Will I be black and blue with bruising and swelling?
While every patient is different, bruising and swelling are usually minimal. You will notice that over the course of the first week after surgery, you will have swelling that will go from your scalp to your forehead and down to around your eyes. This usually subsides very quickly.
Is the procedure painful?
There is some discomfort associated with the procedure. This usually subsides by the second day after surgery. You will be given a prescription pain medicine. Most patients just take this on the day of surgery. Tylenol usually takes care of any discomfort after the first day.
Will I have to wear bandages on my head?
No. You will have no bandages of any kind. In fact, we want you to leave the transplanted area open to the air as much as possible. We suggest that you do not wear a hairpiece for a month around the time of surgery but will work with you if this is a problem.
Where will the procedure be performed?
The procedures are performed in our office. We have a procedure room and specialized equipment just for our hair restoration patients. Bring a DVD of a movie you would like to watch, pick from our limited selection, or just watch a little cable television. We ask that you not wear earphones as they can be soiled during the procedure.
Will I have to have sutures removed?
You will have sutures at the donor site. If you live near the office we will schedule to see you in 10-14 days for suture removal. This is a simple process and is not painful. If you live far from the offi ce we can either help you to arrange for them to be removed in 10-14 days or we can use dissolvable sutures which will fall out on their own in about 3-4 weeks.
Will my final result look like plugs in my scalp?
No. Older techniques produced results which look like plugs in the scalp. New techniques of micrografting and minigrafting result in a natural looking hairline.
When can I drive?
You can drive yourself home. As long as you do not require more than the normal amount of anesthesia you can drive yourself home. It is extremely unusual for people to want sedation for this procedure, but if you elect to have sedation, you will need a driver to and from the procedure.
How long will surgery take?
Depending on the number of grafts and the degree of baldness, surgery may take anywhere from 4-14 hours. You will have breaks during that time however.
Will I need to be asleep for the procedure?
No. The procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with only local anesthesia. Occasionally a patient prefers mild sedation and we can accommodate such requests.
What is the ideal age for a hair transplant?
There is no ideal age for a hair transplant. The important thing to remember is what the expected balding pattern of the person is before they get a transplant. Balding will continue even after a transplant. If the surgeon is not careful he can create a hairline which will look unnatural as further hair loss occurs. This can then produce a very difficult problem if the donor site is already used.
Should I take medications after my transplant?
Yes. It would be a very good idea to start on finasteride (Propecia®) or minoxidil (Rogaine®) around the time of your transplant. It will not grow back hair that you have lost but it will slow the progression of hair loss.
Will the transplanted hair eventually fall out?
No. The donor site is taken from an area which does not fall out. When transplanted, it retains this property and will not fall out even in its new location. It is important to note though that hair loss will progress. This can result in a thinning even in the transplanted area from a loss of the native hair in that area.
When will I start to see results?
New hair growth will not start for 4 to 6 months. Prior to this, stubble will fall out and the grafts will look bare. This is completely normal. Most of all, be patient during the healing process. The results will be well worth the wait.
How long do I have to take it easy?
We ask that you avoid strenuous activity for one week after the procedure. This will prevent bleeding and aid the healing process.
When can I return to work?
Though you can return to work in a day if necessary, it is usually best to take it easy for a week. This way any swelling can resolve and the scabs which will form on the recipient sites can be removed.