The First Few Days After Hair Transplant
Post Hair Transplant Surgery
You have made the decision to improve your self esteem and undergo hair restoration surgery for your male pattern baldness [MPB.] It’s an important step in having a positive self image. Understanding what comes next is very important. After discussions of hair transplant surgery; Parsa Mohebi, MD reviewed with us the common expectations that a person may experience after their hair restoration procedure.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these to have a better understanding of the experience and to reduce and stress or worry. Dr. Mohebi is the medical director at Los Angeles based US Hair Restoration centers.
Discomfort and Pain
There may be some aching on the donor area, which starts within the first few hours after hair transplantation. Pain medicine is generally provided to alleviate the discomfort during the first night. After the first night, pain should be well controlled. Most patients do not need any medications for pain after the first night, but if there is any remaining pain during the second day, mild pain medications such as Tylenol, in most cases, is enough to bring more comfortable results.
Swelling After Hair Transplant
The first four days after hair restoration surgery there will be some swelling around the recipient (transplant) area. This swelling is due to the process of healing and may range from very little or none to severe. Though not often an individual can experience swelling in which the subcutaneous fluid descends from the forehead area to around eyes. The maximum swelling is generally seen in days 3 and 4 after a hair restoration surgery. Some doctors recommend and will prescribe a patient steroids to prevent or reduce swelling after their hair transplant. It is recommended to sleep in semi-sitting position and keep the upper body elevated which will tends to reduce the swelling, or shorten its duration.
Post Surgical Bruising
Bruising or discoloration of skin around the transplanted area might be present for the first few days after hair restoration surgery. This may involve the recipient area, and at times, may extend to the forehead. A cap can be worn providing it is clean. Some surgeons will provide a baseball style cap to cover the transplanted area. Patients with enough existing hair can use it to cover the bruised areas.
Scabbing is common during this time period. They should flake off within one week if patient properly wash the transplanted areas. We generally bring patients back for the first day after hair transplantation to give them a hair wash and teach them how to wash their head for the first few days. Special shampoo and sponge will be provided as well. We recommend washing transplanted areas twice a day for the first 4 days. Patients can go back to their routine hair wash after that time unless they continue to have scabbing. They need to continue washing their head twice a day, as long as they still have scabbing in the area.
Itching is a common symptom after any type of wound healing. Hair transplantation is not an exception to that reality. Patients may feel itching on transplanted and donor areas for the first few days. This may extend to the second week after hair transplant, but should be mild and does not require any treatment for most patients. If itching was significant, a prescription of a mild steroid cream might help.
Michael James is a patient advocate working with Dr. Mohebi is the medical director of Los Angeles hair restoration centers with locations throughout Los Angeles County and Southern California. Their newest offices in Bakersfield, California will open in March 2012.
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