Surgical operations often involve making specific changes to the body. That is, you are altering the natural make-up of the body, and like most surgical operations, there are high chances of side effects or complications resulting from a hair transplant. It is not to say the procedure was not successful or that the medical team was incapable. Nonetheless, they form part of a recovery stage during post-surgical operation.
We understand that you have got some questions. As such, in this article, we will discuss the complications associated with hair transplant. We will also discuss what you need to know about infected hair transplant.
What is Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant means the implantation of hair grafts. It involves collecting hair from certain areas known as the donor area to the affected area (recipient areas). Over the years, it has grown popular as one of the most sought plastic surgeries. Hair transplant is a method to replenish lost hair and is also formulated as a solution to baldness. People undergo surgeries for various reasons, majorly attributed to loss of hair caused by old age or other medical factors.
Complications Associated with Hair Transplant Procedure
Hair transplant involves different surgical procedures, and although it has a low complication compared to other cosmetic procedures, certain complications may arise from such an operation. They include:
Post-surgical pain occurs in at least three of five patients who have undergone surgeries. The pain is mainly associated with a particular procedure known as the Follicular unit transplant (FUT). The pain is a result that involves strip harvesting, and about three thousand graft implantations is carried out between six to eight hours. In addition, clinics offer analgesics, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain.
One of the most noticeable effects of hair transplantation is known as the development of post-surgical edema. It is characterized by tumescent anesthesia and often starts while the surgery is still ongoing. It becomes evident on the forehead in the first three to five days of successful surgical operation.
Edema in patients may be slight, moderate, or severe. Where it is severe, a patient may not be able to open his or her eyes. Measures such as massage, cold packs, steroids, etc., are effective ways to prevent or reduce edema.
In this case, it refers to Hemorrhage bleeding. There is blood circulation in the scalp; hence bleeding may occur in a patient. The appropriate measure, in this case, is to apply pressure for at least fifteen minutes using clean gauze. Also, patients are adequately screened for detection of bleeding history before surgery is carried out.
Scarring may be evident in the donor area as a result of the frequent punch. To avoid this, a side-to-side punch must be limited. Also, treatment includes scar revision, micro-pigmentation, and hair transplant.
Hair Transplant Infection
Infection is a widespread consequence of any surgical procedure. A popular one is termed SSI (Surgical site infection), and as the name suggests, it refers to an infection that occurs in the area of the body where the surgery is carried out. It is caused by an incision that paves the way for pathogens outside the body system. Usually, the skin protects the body from these pathogens.
An effective way to combat them is through proper after-surgery care. Clinics provide a particular guideline for wound care and recommend antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory, among other medications.
How Infection Develops After Hair Transplantation
Infection develops through an incision, which leads to cuts and open skin wounds. In addition, hair transplant involves procedures such as extraction and follicular implantation. Therefore, you must take great care because it can affect the outcome of the surgery. Nonetheless, the presence of infection does not mean that you can do nothing about hair transplant surgery. Therefore, it is treatable.
Chances of severe infectious diseases are meager. Other factors contribute to patients contracting infections, including poor nutrition, old age, medications, etc. However, the significant point is that the immune system must not be weak to adequately treat any infection without complications to other parts of the body.
Signs of Infection Caused by Hair Implantation
The side effects of hair implantation include bleeding, itching, and swollen scalp. Infection may result from all of these, and one may not even pay heed to such. However, signs of infection may include drainage, redness, soreness, and burning sensation, among others.
As time passes, obedience to guidelines given by clinics after a surgical procedure may eliminate such infections. Nonetheless, if it persists (say after a week), you should visit the clinic.
Significant Causes of Infection During Hair transplantation
Although infection is primarily caused by incision, it may be avoided if proper care is taken. Some of the causes of infection to avoid are:
Exposure to dirty places after a surgical procedure may lead to the contraction of infection. In most cases, the patient returns to work during the first week of recovery. However, this decision may not be the best one if the work exposes him or her to dirt.
It all depends on the type of job. The patient must be cautious outside of work to avoid dirt in the first two weeks of recovery. If you show any worrisome signs, kindly talk to a doctor immediately.
The scalp is still very tender after surgical procedures; hence any force or pulls on it may lead to tearing. Also, sweating increases the chance of getting a scalp infection. Therefore, patients can only go to the gym and start exercising after a month of recovery.
Exercising also includes sexual activities and other activities that could cause a patient to sweat.
Like exercising, a person can visit the pool only after a month of recovery. In addition, pools undoubtedly contain chlorinated water, which is a threat to the grafted follicles. Also, some pools and beaches harbor bacteria (a source of infection). Your doctor can collate a list of forbidden places to visit for you.
Unsanitary Clinics and Tools
Apart from having to go through a messy surgical process, one must research any clinic before taking treatment there. Unsanitary clinics and tools can also cause infection.
Unsanitary measures include the use of dirty instruments, poorly maintained facilities, unclean surfaces, etc.
To eliminate every possibility of getting an infection, a patient should take cognizance of the causes and fight them accordingly. In addition, you should keep your scalp neat and attend follow-up sessions dutifully.