Hair transplant is a planned surgery and it is in the interest of the patient to confirm the date of the transplant well in advance, the idea being to start pre operative preparation. Depending on the type of hair, we may advise medication for improving quality of the donor hair and to reduce postoperative shedding. If flaking or scaling is present you may be advised to use medicated shampoo for a couple of weeks before the transplant. If you are using Minoxidil it should be discontinued at least ten days before transplant.
If you are on any blood thinners like Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Heparin, Warfarin etc, vitamin supplements, anti depressants, then these should be discontinued at least a fortnight before the transplant. Any long-term medication you are taking should be discussed in detail with doctor in the first consultation. Any major illness or episode of fever in the recent past should be disclosed.
Smoking or use of tobacco in any form delays wound healing and should be stopped a fortnight before surgery and if possible discontinued permanently as it is believed to play a role in hair loss. Alcohol intake is a strict no-no within 48 hours before surgery.
Do not cut your hair (before the hair transplant) without prior discussion with your surgeon. Report to the clinic at the scheduled time and make sure to have a full breakfast before your hair transplant surgery starts.
After the hair transplant surgery, it is very important to review the postoperative instructions with the surgeon before you leave the hospital. Read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand them properly. Following the advices will go a long way in ensuring the best possible outcome of the hair loss treatment.
On the first night, sleep in semi upright position, taking 2-3 pillows or sleep in a semi reclining chair. Elevation of your head lessens the chance of swelling or bleeding. Make sure to take all the prescribed medications. The painkillers relieve mild painful discomfort, which is usually present for the first 2-3 days. Ice bags or cold compresses in the donor area and over the forehead (not over the grafts) will also help in pain relief and reducing the swelling.
There will be mild swelling and this is quite normal. It usually starts over the grafted area and tracks down over the forehead, 2-4 days after the transplant, which may in another day or two cause swelling and bruising on the lower eyelids. Elevation of the head and limiting activity will reduce chances of swelling occurring around the eyes, but if it does occur it will last generally for 24-36 hours, before disappearing. Some slight bleeding occurs occasionally. Elevation and compression will generally stop the bleeding. Ice packs may be used on the back of the scalp (donor area) but not over the grafts. Normally with these measures it stops but if it does not then you can call us.
Do not wet hair for 48 hours after the transplant. You may shampoo in a limited fashion after this. We will give detailed instructions regarding this to you after the transplant. Tap the grafts dry; do not rub the graft sites until all the scabs have fallen off. Ten days later, you may gently massage the hair in the grafted area you may resume normal shampooing. Scabs/crusts forms, which cling to the grafts during the healing phase, will fall off in 7-10 days. DO NOT prick at them. After 4-5 days, gentle massaging while shampooing will speed up the process of falling off of the scabs. The odd grafts may be dislodged accidentally and fall out. This is not a matter for concern and will not significantly affect the overall result of your hair transplant. Avoid strenuous activity and exercise for 7-10 days. Do not bend or lift heavy weights as this may cause bleeding from the transplanted areas or increase swelling. It is better to avoid swimming for three weeks. Do not expose the scalp to direct sunlight, use a loose fitting cap.
Minor symptoms like itching, decreased sensation (mostly on the top of the head), infection (rare), scarring etc may occur but will rarely pose any sort of medical threat or emergency for the patient. Aravali Hair Institute and Clinic will prescribe an ointment to reduce the itching if it is troublesome. Decreased sensation corrects itself in 6-12 months.
Shedding (Telogen effluvium) or mild “Shocking” of nearby existing hair occurs when there is weak existing hair in the transplanted areas of the scalp. This effect, in general, is noticed in about 1 in 10 patients and is seen anywhere between 2-4 weeks to 3-4 months after the hair transplant surgery. The hairs lost due to “shock” will grow back along with the new hair. If a particular hair that receives “shock” and is in its last phase of life cycle, then it may drop out permanently. It is important to realize that surgery does not stop further loss of non-transplanted hair.
Another type of shedding (Anagen effluvium) is that of the transplanted hair, most of which will fall out within the first 3 to 8 weeks. This is perfectly normal and to be expected for 90% of the FU grafts. Growth re-starts at about 3-6 months after the hair transplant surgery. In the initial phase of growth the hair are fine but as time passes by (around 8-12 months), they gain length and diameter. By the end of one year, the “new” hair should be as robust as the surrounding non-transplanted terminal hair and will grow at the same rate.
If you notice anything unusual, other than the aforementioned pre-post operative factors and indicators or have any queries related to hair transplant surgery then feel free to call us on +91 9910212059 or +91 9818565166. You may shampoo in a limited fashion starting 48 hours after your transplant. Take a plastic container into the shower and use it to pour water over your head several times. Then put a couple of capfuls of the shampoo, a pH balanced shampoo, into the bottom of the pitcher or cup. Add a slight amount of water to make a sudsy solution. Pour this over your scalp and shampoo by working your hair between your fingers and thumb. You may shampoo daily in the limited fashion. On after the fifth day you may let the shower stream hit your scalp. After 7 days, you may gently massage the hair in the grafted area and after 10 days, you may resume normal shampooing.