If you’re one of those contemplating this procedure, it’s essential to understand what to expect during a hair transplant surgery. Only then can you decide if the treatment ultimately suits you. This article will walk you through the entire process of hair transplantation, from pre-surgery preparations to post-operative care.
Before the surgery
Before learning about the surgical process, you will have a consultation with your chosen hair transplant specialist. This step is crucial to ensure that you are an ideal candidate for the procedure and to discuss your specific goals and expectations.
Here’s what you can expect during the consultation.
- Evaluation of hair loss pattern: The surgeon will assess your hair loss condition, the quality of your donor hair (usually from the back of the head), and the potential coverage area.
- Discussing your goals: It’s essential to communicate your expectations. Your surgeon will guide you in setting realistic goals based on your situation.
- Medical history and examination: You’ll be asked about your medical history, medications, allergies, and any pre-existing conditions that might affect the surgery.
Instructions for preparing for the surgery
For a successful hair transplant surgery, you must adhere to pre-surgery instructions.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco: It’s advisable to refrain from alcohol and smoking for at least a week before the surgery, as these substances can impede healing.
- Hair maintenance: Depending on your surgeon’s recommendation, you may need to trim your existing hair in the recipient area to make it more accessible during the procedure.
- Medications: Your surgeon will provide guidelines regarding which drugs to stop taking before the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding during the procedure.
Medications to avoid before the surgery
Certain medications can interfere with the hair transplant surgery and may need to be avoided.
- Blood thinners: Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain supplements that may raise the risk of bleeding.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: Medications with anti-inflammatory properties should also be avoided before surgery, as they can impact healing.
- Herbal supplements: Herbs, such as ginseng and ginkgo biloba, can affect blood clotting and should be discontinued before surgery.
During the surgery
The actual hair transplant surgery involves several stages.
- Anaesthesia: The procedure typically begins with local anaesthesia to numb the donor and recipient areas. Numbing the areas ensures you will not experience any pain during the surgery.
- Hair extraction: After shaving off the hair at the back of your head, hair follicles are extracted individually in the follicular unit extraction (FUE) method.
- Graft preparation: The harvested hair follicles are carefully dissected and prepared for transplantation. It is a meticulous process that requires precision to maintain the integrity of the follicles.
- Recipient site creation: Tiny incisions are made in the recipient area for the hair to be transplanted. These incisions are made at precise angles and directions to ensure a natural-looking result.
- Graft implantation: The prepared grafts are meticulously implanted into the recipient sites.
- Closing incisions: The FUE method has no large incisions, so there is minimal scarring.
You may experience some discomfort during the surgery but should not feel pain due to the local anaesthesia. The number of grafts being transplanted determines the length of the procedure, and it typically ranges from a few hours to a full day.
After the surgery
After your hair transplant surgery, there are some common side effects and aftercare procedures to be aware of.
Common side effects and how to manage them
- Swelling: It’s normal to experience some swelling on the transplanted areas. You can address swelling by applying a cold compress and keeping your head elevated while sleeping.
- Pain and discomfort: You may experience mild pain or discomfort in the affected areas. You can manage it with pain medications prescribed by your surgeon.
- Scabbing and crusting: Small scabs and crusts may form around the transplanted hair follicles. It’s important not to pick at these, as it can damage the grafts. They will naturally fall off in a week or two.
Follow-up appointments and aftercare
Follow-up appointments will be arranged to monitor your progress and provide guidance on post-operative care. Following these instructions diligently is essential to ensure the best possible results from your hair transplant surgery.
- Avoid strenuous activities that could increase blood flow to the scalp and potentially dislodge grafts is advisable.
- Protect your scalp with a wide-brimmed hat or sunscreen to shield your scalp from the sun’s rays.
- Gentle and careful washing is essential to avoid damaging the grafts.
- You may need antibiotics to prevent infection and medications to promote hair growth.
Hair transplant for male and female hair loss
Hair transplant surgery can be a life-changing procedure for male and female hair loss patients. By understanding what to expect from the surgery, you can make a decision that’s best for you and embark on your journey to a fuller, more confident you.
If you’re considering hair transplant surgery and want to learn more about the treatment, contact Terra Medical. Our experienced hair restoration specialists are here to guide you through every step and are committed to helping you.
Book an appointment today.