Getting ready for hair transplant surgery: the essential tips to follow
September, 15 2019 | By Dr. Satinder Singh & Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
So, you have finally decided to undergo a hair transplant surgery, and you are excited about this life-changing procedure. But remember, in a hair transplant surgery, you might find the best doctor and the best clinic, but how well you follow your pre- and post-transplant instructions play a crucial role in the final outcome as well. Let’s talk about how you should prepare for the transplant, and why preparations are important:
Surgeons ask all hair loss patients to get their blood investigations and various medical tests done to determine the cause of hair fall, and whether a person is eligible for a hair transplant procedure. These will help the surgeon eliminate any illness, malnutrition, or any other possible causes of hair fall apart from genetics. It is important that the patient discusses any medical conditions they might have like diabetes or heart disease with the surgeon beforehand.
Patients over 40 might also be asked to get an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the electrical activity of the heart to determine whether it is functioning normally.Also, any allergies, skin conditions, should all be reported to the surgeon before the transplant.
There are some kinds of medicines which might affect the hair transplant and the recovery after. Patients should stop taking any anti-inflammatory medication a week or two before the procedure, or as per what the surgeon recommends. The surgeon might also put you on antibiotics if there is any infection. Antidepressants and blood thinning drugs are also to be stopped prior to the surgery but after getting consultation from the treating doctor. However, if you are being treated for a specific medical condition, your surgeon might advise you to finish your course before getting a hair transplant or to consult the treating physician for medical clearance from their side. Any medication you might be taking before the surgery should be discussed with the surgeon; this includes multi-vitamins and other supplements also.
Minoxidil, a topical, over-the-counter treatment for hair loss, which is recommended by surgeons pre- and post-surgery, is effective in the initial shedding after the transplant, and the eventual regrowth of hair. But it should be stopped around one week prior to hair transplant.
Smoking and drinking
Both smoking and drinking affect the recovery process. The nicotine present in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, resulting in a reduced capacity of blood to carry oxygen. Poor blood circulation will mean the healing process will be slower, and the crusting will stay longer, and increase the risk of scarring. It can also increase the risk of infection as the wound heals slowly.
Meanwhile, the consumption of alcohol can cause dehydration which can also reduce the healing process. It is good to give up smoking and drinking at least a week or 10 days before the surgery, and continue till the time your wound heals, the hair starts shedding, and eventually regrows. While some people might find it hard to give up smoking and drinking till the time new hair grows, it is actually very beneficial for hair transplant patients.
Take good care of your scalp and keep it clean before the surgery, wash it at least once in two-three days, and refrain from using too many hair products to avoid any buildup or dandruff. Patients should also avoid cutting or colouring of the hair before the surgery. Hair trimming is generally done at the transplant center. It is advisable not to shave beard 2 days or chest 3-4 days prior to the procedure if grafts are to be harvested from these areas also.
Following a healthy nutritious diet in days prior to the surgery can aid in recovery. Patients should eat food rich in Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Iron, Zinc, and Protein, which are all good for hair regrowth. This should be followed post-surgery as well.
On the day of the surgery, patients should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and shoes, and should be accompanied by someone. They should also find comfortable lodging for the recovery period, especially if they are travelling to another city for it. Some clinics even provide stay for a few days, which can be booked in advance. On the day of the surgery, wash your hair, have a good meal, and get enough sleep.