
it on over the grafts, the clinic will most likely recommend
loosing the straps on it so that it is not tight on your head.
Your hair transplant team wants to keep a good flow of blood
circulation to your new grafts and they don't want the cap itself
to rub against the grafts. When putting the cap on, press the
inside brim against your forehead and carefully bring the back
down over your crown. Keep the hat loose on your head at all
times when in public.
The medications you will most likely will be prescribed following
your surgery include a mild steroid for swelling such as prednisone,
vicodin for pain, and Cephalexin for infection. These prescriptions
will include instructions on when and how often to take them.
For 24 to 48 hours after your surgery, do not wash your hair
with shampoo. During the next two weeks, take great care in
washing your hair. Use a cup of warm water and gently pat your
head with shampoo. Do not "scrub" the shampoo in like
one might usually do. Do not use a blow dryer until after your
hair grafts have healed and fallen out. Keep the scabs and grafts
clean without disrupting them.
When you get home, avoid direct sun, strenous exercise and
contact sports for at least 2 weeks after your surgery.
Some clinics, including Dr.
Shelly Friedman, may provide you with a loose fitting surgery
cap to wear at night for several days following your surgery.
This prevents direct contact with your grafts and pillow when
you sleep at night. Sleep in an upright position with several
pillows under your neck and shoulders or in your favorite recliner.
Sleeping in a slightly upright position will help prevent swelling.
You can also use an ice pack pressed against your forehead for
several days following your surgery to reduce swelling.
The graft sites will start to scab following your surgery.
These scabs mean they are healing properly. Do not Pick or scratch
the scabs. Doing so can cause infection and endanger the survival
of the grafts. If the scabbing persists after 14 days, you may
not be shampooing vigorously enough. The critical period is
14 days after surgery. The scabs will fall out in 7-14 days.
As the scabs fall out, you may notice the tiny hair is shed
with them. THIS IS NORMAL! DO NOT WORRY!
Approximately 10 days after your surgery, you will have to
have the stitches from your donor area removed.
Most clinics advise that you can return to work the day after
your surgery. However, until your hair grafts scab, heal and
fall out your hair transplant procedure WILL BE VISIBLE to others.
Unless you can wear a ball cap to your job during that time,
you may want to take some time off and limit your social interaction.
Many patients will agree that the hardest part of hair transplant
post op recovery is waiting for the new hair grafts to start
growing. Be patient since this can take 3 to 6 and up to 12
months. After your hair grafts scab, heal and fall out, they
have gone into the "resting" phase of the normal hair
growth cycle and will grow again.
Remember to take your medications as indicated by your doctor
and contact him immediately if you have any problems.
Reminder: This post op surgery guide is only
meant to be generally informative and should not replace the
advice and recommendations of your hair transplant doctor.