Wondering what will happen during your hair transplant surgery? Here’s an overview of the procedure to help you out.
Now that you’ve chosen your hair loss clinic and agreed on a course of treatment, you might wonder what the procedure will be like. Although you can definitely ask your surgeon about it, we thought we could help you out by giving you an idea of what happens before, during and after a hair transplant procedure so there are no surprises.
Before the procedure
Your doctor should have given you special instructions (if any) about what to do during the last 48 to 24 hours before your surgery, such as no smoking and no alcohol.
Hair transplant is an outpatient procedure (meaning that you don’t stay in the facility overnight) that can take between 3 and 8 hours depending on the extent of the work required. Before the procedure you will meet your surgeon one last time to answer any questions you may have. Take advantage of this moment if you have any lingering interrogations about the procedure.
You will be given a mild sedative to relax you, and a local anesthetic to your scalp to stop the pain. There is usually no discomfort, but expect to maybe get a little bored as the doctor works at your hair.
During the procedure
The hair transplant procedure will go through the five following steps:
· Donor area preparation. The team will choose a strip of scalp tissue from the donor area (usually the back of the head) after trimming the hair.
· Harvesting. The strip of tissue is surgically removed and sutured to prevent infection and other problems. It will leave a scar, but it’s generally invisible because it will be covered by hair.
· Separating. Using very strong microscopes, the technicians will divide the strip in “follicular groupings” to provide the most natural look.
· Recipient site preparation. While the hair is being separated, the doctor will start working on recipient sites by making tiny incisions in your scalp in the angle and direction desired. The more experienced the doctor, the better the recipient site will be prepared.
· Placing. The final step is putting the separated follicles in the now-ready recipient sites. This is usually done by technicians.
The procedure is that simple. It will take shorter or longer depending on how much hair needs to be harvested, separated and then placed back at the front and top of your head.
After the procedure
Hair transplant doesn’t stop at the surgical procedure itself. The day after your surgery, you will meet the surgery team again for a post-operatory evaluation and your first hair wash. Your doctor should then guide you through the next weeks.
About a week to 10 days after the surgery, you will visit the clinic again for a check up and suture removal. The donor area should be healed and the sutures can be taken away, leaving a barely visible scar.
We hope this helps you understand this cosmetic surgery and dispel any worries about what will happen in the operating room. Let us know if you have any questions!