Hair Transplant Timeline

Hair Transplant Timeline in Gurgaon

Hair transplant is a very commonly performed procedure which helps in restoring not only hair but also confidence and self-image. Due to technological advances, the results of hair transplant have become exponentially better with time. 

A successful hair transplant is not just a simple day-procedure but a multifactorial interplay of various factors like type of baldness to donor area availability, from procedure preference to technical expertise, from time available to cost per follicle unit and so on. It is essential for an optimum result, that a well thought timeline is planned.  After the initial consult with an expert, a timeline of procedure is set along with other essential aspects. 

Pre-transplant preparation 

Every medical procedure begins with a professional consult with an expert and a detailed medical history taking to ensure that the patient is fit for the procedure. Once that has been established, there are certain prerequisites that need to be met for a successful execution of the plan. 

As per the medical history, if applicable, certain medications need to be stopped pre procedure to avoid any kind of complications. The surgeon should be notified of all the allergies and any and all ongoing medications by the patient to help him better understand individual physiology and customize the treatment. For example, Iso-tre-ti-noin, a very common medication for treatment of acne vulgaris needs to be stopped at least 6 months before. Any medication which affects blood coagulative properties like blood thinners, certain supplements like Vit E and Omega 3 fatty acids, certain ayurvedic supplements like Arnica need to be stopped atleast 10 – 14 days before surgery to avoid any risk of excessive bleeding. Any form of steroid medications needs to be stopped and patient has to abstain from any form of tobacco and alcohol consumption well in advance before the surgery. 

As the procedure is planned under local anesthesia, the surgeon usually advises regarding pre-operative preparation which may include some medications to be taken day before surgery. It is always advisable to have a good night’s sleep the day before surgery and start the day with a light breakfast. Avoid consumption of caffeine or any kind of physical workout as it may affect vital parameters of body.

Post-transplant care

Once the procedure is done, the day is counted as Day 0 and instructions are provided regarding medications, hair care and general precautions. Post-transplant it is not uncommon for the surgeon to prescribe a course of oral antibiotics to counter any infection risk. Prescribed painkillers help in not only making the post procedure recovery smoother but also help in reducing the swelling due to their additional anti-inflammatory properties. To avoid any desiccation or drying of transplanted hair follicles special care instructions are provided regarding the care of both the recipient area and the donor area. Along with medications it is essential to practice precaution during the early period like avoiding exercise or aggressive physical activities during the initial period of transplant. It is always advisable to keep the area protected from the environmental insults during the initial days of transplant. There is some associated swelling during the initial week which may gravitate down to forehead and eyebrows which settles down completely as the time passes. Similar to the preparatory phase, it is advisable not to consume tobacco in any form like smoking/ chewing as it decreases the blood flow to the scalp. This decreases chances of graft take, increases chances of scarring and infection. One must remember that all the post procedure advise cannot be a cookbook recipe type standard format and needs to be customized for every individual. 

In case of FUE, the donor dressing is removed on 2nd post-operative day but in case of FUT it is usually kept longer. First hair wash is usually supervised and done by an expert. It is not uncommon for patients to see a lot of scabs over the grafted area but they usually shed within first 10-14 days with adequate care and handling leaving a stubble like appearance. In case of FUT, stitches are removed on 10th post-operative day. In addition to care of transplanted follicles, one must make sure that their nutritional profile remains optimum to provide all essential. It often needs supplementation in form of topical application medicines and multivitamins to encourage a healthy growth. A very promising additional therapy known as P-R-P or plate-let rich pla-sma therapy is often advised as a growth booster for the transplanted as well as native hair to improve the quality manifold. It includes harvesting of plate-lets from patients own blood and processing it further into a concentrate rich in growth factors which is injected directly into the scalp to augment the growth. It’s a multiple session-based therapy which requires a periodic visit to the center for both follow up and for the procedure as decided by the treating surgeon. All these combined modalities help in achieving the best possible result.

Post transplant patients may experience slight numbness or tingling due to superficial nerve injury during the procedure while making slits for hair follicle implantation. This sensation settles with time in 3–6 months once the nerve endings regrow and reconnect. In some patients there may be an issue with ingrown hair as the new hair tries to find its way out. They usually do not require any active treatment unless there is associated redness or white pustular formation which may indicate infection and demand immediate treatment. 

Any kind of cosmetic product application is not advisable for first 10–14 days. Any application of any hair product needs thorough cleansing at the end of the day using a gentle cleanser. Any coloring of hair is not advisable till end of 1st month. Once the graft take is complete, the grafter hair can be treated like native hair and can be coloured or treated as per desire.

Hair transplant timeline

A basic outlook of how things are going to proceed post-transplant is outlined below to help understand the timeline. 

  • Day 0 – day of surgery
  • Day 1 – prescribed medicines need to be started along with topical hair care
  • Day 2 – FUE:  donor area dressing removed
  • Day 4-6 – first supervised hair wash is planned along with hair care instructions provided for further care
  • Day 10 – 15 – scab shedding of transplanted area
  • 1st month - small hair is visible but some shedding starts by 3rd week in a process known as anagen effluvium and may continue well upto 6-8 weeks.This causes shedding of only transplanted hair in 90% cases but the roots remain.

The regrowth starts by 10th – 12th week. Initially it is a fine growth but as the length increases, so does the girth. 

  • 2nd & 3rd month – shedding is prominent and grafted area may look completely empty giving a false sense of graft loss but rest assured it is a part of the hair life cycle post-transplant. 
  • 4th month – regrowth starts as fine hair which increase in length and circumference with time.
  • 6th month – growth is considerably visible and gives an impression of acceptable coverage and keeps on progressing further till 12 months. 

The above-mentioned timeline is essential to help set the expectations correctly and not give into untimely conclusions regarding the success of a procedure. Hair transplant procedures demand a lot of after care and patience on the part of patient as well as the treating doctor and a well-defined plan with a clear itinerary can help set the optimum pace for the events to come and a smooth journey. 

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