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Baldy1974

How bad is the pain,,,

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I am seriously thinking of having a hair transplant in November. I would definitely choose a recommended doctor here. I have heard some horror stories of post op pain. How bad is the pain? Does it go away with a pain killer? Does it vary from doctor to doctor?

 

Please share your experience with your doctor name so I can choose the right one.

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It all depends on a lot of factors. How long is the surgery? How well you are able to tolerate pain? etc.

 

I just had surgery August 31 for FUE and I did feel pain when I was given shots on my scalp, that was temporary, then I was fine in the middle of the procedure it seems, until the end, where some shots felt they were wearing out so I had to get injected again. The first night I had mild to severe pain, they did give pain killers, the next day was a whole lot better, then it went away.

 

Some people can handle it, some can't, but I don't think there is really a hair restoration procedure where you will feel no pain. I know how it felt in FUE, and I met other patients that had strip at the guesthouse we stayed at, and they too felt it. First night sucks, after that, it gets better. I had surgery with Dr. Rahal. It was a long procedure. 7:20am to 7:30pm basically. I do think though it's best to knockout a surgery in one day and not come in again the next day. I originally had a 2 day surgery scheduled, but some things went in my favor during the process and it became a one day. I think that was worth it. I don't think I would have liked a 2 day procedure.

Edited by Sean

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The pain is not severe. I had strip and it is pretty uncomfortable at night for the first few days. I took the pain meds the first night and the next day. Then I switched to Tylenol as needed. Once I got my staples out it was much better. Using a travel pillow makes sleeping much better for a few days.


Surgery - Dr. Ron Shapiro FUT 6/14/11 - 3048 grafts

 

Surgery - Dr. Ron Shapiro FUE 1/28/13 & 1/29/13 - 1513 grafts

 

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/orlhair1

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Yeah, sleeping is not easy after a HT for at least a couple of weeks. And I think this is primarily due to the staples or sutures. The pain is not really bad during the procedure - though I admit I was quite squeamish this last time around. There are a lot of good/decent reasons why not to get a transplant, but pain is not one of them.

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Hi Aaron1232, beside pain, time and money what could be other reasons why not to get a transplant? I am not questioning your judgment, just getting different opinions before I make the final decision.

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The only discomfort that my patients say they had is in the donor area if they had a strip procedure. The average length of the pain is 3-4 days. A few patients deny ever having any real pain and a few patients say the pain lasted a week or two. FUE patients never have significant pain post-op maybe a slight headache. Think about the bigger picture. Life with more hair where you need it. Good luck!

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Thanks Doctor, I am currently in contact with you patient advisor Maureen. I believe she has sent you my pics. Hope to talk to you soon.

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Baldy,

 

Good question. Here are some good reasons not to get a transplant:

 

1) If your expectations are too high. If you are hoping for a head of hair you had in your teens you will be disappointed.

 

2) Your supply doesn't meet your demand. Can your donor area can provide enough grafts for a substantial cosmetic improvement?

 

3) You have diffuse thinning. This is where the thinning exceeds beyond the typical norword pattern and sometimes into the donor region.

 

4) If you don't have the long term commitment for multiple transplants. If you get one you will probably need another.

 

5) You don't take finasteride. Granted, there are some decent looking HT patients who are not on the meds. But I believe they are playing with fire!

 

6) You don't like scars. My scars don't bother me but for some strip patients they do.

 

7) If you are not educated about hair transplants. Know what you are getting into.

 

There are many other reasons why you shouldn't get a transplant but they all depend on the factors the patient brings to the table; i.e. physiologically, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc. It's a long journey that you can't possibly overestimate before you start.

 

For me, I'm glad I got transplants. Yes, I'm not a finished product yet but SMG has me on the right track. If you do decide to get a HT the most important thing is to find a clinic you completely trust.

Edited by aaron1234

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I think the bottom line is if your hair loss bothers you enough, then you should get a transplant as long as the good doctors you consult with (and you are doing that with Dr. Charles) agree that you are a good candidate and that your expectations are realistic and can be met. You will get a lot of opinions, but tis is a personal decision. Consult with a few top doctors like Dr. Charles and decide from there if you want to do it and who you want to do the surgery.


Surgery - Dr. Ron Shapiro FUT 6/14/11 - 3048 grafts

 

Surgery - Dr. Ron Shapiro FUE 1/28/13 & 1/29/13 - 1513 grafts

 

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/orlhair1

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I encourage prospective patients to specifically ask "the patient in the chair" that question regarding intraop pain at the time of their consultation. MOST, but not all, say there is no pain, except for the initial 7 numbing shots in the front and back. The remainder add that there is an ache that requires additional numbing or a pain pill, generally about 1:30 when the first numbing medicine starts to wear off in the strip site.

 

As to postop pain, I again ask folks getting their sutures out, to stick their head in (no pun intended) the procedure room and tell the "patient in the chair" what their week was like. Most, say they took pain pills the first 3 days. Occasionally someone says they didn't take any, and one per year calls for a refill of pain meds.

 

Interestingly, I am consistently wrong when I try to predict who is going to say they had more or less pain. There is no apparent correlation in perceived pain and my ability to discern who is a "tough guy". Everyone is unique in that regard.

 

Speaking personally, I am a big whimp at the dentist's office, but fortunately I operated on her, so she is easy on me.

 

Dr. Lindsey McLean VA


William H. Lindsey, MD, FACS

McLean, VA

 

Dr. William Lindsey is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

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Thanks every one and specially the doctors who took some time off of their busy schedule to answer my question. Now I am one step forward to HT :)

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Baldy,

 

 

5) You don't take finasteride. Granted, there are some decent looking HT patients who are not on the meds. But I believe they are playing with fire!

.

