Pre and Post-Operative Instructions for FUE Hair Transplants
Hair restoration is a delicate process and it is important that you understand the nature, goals, potential complications, and limitations of this procedure which are explained to you during your consultation. Your adherence to the following instructions will help assure you get the very best results. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
- Ten days prior to your procedure: do not take aspirin, vitamin E, gingko biloba, or any multivitamins (as these contain vitamin E). Many medications also contain aspirin, so please be sure to read all medication labels. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Three days prior to your procedure: do not take any anti-inflammatory medications (e.g.
Ibuprofen), do not drink any alcohol, and do not over-expose to the sun.
- Make arrangements for transportation from the office after your procedure if you will be receiving any sedation. The type of sedation you receive will be decided upon by you and the doctor, but many patients choose to take an oral sedative to make the procedure more relaxing and comfortable. We also offer twilight sedation, which must be arranged ahead of time, and which require you not to eat anything that morning. Procedures typically take four to eight hours, sometimes a bit longer or shorter, depending on the number of grafts.
- If you are traveling from out of town, please make the necessary arrangements for your hotel, flights, and transportation. Our office is here to assist you with your accommodations and we have a list of recommended hotels near the office.
- If you have gray hair and you color it, make sure it gets colored within three days prior to your procedure to permit better visualization of the hairs. You will be able to color your hair again two weeks later.
- Your hair in the donor area will be trimmed quite short to permit the extraction of hairs. Depending upon the number of grafts being transplanted, this may involve trimming a small area on the back and/or sides of the scalp that that can easily be covered up by surrounding
hair, or require sharing the entire back and sides of your head in the case of a larger procedure (800 or more FUE grafts). You should plan accordingly and discuss this with your doctor and/or his assistants as to what is recommended for you. The hair on the rest of your head can be any length.
- For best healing, please refrain from smoking for one week prior to and one week after your procedure as it may contribute to delayed healing.
- Taking vitamin C 1000 to 2000 mg a day for one week prior to your procedure may help with healing. To reduce bruising, vitamin K, 50 to 80 micrograms a day can be taken starting five days before surgery and continuing for two days after.
Day of your procedure:
- Eat a regular breakfast, but no coffee or caffeinated beverages in the morning as these can increase bleeding and sensitivity to medications. You will be provided lunch in the office and offered breaks during your procedure.
- Routinely prescribed medications (e.g. for blood pressure) should be taken in the morning as usual unless otherwise instructed.
- Wear clothes that do not need to be pulled over your head to prevent pulling out grafts immediately after your procedure. Please remove all jewelry.
- Be prepared to remove contact lenses before your procedure if you normally remove them to sleep.
- Feel free to bring music to listen to during your procedure. Our procedure rooms are also equipped with satellite radio, as well as an iPad to allow you to watch a movie on Netflix® or surf the internet.
Medications: These are the medications that will be given to you by the office. If you are not able to take any of them (i.e. due to allergies) please let us know before your procedure. This will allow us to properly call in a different prescription to your local pharmacy.
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- Keflex – antibiotic to prevent infection. Take one pill twice a day for three days.
- Tylenol #3 – mild pain pill containing codeine. Take one to two pills every four to six hours
as needed for any discomfort in the donor area. Advil, Aleve, and Tylenol are also very effective and should be taken with the earliest sign of discomfort.
- Antibiotic ointment – provided to you to apply to the donor area twice a day for the first five days after your procedure.
- You will be given prescriptions for Percocet (a stronger pain pill) and Ambien (for sleep) on
the day of your procedure. These prescriptions can be filled for you while you are having your procedure.
Sleeping and Activity
- For the first night, sleep with your head elevated on several pillows or in a recliner chair to prevent swelling, and place a towel under your head for possible light bleeding.
- Avoid any strenuous physical activity the first two days after your procedure to prevent increased swelling and loss or damage of grafts. After six days, you may resume moderate exercise, weight lifting, etc. After 10 days, you may resume swimming.
- No direct sun exposure to the scalp for more than 30 minutes at a time for the first two weeks. Wearing a hat provides adequate protection.
Caring for and Cleaning the Scalp
- Your scalp will be cleaned before leaving the office on the day of your procedure. Often
there is some slight bleeding from the back (donor site area) or top of the head for the first 24 hours. Simply apply light pressure with a clean cloth or gauze for 10 minutes.
