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Returning to work after a hair transplant procedure depends on the method and the patient. Hair transplantation is significantly less invasive than in the past but still leaves superficial wounds.
There are a few emerging hair transplant options but patients typically select between two: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUT is the older method and leaves a far larger wound and scar than FUE, the least invasive method that diffuses extractions and, at worse, leaves a "moth-eaten" appearance. Each methods' scarring also belies when patients can return to work.
FUE patients often return to most work-related tasks the day following a procedure. FUT patients, on the other hand, typically wait one to two weeks before returning to work.
Recovery also differs in several ways. FUT patients will not fully recover from their procedure for three months. Near every FUE patient, meanwhile, can return to most activities within two weeks of their procedure, with any indication of a recent procedure ending in within two months: redness is a common side effect that fades with time.
Facial swelling is almost uniform for FUT patients and far rarer for FUE patients. Still, some FUE patients may undergo swelling 48 to 72 hours after the procedure. Such swelling typically ends within another 48 to 72 hours. Even the most severe cases end within a week.
While most patients can accomplish most work-related tasks, they still must be cautious. All hair transplant patients must initially avoid exertion, UV light, or even bending over or lying down. Additionally, all FUE is initially noticeable. Patients typically wear a loose-fitting hat or, depending on the FUE technique, style their hair in a way the covers the recipient and donor areas.
Forhair patients are at a particular advantage for recovery. Cole Isolation Technique (CIT®), Dr. Cole's namesake FUE variant, is among the least invasive options available today. CIT® patients enjoy a number of exclusive advantages, including very little to no visible scarring, and even more groundbreaking, donor regeneration with the application of ACell for 30% to 40% additional yield. Recovery, likewise, is also typically less demanding than any other type of FUE procedure. Dr. Cole further recommends his clinically tested line of all-natural hair care products, Hair Cycle, which both encourages hair retention and assists hair transplant recipients' recovery.
After CIT®, you can physically return to work the next day. After Strip, you will probably want to wait 1-2 weeks; since this is an evasive surgery and you will be dealing with sutures as well as pain. You may wear a very loose fitting hat being very careful not to dislodge any of the grafts.