Instructions for Pre-Op and Hair Transplant Recovery
Before your procedure
- For 14 days prior to your procedure, do not take aspirin or Vitamin E, gingko biloba, or any multivitamins (these contain Vitamin E). Many medications contain aspirin, so please be sure to read all medication labels. You may take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) in place of aspirin.
- For 3 days prior to your procedure,do not take anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen), avoid drinking alcohol, and do not get a sunburn.
- Make arrangements for a driver to drive you to and from your procedure.
- If you have gray hair and you color it,make sure it gets colored within 3 days prior to your procedure to permit better visualization of the hairs. You will be able to color it again 2 weeks after the procedure.
- For best healing, please refrain from smoking for 1 week prior to and 1 week after your procedure.
- Vitamin C(1000 to 2000 mg a day) for 1 week prior to your procedure may also help with healing.
The day of your procedure
- Have a regular breakfast, but no caffeine in the morning. You will be provided lunch and offered snack breaks during your procedure.
- Any prescribed medicines (e.g., blood pressure) should be taken the morning of your procedure.
- Wear a shirt that can be buttoned in the front rather than a pull-over. Remove all jewelry, watches, etc.
- Be prepared to remove contact lenses before your procedure if you normally remove them to sleep.
- Please feel free to bring your iPod or iPad to use to during your procedure.
During hair transplant recovery, you will need to follow detailed instructions for the best results including:
Medications: These are the medications that will be prescribed two weeks prior to your procedure. You will need to pick up the written scripts at our office and have them filled at the pharmacy of your choice; bring them with you on the day of your procedure. If you are not able to take any of them (i.e. due to allergies) please let us know before your procedure.
- Norco: This is a pain medication. Take 1 tab by mouth every 4 hours as needed for pain. Please bring this prescription with you to the office the day of your procedure.
- Valium: This is an anti-anxiety medication. Take 1 tab by mouth every 8 hours as needed for anxiety or itching. Please bring this prescription with you to the office the day of your procedure.
Alcoholic beverages, ibuprofen and aspirin are not to be taken for 48 hours after surgery.You may transition from the prescribed pain medication to extra strength Tylenol after your procedure.
24-48 Hours Post-Op
- AVOID CONTACT TO DONOR SITE AND NEWLY IMPLANTED GRAFTS.
- Do not wash your hair.Use saline and spritz on the grafts to keep them moisturized.We recommend sleeping in a shower cap to help keep the grafts moisturized during the night.
- Use may use the CopperK Calming Spray 2-3 times daily to keep the scalp moist after your procedure.Use as directed for the first 72 hours after your procedure, then as needed for the next 2 weeks.
- Avoid any strenuous physical activity for the first 7-10 days to prevent loss of grafts or increased swelling.Swimming may be resumed 14 days after your procedure.
- No direct sun exposure to the scalp for more than 30 minutes at a time for the first 5 days. Wearing a hat provides adequate protection.We recommend wearing an adjustable (not fitted) cap.Do not wear a hat that collapses or touches your scalp (beanie, wool cap, etc.).The cap should not come in contact with the newly transplanted grafts.If you plan to be outside for more than 30 minutes, you may use a spray sunscreen after 2 weeks.
- A pressure dressing will be applied to the back of the scalp where grafts were harvested.This dressing should remain in place for 24 hours.After the pressure dressing is removed, apply CopperK Scalp Cream over the donor area twice daily until healed.
- Frontal Hairline Restoration: it is recommended that you sleep in a flat position to move fluid back from eyes and prevent swelling.
- Crown Restoration: you may sleep slightly elevated.
For Minor Bleeding:
Occasionally there is some slight bleeding from the back (donor area) and or several graft sites the first 24 hours. Simply apply gentle but firm pressure with a clean damp cloth or gauze for 5-10 minutes until the bleeding stops.Press only. Do not rub.
48 Hours Post-Op
- Do not wash your hair for 48 hrs. after surgery.
- You may gentle cleanse your hair 48 hrs. after surgery as follows.
- Wet your head in the shower with warm water, using a cup or pitcher to pour it over the scalp (top, sides, and back).
- Spray CopperK Shampoo on wet scalp 12 inches from new grafts.Wait one minute, then rinse.Rinse carefully using the lowest water stream with a small cup, not under direct shower head.
- You may also use Baby Shampoo and lukewarm (NOT HOT) water.Place Baby Shampoo and water in a cup.Create a lather and pour this mixture onto your entire scalp and spread the shampoo over the sides and back of the scalp.You may gently massage the mixture with your fingers only on the donor site. It is important that you do not touch the recipient areas with your fingers as this may cause the grafts to dislodge.
- Gently rinse off the shampoo, then air dry.Do not allow full strength streaming water from the shower head to make contact with your scalp.This may cause your grafts to dislodge, especially within the first 5 days.
- Wash your scalp daily for the first 2 weeks.
- You may wash your hair like normal 2 weeks after your procedure.
- Combing, performed gently, is permitted on the third day.When combing and styling your hair, make sure to do so while the hair is wet.Comb the hair in an “up and over” manner.This will eliminate the chance of scratching the scalp and dislodging the grafts.Do not use any hair styling products for the first 14 days.
- You may resume low-level laser therapy (Capillus Hair Caps) 48 hours after your procedure.
72 Hours Post-Op
- If swelling occurs, it will usually appear on the second or third day after surgery.Swelling is part of the healing process and will usually disappear within 5-7 days.
- You may also use an ice pack or bag of frozen peas over the eyebrows for 15 minutes every hour starting immediately after surgery and continuing for the next 72 hours.Do not place ice over the grafts.
What to expect
- You may have numbness at the graft and donor sites.This is normal. It can take several weeks, occasionally several months to resolve.
- Scabbing will form over the transplant sites and solidify the first few hours after the procedure.These scabs will naturally fall off within 2 weeks.Some of the transplanted hairs may fall off with the crusts. Do Not Panic for these are only the hair shafts, while the hair follicles remain in the scalp. Do not pick or scratch at the scabs at any time. You can endanger the healing of the graft and could cause scarring or infection.
- In as soon as 3 to 4 months, the new hair shafts will begin to grow in a natural fashion and will continue to grow at a normal rate of one half to 1 inch a month. Sometimes it can take 7 to 9 months or more for all the hairs to start growing. Be patient.
- To accelerate the growth of the new hairs we recommend patients begin applying 5% minoxidil once or twice a day starting 1 month after the procedure. Female patients should use 2% minoxidil. If the minoxidil should cause redness or irritation of the scalp, stop using it for 1 week then resume once every other day. Once the hairs are growing in, at around 4 months, the minoxidil can be stopped, and the transplanted hairs will continue to grow. The occasional patient is sensitive to minoxidil (scalp itching, chest palpitations, lightheadedness) in which case it should be stopped.
- Propecia can continue to be used.
- Be Patient for the hairs to grow in. As they emerge from the scalp, occasionally there will be a few acne-like pimples. If this happens, apply warm soaks and antibiotic ointment several times a day for 3 days. If not resolved, please call the office.
- You may have your hair cut as soon as 3 weeks after the procedure. Hair coloring is permitted 6-8 weeks after your procedure. A semi-permanent color should be used instead of a permanent hair color that may cause damage to your new grafts.Permanent hair color can be used 3 months after your surgery.
We are here to make this process as smooth and comfortable as possible for you. Please feel free to contact the Mercy Clinic Medical Spa at 417-820-9340 if you have any questions or need additional information.
"To Dr. Shah and your fabulous team, Every time I pass by a mirror I am surprised and say to myself...what was I waiting for? Makeup has become fun again! I thank you all for a great experience."Actual Patient