It is natural to experience discomfort and after-effects after the surgery. Hence, it is essential to recognize the typical side effects without getting apprehensive. Let us have a look:
- Swelling: Lasts for 1 to 2 days post-surgery. Sometimes this gravitates to the eyes and may also be lopsided. The swelling will usually subside within 2 to 3 days without any medication or application.
- Bleeding: The donor area may experience some bleeding which can be quelled by applying light pressure with some gauze till it stops.
- Pain: Both donor and transplanted areas may experience continuous or sporadic pain and tenderness. The doctor will recommend appropriate antibiotics and pain medication for the same.
- Numbness/tingling sensation: This may occur in the recipient area due to the formation of peripheral skin nerves. This sensation may last for weeks or months, but it will settle down without intervention.
- Infection: Like any procedure, there is a minor possibility of infection and should be communicated to the clinic for immediate attention.
While these may intimidate you, all of these can be avoided or addressed with adequate care.
Hair Transplant After Care Timeline
Post hair transplant, the scalp will be sensitive and tender. Hence you will require bandages, pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, etc. After taking due care, most people return to normalcy in 2 to 5 days post the operation. However, it is essential to understand the timeline post the procedure and the post-operative care to be undertaken.
- Immediate Post Operative Care and Instructions
Once your hair transplant is done, the doctor will lightly dress the donor areas with a bandage. However, the recipient area will be left bare to heal. The first three hours post-operation is vital as, during that short time, the grafts will dry up and loosely attach themselves to the recipient channels. Hence, the patient is required to, during that time, keep the head elevated and untouched.
Please note: Premedication containing a sedative is given before the procedure. Hence, you must have someone drive you home from the clinic.
Swelling is a natural after effect of the procedure due to the injection of anesthesia and an adrenaline fluid. These help numb the pain and create small space between the scalp and skull muscles to remove hair follicles from the donor area easily. The clinic will provide an additional headband to wear and the forehead area to prevent the swelling from passing on to the eye. This headband will have to be worn for the next 5-6 days. Further, keeping the head at elevated levels and a cold compress will help bring the swelling down.
The next day after the procedure, the patient will have to come back to the clinic for the bandage removal. Thereafter, saline drops will have to be applied to the recipient area in intervals of 2-3 hours. This solution will provide nutrition to the graft, accelerate follicle healing, protect against infection to the lacerations and prevent scabbing.
You can start washing your hair from the 4th or 5th day of the procedure as recommended by the doctor. The transplanted area must be cleaned twice a day to remove crust or flakes on the scalp and prevent infection. One should gently do the washing with tepid water and the suggested after-care products. Further, one can continue the use of the saline solution to provide relief from itching.
Please note: At this stage, the falling of grafts is natural. The patient should not panic, and they will regrow in the next 3 to 4 months.
If you have adopted the FUE method, you will have to visit the clinic to remove the stitches between the 7th and 10th days. Patients who have undergone DHI treatment must visit the clinic for a check-up two weeks post-operation.
At this stage, light hair growth will start. The patient can resume regular hair washing during this period. It is essential to understand that while the number of hair strands will initially be less in thickness and number, this is just the initial growth phase. The growth will improve over time, and healthy hair will be visible in 6 to 8 months using the appropriate hair products for hair growth.
DHI patients can resume physical activity and exercises after two weeks. However, FUE patients can resume regular workouts after four weeks to avoid stretching the scar.
To check your progress and recovery, there will be 3 and 6 monthly appointments scheduled. The clinic will undertake a final check-up 12 months after the procedure to check the hairline and overall hair growth and make a comprehensive assessment.
After Care Products: Our Recommendation
Hair transplantation takes several hours for a surgeon to conclude and entails a lot of effort. If adequate care is not taken, all the efforts would be in vain, and it may also cause you immense discomfort. Like with other surgical procedures, sufficient precautions need to be taken to recoup from the hair transplantation. This fact stresses the need for using the best hair products after hair transplant for optimal restoration.
Here is a broad list of hair products used after hair transplant :
- Serum: Promotes hair formation, reduces hormonal hair loss, stimulates hair follicles and prolongs their growth. Used post hair, eyelash, eyebrows and beard transplantation.
- Shampoo: The use of this hair product for hair growth also helps maintain hair Ph balance, clears sebum secretion and prevents hair loss.
- Foam: Accelerates the repair process, prevents skin flaking, provides moisturizing, etc.
- Lotion: Prevents necrosis (cell deterioration), reduces dryness, facilitates repair, etc.
- Multivitamins: Helps in overall hair strength and restoration from the inside out. Infused with ingredients such as biotin, keratin, ginseng, folic acid, vitamin C, etc.
The EsteNove Clinic endeavors to provide patients with the best hair products after hair transplant. It recommends the HairMD after-care products, which are carefully formulated for post-hair transplantation care.
Do’s and Don’ts
Post-surgery, patients need to take care of their newly implanted hair follicles that are still fragile and have yet to take root entirely. Hence, the recipient of hair transplantation needs to adopt a healthy and comprehensive hair care routine. The newly transplanted hair is in a highly fragile state. Hence the key lies in adequate amounts of healing, recovery and care after hair transplant surgery.
Here are some tips for a seamless recovery period :
- Take and apply the prescribed medications on a timely basis.
- Sleep in a semi-upright or recliner position at an upright angle of about 45 degrees for the first seven days
- Use the aftercare products as recommended by the clinic for optimal results
- Ensure a healthy diet and stay hydrated
- Protect the transplanted area from direct blows or shocks, especially during the first ten days
- Opt for natural hair drying and avoid towel drying or blow-drying your hair
- Avoid smoking for a month and alcohol consumption for five days after the procedure.
- Avoid exercising or engaging in any strenuous activities for 2- 4 weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid exposure to heat, rain, and dust for up to three weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid swimming during this period.
- Do not scratch or fiddle with the recipient area
- Avoid hair dryers for 1- 2 weeks and switch to natural drying of hair
- Avoid hair treatments such as coloring, perming or cutting up to four weeks after the surgery
Hair transplant surgery is a very effective and minimally invasive procedure. If one abides by these tips, one will achieve a successful hair restoration. Most importantly, that patient must trust the process and not get anxious.