One of the most common complications observed after hair transplant surgery is forehead edema (swelling) and subsequent periorbital ecchymosis (bruising around the eyes). This occurs as fluid from the recipient area migrates downward along tissue planes from the top of the head to the upper forehead, then to the area above the eyebrows and eventually down around the eyes, where the appearance of bruising can be cosmetically distressing to the patient.
Several therapeutic modalities have been utilized to prevent or ameliorate this phenomenon, including the use of corticosteroids, ice packs to the area, massaging the fluid laterally once it accumulates, and sleeping in a semi-upright position. None of these techniques are universally successful.
A novel technique involves the use of a headband; the most optimal results seem to revolve around two factors. First, a channel of least resistance needs to be provided. This can be achieved by simply inserting a rolled-up gauze beneath the headband at the level of the temples; thus, the fluid migrates laterally and the downward, rather than directly down into the orbital region. Secondly, the edges of the thumbs may be used to mechanically massage the fluid laterally in a sweeping motion, from the midline outward toward the temples.>