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CARE AFTER A HAIR TRANSPLANT (dos & donts):

Why the first 12 hours after a Hair Transplant are Crucial

The procedure is done and it is time for the clinic to close and for you to return home or to the hotel where you are staying. You are tired and a wee bit sleepy. Cleaning has been done, the doctor has finally inspected your donor and recipient areas and the bandages have been changed. You have collected the medications for tonight, and the driver is waiting for you to chaperone you and drive you to where you are staying.

You are in a new environment and not doing things which are otherwise routine for you in your comfort zone. So you can make mistakes. To make matters worse for you, your wife may be with you and may have taken over your command. Though you are not being nagged, she is in charge once again. Given the circumstances, you may do unexpected things under these changed circumstances. Therefore to remain cautious and alert at all times on the evening after the hair transplant.

Though the care has been explained to you in detail, please also go through this video:

5 OBJECTIVES OF CARE IN FIRST 12 HOURS:

  1. Avoiding trauma.
  2. Preventing swelling or edema.
  3. Keeping grafts well hydrated
  4. Prevention of accumullation of oozing serum around grafts.
  5. Keeping infection at bay.

AVOIDING TRAUMA:

  1. Do not wear a shirt that is not front open after the hair transplant. A vest is a big NO-NO. These can displace grafts in hundreds and therefore we advise all our patients to get a front open shirt. If you did not heed the advice, please go home in clinic dress.
  2. Do not bend forwards. Slip on shoes, or just slippers are ideal for the day of the procedure. This is because bending forwards increases blood flow and can dislodge grafts. Moreover, excessive bending forwards can cause swelling around the face.
  3. Do not adjust the bandana or cap time and again once you have worn it. Do not pat down the bandana. It is meant to not touch your recipient area.
  4. While entering the car and especially if you are tall, make sure you do not hit your head. This is a common accident and is disastrous for the procedure. The grafts that come out get infected and hence cannt be placed back in. Grafts are just sitting in the recipient sites, they have no hold since the blood clot has not yet formed. Moreover dislodged grafts can cause brisk bleeding.
  5. Buckle up when in the car. Sitting alongside the driver in the front seat is advisable since this seat can be reclined for safety. Back seats have less space between your head and the roof.
  6. If you are not opting for our drop service, make sure the driver does not drive fast and does not hit a rough patch t high speed.
  7. Do not drive yourself. You may be sleepy and hence not attentive.
  8. Stay away from children and pets for 3 days.

ON REACHING YOUR ROOM:

  1. Take off the bandana from behind forward as has been explained. Inspect the planted area in the mirror.
  2. Start to spray immediately and keep doing this every 20 minutes till you go to bed.
  3. If staying with relatives and friends excuse yourself from excessive mingling. This becomes awkward when you are meeting your relatives or friends after a long time.
  4. Switch on the AC if it is summer time.

ON REACHING YOUR ROOM:

  1. Take off the bandana from behind forward as has been explained. Inspect the planted area in the mirror.
  2. Start to spray immediately and keep doing this every 20 minutes till you go to bed.
  3. If staying with relatives and friends excuse yourself from excessive mingling. This becomes awkward when you are meeting your relatives or friends after a long time.
  4. Switch on the AC if it is summer time.

WHY IS 20 MINUTE INTERVAL SPRAYING ESSENTIAL?

  1. To hydrate the grafts since the graft is partly sticking out. Grafts are not placed flush skin to skin to avoid --------. We do not want this portion that is abutting above the skin to dessicate.
  2. To wash out the serum that is oozing out from along the perimeter of the graft as the clot forms. Accumulation of dried serum causes increased crust formation and is also home to bacteria since the recipient site is left open.

DIET:

  1. If your temple points have been worked upon, grafts are lying close to your chewing muscle. If you hew on food, they can bleed. In this situation, only semi-solid or fluid diet should be taken. But Fluid Diet does not mean Beer!
  2. For those whose temples have not been restored, they can eat anything.
  3. No alcohol, smoking, marijuana, etc.

PREVENTING SWELLING :

  1. Hotels may provide a reclining chair or couch on request. If you are more comfortable on the bed, prop yourself up against the bead-stead with 3 hard pillows or 6 soft pillows. If crown work has been done, use a neck pillow to support the recipient area so the crown stays off the pillow and sheets. A rolled up towel also works well.
  2. The posture you need to place your head in is propped up in bed, leaning back 60 degrees.
  3. Do not animate facial muscles like too much talking, laughing.
  4. Avoid unnecessary coughing and sneezing as much as possible.
  5. Keep your phone away in silent mode.
  6. If you have to, you can be on whatsapp texting people but the phone should be lifted up not the head to read messages.

Once you get up from sleep, and it is the crack of dawn, you are much safer than what you were when you went to sleep.

Congratulations, half the battle is won!

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