A TYPICAL HAIR TRANSPLANT PROCEDURE- A WALK THROUGH TOUR
When our patient’s schedule their procedure we send them a list of pre and post instructions that address most if not all the questions associated with the procedure and the after care. Included is a description of what to expect during the first and second weeks post procedure. If the patient is coming from out of town as many of our patients do, we can offer suggestions on local lodging.
The patient may drive themselves to the procedure and drive themselves home. The patient is encouraged to take a shower with shampoo the evening prior and the morning of the procedure and to eat a good sized breakfast. When the patient arrives they are asked to fill out a small medical questionnaire to ensure that all pre existing medical issues have been addressed.
The patient is then given the procedure consent form to read and sign and any additional questions the patient may have are answered at this time. We then stop in our small photo studio to take some standardized photos which can be looked at later and compared to measure the patient’s progress from the transplant procedures.
The patient then takes some oral valium and an antibiotic and enters our comfortable procedure room. We have the patient change their top into a comfortable gown and we review the overall plan and draw on the proposed hairline, along with the other zones that are to be treated. The patient is given another chance to assess the plan and make sure they agree before moving forward. One final photo is then taken with the drawings on the scalp that reflect the plan.
At this point Dr. Dauer has turned the music on to his personally selected medley of songs and the patient is positioned lying down on their stomach for about 30 minutes while the donor strip is removed. We have a custom cushion that is fitted on the procedure chair to provide the utmost in comfort throughout the procedure for the patient. Just the strip of hair to be removed is shaved and the area is then anesthetized with a series of small injections to the area. A vibrating mechanism is utilized to further reduce any discomfort associated with the injections.
Dr. Dauer then measures and marks out the exact borders of the strip to be removed and utilizing a free hand suture technique the donor strip is meticulously removed with special care taken not to injure any of the follicles on the strip. Once the strip is removed it is immediately placed in saline on a bed of ice. The donor area is then carefully approximated and sutured closed.
At this point the patient changes positions to sitting upright in the procedure chair. The patient can then watch TV, answer emails, or talk on the phone. Dr. Dauer then creates each and every receptor site with a custom blade that measures between .5mm-1.1mm. Every one of these sites is meticulously created by Dr. Dauer personally, and it is these receptor sites that create the ultimate design of the hair transplant result. Special care is taken to angle and orient the incisions for the follicular grafts in the same angle and orientation as the existing hair so that the new hair grows in completely indistinguishable from the existing hair.
While Dr. Dauer is creating the receptor sites for the hair grafts, the assistants are busy dissecting the donor strip under microscopes into individual follicular units. There is constant communication between Dr. Dauer and his assistants to ensure that the same number of recipient sites are created as the number of grafts harvested and dissected. Dr. Dauer also places test grafts to ensure that the exact proper size blade is used to create the receptor site for the hair follicle that will be placed into it.
The final step of the procedure is the placement of the hair grafts. As is the standard in the top hair restoration practices the nurses place the grafts in the receptor sites created by Dr. Dauer, The sites that Dr. Dauer creates determine the angle and orientation of the grafts. It is the nurses job to place the grafts in these site. The nurses each have more than 10 years of experience exclusively in the field of Hair Restoration Surgery. Though Dr. Dauer knows how to place grafts and how he wants them placed, the nurses are much more adept at this job as this is what they do full time. In addition, it routinely takes at least 3 nurses to place all the grafts in a single case, so having Dr. Dauer to personally place the grafts is not even possible given the time constraints on graft survival.
The procedure takes between 6-10 hours depending on the size of the case. Lunch is served in the middle of the day and there is lots to keep the patient occupied, not to mention the entertaining banter with the staff.
How Will I Look After The Procedure
Most people are concerned about how they will look after the procedure. Since Hair Restoration is a minor procedure, it is usually possible to resume your normal work activities the next day. There are small tiny crusts around the grafts that last for about 5-7 days. These can be concealed by wearing a hat or combing the existing hair to cover the area grafted. After a week most of the crusts are gone and there are few visible signs of the procedure. The patient may shampoo the day after the procedure by pouring water over the head in the shower. After 7 days the patient may shampoo normally.
Activities After The Hair Transplant Procedure
Physical activities such as working out should be limited for 10-14 days after the procedure and then the patient may resume normal activities. It is recommended that the patient wear a hat anytime they are in the sun for 3 months after the procedure as the sun can be damaging to proper healing. The discomfort associated with the procedure is minimal and patients are given some pain medication in case they have any need for it.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact Dr. Dauer anytime.