Hello everybody. I’m Dr. Vinay for Northwestern Hair. And basically I want to cover what your recovery is like after your transplantation procedure.
Now, I like to tell people, in general, you can be back to work the next day. You’ll be fully healed in about 10 days, but let’s walk through those 10 days right now. So after your procedure, there’ll be 12 hours where you can possibly have discomfort. It is actually pretty rare for someone to have a lot of pain after the procedure. We do send you home with Tylenol, a little bit of narcotic. I tell you to take it at home, but usually by noon the next day, most people are off of it. For the first 48 hours, you do have a pretty bulky dressing on your head. It’s actually covering the donor site of where we took the hairs out of, keeping pressure over that spot. That bandage is obvious. So you might want to stay at home. We tend to do our procedures on Thursday, Fridays, for that reason.
For about five days, one-third of people may experience swelling in their face. Now, if you had transplants in the front hairline, you’re more likely to have this. If you had them just in the crown, you’re unlikely to have swelling. But this swelling comes down with gravity and it can sometimes get to the eyelid, and in the case that it does, the skin around the eyelid’s very thin and they get a little poofy. I would say like one in 30 people gets to that point of having poofy eyelids.
For five days, also, you’re sitting upright, you’re sleeping relatively upright if you had grafts anywhere near the front of your head. So sleeping’s a little bit uncomfortable. You tend to do a reclining chair or a relatively upright position in your bed.
For 10 days you’re going to have scabs develop on the area where we put hairs into. These scabs are relatively obvious unless you have hair coverage in that area. So if we put hairs into areas where you had other hair, they’re going to hide. However, if we advanced your hairline, they might be somewhat obvious. On days 10 through 14 we’re actually going to wash all those out. There’s also a 10 day period, if you got an FUE or micro FUE, that we had to buzz the back and sides of your head. If you got discrete FUE, this is not a problem, but the hair can look a little bit gnarly for 10 days. Again, on day 10 to 14, we’re going to do a fresh haircut and make that look as good as possible. We really never shave the area we put hairs into so the top is usually all fine. And we have a barber here that can make the haircut look as good as possible, but it is still shorter than most people are used to.
So that’s really recovery. It’s a 10 day process. You’re going to feel good the day after your procedure, but we have to go through 10 days of relatively kind of low grade healing. During that time activity levels are going to be moderated. So in terms of activity, you’re going to want to have a very low kind of activity level for the first two days. Just stick around the house, doing moderate things. Between days two and five, you can definitely pick up the activity. What you’re going to want to do is make sure you’re not raising your heart rate or your blood pressure too high. At day five, you can actually start to sweat. That means you can go on the elliptical or bike, but you don’t want to strain, so no extraneous weights or anything like that. On day 10, you can actually start to sweat and moderately strain. What does moderately straining mean? It means if you can do 12 to 15 reps without really struggling, the weight is probably light enough. And then at the two to three week mark, you can go do anything you like long as you’re not causing physical damage to the hairs. And at six weeks, you can do whatever.
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