If you are concerned about hair loss, you may have considered undergoing hair restoration surgery. This is a surgical procedure in which a physician removes hair follicles from the permanent zone, at the back of your head, and transplants them to thinning or balding areas on top or in front. This article will discuss what to expect before, during and after hair restoration surgery.
Before you undergo hair restoration surgery, it is important to have a consultation with the surgeon who will be performing your procedure. Although in-person consultations are ideal, many physicians now offer hair restoration surgery patients the option of doing virtual, or online, consultations. A consultation will give you an opportunity to meet (or communicate) with the doctor, share your medical history, explain your goals and expectations, ask any questions you may have and express any concerns about the hair restoration process. The doctor will be able to examine your hair (or review photos of your hair) and the extent of your hair loss. He or she will be able to determine whether you are a good candidate for hair restoration surgery and give you an idea of how many grafts you will likely require. It is also important to speak with your hair restoration surgeon about developing a long-term plan for combating hair loss.
Although the exact routine will vary depending on the hair restoration clinic you have selected, there are some standard events you can expect on the day of your hair restoration surgery. When you arrive at the clinic, you will be greeted by a patient coordinator who will guide you through the check-in process, take a series of ‘before’ photos and explain what you can expect for the rest of the day. If your hair restoration surgery is expected to last more than a couple of hours, we offer our patients a choice of local restaurants to select lunch from. Shortly afterward, the physician or a surgical technician will take you back to surgery to prepare you for the surgery.
Depending on the type of procedure you are having, one of our surgery techs may shave or trim the hair in your donor region. At this time, you will have the opportunity to once again discuss your expectations and goals with the hair restoration surgeon. Hair restoration surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia. This will be administered by a RN or the surgeon. From here, your hair restoration surgery will begin. The surgeon will follow different protocol depending on whether you are undergoing strip or FUE. It’s important to note that hair restoration surgery via FUE is less invasive, does not require sutures and involves less healing and recovery time.
Following your hair restoration surgery, you will be given post-operative instructions which a staff member will go over with you. You will generally experience little to no discomfort following a FUE procedure but may experience a little soreness and swelling later that evening or the next day. Special care must be taken in the ten days following hair restoration surgery so that you do not accidentally dislodge any of your new grafts. Gradually, you will be able to get back to a more normal routine. You should begin to see new growth of your transplanted hairs about 3 months after your hair restoration surgery.