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Flying post HT


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Hi all,

Well.. I finally took the plunge and booked myself an FUE procedure with Dr. Hasson in Vancouver. Here's hoping I made a good choice!

My question is, if you've had any type of HT (and had to fly to get to the city you had the procedure done in), what was your experience like flying back home? It's easy to say "who cares what someone else thinks", but.. I do care hahaha. So how did you manage the stares? Or were you able to wear some kind of loose fitting hat? I'm not exactly sure what you can and can't wear. However, certainly going through airport security the hat would come off and the bloody scab-filled head would be on full display.

Do you get weird looks? Do people not care? What was your experience? 

Thanks!!

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Thankfully, I never had to fly right after a transplant.  However, I did stay at hotels post-op and you really have no choice but to say f*** it.  You can always wear a loose fitting hat, but I was always too cautious to risk dislodging a graft.  The nice thing is now you can wear a mask (thank you Covid!) and sunglasses.  No one is going to recognize you.  How many days are staying in Vancouver?  I'd recommend 3-4 at least. 

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when i flew back i wore the blue surgeon hat and blue surgical mask and as I sat at the gate waiting to board people kept asking if I was a surgeon lol and they did not tell me to take it off once even passing thru security / metal detectors

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The first time I got a transplant, I wore the blue surgical cap and I got a lot of people blatantly staring at me. There even felt like there was some animosity behind some of the stares. I assume this was because this was when you needed an approved reason to travel during covid before vaccines were available and people were more on edge. 

The second time, I wore a black surgical cap that kind of looked like a mix between a durag and a Muslim prayer cap. I didn’t get stared at, though I felt I still looked silly.

Both times, I was not asked to remove my cap during security. I had a note from my doctor that gave an excuse why I need to keep a cap on, basically saying it prevents infection. I didn’t have to show the note to anyone though. Maybe you can ask your doctor if they would be willing to write you an excuse note to show to TSA.

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3 hours ago, AlexMeister21 said:

The first time I got a transplant, I wore the blue surgical cap and I got a lot of people blatantly staring at me. There even felt like there was some animosity behind some of the stares. I assume this was because this was when you needed an approved reason to travel during covid before vaccines were available and people were more on edge. 

The second time, I wore a black surgical cap that kind of looked like a mix between a durag and a Muslim prayer cap. I didn’t get stared at, though I felt I still looked silly.

Both times, I was not asked to remove my cap during security. I had a note from my doctor that gave an excuse why I need to keep a cap on, basically saying it prevents infection. I didn’t have to show the note to anyone though. Maybe you can ask your doctor if they would be willing to write you an excuse note to show to TSA.

So when checking out through immigration on your return flight when they looked at your passport they were happy for you not to take the cap off?

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6 hours ago, Gatsby said:

So when checking out through immigration on your return flight when they looked at your passport they were happy for you not to take the cap off?

I only traveled within the US so I only had to go through the TSA. They only asked me to remove my mask when checking my passport. I actually saw other people going through security wearing beanies and they weren't asked to take them off either.

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Who caress if others stare. You'll never have to see those suckers again. 

Main thing when flying is whether you wish to rest a little bit and give it the 4 days or so to let the grafts anchor in and put yourself up in a hotel etc. and then fly to reduce the risk of hitting your head and losing grafts. 

Usually the reputable clinics should give you something loose and breathable to tie around the area to help keep it out of sunlight but not smother the area. 

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IMHO, it’s always a good idea to stay put and not fly the day following the procedure. 

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Gillenator

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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I wore both the surgical cap and a loose-fitting, zip-up hoodie. Generally, I'm not bothered with what others think but I was, for sure, self-conscious about the HT when flying back to my home country. Just put on the cap, put on the hoodie, keep your head down and pretend that you are a sullen teenager. 

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I just had my transplant Jan 11&12 and I'm sitting in my hotel resting. I Will travel back home on day 6 post op. I can say that at 2 days post op, tomorrow would be the soonest I would want to fly(so day 3). Remember, cabin pressure will cause you to swell more and I'm fairly swollen around my ears now. 

I too was very concerned about how crazy I would look, but I just went and sat down at an outdoor dining restaurant and felt totally normal. The occasional look I noticed but most people walk by without even looking (everyone is looking at phones now). I started talking with my waiter and I just told him I had a hair transplant after he asked if I was here on business or vacation. He didn't seem shocked. I had a 20 min conversation with my uber driver since he's balding and wanted my Dr's information. I'm definitely less concerned about it than I thought I would be.

I'm not sure if I will wear a hat to board the plane to be honest. But I know that either way, I'm highly unlikely to see anyone I know and if I do, so what! They're going to notice that suddenly you have hair eventually. Good luck with your decision!

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That makes lots of sense!

Gillenator

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 the replies everyone! I am travelling back 3 days after the procedure. I'm sure I'll be swollen, but for some reason I am less nervous about that, and more nervous about how my head looks (with regard to scabs and redness, etc.)! 

But I suppose it's just one of those "you gotta suck it up" moments. I'll be okay if I have some kind of covering, but I might not want to risk it after spending all that money. Just hoping I chose a good Doctor and that the procedure is a success! Ultimately that matters more than a few stares in an airport.

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Most clinics will provide a head covering to protect your scalp…happy to hear that you are planning a stay over for 3 days and no doubt the clinic will have you stop back for a post-op inspection and can also help to clean the area…best wishes to you!

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Gillenator

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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