What are the Pre and Post Hair Transplant Surgery Instructions?

Q.: What are the Pre and Post Hair Transplant Surgery Instructions?

Pre-Op Transplant Surgery Instructions

Since we use only local anesthesia, our patients are encouraged to eat a normal breakfast.

The scalp has an excellent blood supply, so efforts to minimize bleeding help shorten the hair transplant procedure time and decrease the risk of bruising or swelling after the hair transplant surgery. Avoid medications or vitamins which can prolong bleeding.

Some of the medications that can prolong bleeding include: Aspirin and Aspirin containing cold and flu medications, NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, Advil and Aleve. If you require NSAIDS for arthritis, new medications are available which do not cause bleeding. Please feel free to call for more information.

*More detailed instructions will be provided to you by email when you schedule surgery.

Post-Op Transplant Surgery Instructions

The first three days after surgery require the greatest care and caution while the grafts are healing in place. Activity should be limited to walking and sedentary activities. Strenuous and all normal activities can be resumed 1 week after surgery. For some patients it is possible to return to work in only 4 days. Others should wait an entire week when most incisions are totally healed.  If you had the FUT procedure, we typically remove the sutures on the 7th day post surgery also, which makes it more comfortable to return to work.

Postoperative graft care involves gentle misting of the area with saline. Other than the elimination of certain activities, there is very little extraordinary care required. Most of the healing is automatic and depends on your unique rate of healing.

Medication: Two medications have been prescribed for you. It is advisable to take medications with food to prevent nausea. Take the medications spaced a minimum of 30 minutes apart. These medications are helpful, but not mandatory. If they make you feel sick or upset your stomach, you may stop them at any time.

  • Ibuprofen 800 mg. This medication will help prevent swelling.  We will have you take a dose at the end of your surgery while you are here, along with an acid blocker, and you should continue to take the Ibuprofen 6 hours for the first week.  While taking ibuprofen, you should also take a daily acid blocker such as Famotidine or Ranitidine (Pepcid or Zantac are the brand names) and follow the dose on the package—usually 1 to 2 per day.
  • PAIN RELIEVER: A mild narcotic-analgesic such as Tramadol will be prescribed to help alleviate any pain that you might experience. This medication is optional after the first 24 hours. Generally, you will experience little or no pain at the graft sites. Some minor discomfort is common the first few days after surgery, but is usually well controlled by a mild narcotic-analgesic. This medication can cause drowsiness. Do not consume alcohol while you are taking this medication.

Exceptions will apply--allergies to the above medications or other contra indications will result in a change in medications.

The donor area should be washed daily starting the second day after surgery.  Apply Neosporin to the donor area after shampooing to assist with healing for the first few days.

The grafted area should be misted with saline but do not shampoo or apply anything else for 7 days (we will shampoo you the first day after surgery).

Do NOT use Rogaine (minoxidil) for 7 days following surgery or until the scabs are gone and the incisions are completely healed! This will prevent over-absorption of medication. However, once the incisions are healed, topical Minoxidil can help speed graft growth if used for at least 3 months after surgery. At that time you should wean yourself gradually off the medication.

Activities

It is recommended that you limit your activity during the hair transplant healing phase, but most normal activity can be resumed one week after surgery. If you had FUT, it is recommended that you avoid activities that will exert excessive tension on the back of the scalp where the donor was taken for 9 months to keep the linear incision fine, as the donor incision can stretch if excessive tension is applied. Examples would be some weight lifting exercise, deliberately working on stretching the area by bending your head forward repeatedly, messaging the area, chin ups, etc.

*We will supply additional details via email when you schedule surgery.