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Hair Transplant

Hair Transplant 101—What to Expect Before, During, and After the Procedure

If you’ve been concerned about thinning hair or are experiencing male or female pattern baldness, you may wonder whether hair restoration surgery is a viable corrective option. According to International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery statistics, of the more than 700,000 hair restoration surgeries performed globally in 2021, 68.2% of patients achieved desired results with one surgery, while another 28.6% reported satisfactory results after two surgeries. A less than 3.3% dissatisfaction rate after two surgeries suggests that hair restoration surgeries are effective.

Southwest Florida-area residents contemplating hair restoration options should consult with nationally renowned hair loss expert Dr. Michael F. Wisiorek at Naples Plastic Surgery. With expertise in all surgical hair restoration techniques, Dr. Wisiorek can strategize a restoration plan to improve your self-image and boost your self-confidence. To help you prepare for your meeting with our hair specialist, here is a primary on what to expect before, during, and after your hair restoration surgery:

Pre-Procedure Phase—Initial Consultation

Your pathway to successful hair transplant surgery begins with the initial consultation. During this consultation, Dr. Wisiorek analyzes your medical history, hair loss, and the extent and health of remaining hair and assesses the best options for successful hair transplantation. The two primary transplantation options offered by Dr. Wisiorek at Naples Plastic Surgery are:

  • Strip Harvesting—Dr. Wisiorek removes a six- to 10-inch strip of follicle-laden skin from the back of the head, divided into smaller one- to four-hair follicle grafts surgically implanted into balding areas of the scalp. The strip incision is closed and sutured so that the surrounding hair will cover the scarring.
  • Follicular unit extraction (FUE)—Dr. Wisiorek individually removes hair follicles from hairier parts of the scalp or beard for transplantation into the balding area. Instead of causing scarring, the procedure creates tiny dots where follicles were removed, but the surrounding hair easily obscures them.

Depending on the strength and health of your hair follicles, Dr. Wisiorek may order a course of pre-surgery vitamins, supplements, and anti-swelling/inflammatory medications.

Day of the Procedure—Pre-Surgery Preparations

On the day of your surgery, Dr. Wisiorek will request that you wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner but not use any other hair products. Depending on the procedure, your head will need to be partially or wholly shaven to expose the natural direction of hair movement on the scalp. This helps the doctor make precise incisions without damaging follicles and ensures the natural hair flow of the transplants.

The final step before the doctor begins the procedure is the application of a local anesthetic on the hair follicle donating and receiving sites. While the anesthetic allows you to remain awake during the process, it completely masks any pain.

During the Procedure—Duration and Breaks

Depending on the extent of hair loss and type of transplant procedure, hair transplantation surgery typically takes about a half day on average. However, strip harvesting is generally less time-consuming. Given the duration of the surgery, you and Dr. Wisiorek may need to take periodic short breaks. While the doctor will ask about your comfort level on occasion, never hesitate to advise him if any discomfort should any arise.

Post-Procedure Recovery—Aftercare

As an outpatient procedure, you can return home immediately after the surgery, but most patients schedule a day or two of recovery time off work. You will likely experience mild pain a few days after the procedure, but over-the-counter medications can ease this. You will also experience scalp itchiness for a couple of weeks after the operation, indicating that the tissue is recovering.

Dr. Wisiorek will provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions that will help optimize hair transplant results. These instructions include:

  • Careful hair washing with moisturizing shampoo and gentle pat drying.
  • Avoid touching the recipient follicle site(s).
  • Sleeping on the back with an elevated head.
  • Wearing a loose-fitting hat when outside to protect against potential UV damage.
  • Limited exercise and physical activity for 10 days after the operation.
  • Two weeks of post-op alcohol avoidance.

Long-Term Care and Follow-Up

Though results will be immediately apparent, the transplanted hair usually falls out due to shock within three to four weeks of the transplantation. New hair will start to regrow and take on a normal appearance in the ensuing months. Dr. Wisiorek typically schedules follow-up appointments at four- and six-month intervals to monitor hair growth progress and assess the success of the transplant.

Both hair transplant procedures provide long-lasting results that will continue growing hair for your lifetime, though you may experience ongoing loss of the original hair. With touch-up transplantation and platelet-rich plasma therapy, Dr. Wisiorek can help mitigate this continuing loss.

Consult with Naples Plastic Surgery for Your Hair Restoration

Hair restoration surgery is an effective procedure for recovering the youthful appearance and self-confidence provided by a full head of hair. While an outpatient procedure, fully understanding what to expect before, during, and after the transplant surgery helps enhance your confidence about the process. Entering any surgery with a positive attitude helps optimize results. To learn more about your hair restoration options in Southwest Florida, contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.

Naples Plastic Surgery is Proud to Serve Patients from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and All Over the Country!

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