The healing or post-operative care period after a hair restoration surgery is important if you want to obtain the best results.
Hair Restoration Post-Operative Care
Before your surgery, My Hair Transplant MD will give you detailed instructions to follow after you get home. Below is an overview of the post-operative care that you can expect.
- At Night. For 2-3 days after surgery, sleep with your head elevated on 2-3 pillows. This keeps your head above your heart and reduces swelling. Keep a sweatband dressing on and apply ice to the forehead 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
- Keep the area moist without letting the area get either too wet or too dry.
- Day After Surgery: Remove the sweatband dressing and discard. Gently shampoo then rinse the area in the shower by pouring a cup or bowl of soapy water over the grafted area then rinse clear. Avoid rubbing, which may cause the grafts to lift. Comb the hair without touching the scalp. Gently pat dry with a towel.
- Next 10 Days: It is important to keep the hair clean and avoid a stream of water from pounding on the grafted areas for the next 7-10 days. Shampoo and Rinse as described above with a cup or bowl. To accelerate scab removal, gently massage wet scabs off in the shower and rinse with a cup. Most scabs come off between 4-10 days. Do not pick at resistant scabs with your fingernails. Pat dry with a towel; if you blow-dry hair, keep on a cool setting.
- Exercise/Activities. For the next few days avoid exercise activities that increase your heart rate. This increases your chances of facial swelling. Continue to sleep with your head elevated. If you experience forehead and eyelid swelling, despite these precautions, do not be alarmed – this is simply liquefied blood breaking down and following the path of least resistance, and will be absorbed in a few days. You may aid this process by messaging the fluid toward your temples.
- Precautions. If you develop a sudden swelling in the incision area, this could represent a blood vessel opening up. Immediately press the swelling area with the palm of your hand 5-10 minutes. You may have to repeat this process a few times. This will stop the swelling in most cases. If the swelling continues to worsen despite these measures, please call the office.If you develop a small red pimple-like bump in the transplanted area, this is most likely is an ingrown hair or piece of tissue trapped in a hair graft incision. Warm compresses followed by gently squeezing should help to remove the unwanted substances. You may clean the area with a hydrogen peroxide solution, but be sure to thoroughly rinse with water. If the problem continues call our office.
- Suture/Staple Removal: Sutures and or staples should be removed 7-10 days after surgery. Please return to our office for this service, or arrange for this service to be performed.
- The doctor will prescribe you a variety of medications for pain, sleep, swelling, and/or antibiotics. You will receive detailed information about how and when to take these medications.
Night of Procedure and Next Few Days:
- Sleep – Zolpidem (Ambien) – take 1 at night for sleep as needed.
- Swelling – Medrol Dose Pack (Blister Pack) – steroid pills – take as directed on pack
- Sleep propped up on several pillows to keep your head elevated above your heart.
- Apply cold compress (frozen peas/ice in a Ziploc baggie over a moist washcloth) to forehead as much as is comfortable for the first 24-36 hours after the procedure.
- FUE – Start with Ketorolac (Toradol) – 1 pill every 6 hours as needed. Not to exceed 4 pills per day. Norco as a back-up – use as directed.
- FUT/Strip – Start with Norco – use as directed – take ½ – 2 tablets every 6-8 hours. Not to exceed 8 tablets in a 24-hour period. – Toradol as a back-up – use as directed.
- Medication – continue as needed.
- Shower – DO NOT shampoo hair. May shower from neck down.
- Bandage for FUT/Strip procedure only may remove bandage slowly.
Day #3 and Day #4
- Medication – continue as needed.
- Bandage FUE may remove bandage slowly
- Shower – Begin gentle shampooing using cup or bowl of shampoo/water or water/peroxide over scabbed area. Do not scratch or rub scabs off.
Day #7 to Day #10
- Suture Removal for FUT/Strip on/about Day #10 – sutured strip/incision procedure
- Shower – Gently rub scabs with the balls of your fingers. Do not scratch or rub scabs off. Let scabs fall off naturally. (Once scabs are gone, resume regular shampooing under showerhead).
- Do not bend over at the waist – keep your back straight and bend at the knees to pick something up – keep your head above your heart at all times for the first week or so.
- Do not exercise to the point where your face starts turning red, or sweaty, for 2 weeks.
- No swimming for 4 weeks.
Hair Dye / Rogaine – May use after 4 weeks
Call the Office if You:
- Have pain not controlled by the prescribed pain medications.
- Develop sudden swelling and/or bleeding in the sutured incision area.
- Apply firm pressure for at least 10 minutes immediately, then call. Repeat firm pressure cycle after a few minutes break if swelling is continuing.
- Develop a pimple in either the donor or graft area that is increasingly tender, red, increasing in size, or draining.
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