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We are always excited when our patients make the decision to have hair restoration surgery at our office. We understand how exciting it is make such a momentous decision to restore your youth and appearance. Once you have decided to have your surgery we want our patients to be fully prepared.
Before Your Procedure
Ten (10) days prior to your procedure please do not take aspirin or Vitamin E, Gingko Biloba, or any multivitamins (these contain Vitamin E). Please also check your medication and all over-the- counter medications so you don’t take any aspirin or anti-inflammatories like Advil, Naprosyn, or Ibuprofen. Medications contain aspirin so please be sure to read all medication labels. You may take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) in place of aspirin. For best healing refrain from smoking during this time period and one week after. We recommend Vitamin C (1000 to 2000 mg a day) for 1 week prior to your procedure to improve healing.
Three (3) days prior to your procedure in addition to aspirin containing products avoid drinking alcohol and avoid sun exposure.
Arrangements for transportation home will be required if you receive any sedation during the procedure. The type of sedation you receive will be up to you and the doctor, but most patients choose to take an oral sedative for a relaxing experience. FUE procedures typically take to 4 to 8 hours depending upon the number of grafts.
Out of town guests should make arrangements with the office for transportation and hotel accommodations. If you need any help please call our office for suggestions. Upstate Hair Restoration has negotiated special rates with the Clarion at Century House which includes breakfast. It is located across the street from Century Hill.
Coloring Your Hair
If you color your gray hair please make sure it gets colored within 3 days prior of your procedure to permit better visualization of the hairs. You will be able to color it again 2 weeks after the procedure.
We make extraordinary efforts to please our patients preferred hairstyle and length when having this surgery. For our male patients who desire to keep their hair short, we recommend a zero (0) hair cut. If you like to maintain your current hair length please don’t cut your hair. We will perform surgery and clip back your hair but your donor area hair will be trimmed quite short to permit the extraction of hairs. Depending upon the number of grafts, we may trim a small area of your donor hair and this may involve the entire back and/or sides of the scalp. You should plan appropriately and discuss this with the doctor and/or his assistants as to what is recommended.
THE DAY OF YOUR PROCEDURE
Congratulations, today is the day when you restore you youthful appearance. Have a regular breakfast but refrain from caffeine in the morning. You will be provided lunch and offered snack breaks during your procedure.
Routine prescribed medicines (e.g. blood pressure) should be taken in the morning. Wear a shirt that can be buttoned in the front rather than a pull-over. Keep all jewelry at home. Be prepared to remove contact lenses before your procedure if you normally remove them to sleep. Please feel free to bring any music on CDs or MP3 players to which you wish to listen during your procedure.
AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE
Antibiotics will be provided by the office to help prevent infections. If you are not able to take antibiotics due to allergies please let us know before your procedure. In addition, steroid will be prescribed to help decrease post-operative swelling. This will allow us to phone in your prescription to your local pharmacy.
Sleeping and Physical Activity
The first night you may sleep flat on your back or with your head elevated on several pillows or in a recliner chair to reduce swelling. Place a towel or “chux” under your head if there is any bleeding. We will provide a sleeping aid if you request so you can sleep well.
No dressing will be placed over your graft sites. A dressing will be placed over the donor side with a narrow band of tape/ You may use a shower cap to shower. You may remove the dressing on the second day at home or we can remove it for you. Avoid any strenuous physical activity for the first 2 weeks to prevent loss of grafts or increased swelling.
Avoid any strenuous physical activity the first 2 days to prevent loss of grafts or increased swelling. After 5 days, you may resume weight lifting, heavy exercise, and other like exercise. Swimming can be resumed at 10 days.
Caring for and Cleaning the Scalp
Your scalp will be cleaned before leaving the office after your procedure. Occasionally there is some slight bleeding from the back (donor area) and or several graft sites the first 24 hours. Simply apply light pressure with a clean cloth or gauze for 10 minutes if necessary.
Two days after surgery, you may wash your hair. Do not allow the shower to allow water to hit the grafts directly. You may use a cup filled with warm water and baby shampoo to rinse your scalp. Do not rub the grafted area. Fill the cup with warm water in order to rinse the baby shampoo off of your scalp.
You may resume normal showering and shampooing 2 weeks after your procedure.
You may have your hair cut as soon as 3 weeks after the procedure. Hair coloring is permitted 2 weeks after your procedure.
What can I expect post-operatively?
Some numbness and itching at the graft and donor sites is normal. These symptoms may take several weeks to resolve. We recommend over the counter anti-itching creams purchased at your local pharmacy. Sometimes we need to prescribed Prednisone as the itching can be in some people more intense. But don’t worry this condition is temporary and it resolves as quickly as it comes on.
Some of the transplanted hairs may fall off with the crusts at five (5) to seven (7) days. DO NOT PANIC for these are only the hair shafts. The hair follicles remain in the scalp and will regrow in three to four months. Most of the rest of the transplanted hairs will fall out over the next two (2) to four (4) weeks.
During the post surgical period it is very common for patients to become discouraged and feel like their hair will not grow back. It is when the hair grows back you will experience once again the enthusiasm you first experienced immediately after your hair surgery. The new hair shafts grow at the normal rate of one half to 1 inch a month. Sometimes it can take 7 to 9 months or more for all the hairs to start growing. As the hair follicle emerge from the scalp, occasionally acne-like pimples may occur. If this happens, apply warm soaks and with a little pressure the pimple may be popped and a new hair shaft will be exposed.
To accelerate the growth of the new hairs I recommend patients begin applying 5% minoxidil (extra strength Rogaine®) once or twice a day starting two weeks after the procedure. Female patients should use 2% Minoxidil. If the Minoxidil should cause redness or irritation of the scalp, stop using it for 1 week then resume once every other day.
During the first week after surgery, there are several ways to camouflage any evidence of a surgical procedure. If you already have some hair, the crusts can usually be effectively concealed using Toppik®, a powder that is sprinkled onto the grafted area.