Regular Clinic Hours
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am - 6:30pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Fax: 408 996 0300
1471 Saratoga Ave., #200
San Jose, CA 95129
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Hair Loss Evaluation
Hair Transplant Pre & Postcare San Jose
It is important that patients preparing for a hair transplant procedure thoroughly wash their hair before arriving at the surgery. Patients are asked to refrain from using hair sprays, conditioners, lotions, or anything that may remain on the hair or scalp on the day of the procedure.
No Aspirin, no alcohol!
Patients are also asked to abstain from alcohol for 5 days prior to the procedure. It is advised that patients eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast before the procedure.
Patients should avoid taking multivitamins, and vitamins B and E at least a week before surgery. These vitamins may promote bleeding. Patients should also avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs during that same timeframe.
Patients will benefit from massaging the donor areas (back of the head) for at least 1 week before the surgical procedure. Massaging the scalp is especially important for individuals undergoing FUT procedures. The massages will soften the skin and increase its elasticity. This will help patients avoid a sensation of tightness or pulling on the sutures at the donor site. The massages should last between 10 and 30 minutes per day. Massaging the area of scalp receiving the transplant can also increase the patient’s comfort during and after the surgery.
It’s important to dress comfortably and appropriately on the day of the procedure. This includes wearing a shirt that does not require being pulled over the head. Rubbing the sutures and grafts with clothing can cause discomfort, and the loss of hair grafts. Patients may want to continue to wear a shirt with buttons or zips for several days following the procedure.
Care Immediately after The transplant
Keeping the follicles in place!
The implants most susceptible to falling out are the ones implanted last in the procedure, but the transplanted hair follicles almost always stay in place of their own accord. The little bleeding at the edges of the incision wound cut for the graft help to “glue” the graft in place. By the time the hair implantation procedure is complete, those follicles implanted first in the hair line are pretty much fixed in place by this blood glue. Of course this is exactly what blood is supposed to do.
This activates a cascade of events in the blood that results in blood coagulation. This is to seal an open wound and close it as quickly as possible. It also activates the formation of fibrin that builds up a meshwork in the wound site. This helps glue the wound together and provides a scaffold on which cells from the edges of a wound can grow into the wound and heal it. With larger wounds it takes longer for the blood to clot and seal the wound and it takes longer for the wound to heal over.
With follicular unit grafting each individual wound is so small that the blood can clot in a couple of minutes and the wound starts to heal within a few hours.
Never the less, you should be extremely gentle with all of the grafts for the first 24-48 hours after implantation. It is very rare for grafts to fall out. If they do and they don’t look dried out, it may be possible to just pop them straight back in if you are still in the clinic. If they fall out after you have left the clinic it is unlikely much can be done to save the grafts. However, you could try to put the grafts in a saline solution (salt water mixture), keep it cool at about 4-8 degrees centigrade and call the clinic to see if they can put the graft back in – it may be possible, but there are no guarantees it will be successful. Again though, a graft falling out is an extremely rare event.
The biggest issue in the first 24 hours after a hair transplant is probably how best to sleep without disturbing the implants. Dr. Jane and her staff will advise on what is best depending on whether your head is bandaged or not. People may sleep in a sitting position for the first night and maybe longer, so that the head does not come into contact with a pillow. In general, you will not wash your scalp for the first 24 hours, indeed avoid touching it at all. Usually you do not wash the scalp with shampoo for the first 3 days after the operation. Your scalp will be cleaned at your next clinic appointment.
You will have specific guidelines for pre- and post-surgery procedures and a list of do’s and do not’s to follow before you get the transplant and after you make it home.
The First 72 Hours after Hair Transplant Surgery
About 8 hours after the implantation procedure the local anaesthetic injection will start to wear off. This is when you, as a hair transplant recipient, will experience most discomfort. Most often the discomfort is in the donor area rather than the recipient area as the donor area is, in effect, a much bigger wound. In many clinics you will be sent home after the procedure with a few acetaminophen and codeine tablets or their equivalent. This is usually quite enough to keep the discomfort to a minimum, but you should expect some discomfort.
