Here's a step-by-step timeline of exactly what you can expect before, during, and after your transplant procedure.
Get a good night's rest, limit smoking and alcohol, and eat a healthy breakfast. You will be asked not to take aspirin for several days prior to your hair transplant procedure. More detailed instructions will be provided by the physician, based on your specific situation.
Hair transplantation is an outpatient procedure that typically lasts 3-8 hours. (In rare cases the procedure takes a little longer depending on the number of follicular units being transplanted.) In general, you will feel very minimal discomfort. Our doctors use mild sedatives and a local anesthetic. During the procedure, you simply need to relax and pass the time.
Before you begin, your doctor will review your crown density and confirm details the two of you have discussed prior to any kind of surgery for hair loss, including the specific hairline you want and expectations of the results. Next, your doctor will review the procedural steps detailed below and answer any questions you may have.
A donor strip is taken from the back or sides of the head, where hair is genetically resistant to hair loss. The hair surrounding the donor strip is taped or secured while the hair in the donor area is trimmed. The donor area is then numbed with a local anesthetic.
The strip of donor tissue is surgically removed and the skin in the donor area is sutured together. Once healed, it will typically leave a very fine cosmetic line or scar which will be covered by your existing hair. Even immediately following the suturing of the donor area, the affected area is hardly visible.
A team of highly-trained medical assistants, working with stereo microscopes, divide the hair from the donor strip into natural follicular groupings. (Your hair naturally grows in groupings of one, two, three and four hairs.)
The creation of recipient sites is the most artistic part of the procedure. Your doctor will make incisions to the depth of each follicle that follow the exact direction and angle of your hair growth. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to creating the recipient sites.
Follicular units are carefully placed into the recipient sites by the physician's experienced medical team. The one- and two-hair follicular units are primarily used in the frontal area of the hairline while the three- and four-hair follicular units are usually placed behind them and on top of the head for more density.
During your first post-operative appointment, you will most likely meet with the medical staff to review your procedure and receive your first hair wash, after which you will be given our exclusive medical kit and Guide to the First Ten Days.
Following your hair transplant procedure, you will have many tiny incisions with short hair stubble showing from the recipient sites. The tiny recipient site incisions will heal rapidly. Any redness, minor swelling and scabbing usually clears up within approximately one week. Once complete healing has occurred, there is virtually no visible scarring where the new hair will grow.
You may return to the doctor's office located at the Hair Club® Center to have the sutures removed. The area where the donor strip was removed has healed and a cosmetic line is barely visible.
Once all the follicular units are placed, the hair will begin to go into a resting phase. It then takes about two to three months for the follicle to produce a new hair. You will normally see a cosmetic difference within the first nine to twelve months.