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Discomfort may arise during post-op recovery. At the procedure itself, though, patients do not experience any pain. Near all of today's hair transplant procedures use local anesthesia, injections that numb a certain section of the body. In select cases, specialists may offer general anesthesia to patients who request it, which numbs the entire body and induces a loss of consciousness.
The truth is that even patients unconcerned with mild discomfort are surprised by how little hair transplantation hurts. Some mention a mild pulling or tugging sensation during CIT® or FUE donor extraction, but nothing like pain. Dr. Cole's team of specialists always make sure patients have enough anesthesia, as well routinely re-administer it during long procedures. Patients with concerns, such as an allergy to a specific type of anesthetic, should mention them during the consultation.
Local anesthesia is most often still active when patients leave. Depending on the procedure type, we may recommend several medicines and post-op recovery treatments. Similarly, most post-op recovery discomfort depends on the type of the procedure. Those who undergo FUT, for instance, must use different care and deal with different symptoms than those who choose CIT®. No matter the procedure, avoid analgesics besides those we recommend if pain or discomfort does surface. Such recommendations help prevent swelling, alleviate recovery symptoms like scabbing, and encourage follicular retention. Both the donor and recipient areas will be tender, but following post-op instructions will hasten recovery and minimize the chance of complications. These include:
Swelling: If swelling develops, it will do so 48 to 72 hours after the procedure. We recommend using an ice pack on any swollen areas. Most patients say post-op swelling causes little, if any, discomfort, All patients with swelling should continue to stay elevated for its duration, typically two or three days. Cases of swelling outside the norm can also vary, but near all patients recover within a week.
Throbbing: Some patients may experience throbbing pains in the FUE donor areas five to seven days after the procedure. Most doctors recommend applying vitamin e and massaging the area. Doing so will hurt but overall pain will subside within 24 hours.
There are other possible symptoms, but they are exceedingly rare. Call us with any questions you may have!
Most people are pleasantly surprised by how little pain they experience throughout hair transplantation, and particularly CIT® procedures. You will generally feel some momentary discomfort from the local anesthetic injections but numbness will soon set in. If the numbing sensation wears off during the course of the procedure we inject more to re-anesthetize the area.