You may return to routine activities almost immediately from a medical perspective. Taking time from work is usually more of a matter of your need or desire for discretion. If your job is one in which you might ordinarily wear a hat or other head cover, there is no reason that any time off needs to be taken beyond the same day. This may also be true if there is enough hair for styling over the small crusty scabs in the recipient area. If discretion is desired and the above options are not practical, you may wish to have about a week’s time to heal and for the small crusts to be gone. Any exposed area redness can be safely concealed with a little powder or flesh toned make-up. Hair fibers and other cosmetic agents are available and are very useful for short term concealment of any visible evidence of the procedure.
Immediately after the procedure, any exposed areas will show the skin end of the grafts slightly above scalp. These quickly dry and turn to tiny scabs or crust. The crusts typically begin to flake away in 5-7 days, after which they can also be washed off safely. The scalp itself will have mild redness, which can persist for several days, but is easy to conceal with cosmetic agents, if needed. There is usually very little swelling immediately after the procedure, although some mid- forehead edema might be expected in about 50% of patients, almost always developing on the third or fourth post-operative day. It resolves quickly within 36-48 hours. Measures are taken to minimize the likelihood and degree of forehead swelling, but swelling will still be experienced by some. Bruising is quite rare. Neither swelling nor bruising is of any consequence post-operatively.
The procedure time depends upon the number of grafts being transplanted. A smaller procedure of 1000 to 1200 grafts is usually completed within 6 hours; start to finish. A large procedure, of the order of 3000 to 3500 grafts, may take 8-9 hours. Keep in mind however that a good bit of this time is “idle time”, while the grafts are being prepared from the donor harvest under microscopes before “placing”. Just plan on spending the day with us! Throughout the procedure, we strive to keep you comfortable and entertained. You will have access to flat screen cable TV and DVD if you wish to bring a movie. We can break at any time for stretches, bathroom breaks, and even lunch. Because the procedure is safely performed using local /regional anesthesia with Xylocaine, you do not need to come with an empty stomach. It is important that we know several days in advance if you are taking any kind of blood thinning agents, such as aspirin, Plavix, or Coumadin.
Hair transplantation should be a “painless procedure”. Of course to make it painless, we must instill some local anesthetic into the donor and recipient zones. Most patients are pleasantly surprised to find this a process with a very tolerable level of brief discomfort, as there are many techniques I use to minimize the initial anesthesia discomfort. We frequently hear “not even as bad as the dentist”. Some patients have an understandable degree of apprehension about injections and surgery in general. Please trust that we understand this, and can address any apprehensions in a sensitive and effective manner. Though some patients prefer sedation with Valium, many defer any sedation and still find the procedure not to be unpleasant. No IV’s are required or used. The fear of pain need NOT be a barrier for one to have a procedure with such great long term benefits, and relief from a different kind of otherwise lasting pain; hair loss! As with any surgery, there is some incisional tenderness afterwards. In most all cases this is only at the site of the donor harvest in the back. It is easily managed as needed, prescription analgesics and sedatives for the first night’s sleep. Post-operative medications are prescribed prior to the date of surgery, so that they can be filled and ready for use afterwards. These medications are generally quite inexpensive. The great majority of patients report waking the next morning with no significant pain anywhere!
Yes. FUE may be considered as an alternative approach, suitable to some patients. Please call us or schedule a free consultation where we can discuss all options in detail.
Yes! One of the great things about hair restoration surgery as a solution to your hair loss, is that this is your own, real, and normally growing hair! There really are no special treatments or products that your transplanted hair follicles need, beyond the healing stages of the first few days. I generally recommend waiting at least 6 weeks before coloring your hair after a transplant. It may therefore be desirable to have coloring done just prior to surgery day. Perms can be resumed within 2-4 months.
No! Your hair length at the time of the procedure is not important.
There is a great deal of competitive hype on the internet and elsewhere about these very safe and effective agents to prevent further hair loss and to often even regrow hair. Let us help you wade through the information and find the facts. Schedule your free consultation!
Yes and this is a very effective method of cosmetically managing scars in hair baring areas. Scars that can be successfully transplanted include surgical scars, radiation therapy cases, old burn injuries and prior scalp wounds.
Yes! The appearance of the old pluggy transplant look can be greatly improved by applying a combination of modern techniques. We now call this “corrective surgery”. There is no need for anyone to suffer the embarrassments of an old pluggy transplant.
Yes! We call this process “scar revision”. Techniques may include a combination of removal of old scars followed by closure using newer techniques to achieve a hair baring scar. Often times it is best to actually obtain a small area of donor hair and place grafts into scarred areas. Hair grafts grow surprisingly well in old scar tissue.
My professional career as a hair surgeon began with a national firm. Therefore, I am now in a position to offer the best of both worlds! In private practice, I bring my experience into a setting of uninfluenced trust and relationship with my patients. No large hair company can claim experience beyond mine because I “graduated” from that system. All of my technical and consulting staff came with me into my new practice, bringing that additional collective experience and teamwork. I have no pressure or influences from above to sell you unneeded products or services and I have no need for million dollar infomercials, which means you aren’t paying for them!
Yes. I restrict my surgical practice to hair and scalp restoration, and the medical prevention and maintenance of hair from hair loss. I am specialty trained by fellowship in hair restoration, and I am Board Certified by The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
Get a 2nd opinion! Often times a more experienced hair surgeon will be able to properly advise you differently. Experience and years gives one a better sense of what can still be accomplished. The majority of times I hear this question, I find that there is plenty of donor hair for additional work!