Post operative medications
- An antibiotic will be given to help prevent infection, take them until finished.
- Pain killers: You may take two tablets every 4-6 hrs or only if needed.
- Do not take aspirin for 3 days after surgery (except if the doctor approves the intake of this drug) as it can thin the blood and cause bleeding.
Do not bend over but rather lower your body to pick up things for the first 5 days to prevent facial swelling. Be careful when you get inside the car. Make sure your head does not hit the roof.
Do not over eat food because this may cause stomach upset especially with the drugs you're receiving during surgery. No Food restriction. Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours after the surgery. Alcohol thins the blood and may cause bleeding.
Keep the head elevated with two pillows and use a towel roll under your neck to help relieve the pain.
Shampooing and wound
Transplanted Area Your hair will be washed 24-48 hours after surgery. We want the grafts to adhere solidly during this time.
- Wet your head with a bowl of room temperature water or with a gentle stream of water from the shower. If you use the shower block the stream with your hand so that the water pressure is not too strong.
- Lather up shampoo on the palm of your hands.
- Pat this shampoo on the area gently (DO NOT RUB) and let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Gently rinse off with a bowl of water or a gentle stream of water from the shower.
- Pat dry gently with towel. After 24 hours you can use a blow drier on cool setting only. DO NOT RUB THE GRAFTS TO DRY THEM.
- Do this twice a day starting 24 or 48 hours after surgery.
- After 7 days you can begin to lightly rub the grafted area to help remove crust.
- After 14 days you should be able to shower normally.
- Use our good quality shampoo for washing.
- You can repeat the process with a conditioner to help break down crusting.
Donor Area You can be more aggressive with the sutured area. Wash this daily starting 24-48 hoursafter surgery. However be careful of the knots which are located at each end of the incision.
This may occur in less than 10% of patients after surgery. This is due to the medication given during surgery. Don't panic because this condition is self limited and the doctor will give you medication for this. For intractable vomiting you may need intravenous fluid.
This may occur occasionally and may last for 24 hours. Drink plenty of water at one time. Don't worry this condition is self limited.
On occasion slight bleeding may occur from either the graft site or donor site. If this occurs, apply gentle but firm pressure to the area with the gauze provided or a clean cloth. APPLY THE PRESSURE FOR A FULL 5 MINUTES. The bleeding should stop. If it does not, please call us.
On occasion swelling may occur in 3% of patients. However currently we have incorporated anti-swelling medication in the local anesthetic that we use which is why most patients don't usually experience swelling but if it does occur it is very minimal. It is not dangerous and is painless and will not affect the growth of the graft. Using ice on the forehead after surgery for 10 minutes 4 times a day will further decrease your chance of swelling. DO NOT APPLY ICE DIRECTLY TO THE GRAFT SITE AS THIS MAY DAMAGE THEM. APPLY THE ICE TO THE FOREHEAD BELOW THE GRAFTS.
A few days after surgery, early sign of wound healing is itchiness either in transplanted or donor area. If you have this symptom, do not scratch it! Cold compression, gentle pat or touches will relief it. If there is no improvement, anti-histamine drugs may be prescribed.
Scabs or crusts
Small crusts may form on each graft, and these can usually be camouflaged by any existing hair that can be combed over the recipient area, or with camouflage products such as Toppik. These crusts will flake-off by 5–14 days after the surgery. Alovera gel given to you will accelerate scab falling by applying twice a day before showering. Do not pick at the scabs; let it fall off by itself.
Folliculitis over the transplanted area
On occasion a patient may develop a folliculitis at the graft site, these look similar to acne with pimple like lesions. If this happens apply moist warm soaks for 15 minutes and antibiotic ointment to the areas 3 times a day. PLEASE NOTIFY US IF THIS OCCURS AS WE LIKE TO PRESCRIBE SPECIFIC MEDICATION FOR THIS PROBLEM.
Elastic Head Band
It should not be removed in the first 48 hrs except when you shampoo and unless the doctor will tell you to do so. Continue to wear it a few more days for a minimum of 2-3 days post-op.
If you have absorbable stitches, there is no need to have them removed. It may take up to 3-4 weeks for the absorbable stitches to be dissolved. Non absorbable retention stitches should be removed in 5-7 days after the surgery. Your doctor will inform you after the surgery which type of stitches you have.
Exercise and Activities
No exercise should be done for 7 days after the procedure. It could result in increased swelling or lost grafts. After 7 days mild exercise can be resumed and after 10 days normal exercise can be resumed.
Swimming and Sun
You should avoid swimming for at least a few weeks after surgery. Remember there are acids, chlorine and bacteria in pools! After this, swimming is alright. The skin of the grafts is not used to the sun and may burn easily. It is OK to go into the sun but do not sunbathe without some protection for this sensitive skin.
Hair Cut & Dye
We advise not to have the hair cut or colored at least 3-4 weeks after the surgery.
Rogaine, Toppik, gel, hair spray and mousse are allowed for grooming 5 days after surgery.
No sauna for one month
The hardest part of hair transplantation is waiting for the hair to grow. The hair transplanted today will not begin to grow for 3-4 months after the procedure. Prior to this the grafts will develop small scabs which will fall off in 7-10 days. The shaft of the hair will shed with these scabs. This is normal, do not panic! The roots remain behind. The new hair shafts will be growing below the skin and reach the surface in 3-4 months. The hair continues to mature and add density for up to 10 months.
It will take at least 6 months to actually see the results of surgery since the hair grows at an average rate of 1 inch/2 months.