One of the main factors when researching hair transplant methods is the recovery time and what they should expect in the different stages of healing. If a hair transplant surgery, in this case an FUE hair transplant, is performed by a trained and experienced surgeon the recovery of the surgery will typically be straightforward and simple.
Right after the surgery, the patient may experience some numbness, itchiness and minimal discomfort during the first couple of days of the recovery period which are the most important days due to the extreme care that the patients need to have. The average patient usually reports very minor pain after one or two days following the surgery.
If necessary, the surgeon will prescribe the patient anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the initial pain or discomfort. Keeping this in mind, the best way to reduce any possible pain or side effects and to ensure an easy recovery is by following the surgeon's post-op instructions.
The healing process of an FUE Hair Transplant procedure is usually the following:
At this point in time, the donor and recipient area are just starting to heal. The patient will most likely experience swelling and possible side-effects. It is important that the patient doesn’t perform any kind of physical activity and refrain from exposing themselves to the sun.
By the end of the first week the swelling, bleeding and general discomfort should have improved. In addition, the donor area should be fully healed (it usually takes 3-7 days). During this period the patient should not let water fall directly on the recipient area, they also need to wash their hair carefully and use a special keulal shampoo.
Patients will notice that their newly transplanted hair will shed, this is completely normal, the hair follicles will start to regrow a few months after the surgery. During this period it’s important that the patient doesn’t swim or do any kind of strenuous exercise. They should also avoid vigorous combing and direct exposure to the sunlight.
Transplanted hair might continue to shed a month after the surgery. Patients will be able to resume their daily activities and even go back to swimming, they may also start reintroducing their own hair care products.
At this point of the recovery, most patients will notice the formation of small pimples where the surgeon inserted the transplanted follicles. They signify that new hair shafts are making their way to the surface.
This is the period during which new hair growth typically takes place. The patient's hair will have a fine texture but will thicken over time. At this point, the donor and recipient areas should be fully healed.
A year after the procedure the hair should be fully grown and the patient will be able to see the full effects of the FUE hair transplant procedure. This is a good moment to schedule a follow-up appointment with the patient’s surgeon so that they can evaluate how the healing process went.
Something to keep in mind, if the patient needs to go back to work after the procedure, 3-4 days after the surgery, it is highly recommended to avoid any physical effort, sun exposure and anything that can touch the hair grafts that were transplanted. In addition, patients must use thermal water as indicated by their surgeon and wash their hair as intructed by their surgeon.
Finally, it’s important to emphasize that the healing process and success of the surgery will depend a lot on the patient, their willingness to follow their surgeon’s post-op instructions and patience because this is a surgery that takes time for its results to be visible, results which will be completely worth it.