18 . November . 2019 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Surgical Hair Transplant is the most sophisticated and cost-effective method available today, for regaining hair naturally and to cover baldness in men & women permanently.

Hair restoration surgery is an art that the surgeons master, with rigorous training and practice. The finesse of results depends on the technique and the instruments used. An expert surgeon can take a call as to which method would suit you best, as per your donor area configuration and scalp condition. Only a trained professional can guide you correctly as to how the restoration can be done and what you can expect with hair restoration surgery.

You need to ensure that you choose a clinic that offers you services backed by high medical expertise, an intensely trained surgeon to handle the procedure, best-in-class technology and state-of-the-art operation theatre facilities. The clinic should also help with post-operative care, guidance in maintaining the overall health of your hair & scalp, ensuring that the end results of the transplant/restoration are satisfactory.

This is from the perspective of the surgeon, the methodology and the clinic with whom you choose to undergo this procedure.

What about your preparedness? What are the dos and don’ts that you need to be aware of? What are the FAQs the answers to which can through some insights for you on this critical subject? Let’s take a dive into all of this today.

Firstly, let’s do a quick run-through on what a Hair Transplant is.

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure for permanent hair restoration. The process moves hair and hair follicles from one section of your scalp called the donor site to the balding area called the recipient site.
This surgery is either done by follicular unit extraction (FUE), follicular unit transplant (FUT) method or the most advanced Aesthetic Hair Implants (AHI) technique which is used at RichFeel. More questions on the concept and procedure? Click to know more.

Before the Transplant…Things you need to know…

The process starts with your consultation and diagnosis with a reputed trichologist. Depending on your hair and scalp condition, donor area configuration and many such technicalities, you are advised on the best way forward with hair restoration. The expectation is mutually set and agreed upon.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your consultation experience…

  • Did the clinic look hygienic and safe? Did the staff seem friendly and approachable?
  • Did the trichologist/surgeon examine your hair and scalp thoroughly with a capilloscope?
  • Did he/she measure your hair density, perform the Follicular Count Test (FCT)?
  • Did he/she discuss your medical history, diet, lifestyle and daily routines in detail?
  • Did he/she spend time to listen to what you had to say and answer your queries openly?
  • Is the surgeon an MS/MD/DVD Hair Transplant Specialist?
  • Does the clinic have a well-equipped operation theatre?
  • Does the clinic have an anaesthetist on call for surgery?
  • Did the surgeon discuss in detail the hair restoration technique that is being prescribed? Is it accredited?
  • Was the expected duration of procedure shared? (Should not be more than 4-6hrs)
  • Did the surgeon clearly explain what can be expected over 12-18 months after surgery?
  • Very importantly, were you personally comfortable discussing your concerns with the surgeon? Did he/she give you confidence?

Do take time to think through these questions and your answers to them, before you go further with it.

Before the surgery, a series of general fitness assessment tests and pre-procedure medical tests are conducted to ensure that you are clinically fit for the surgery in all aspects. This is especially crucial in those who have certain existing medical conditions and are under medication. This apart, pre-procedure medication is also prescribed and explained.

Once you are deemed fit for surgery, the date is fixed. Your surgeon will brief you on how to prepare yourself for the surgery, including guidelines on your daily routine the days prior, what you should or shouldn’t eat etc. Here are some things you need to keep in mind and follow.

  • Do wash your hair thoroughly the day before the surgery. Your trichologist may suggest a particular shampoo to use.
  • Do make sure your hair and scalp are dry when you go for the procedure
  • Do wear comfortable clothing for the day. Ensure that it’s not something that you will need to pull over your head.
  • Do plan for your commute after the surgery. Get someone to drive you and escort you.
  • Do discuss ahead on how to manage your medications for the day of surgery, if you are on regular medication. For instance, if you are diabetic and need insulin administration, this needs to be discussed with your surgeon. Your diet for the day and the medication need to be administered as advised by him/her.
  • Don’t drink any alcohol or smoke for atleast one to two weeks prior to the surgery. Both have an impact on the blood circulation on your scalp.
  • Don’t take any general medication like anti-inflammatory drugs and such, without consulting your surgeon, for a week before the surgery.
  • Don’t consume caffeine on the day of surgery.

