If you’re considering a hair transplant or restorative treatment to improve the appearance of hair, it’s density and coverage, it’s important that you’re aware of what results you can expect from the procedure and how long it will take them to come into effect. You’ll also need to know about some of the side effects of the surgery and the required aftercare to give you the optimal comfort and long-lasting look you desire. There may be a few things you’ll need to adjust during the aftercare stage, however you’ll be able to benefit from the natural looking, effective results of full hair growth in just a few months. So what does happen post-op? 
The first few days 
After the op many patients may see swelling around the forehead or around the eyes, however this usually lasts between 2-5 days, with the effects most prominent around the fourth day. You may experience itching around the transplanted area, which also subsides after a few days, though scratching should be avoided. You’ll likely be given medication by your consultant to reduce the swelling. You can also use cold packs on the forehead and graft area to reduce swelling but be careful not to apply ice directly onto the skin. 
Some patients may also experience pain, soreness or discomfort after the transplant procedure, finding it difficult to sleep. Over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain killers can be used to relieve this. It’s advised for the first few days that you sleep on your back, with your head propped up on 2-3 pillows. This will help with the swelling and prevent any injury to the affected area. 
You’ll be given a sterile water solution to spray over the area after the operation to clean the scalp and prevent infection. Be sure to drink plenty of water and get sufficient rest to help the healing process. 
What happens next 
You’ll notice that the graft sites will contain small dot scabs, which tend to fall off in the first week or two, with a small bit of hair. This is normal and you should leave picking the scabbing to prevent any infection. You will need to have a check-up around 10-14 days after the surgery to get your suture removed on the transplant sites. 
You can expect that you’ll gain a normal appearance within 7-15 days post-op although there may be a slight redness visible. Noticeable hair regrowth will occur from around 3 months and patients can benefit from full hair regrowth in up to 18 months. Results from the operation will take some patience, yet you’ll be able to benefit from natural looking, healthy revived hair for years. 
What to avoid 
Washing or disrupting the grafts for 48 hours post-op. After two days you can carefully wash your hair with shampoo in warm water. Doing this daily for 2 weeks will help to reduce scabbing. 
Bending over or carrying out any heavy lifting for at least 48 hours. 
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen or blood thinners for at least 3 days after the hair transplant procedure as they may cause excessive bleeding. Alcohol will also cause this so it should not be consumed during this time. 
Although you can go for walks or engage in light activity, avoid moderate exercises such as running, cycling or weight lifting for the first week or so. Contact sports should not be carried out for 2 weeks after the procedure. 
Swimming pools or bathing in water containing chlorine should be avoided for at least 2 weeks as well. 
Refrain from using a hair dryer in the first 2 weeks, or use the cool setting. 
It’s necessary to avoid sun exposure for the first 3 months after hair transplant surgery – use sunscreen or wear a loose fitting hat or cover up. 
Taking precautions such as these will help you to make the most out of your investment and ensure that you get the maximum results from your hair restoration. For more information on the procedure or to discuss the options for a hair transplant, please call the clinic on 0800 0443917 to book your appointment. 
Tagged as: hair transplants
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