Post Treatment Guidlines After Hair Transplantaion
- Plan to have someone accompany you home after the procedure. You will have received a mild sedative which may make you drowsy.
- You should come to the procedure wearing a shirt or sweater that can be buttoned in front, so that you won’t be forced to pull any clothing over your head.
- Get plenty of rest. During the first three days after the procedure, sleep with several pillows so that your back is elevated to an angle of 30 degrees. This will help minimize post treatment swelling. Use a towel or old pillow case as there will be mild oozing from your scalp.
- Take any antibiotics as instructed. It helps to eat cultured yogurt or over the counter Acidophilus tablets while on antibiotics to minimize intestinal side effects.
- You may be prescribed steroid tablets to minimize post op swelling. If so, take them as instructed on the packet. Note that steroids can make you feel anxious; this is a common side effect.
- Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more raw fruit to your diet, and be sure to increase fluid intake.
- Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin.
- Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
- If you are taking vitamins, resume these as tolerated.
- Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
What To Expect
- Maximum discomfort should occur in the first few days, improving each day thereafter. Swelling is very common in the first 3 days after the procedure. The swelling can extend to the forehead and upper eyelids. Sleeping with your back elevated, and applying ice packs will help minimize the swelling. Place the ice pack on the forehead.
- Bleeding from the donor site or the graft recipient site can occur in the first few days. Should this occur, place a clean gauze on the bleeding site and apply pressure with the palm of your hand for 5-10 minutes.
- The transplanted hairs shed during the first to fourth week after the procedure, and re-grow starting in 4-6 months. Shedding hair may contain a bulb. Remember that the hair bulb is not the hair root, which remains in place inside the scalp.
- Transplanted hair is firmly in place after two weeks. It will not be dislodged displaced.
- Shock loss, or telogen effluvium, is a possible side effect after a hair transplant procedure. This involves temporary hair loss occurring in the area near the recipient incisions and will affect your existing hair. This may also be noticed in the donor area and it will manifest at 2-3 weeks post procedure. When terminal hair is lost, it will grow back after it has followed it’s a normal resting phase.
- Scalp itching is a common symptom after hair transplant. You should contain yourself from scratching the area to relieve the itching, if you absolutely must, tap gently with the heel of your palm. Another trick is to try and scratch (with care!) somewhere else, like the inside of your arm.
- Sleeping: for the first two nights after the procedure, sleep with your head elevated on several pillows. This will help to minimize the swelling. Use a towel to cover your pillow as there may be slight blood oozing from the scalp.
- Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics). You may tire easily. Plan on taking it easy for the first few days.
- No strenuous activities, including sex and heavy housework, for at least one week. You may begin heavy physical exercise, including swimming, two weeks after transplant.
- Most patients return to work after four days.
Care of Scalp and Hair
- Expect to see scant bleeding from the donor site and the recipient site of your scalp during the first couple of days after treatment. In order to stop the bleeding, apply pressure with a gauze, for 5-10 minutes.
- Day 1: Straight after the procedure and until the first wash, you must keep the recipient area moist preferably by spaying with saline solution. This promotes healing and can decrease the tendency in the area to itch. You may bathe but avoid shampooing your hair.
- Day 2-6: Avoid standing under direct shower stream. Use a bowl to pour warm water over your scalp. Use mild shampoo in patting motion over the recipient site. You may gently rub the donor site. Rinse the shampoo by pouring water from a bowl. Pat dry the recipient site with a towel. Do NOT rub the recipient site with towel. You can gently comb your hair.
- Day 7- 13: You may shower with your head under the shower stream. You can shampoo the recipient site with gentle rubbing motion.
- Day 14 and thereafter: Shower and dry your hair normally. If you notice crusts in the scalp, try to gently rub them off under the shower stream. If there is bleeding, then stop and apply pressure for 5-10 minutes. You may use a hair dryer on the warm temperature and low flow setting.
- Minimize sun exposure for the first 6 weeks post treatment.
- You may color your hair 4 weeks after the procedure.
- You may use cold compresses for comfort and to help decrease the swelling. Frozen peas in a Ziploc bag work well for this purpose.
- Swelling in the transplanted scalp and forehead for the first 3-5 days.
- The hair in the donor site will be cut short and usually takes two weeks to grow back to normal length.
- Transplanted hair will begin to re grow in approximately 6 months.
When To Call
- If you have increased swelling or bruising.
- If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
- If you have increased redness along the incision (Only in patients with the strip technique).
- If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
- If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
- If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
- If you have any concerns or questions you may reach Dr. Khosh at 212-339-9988.