AFTER MY HAIR TRANSPLANT…
WHAT DO I DO NOW…?
After my hair transplant, I want to be careful not to lose any of my grafts. How do I accomplish this?
Care of Grafted Area
I should wear a paper medical cap or a clean hat anytime I venture outside during the first week after my transplant. Care should be taken so that the hat is not touching any of the grafts. I should apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the stitches on the back of my head twice daily with my fingertip for 7 days. My stitches will be removed in 10-14 days.
The first day after your procedure you may place a soaked washcloth on your grafts for 5 minutes at a time up to 4 times per day. On the first day after the procedure I may begin gentle shampooing of the grafts twice a day. Gently means I do not allow the force of the shower to strike the grafts and I do not aggressively massage the grafts with my fingertips or fingernails. I may gently pour water over my head or mist my head with a spray bottle.
On the seventh day I may shampoo normally. I may normally massage the surface of the grafts with my fingertips and remove any crusts present.
Combing my hair- I may gently comb my hair (except in the grafted zone) from the first day after transplantation. I should not touch the grafts themselves with the comb. I may normally comb all my hair including any hair that may be present in the grafted zone beginning the seventh day as I did before the transplant.
Hairspray/Hairdressings- I may use hairsprays, conditioners, shampoos, and other hairdressings after 7 days. Since the grafts will be well healed, I will not harm them if sprays or other hair products come in touch with the grafts.
Pain- I have oral medication, Vicodin, to take as instructed for pain. I may also have Valium for relaxation and Ambien for sleep. It is important not to take these medications together, and only to take them as directed. Of course, there is no driving or operating machinery while under the effects of these medications.
Swelling is uncommon, but I may have some swelling around the area of my forehead and maybe around my eyes. Swelling if it occurs, peaks between the third and fifth day, and will be gone by the seventh day. Rarely does blood work its way down into the eyelids producing a black eye, but this can happen.
If my grafted area or the stitches in my donor area bleed, I can usually control the problem by applying pressure to the area with a cold pack. Applying a cold pack to the donor area can also help with pain control in the region. I can use a soft cloth saturated with ice-cold water or I can use an ice cube wrapped in a wet cotton cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with firm pressure applied for 15 minutes I will call Dr. Dauer or my personal physician. NEVER put a cold pack on the grafted area.
Numbness may occur for a short period of time after transplantation. It will resolve on its own, in most cases, within 3-12 months.
My stitches could be somewhat uncomfortable and this is normal. If my grafts or donor area become hot, inflamed or very uncomfortable, I should call Dr. Dauer. If he is not available, I should call my personal physician.
I may experience some dandruff-like scaling, redness, or itch during the first month after transplantation. I can use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or lotion to the area 2-4 times each day to clear this up. Small crusts may form at the micrograft sites. These will come off with shampooing at 7 days or later. The small spicules of hair that come off with the crust are normal and do not represent loss of grafts. The hair will still begin growing as expected 3 months after the transplant. Some “ingrown hair” type of pimples may occur during the regrowth phase, 45-90 days after the procedure. I can use over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide preparation to the area 2 times each day for 3-5 days to help clear these up quickly.
Swelling – I may have been given an oral medication, Prednisone, to take as instructed to help prevent swelling after the transplant.
I will contact Dr. Dauer or my personal physician if any of these uncommon complication occur:
- Vascular growths at surgical areas
- Tender scar formation
- Any sign of infection
- Any other problems I believe out of the ordinary
Many of these problems will be resolved on their own. Some will need the attention of Dr. Dauer or my personal physician.
A NOTE FROM DR. Dauer….
Over many years of hair transplantation experience, we have found the procedure to be very safe and complicated by few difficulties. The vast majority of patients who have undergone the procedure have done so without problems. They have enjoyed the rewards of lifelong improvement in their appearance. Recent advances, especially with naturally occurring follicular unit micrografting, have dramatically improved the patient’s appearance creating a much more natural result.
Proper aftercare is important in assuring the best results, so be sure to follow the instructions given. Always remember, we have your very best interest at heart. We want you to be pleased with your results. Be assured we will do everything reasonably within our power to perform the procedure in a proper and professional fashion. Also, we will follow up on any problems you may develop in the routine course of healing after your transplant.
We expect you to inform us if any problems arise so that we can handle them in the proper manner. You are very special to us; you health and happiness are our purpose in life.
Things to Remember After Your Transplant
- Follow instructions carefully to avoid loss of grafts.
- Growth will not be as thick as you or I would want. The top of your head originally had between 30,000-50,000 hair before it began to lose hair. Typically, even with multiple procedures, we only move 12,000-18,000 hair.
- Growth will not occur as fast as you would like, in fact, you will probably see no growth before 4 months. Be patient. It takes most people at least 4-6 months to begin seeing the positive change and 12 months to see the full benefit.
- In some cases, you may actually look a little thinner after the transplant. This is more likely to occur when pre-existent hair are present in the transplanted zone. These hair may thin out in the 3 months after transplantation, but will usually grow back about the same time and rate that the grafts grow in. Do not worry if you look thinner at 3 months after transplantation- your rewards come at 6-12 months.
- You will not get the maximum benefit from your transplant until 9-12 months after the procedure because the hair must have this amount of time to regrow length and thickness of shaft. You will see improvement at 4-6 months in the form of fine hair but results peak out at 9-12 months.
- Hair loss is a relentlessly progressive process, therefore you likely will want additional replacement procedures in the future to thicken or cover new areas of loss. This is also the reason we strongly recommend the use of Propecia and Rogaine to help prevent this progression.
- We are always available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Don’t be hesitant to call us. To us, you are the most important person in the world; you are our patient.