Hair transplant is a surgical procedure in which hairs are transplanted on the bald areas of the scalp. The transplanted hairs are harvested from another location usually back of the scalp. The procedure is an invasive treatment so you will need time to recover from the procedure.
There are two basic types of hair transplants FUT (Follicle Unit Transplant) and FUE (Follicle Unit Extraction) your recovery time will depend upon the type of procedure that you choose for the hair transplant. The basic principle of both these procedure is same, the difference lies within the way hairs are harvested from donor location.
FUT (Follicle Unit Transplant)
In this type of hair transplant strip of tissue along with follicles is removed from the back of the scalp after that, the strip is divided into small parts till each part contain one follicle. After that transplant site is prepared by making small holes in it. The harvested hair follicles are then transplanted into the tiny holes of the transplant site.
FUE (Follicle Unit Extraction)
In this type of hair transplant, each follicle is harvested separately from the donor site which is mostly back of the scalp. After that transplant site is prepared by making tiny holes in. The harvested hairs are then transplanted into the holes of the transplant site.
Post-operative care of hair transplant
Hair transplant is a delicate procedure and you need to take care of your hairs in order to avoid complications.
1. Drink plenty of water during that time and eat food as you normally would. Avoid drinking alcohol for three days after your surgery because alcohol can make your blood thinner. Also avoid taking vitamins, aspirin or any other blood thinning medication because it can cause excessive bleeding. You should use painkillers that don’t contain aspirin.
2. The medications prescribed to you by the doctor will contain:
Prednisone to help in preventing swelling and it should be taken even if the swelling is not present. Painkillers will be given to you these medicines will contain mild narcotic-analgesic that can help a lot in deviating the pain. Antibiotic will be given to you to prevent any infection after the procedure.
3. Do to lift anything heavy and don’t engage in heavy exercises for the first 48 hours after your transplant. If you do so then swelling and bleeding is to be expected. During this time you should keep your head elevated even when you sleep.
4. Try to avoid exercises such as running, weightlifting and cycling. Other strenuous activities such as football, golf or cricket etc. should also be avoided for the first three days after the treatment. If these activates are performed before the procedure is completed then it can cause bleeding or you might lose grafts. It can cause severe swelling in the forehead and eyes. Any strenuous activities need to be avoided during the first post-op week.
5. Do not swim in water that has chlorine in it for the first seven to nine days after your transplant. Swimming in salt water is recommended but it needs to be done three days after the surgery but it is not necessary.
6. You will be expected not to wash your hairs during the first 24 hours of post-treatment. After that, you should avoid washing your hair as much as possible for the next 4 to 5 days. After that, you can resume shampooing your hairs and it is also advised to use a thick conditioner for washing your hairs and wash your hair carefully to avoid any scab formation and loss of grafts.
7. Scab on the graft site will form 24 to 72 hours after the transplant and these scraps will fall in 3 to 10 days after the procedure. As your scab fall, the grafted hairs will also fall along with it. Don’t panic it is totally normal just don’t pick or scrap the scabs. If you do so then the survival rate of grafts might decrease and chances of infection will also increase.
8. The main problem with hair restoration is swelling of the scalp. If the swelling occurs it will appear in the first 48 to 72 hours after the transplant. The swelling in itself is painless but the swelling will spread to forehead and then to the bridge of the nose. After that, it will spread to the surrounding eyes. Even if the swelling occurs you shouldn’t be alarm because it will subside in a 2 to 3 days after the procedure.
9. Several weeks after the procedure or time after that hairs will begin to appear on the area of transplant (as described above transplanted hairs will fall off in the first one to two days). Keep applying washcloth to compress the area of transplant for 10 minutes each day. In case no relief in swelling, redness or tenderness then you should contact your doctor.
10. Statures will be removed and checkup will be performed 7 to 10 days post procedure. A return appointment might also be scheduled after the checkup.
11. During your recovery time if you have any problem with the transplant area then feel free to contact your surgeon.