You will have been given a set of instructions to follow before your surgery. These may vary according to the type of procedure, e.g. follicular unit transplantation (FUT) but whatever form they take they must be adhered to.
They may include the following:
- Stop smoking at least 24 hours before surgery. Smoking can affect wound healing and also affects your recovery so stop or if you are unable to then put it temporarily on hold until after your surgery.
- Do not have alcohol in the three days before your surgery. It is better if you have your last alcoholic drink a week before your surgery.
- Don’t have a haircut before your surgery. It is important to let the donor area grow so that there is enough for the transplant. Plus, it will cover the stitches following your surgery.
- Massage your scalp about a month or two weeks before your surgery. Do this for a minimum of 10 minutes per day or a maximum of 30 minutes if possible. This will help to soften the skin and improve the skin tone. It will also get the blood flowing in that area.
- You will have to take medication such as Minoxidil (trade names Regaine, Rogaine) before surgery although this depends upon the degree of hair loss. This may not be required if the surgery is confined to the vertex (crown) of your head. You may be advised to take antibiotics beforehand to prevent the risk of infection. These may also be prescribed after the operation.
- If you are over a certain age, for example 45 and above then some clinics may ask you to undergo tests such as an ECG beforehand. You may also have a blood test.
- Stop taking aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medication two weeks before your surgery.
- Avoid taking anti-depressants, beta-blockers and blood thinning drugs two weeks before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with a list of what medications you can and cannot take beforehand.
- Stop taking any multivitamin/mineral supplements or herbal supplements such as Gingko Biloba two weeks before surgery.
What happens after the surgery?
You will be given a set of post-surgery instructions to follow on the day of your operation.
It is a good idea to book some time off from work following this surgery. Your head will be sore and swollen and there will probably be some pain so allow yourself time to recover from this and to let the treated site heal.
Try and arrange this before you go for your operation.
As regards the hair transplant surgery this depends upon which method will be used. There is more than one technique for transplanting hair and these are discussed individually in our hair transplant surgery methods section.
Each method includes a description of the procedure, the benefits and the risks.