Preparation for Surgery

During your preoperative consultation, a thorough review of your medical history, including allergies, medicines used and other significant medical conditions will be reviewed and addressed as needed. It is appropriate to stop aspirin and aspirin-like medicine (ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc) 7 days before surgery. Other meds such as blood pressure treatment should be continued on schedule.

Pre-operative antibiotic will be administered at the Hair Transplant Center the day of surgery. Also a sedative (Valium) will be administered to ensure you a pleasant experience during your hair transplant surgery.

Hair Transplant Procedure

Hair transplant involves the moving of healthy hair follicles (those unaffected by DHT) from the back of your head to areas of thinned or complete scalp hair loss. Use of local anesthesia in the area of hair harvesting (donor area) facilitates the removal of a strip of hair the length of which is determined by the number of hair grafts we want to employ. The donor area is closed with suture for quick healing. Sutures from this area are removed at your 7-10 day post op visit, or can be removed by a qualified nurse, PA or doctor where you reside. The scar is extremely well hidden as surrounding hair grows through the area once completely healed and it is also covered by adjacent hair.

Dr. Love’s surgical team then precisely divides the donor hair strip into hair grafts consisting of single or 2-3 follicle units. While this delicate process is taking place, Dr. Love continues by preparing the areas to receive grafts (recipient area).

Small puncture sites are created into which the expertly prepared hair transplant grafts will be inserted. Critical attention is paid to creation of the appropriate hairline position, the orientation or angle in which the grafts are positioned and the number of grafts applied to specific areas. These details will have already been addressed in your preoperative consultation as well.

The preparation and insertion of your hair grafts is the most time consuming aspect of the procedure. It is performed with the aide of magnification to ensure exacting detail. During this phase of your hair transplant surgery you may choose to talk, rest, read or even be entertained by your video of choice.

The average hair transplant surgery consists of around 1500 grafts encompassing the transfer of approximately 3500-4000 follicles. Time of surgery is usually about 3 -4 hours.

After Surgery

At the conclusion of your hair surgery, your scalp (and “new” hair) will be washed, dried and combed. Use of sedation for the procedure warrants that you have transportation arranged to pick you up. For our out-of-town patients we can assist you in these arrangements.

Oral antibiotics will be prescribed for 5 days post operatively. A gentle oral pain medication will be prescribed and can be used in addition to Advil or Motrin during the post-op period. Most “headache” discomfort resolves in 24 hours and is often diminished by the gratification and excitement of having corrected your scalp hair loss. Shower and exercise instructions will be reviewed with each patient. A few (2-3) days of diminished activity and return to more vigorous exercise at 10 days post op is recommended. Small amounts of oozing from the graft sites will cease in 1-2 days. Redness will also subside in 7-10 days.

When Will I see My New Hair Grow?

Hair follicles will usually appear to grow early (2-3) weeks after your hair restoration. Your new hair will then “shed” as the hair follicles go into a resting or dormant phase. During this time it will appear that you have lost your new hair. Re-growth of your transplanted hair then begins in about 2- 4 months. At 12 months the benefit of your effort will be realized with approximately 90% of growth (hair diameter and density/thickness) achieved.

It may be beneficial for you to continue or initiate the use of topical Minoxidil and or oral Finasteride to protect, not your transplanted hair, but your remaining hair that still remains sensitive to DHT.

About Hair Transplant Surgery

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Tim R. Love, M.D.
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