Dr. Bishan Mahadevia's - Latest Tips and Resources

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

POST OPERATIVE RECOVERY

Dear friend this is a very useful question for all those who want to undergo HT to be answered. I give you a calendar of recovery and for resuming various activities: The following table is the general guideline for the anticipated course for the average patient undergoing Hair Transplantation.

Time after HT

Progress & Recovery

Activity possible or required

Day 1 Immediately after surgery

Heavy headedness, mild headache or rarely momentary giddiness.

Need some pain killer.

Grafted site may ooze some blood.

Grafted and the donor site needs to be washed gently after 4 to 5 hours with baby shampoo and spray of clean water.

Can comb the hair carefully with the wide toothed comb.

A short walk, watching TV etc.

Go to the sun with a cap on for 2-3 months

Eat every thing that you like.

Sleep on the back; avoid sleeping on sides or on tummy.

Sit at 45 degree angle with the back and the head bent backwards.

Avoid “yes” & “No” neck movements of neck.

No Tobacco; smoking (healing and hair growth problems) or alcohol.

Avoid hand kerchief or Bandana on the recipient.

Passive sex (masturbation) is ok

Day 2

Some soreness, tightness and numbness. Need some pain killers

Hair Oil can be used ( may even help to soften the scabs)

Can use ice packs for 2-3 days on forehead to avoid swelling

Day 3-4

Soreness begins to disappear. Occasional pain killers needed.

Some numbness may continue

Scabbing is largely gone if properly washed. Moderate redness may be present.

Some swelling may appear on forehead.

Hair transplant grafts should have firmly set in and humidity/sweating should not affect them

Active Sex is Ok now

1 week

Soreness is generally gone.

Occasionally some numbness persists.

Redness is minimal to absent.

Swelling is usually gone.

Scabs start separating& the hair may also fall along with the scab but the graft is taken by the body.

Can start full aerobic exercise ( walk, run, yoga etc but no sit ups, pull ups or weight lifting)

10-12 days

Grafts are now well incorporated in the body and it is ok to remove the scabs by rubbing during the bath

2 weeks

Looks and feels like a 4-day-old beard. Sutures begin to absorb. Discomfort is gone.

Hair cut, colour, style, use of relaxer or bleaching etc is possible provided the wounds are healed and the scabs are gone. Sports can be started.

Concealers like Toppik can be used and Non comedogenic Sun screen lotion can be used to protect scalp

Scalp massage is possible now

1 month

Transplanted hair is shed as the follicles enter a dormant phase.

Knots at the ends of the absorbable sutures fall off.

Can start weight lifting, pull ups, or sit ups. Sun bathing,

3-6 Months

Transplanted hair begins to grow first as very fine hair.

Any residual numbness in the donor area is generally gone.

Scalp exercise to facilitate the 2nd Hair Transplant session can be started now.

8 months

Transplanted hair becomes combable or groomable but transplant appears thin as hair continues to grow and thicken. Slight textural change in hair is occasionally present.

It may be possible now to go for 2nd session of transplant now

1 year

expect over 95% of the grafts to have grown

1-2 year

There may be additional fullness during the second year. Any textural change in hair usually returns to normal

Usual Time of Recovery and Resuming of activities:

Pain, discomfort or tightness in the donor area: 2-5 days

Swelling: Immediate swelling of anaesthesia disappears after few hours but the post operative swelling although less common these days may appear after 24 hours and usually disappears in 3-5 days

Numbness: the head lasts because of anaesthesia for few more hours after surgery but numbness above the stitches may last from 1-12 months.

Scabs: by regular cleaning usually gets cleared by 3-7 days if it is there it can be removed by rubbing during bath after 12 days

Sun Exposure of scalp is avoided for 2-3 months by use of cap/ cover or Sun block

Passive sex is possible even from day 1 and active sex after 2-3 day is Ok

Avoid smoking for 3-6 months

Walking is ok from day one

Aerobic exercise (walk, run, yoga etc but no sit ups, pull ups or weight lifting) after 1 week

Weight lifting after 1 month

Hair cut, colour, style, use of relaxer or bleaching etc is possible after 2 weeks provided the wounds are healed and the scabs are gone

Grafted hairs will fall some along with the scabs and the rest by 1 to 2 months

New hairs start growing by 3-6 months and Transplanted hair becomes combable or groomable but transplant appears thin as hair continues to grow and thicken. Slight textural change in hair is occasionally present. There may be additional fullness during the second year. Any textural change in hair usually returns to normal

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