I recently underwent a HT with Dr Erdogan, 3000 grafts. I thought id share a few things I wasn't fully prepared for and maybe it can help prospective patients.
1. It is not a painless procedure. I have quite a high pain threshold, have previously had surgery whilst awake (and will again next week in fact!) but the injections sting like a mf. Don't be afraid to ask the anesthetist for a little something extra in your IV to counter the injection pain, as there are many injections. The techs and my coordinator were so nice though and made sure I was comfortable at all stages. The thing I don't see many people talk about either is the pain following the procedure. My donor area felt like it had been burnt. I couldn't sleep decently for a week after, it was constantly aching and burning and stinging. I wish to god id asked for some strong painkillers as I didn't really experience this pain till after id flown home.
2. The staff at the Radisson are very knowledgable when it comes to Asmeds patients, they will literally bend over backwards for any request. They had someone running up and down from my room to freeze and refreeze my ice packs as theres no freezer in the room. They will pretty much bring you anything they reasonably can if you just call them. Also, the breakfast buffet ran till 1 or 2pm I think, so if you get hungry after an early breakfast, hit the buffet again. I didn't realize this till my last day that it was on for so long. I also didn't want to venture far due to my swelling and the hot sun, so room service was much appreciated.
3. The swelling. My god I looked like id been hit by a truck! this is a more rare reaction to the surgery though im sure, as I always swell ridiculously after surgeries (ive had my share of facial procedures!) but this was another level. First my entire scalp ballooned, then my forehead, they it came down to my eyes and nose and at its peak I could hardly see. My entire face bruised yellow too and I had the worst black eyes ever. It dissipated within a week though, except the eyes, I still have minor bruises. My advice is to cut out all salt and sugar a week before, sleep upright after the surgery and be diligent in applying the ice packs. Maybe (with the Drs say so) take bromelain supplements a week before and after.
Ive probably just repeated what a lot of people have posted so my apologies if so. Its just that I considered myself well researched for the op (even the Dr was surprised at how prepared I was and how much id researched lol) but I didn't expect the pain and swelling to the degree that I experienced. Again im a special case, but it is a possibility nonetheless! Ill be posting pics and a review soon