You’ve put a lot of energy and preparation into planning your hair restoration procedure. It’s the big day and you’re excited about your skilled hair restoration surgeon preparing and placing grafts artistically for a natural and undetectable result! The big day comes and the procedure is complete. It’s the morning after…and now what?
The healing or post op care period after a hair restoration procedure is equally important for your results as the day of the event. However, the quality of that result will be affected during the immediate two weeks following treatment, and over the course of the next year as you experience complete wound healing.
During an ultra refined follicular unit hair transplant, an incision(s), or “wound”, is created in the scalp to extract donor grafts that are then placed into smaller incisions known as recipient sites. Effective wound healing requires some fundamental steps by the patient at home in the days immediately following:
- Moisture balance should be maintained – Keep the area moist, without being too wet or too dry. The GraftCyte Kit provided post procedure includes soothing compresses and a spritz infused with copper peptides that aid in healing and keep the area moisturized.
- Keep swelling to a minimum – Sleep at a 45 degree angle, slightly propped up for the first 3 nights post procedure to help speed healing. Taking an anti-inflammatory or pain medication prescribed by the Doctor will help minimize swelling and irritation. A bag of frozen peas or cold pack really feels soothing to the donor area during healing.
- Avoid exercise – You have an excuse from your Doctor to skip the gym! Vigorous exercise can create donor tension. Proper moisture balance and reduction of tension reduces scarring.
- Consider ACell+PRP – As part of your procedure, ACell affects tissue regeneration. ACell is an Extracellular Matrix that supports the remodeling stage of wound healing.
- Feed the follicle – Applying Minoxidil (Rogaine) to the scalp increases blood flow and thereby enhances nutrient delivery to the follicle. Using Tricomin Shampoo and Conditioner along with Follicle Spray in the months following surgery will continue feeding the grafts and the native hair. Laser therapy in the form of a Laser Comb also activates increase scalp circulation and follicular nutrition. Malnutrition can interfere with healing.
The experience and judgment of your surgeon will impact the result of your procedure as well. Your surgeon will consider using techniques that will minimize tissue damage, transplant graft numbers within the optimal limits of healing, and use harvesting and suture techniques that minimize scarring. Healing is an important part of any procedure.
Post Op Care for ACell + PRP
ACell + PRP injection therapy has a relatively quick recovery period due its less invasive nature compared to surgical restoration. Immediately after treatment, be aware of your head in space. No really! Because your scalp may remain numb for several hours after the injections it will feel like you’re wearing a helmet. This increases the likelihood of bumping your head against something. All scalp sensation will return to normal within a few hours of leaving the office.
Don’t be afraid to take medication if you are having some post procedure discomfort. Most patients find an over the counter pain reliever to be adequate to keep them comfortable. In the first 12 hours after treatment, it might feel good to apply an ice pack to the scalp, and this will also help minimize swelling. Your scalp will be tender for the next 48 hours, but you can wash and style your hair normally.
You might notice some swelling in the forehead and temples. Gently massaging the area in an outward swiping motion will help resolve the swelling. This is part of the body’s natural healing process. Arnica Montana is a botanical that helps minimize bruising and swelling post procedure. You can find these tablets at most health food stores and just follow the dosage recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
To accelerate the healing process, Dr. Niedbalski recommends the following steps:
- Avoid any sustained or strenuous physical activity
- Apply ice to your forehead and scalp for 15 minutes 3-4 times a day
- Relax in your favorite recliner while you apply the ice
- Massage your forehead by sweeping your fingertips from the middle of your forehead to your temples like a squeegee. Do this 4-5 times a day
Some patients will experience increased hair shedding after ACell therapy. Shedding may begin immediately and can last for several weeks. This is a temporary reaction to the injections and the hair should re-grow in 6-8 months.
Contacting the Doctor
As part of your ongoing care after any procedure, you always have direct access to the doctor. If you have any questions post-procedure please call or email Dr. Niedbalski. He is here to help monitor your progress over time. Your first in office follow up appointment will be 4 months after the date of procedure. If you would like to connect with Dr. Niedbalski prior to your first scheduled follow up, he is available to you.