This is an indicative list and not exhaustive. The instructions are largely applicable to anyone undergoing surgery, however, there may be additions, depending on personal conditions. Please do ensure that you follow all instructions given by the surgeon, to help make the procedure successful.

After the Transplant… Dos & Don’ts

  • Do avoid direct sun exposure on the day of surgery and for a few days thereafter.
  • Do avoid fidgeting with the bandage placed around your forehead, and the newly grafted portion of your scalp.
  • Do keep your scalp dry for a week after the surgery. Use the saline water spray given to keep the area clean and perfused.
  • Do shampoo wash the entire scalp only after a week from the date of surgery.
  • Do follow the diet plan rich in Hair foods, as advised by the trichologist. Keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Do sleep with your head in an elevated position for 2-3 days after surgery.
  • Do speak to your surgeon/trichologist if any pain or discomfort persists for more then expected time frame.
  • Don’t indulge in heavy physical activities, workouts and swimming for the first week. Sweating and prolonged wetness can enhance the risk of scalp infections during this recovery period.
  • Don’t pick on or rub the scalp during the course of your recovery, as this may cause injury to the sensitive portion.
  • Don’t use hair colours and other chemical hair products unless cleared by your trichologist. Also, take guidance on how long to wait after surgery, to use them.
  • Don’t use high-pressure showers to wash your hair.
  • Don’t consume alcohol or smoke for atleast a month after the surgery.
  • Don’t skip medications prescribed by the surgeon, to be taken after surgery
  • Don’t skip the prescribed home hair care routine, and use only prescribed products.
  • Don’t skip your meeting with the surgeon to remove the bandages.
  • Don’t skip the periodic review appointments with your trichologist.

Your surgeon will give you very clear guidelines that you need to follow after your surgery. We have listed some of the common dos and don’ts. In addition to these, there may be particular instructions pertaining to your needs which you will need to bear in mind.

There may be instances where there is some loss of implanted hair, but you will recover fully. Normally the hair growth starts between 3rd/4th month, from the date of surgery, and the desired coverage is achieved in 12-18 months.

The coverage that is achieved through a hair transplant is permanent in nature since the hair which is taken from the back of the scalp never degenerates and continues to grow all through life. Hair regained from transplant behave just like your normal hair. All you need to do is care for newly transplanted hair right, nurture it with a regular care routine, along with the rest of your hair. Treat it all the same – be it your regular hair care routine, colouring or styling!

How does a Trichologist help you through this journey?

There is no dearth of before-and-after photographs that you see online, for hair transplant or any of the hair treatments! But what works for one may not quite work for the other. It is hence best to consult a Trichologist to understand your hair & scalp condition and have prescribed the course of action that’s in your best interest. Do also take note of our Hair Transplant Check-list while you are getting ready for the process.

In this day and age of advanced trichology treatments and procedures, you have highly effective options to take care of your hair and scalp. For instance, gone are the days when you HAVE to shave your head for undergoing a hair transplant. You have the very advanced No-Shave technique which scores the highest today. It practically has negligible downtime and the patient can resume routine shortly after the procedure. There is also less tissue damage and hence the overall healing time and minimal pain.

Periodic reviews with the Trichologist help keep a tab on progress, as the progression and results vary from person to person. A detailed periodic review helps in monitoring hair growth, address concerns and take timely action where needed. On a case-to-case basis, you may also be advised tricho treatments for the donor and recipient areas, to accelerate or enhance the hair growth. Your periodic tricho reviews help you through the journey and ensuring the desired results.

Diagnosis, surgery & treatment that is guided by an expert Trichologist is the best course of action for any hair concern. And gone are the days of traditional hair care solutions. You have advanced, natural, safer, surgical and non-invasive options to take care of your hair, the way it feels and looks!

We would suggest that a half-yearly Trichology Check is made a part of your calendar, just as your annual general health check-up, to keep a tab on the hair and scalp condition, and stay clear of concerns.

Do read our pages with more information on the discussed topics and reach out to us for any further clarifications or simply for a chat with our experts! Remember for all things ‘Hair’, do follow our blogs on hair loss, hair care, laser hair reduction, treatments and solutions and such other interesting hair trivia!
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