After undergoing the procedure, it’s important to understand what to expect during this crucial phase of your journey towards regaining your natural hairline. In this phase, you will witness various changes and experiences as your transplanted hair gradually takes root and begins its growth cycle. From the shedding of grafts to the emergence of new hair, this period is marked by both exciting and sometimes temporary challenges. Additionally, we will explore the necessary precautions to ensure optimal healing and the long-term success of your hair transplant.
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How Is the Postoperative Period of Hair Transplantation?
Following the surgery, you will be prescribed a course of oral drugs for approximately 5-7 days. These medications include mild pain relievers to alleviate any discomfort, antibiotics to prevent infection, once-daily anti-allergic tablets to multivitamins to help with itch reduction to promote recovery. Additionally, a short-term course of oral steroids may be initiated on the third day after the operation to minimize inflammation. Around two weeks after the transplant, a cyclical therapy consisting of oral medications and topical solutions may be recommended. While this therapy is optional, experts encourage every hair transplant patient to consider it for three to six months to enhance the results of the procedure.
It is common to experience inflammation on the forehead following the transplant surgery. The swelling typically begins at the hairline and might gradually extend downward to the forehead area and even around the eyes. To reduce the likelihood of post-transplant inflammation, certain precautions should be followed:
- Use the provided headband and keep it in place for five days after the surgery.
- Sleep with your head flat, avoiding the use of a pillow for the first few days. If you choose to use a pillow, opt for a thin one covered with a towel. This precaution is necessary as there might be some discharge from the donor region in the initial days, which can have a yellowish-red color.
- Utilizing four fingers, massage the forehead with both hands.. Start from the forehead’s middle and move outward toward each side. Aim to massage around 10-15 times per hour for the first five days.
- Avoid bending your head forward, as this can contribute to swelling. If swelling does occur, it typically manifests on the third to fifth day after the surgery, peaks on the sixth to seventh day, and gradually subsides by the 8th or 9th day. This is a normal process and will resolve on its own. Applying cool ice compresses to the affected area can provide relief.
Infection: To prevent infection, you will receive a prescribed course of oral antibiotics after the surgery. If you notice any indications of infection, such as pain or white patches around the hair or pain in the transplanted area, fever, pus, or hills along the suture line, it is crucial to reach out to your clinic as these symptoms may need medical attention. It’s significant to note that there aren’t many zits in the transplanted region. Such pimples usually resolve within a few days and are not accompanied by pain or redness.
Itching: It is possible to experience itching in the donor or receiving area during the postoperative period, primarily due to the formation of residual scabs or crusts. In most cases, this itching should subside following the first wash on the seventh day. You will also be prescribed an anti-allergic medication during the initial days after the transplant, which should alleviate the itching. If the itching persists, applying aloe vera gel to the donor area in the first week can provide relief. However, it is crucial to avoid scratching the scalp, as it can damage the grafts.
Bleeding: In rare cases, slight bleeding may occur from the donor or recipient area after the transplant. If this happens, it is recommended to apply continuous firm pressure to the bleeding point using the provided bandage for a duration of 10 minutes. This should effectively stop the bleeding. However, if the bleeding persists, please contact your clinic for further assistance.
Graft Loss: Occasionally, you may notice a few loose grafts within the first week after the procedure. Don’t worry, as sometimes the hair may fall out along with the crust and have a bulb at the base. This doesn’t mean the graft is lost. The transplanted hair typically sheds between 2 to 4 weeks after surgery. Hair growth will start to become visible around 3 to 4 months after the procedure, but initially, it will be very fine and tiny.
Around 40% of the hair will have appeared by 6 months, but it won’t be fully grown. It takes about 12 to 18 months for complete growth to occur. In rare cases, shedding of the original hair may occur after the operation, but it will regrow within 3 to 4 months.
Numbness/Tingling Feeling: Sometimes, you may experience a tingling or numb feeling in the recipient area. This will go away on its own and can endure for a few weeks to several months.
Normal Activities/Swimming/Exercise: On the exact day of the procedure, you will be placed under the influence of sedatives, so it is recommended that you don’t drive or engage in any precise work. You can resume your daily routine from the next day, but you might feel mild discomfort in the donor or recipient area for 1 to 2 days after the transplant.If you had an FUE surgery, avoid exercise for the first 10 days and after ten to fourteen days, begin with gentle exercise.
The primary problem in FUT and Strip procedures is widening the suture scar, so it’s advised to avoid strenuous physical activity for 3 weeks after the operation. This includes gym workouts, swimming, cycling, tennis, golf, heavy lifting, and strenuous hill walking. To protect the grafts, avoid swimming in chlorinated pools for the first 14 days, but it is safe to swim from the fifth day on, you can swim in the sea.
Avoid diving. On day 14, you can go swimming in pools, apply sun Apply moisturizer to the scalp and, if necessary, don a hat. Avoid applying direct pressure or causing damage to the grafts after transplant for about 10 to 14 days following the operation. Refrain from sexual activity for five days after the procedure.