- Most patients return to the office the first or second day after the procedure for a hair wash. If you are not coming to the office to have your hair washed, you may gently clean it beginning on the second day until five days later as follows:
- Wet your head in the shower with cool to warm water, pouring it over your scalp
(top, sides, and back) using a bowl.
- Using mild shampoo, lather it in your hands and gently pat it onto the graft areas while lightly rubbing it into other parts of the scalp, including the sides and back.
- Gently rinse off the shampoo, then pat dry.
- Combing is permitted on the third day as long as it is performed gently.
- Continue this routine daily for the first five days. On the sixth day, you may begin to shower normally, letting the water hit your scalp as usual.
- Any remaining crusts after nine days should be rubbed off. If you experience any pain or bleeding, stop and wait two more days before you begin rubbing again. It is very important that you rub all these crusts off by two weeks.
- Wet your head in the shower with cool to warm water, pouring it over your scalp
GraftCyte for Post-Procedure Care
- GraftCyte may accelerate the healing of the graft areas, due to a combination of the copper it contains and its ability to keep the area moist.
- Spray the GraftCyte spray that you will be given to the graft areas every 30 to 60 minutes while awake for the first three days.
What to Expect:
- Numbness, tingling, or similar sensations along the top and back of the head is not uncommon, and totally normal. This will generally take several weeks, occasionally months, to resolve on its own.
- The transplanted hairs often will fall out with the crusts as soon as five to eight days after the procedure. 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 two weeks. In as soon as four months, the new hair shafts will begin to grow in a natural fashion and will continue to grow at the normal rate of ½ to ¾ of an a month. It can take 8 to 12 months for most of the hairs to grow in. Occasionally, it may be up to 14 months before all of the hairs regrow.
- To accelerate the growth of the new hairs you can apply 5% minoxidil (Rogaine® foam is often preferred) once or twice daily starting three weeks after the procedure. If the minoxidil should cause redness or irritation of the scalp, stop using it for one week and then resume once every other day. Once the hairs begin to grow in, at around five months, the minoxidil can be stopped, and the transplanted hairs will continue to grow. The occasional patient can be sensitive to minoxidil and may experience scalp itching, chest palpitations, or lightheadedness, and in these cases, it should be discontinued.
- To accelerate healing and potentially speed up hair regrowth, many patients utilize low level laser light therapy. If you live near our Miami office, this therapy can be started as soon as the day after the procedure when the hair wash is performed, and continued once or twice weekly for the first month at no cost (if you live out of the area or it is inconvenient to make it to the office, excellent at-home units can be purchased). Completely painless, the treatments consist of 30 minute sessions under the in-office laser hood. We have also found – confirming scientific studies – that this therapy actually slows or stops the progression of hair loss in about 70-80% of patients with long term use, and can even thicken the existing hairs in around 40%. Ask your patient advisor for more information. If you purchased a laser cap to use at home, you can start this five days after your procedure, three times a week.
- Be patient for the new hairs to grow in. As they emerge from the scalp, there occasionally will be a few acne-like pimples on the scalp. If this happens, apply warm soaks and antibiotic ointment several times a day for three days, and if not resolved, please let us know so we can phone in a prescription for an oral antibiotic.
- There are several ways to camouflage any evidence of a procedure during the first week before the crusts fall off. You will be given a bandana to wear out of the office, and can begin to wear a hat as soon as the first day after. If you already have some hair, the crusts can usually be effectively concealed using Toppik®, a color-matched powder that is sprinkled onto the grafted area. Provided by the office, Toppik® can be applied as soon as the third day after the procedure, once you are completed with the GraftCyte spray.
- For most patients, there is some mild pinkness of the scalp, which usually resolves within a week. Taking Benadryl 25mg once a day for a week can help reduce this pinkness. You may have your hair cut as soon as ten days after the procedure. Hair coloring is also permitted two weeks after your procedure.
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Note the following:
- Please arrive at the office at on the day of your procedure
- These instructions will be reviewed with you before and after your procedure
- It has been explained to you that a choice of anesthesia provider exists.
The Florida offices of the surgeons of Foundation for Hair Restoration are regulated pursuant to the rules of the Florida Board of Medicine as set forth in the Rule Chapter 64 B8 FAC.
Please call (preferably text) your surgeon with only emergent questions when the office is closed. Dr. Epstein can be reached at (305) 310-6361. Dr. Bared can be reached at (305) 975-2859. All post op questions need to be either phoned in to the office (305) 666-1774 and/or sent in by email to your Patient Advisor and [email protected]
IN CASE OF ANY EMERGENCY, PLEASE DIAL 911.
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