A hair transplant is the best way to get rid of baldness; however, many candidates for this procedure wonder about the pain. Is a hair transplant painful?
Here is everything you need to know!
Is a hair transplant painful? The importance of sedation
As with any other surgical procedure, the medical team ensures the patient is comfortable and not in pain. Doctors perform hair transplants under local anesthesia as the intervention area is cutaneous.
However, the injections for the local anesthesia are excruciating, so it is necessary to sedate the patients before injecting the product. Sedation is the only way to a painless hair transplant surgery.
Reputable clinics always include sedation in their surgery protocol, as well as the presence of an anesthetist. However, many clinics care more about making money than their patients’ wellbeing and charge more for sedation. Better stay away from those clinics. Sedation at extra cost shows that it is not a doctor who performs the surgery but an assistant with unclear medical education without the presence of an anesthetist.
Is a hair transplant painful? The technique matters
In a matter of post-surgery pain, the technique of the hair transplant is crucial. The less invasive the method is, the less it will be painful. FUT, a very invasive and outdated procedure, was extremely painful as the surgeon cut a strip of flesh from the patient’s head. Hopefully, FUT is no longer performed and let the way to FUE.
FUE is less invasive than its ancestor FUT. The strip method led to Follicular Unit Extraction: the surgeon extracts the follicles one by one. There is not much pain in the donor area. The issue with FUE is the tiny incisions the surgeon opens to implant the grafts in the recipient area. Open wounds lead to necrosis of the skin and some swelling.
The best hair transplant method for the less painful and shortest post-surgery period is DHI. DHI stands for Direct Hair Implantation; this method is the most modern hair transplant technique available. The surgeon implants the grafts directly with a “CHOI pen” implanter tool. There is no incision, so no open wounds, significantly reducing the risk of infection, pain, and swelling. With DHI, there is no necrosis of the skin and the post-surgery recovery period is very fast.
Is a hair transplant painful? What to know?
With either FUE or DHI, the patient takes medicines after the surgery to avoid pain as the local anesthesia is fading away. If the first night after the surgery is not painful, thanks to the medication, patients usually do not sleep very well as they cannot lie in bed. They must sleep in a sitting position as the donor, and the recipient areas must not touch the bedding. Doctors advise patients to take one day off to rest after the surgery.
After the second night, most patients feel good and can go back to work.
Patients must remain careful in the first ten days after the surgery to not rub or touch the grafted area as it is healing. Patients must stay away from physical activity and sweating during the healing time to avoid pulling out the grafts or causing an infection.
Some patients may notice some swelling in the recipient area. This phenomenon is due to the fluids injected during the surgery. Doctors advise patients to wear a tennis headband days after the surgery to avoid the swelling going down to the forehead and eyes. Drinking lots of water is also an excellent way to help the body to drain the node. Even if this swelling goes down to the face, there is no medical risk other than temporary discomfort.