 

Can you explain why this is. Many thanks...

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I found the pain from an FUT to be very manageable. I agree with the assessment that someone made about the injections of the local anesthetic being the worst of it. I'd describe the "pain" over the next week or so as more of discomfort, nothing that you'd couldn't handle with either some pain meds or tylenol, etc.

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Can you explain why this is. Many thanks...

 

Sure thing. Pretty simple. It is because if you are balding, your hair is better off with finasteride. If you get a transplant and don't stabilize your loss then you could potentially look worse off then you were before the transplant. You could end up having an island of transplanted hair with nothing behind it. Furthermore, even though studies have not shown this, I believe that finasteride has shown to potentially have a positive effect on the donor hair in the permanent zone. So i think even some NW6's and NW7's could still see some form of benefit from the drug.

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I've had 2 procedures, and did not experience significant pain with either. I'd say the "inconvenience" of the healing process is more bothersome than the pain. After they get the first few numbing shots in you, it's all down hill from there. But, in my opinion you MUST be diligent about taking the pain medication to stay ahead of any pain. Plus, the pain pills helped me sleep.

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Sure thing. Pretty simple. It is because if you are balding, your hair is better off with finasteride. If you get a transplant and don't stabilize your loss then you could potentially look worse off then you were before the transplant. You could end up having an island of transplanted hair with nothing behind it. Furthermore, even though studies have not shown this, I believe that finasteride has shown to potentially have a positive effect on the donor hair in the permanent zone. So i think even some NW6's and NW7's could still see some form of benefit from the drug.

 

Just to add some balance here, whilst I definitely believe finasteride is a very useful addition to the whole hair transplant thing and generally those on it will be better off, I wouldn't necessarily say a hair transplant without finasteride is always riskier.

 

It's absolutely true that in most men finasteride halts and sometimes even reverses slightly the effects of hairloss - but the beneficial effects from man to man vary. Some report stellar results 10 or 15 years after starting finasteride whilst others claim after 5 or so years they're already seeing further hairloss.

 

In short - finasteride is not an indefinite way to halt hairloss. It might slow it down, perhaps so much that even after 10 or 15 years you still haven't seen much extra loss, but it doesn't stop hairloss in its tracks. As a result, there's still a chance you could have a HT and 20 or 30 years after still have problems and either need more procedures or to live with what you have.

 

So, in the short term (3-5 years) there's absolutely no doubt those on finasteride will probably have a better time of things but, in the longer term, less so. You're always likely to need further transplants at some point, and nobody can tell you how long finasteride will help you for - perhaps for decades, perhaps not even a decade.

 

I only say this because I think the general consensus that goes around is that a HT without finasteride is pointless - but I don't think that's necessarily true if you understand the risks and have a solid master plan that you're able to stick to. It's almost definitely true you'd need several procedures to realise your goals without finasteride, and probably a hell of a lot sooner than the guy on finasteride. But I still reckon for those in their 20s and 30s now, whether you take finasteride or not, by 60-70 they're all going to pretty much have lost most of what used to be on their head (if they're genetically programmed to, that is).

 

That's my 2 cents anyway. Some guys are unable or unwilling to take finasteride but I still think, with the right plan in mind and as long as the hairloss isn't too severe, there's potential benefit from going the HT route. You may need to modify or bring forward plans compared to those on finasteride, but in the long term for most say Norwood III-V patients, I reckon finasteride vs. non-finasteride patients will end up pretty much in the same place over the course of a few decades.

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I have done both FUT and FUE. the pain in the donor post FUT is bearable but unpleasant.

 

FUE was less painful post op. The pain was more of a dull headache for me.

 

Loads of reasons for and against a HT bt this all boils down to your personal situation as others before me have already commented.

 

You are going about your research in the right way mate, spot on....

 

Jessie

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Sleeping for me was the hardest part and a travel type pillow would help. Need to keep your head up for a few days to help keep the swelling down. I had some pain meds and would have liked some sleeping meds but never had any. Plan on taking it easy for a few days. Really it's not all that bad and follow instructions and I'm sure you will soon agree it's a small price to pay for for the end result.

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The physical pain is really minimal, and only lasts a few days. Meds definitely help, but you may feel strange numbness in certain areas, especially the donor strip incision. There is a chance of feeling a bit of tightness as well. In all honesty though, you'll sleep with a neck pillow in a recliner for several days, be drugged up on percocet, and watching movies. Not too bad.

 

The real pain is the emotional, and psychological aspect. Months and months of waiting for results, then they might not be the results you were expecting. Just make sure you are prepared mentally for this procedure, it is a BIG investment in so many ways.

 

But you could be one of the lucky ones, and have no complications, and have the exact results you expected. We're here to offer feedback, pre and post op. Examine yourself, and try to figure out if you can handle this.


2/14/2011 Surgery #1 Dr. Ivan Cohen - 1539 grafts, 1's - 475

2's - 989

3's - 75

 

2/20/2012 Surgery #2 Dr. Carlos Wesley - 2570 grafts

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I think that last post is pretty good. There are other "pains", mainly worriation and concern of the unknowns for the first timer. Most people handle the waiting and numbness pretty well, but its key you expect that.

 

True or not, I see lots of patients who say they were told by other practices that they'd go back to work the next day, there would be no discomfort and they'd have hair in 3 months....none of which is typical.

 

You must plan on some discomfort, a week off work most likely, and 2 months of being really numb in the back...and less numb after that. And if that isn't enough, don't expect to see any growth for 6 months.

 

That is my party line, and its pretty accurate for most. As long as the patient expects that, most of the time they are reasonably prepared.

 

Dr. Lindsey McLean VA


William H. Lindsey, MD, FACS

McLean, VA

 

Dr. William Lindsey is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

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