While the notion may hold that a hair transplant is a procedure that does not utilize or require anesthesia, it is important to remember that a hair transplant is indeed a surgical procedure and that it may be painful to undergo without completing numbing up the scalp so that nothing gets felt at all.
Administering anesthesia before a hair transplantation procedure is similar to what one might experience at the dentist’s office- although the overwhelming majority of our patients tell us that it is much much less uncomfortable than the dentists. The patient is typically awake and conscious and can be given a light sedative, such as Ambien and Valium, to keep them calm and rested throughout the entire procedure. A local anesthetic is normally given, through a series of injections into the patient’s scalp, administered by the Wand, a computerized device that slowly injects the anesthesia below the threshold of sensation, where the donor site for the hair follicles are to be extracted. By using a local anesthetic, the patient will feel nothing, and thus not need to undergo IV sedation. That being said, patients do have the option, should they choose, to undergo twilight sedation, a form of IV sedation administered by an anesthetist. At this level of sedation, the patient remains asleep for a period of time, until the procedure is complete. Twilight sedation is not commonly chosen for hair transplant procedures, but is a viable option at an additional fee, should the patient choose. Due to the risks involved, this form of sedation is not offered beyond six hours, and in preparation, the patient must not eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the procedure.
To find out more about both local and general anesthesia options for hair transplantation, please contact one of our patient advisors to discuss both treatment and financing options.