You might also be given some sleeping pills to use for the first couple of days. After 24 hours the discomfort should more or less disappear. Prolonged discomfort may suggest an infection has entered one or more of the wound sites. You need to contact the office with this quickly.
A rather crusty looking scalp is to be expected for the first 24-48 hours. It is of no concern, it happens to everyone undergoing a hair transplant. The grafts heal quicker if they are exposed to the air. Most clinics give patients an antibiotic solution or cream to gently apply over the donor and recipient areas for the next few days. Further crusting is likely in the next three days, but you should not wash your hair with shampoo until after the third day.
In general, you will have a follow-up appointment to see Dr. Jane the day after the procedure. She and her staff will examine the wound site and the grafts to make sure they are all in place, correctly orientated, and that they have not been pushed in too deeply as this can cause problems with healing. The area is usually fairly crusty and bloody.
It is usually washed gently with a sterile solution using cotton tipped swabs and gauze pads. The hair may then actually be shampooed very gently at the office, combed, and dried. With this done, usually the grafts are pretty well hidden unless you look closely. You will not be given another bandage unless you still have some bleeding.
A loose fitting cap or hat may be the answer if you want to stop anyone from seeing the new hair transplants in the first three days or so. Try to find a hat with holes in it to avoid heat build up under the hat. However, a hat or cap is only to be used when absolutely necessary. You grafts will heal much quicker and better if they are open to the air, but avoid getting sunburnt as this will hinder the healing process.
Most patients develop some mild swelling for 1-4 days after the operation. For some Patients this can last for upto a week or so. In a very few cases the swelling can become very bad such that the individual is unable to open their eyes properly. Sleeping in a sitting position or sleeping at a 45 degree angle can help reduce the swelling.
A bag of frozen peas or similar applied to the swelling can also help reduce it. The frozen peas/ice should not be directly applied to the implants, rather apply it to your forehead. In the first 1-2 weeks there is an increased chance of infection. You should minimize this by avoiding dirty environments and polluted air as much as possible. Don’t go swimming in public pools or dirty water for at least two weeks after the implant procedure.
You use Hibiclens( antiseptic soap) or antibiotic ointment to the donor and recipient areas to help limit the chances of infection.
You can start washing your hair gently after two to three days. Normally it is better (more gentle) to do the washing in a sink rather than under the shower head. It also helps to soak the crusting a little with the water before shampooing to help dissolve the crusts. After gentle washing, allow your hair to air dry.
Avoid hair dryers and especially hot hair dryers. If you do any exercise or live in a hot climate where you perspire a lot then you need to wash your hair as soon as possible after sweating. Bacteria grow in moist conditions so sweating increases the chances of developing an infection. Most clinics suggest washing your hair every day so that the crusting can be removed fairly quickly.
1st Week after your Hair Transplant
For the strip method, permanent sutures need to be removed from the donor site. Usually, an appointment is used 7 to 10 days after the surgical procedure for their removal.
1 week follow-up visit should be made to check the healing process, and it is essential to keep these appointments. These visits will allow us to make sure that the incisions are healing properly, and to monitor any potential complications.
The crusting over and around the grafts should start to fall of 1-3 weeks after the procedure. The transplanted hair follicles will usually shed their hair from 2-6 weeks after the hair implantation. The transplantation procedure involved cutting off their nutritional supply for a few hours. This shock to the hair follicle usually sends then into a telogen resting state.
The hair fibers the follicles were growing gets shed over the subsequent few weeks after the surgery. It is almost inevitable and there isn’t much you can do about it. New hair growth will begin to be visible from about 10 weeks after surgery. Not all grafts will begin growing hair at the same time so don’t worry if the initial hair growth looks a bit patchy. This is normal.
As hair only grows at a rate of at most 0.35mm a day, it will take time for the hair to grow long enough for you to comb and style it properly. By 6 months after the surgery the hair should be growing well enough for you to gauge the result of the transplant, though it will be 9 months after the surgery before the full effect will be realized.
The hair fiber that initially grows in the first few months may be duller and more fizzy than normal. However, the follicles should settle down and start making better quality hair fiber by 14 months after the procedure.
* All patients are actual patients of our practice who have provided consent to display online. Readers should understand that results do vary and not all individuals achieve the results depicted here.
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