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.
Sleeping and Activity
- The first night sleep with your head elevated on several pillows or in a recliner chair to prevent swelling. Place a towel under your head if there is any bleeding.
- Avoid any strenuous physical activity for the first 2 days to prevent loss of grafts or increased swelling. After 5 days, weight lifting, heavy exercise, etc… may be resumed, with swimming able to be resumed at 10 days.
- 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.
Caring for and Cleaning the Scalp
- Occasionally there is some slight bleeding from the back (donor area) and or several graft sites the first 24 hours. Simply apply light pressure with a clean damp cloth or gauze for 10 seconds on and 10 seconds off until the bleeding stops.
- You were given a spray bottle of Saline. Use this at least five times daily to keep the scalp moist after your procedure.
- Use Polysporin/Neosporin to the back of the scalp (donor site) twice daily.
- 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).
- Using a mild shampoo, lather it in your hands, and gently pat it onto the graft areas, while lightly rubbing it into the other parts of the scalp, including sides and back. Be sure to wash the sutured areas well (if applicable).
- Gently rinse off the shampoo, then air dry.
- Combing, performed gently, is permitted on the third day.
- On days 5-10, you want to start making little circles with two fingers as you shampoo. After this, you may begin to shower normally, letting the water hit your scalp.
- Any remaining crusts after 10 days should be messaged off. Stop if there is any pain or bleeding, then wait 2 more days to begin rubbing.
- If needed, return to the office for a post surgery follow up to ensure that your scalp is being taking care of properly.
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.
- Some of the transplanted hairs will fall off with the crusts at 5 to 7 days. Do Not Panic for these are only the hair shafts, while the hair follicles remain in the scalp.
- Most of the rest of the transplanted hairs will fall out over the next 2 weeks. 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 three weeks 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.
- 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 2 weeks after your procedure.
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