The hair transplant is a type of surgical procedure, so expect to treat it as one. You do not feel pain during the procedure thanks to The Wand, a computerized device that delivers anesthesia, and you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. The hair transplant takes a number of hours, depending on how many grafts are involved, so you could be at the hair restoration surgeon’s office for as much as eight to even ten hours. When you leave, you go home without any bandages, but you still need to take care of yourself.
One thing you shouldn’t do after leaving the office is jump right back into your busy routine. Though hair transplant surgery has remarkably little downtime compared to other plastic surgery procedures, you should usually take a day to recover. You may also need pain medications that first night, and they can tire you out so rest is important. Dr. Epstein uses a special anesthetic, injected into the donor area at the end of the procedure, that can last for as long as 24 hours, providing excellent pain control during the early recovery period.
There may be mild swelling and some crusting during the first few days, so some patients prefer to take a week off from work if wearing a hat is not a possibility. Staying at home or in a nearby hotel if you travel for your procedure can provide you with the perfect chance to relax and unwind. However, if you find yourself going stir crazy as you avoid strenuous activities or swimming pools, here are five ways men and women enjoy recuperating from their hair transplant surgery.
You don’t have to travel far to find books to read. Most public libraries offer free E-book loans. Prior to your surgery, head to your local library and get a library card if you do not already have one. At home, log into the library’s E-book lending page. Pick and choose what you want to read and download to your E-reader, laptop, or smartphone. If you prefer physical copies of books, ask your library if they do deliveries to people recovering from surgeries, some do. Reading has the additional benefit in that most people read when sitting up, so that keeps the head elevated to help lessen any swelling.
Catch Up on Current Television Shows
It’s called “binge TV watching” where you can watch a whole season of that show you’ve been considering getting into, all in one weekend Hulu is an online service that offers recent episodes of dozens of current and old television shows. Not only do they have a long list of shows from broadcasters like ABC, FOX, and NBC, but you can also check out shows from Asia, Europe, and Mexico. In addition, Hulu has a number of Criterion Collection movies and many independent films and documentaries. For under $10 a month, you can watch Hulu Plus through your television via a gaming system, tablet, or Roku box. Nextech is another great way to watch TV, as well as movies.
Amazon and Netflix are leaders when it comes to huge libraries of movies. Amazon movies cost a few dollars to rent digitally for a period of 24 hours, along with tons of titles that are free to Amazon Prime members. Netflix is under $10 for an entire month of movie watching. Both also have a selection of television shows you can watch. Netflix’s selection doesn’t offer current shows, but you will find past seasons of many popular shows. Watch both Amazon and Netflix on a computer, a television via a gaming system, Roku, or a tablet. Netflix users can also purchase the Google Chromecast that plugs directly into the HDMI port on a high-def television.
Get a Massage
Providing you don’t mind going out in public while your scalp heals, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage. Just make sure to inform the masseuse that you’ve had a hair transplant, so it should be performed with your head elevated, not lying face down. Until your hair surgeon states a full scalp massage is safe, avoid that service.
Take a Vacation
If you’ve already traveled out of town for your hair restoration procedure, take advantage of the change of location and visit museums, stores, restaurants, and other attractions. If you live near your surgeon, consider taking a vacation. You’re safe to fly a day after the surgery, though you may want to delay your trip until the second day after so that you can return to the surgeon’s office to have your hair washed the day after the surgery. Remember to avoid swimming for at least six days, depending on what your doctor advises.
Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is a Florida and New York hair restoration surgeon, but you don’t have to be from Florida or New York in order to undergo a hair transplant. Watch Dr. Epstein’s video about how the Foundation for Hair Restoration has treated patients from all 50 states. To schedule a consultation, call (212) 759-3484 in New York or (305) 666-1774 in Miami.