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Donor Area pain / sensations

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  • Regular Member

Hey all


Tomorrow is Day 7 post-op for me after having 2000 grafts transplanted (FUT) from the back to fill in the corners of my hairline.


At this pt, I think I'm less worried about the front / grafts and more worried about the incision in the back.


At day 6, I'm still experiencing a lot of stretching and 'hair standing on end' sensations along with regular pain (not very bad or anything) in that area.


I'm mostly only taking ibuprofin at this point except for at night when I still need to sleep on my back so I take percocet and ambien to sleep thru any discomfort/pain.


Is all that pretty normal? How long before pain/weird sensations having to do with the donor area start to go away?

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  • Senior Member



The scalp including the donor zone is enriched with endless nerves and blood vessels. When a linear strip is excised, many vessels and nerves are severed.


IMHO, the discomfort that you are experiencing is normal because you did not state that the pain is excruciating at this point in time post-op. On average it can take up to eight weeks for the pain to subside and will do so gradually. A significant amount of healing should take place by then.


My concern for you is the mixing of a narcotic (Percocet) with Ambien. The other over-the-counter pain-killers are fine and I found Aleeve to work the best covering a twelve hour period IMHO. The ibuprofen contains anti-inflammatory properties so that may prove to be more effective because of the inflammation from the incisions.


Hope this level of pain improves and if not, contact your doctor. Thanks for sharing your story with us...;)


Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Robert Dorin: True & Dorin Medical in New York, NY

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Thanks for your reply! Good to know it seems fairly normal. More than anything maybe I just needed to hear that.


Yeah the pain isnt excruciating,it's just definitely apparent, esp at night when I'm laying on it.


Tonight I'm hoping to just take ibuprofin and ambien and no percocet so hopefully I can still sleep.

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  • Senior Member



stop the AMBIEN


mixing opiates and cns depressants is dangerous


take as many perx as prescribed by your doctor

this donor pain is normal

(i couldn't rest the back of my head on a pillow till WEEK 5)


some only need advil or OTC anti-inflammatories for this

but if you need something stronger like the percocet then TAKE THEM as directed

i'm sure your doc gave you enough to cover the amount of time you might need them


everyone is different so don't be concerned about having pain that needs percocet at under 14 DAYS

and don't NOT TAKE the pain medicine because you think you should not be in pain

(i think my doc gave me enough for two weeks use)


as GILL said an anti-inflammatory (advil) will help with the swelling and this CAN BE taken with the percocet



i'm sure your doctor doesn't know that you are using both

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so why not mixing with ambien? it's the ambien thats actually letting me sleep. I've had issues before with surgery in the past where I had to sleep on my back. My back would hurt so bad I couldnt sleep.


So yes my doctor prescribed the ambien as well as the percocet. I requested it and he prescribed it.


I am going to try just ambien and ibuprofin tonight though and see how it goes.

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  • Senior Member

This combination can cause respiratory depression or breathing problems in some patients.


The biggest risk is central nervous system depression and respiratory depression which can be lethal sometimes.


As long as your doctor knows about it then I'm sure you'll be fine.


Yeah sounds good to try without one and see how it goes


The donor pain part WILL subside in the coming weeks

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I slept relatively upright using a travel pillow for approximately 3 weeks after my HT. It wasn't ideal and I slept in 2 to 3 hour intervals, but it kept any pressure off my incision. The numbness was the strangest sensation for me while trying to lay my head on a pillow. It really bothered me. You'll experience all sorts of funny sensations - including prickles of pain and tingling - in your scalp for the first several weeks or more. From everything I've read, it's a sign of healing and nerve regeneration.

3,425 FUT grafts with Dr Raymond Konior - Nov 2013

1,600 FUE grafts with Dr Raymond Konior - Dec 2018

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Yeah Since the first night, I've been sleeping with 2 pillows instead of 1. The doc said that was the least amount of elevation.


Day 3 or 4, I did try sleeping with one pillow but there was more pain so I went back to 2 pillows. That seems to be fine.


Update: Last night I went with no percocet, just ambien and ibuprofin. Slept until about 4am and then had trouble sleeping more. Got up around 6 or 7 and took ibuprofin again and dozed off a bit while my fiance got ready for work.


Feeling a bit grumpy today and I think part of it may be coming off the percocet but hey over 24 hours out of the woods in that respect so thats good.


The ibuprofin does seem to help with the pain in the back. I also took 1 week post-op pics yesterday including the donor/incision area and sent them off to the doc office to make sure everything looks ok to them.

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