Hair Transplant is a surgical procedure carried out under local anesthesia.
Local anesthesia consists of Lidocaine, which is the drug used for numbing by surgeons and dentists as well.
Hair Transplant anesthesia technique differs from that for dental procedures in that the experience is mild. Most people have childhood memories of pain at the dentist’s. This remains with them forever. However, you should know that the pain in hair transplant is far less if at all.
Most people would grade it as 2-3 on a scale of tell. These are the same people who grade dental-injection pain as 8-9 on the Scale of Ten.
The needle used is very tiny (31 gauge) and usually, the one most diabetics use to inject themselves with insulin.
However, anxiety before a procedure is natural. People see all sorts of videos on the procedure and come loaded with misinformation about pain. If you search google, you will find that the term ‘pain during hair transplant’ is very high on the search list and it shows us how patients are concerned about it.
To make the anesthesia technique pleasant and relatively painless, we at Darling Buds Clinic, use a combination of counter stimulation whereby, chilling of skin, vibration and pressure devices that minimise the experience using the Gateway of Pain Theory alleviate the pain through distraction which decreases the quantum of pain transmission through the spinal columns. A device called DentaVibe is my favourite during counterstimulation.
The pain that a patient feels is proportional to the speed of injection. The pressure of the anesthesia fluid delivery can be as high as 3300-660 psi in inexperienced hands. (Note your car’s tyre needs inflation at 32 psi ! ) If administered skillfully, a pressure of 6 psi or less can be achieved.
Though earlier we used The Wand or the controlled local anesthetic delivery system (CCLAD) we now feel that with experience slow injection can be given manually in the right plane which comes through feel and no technology can replace the feeling of touch an experienced surgeon has. The switch to this has not altered pain perception in any manner.
Additionally, we have a full-time anesthetist in attendance for ‘babysitting’ every case. His services are sparingly used in patients who are over-anxious about needles. Our protocol in such cases is to use Nitrous Oxide Inhalational anesthesia through a face mask. The effect lasts only as long as the injection is being administered- usually 3 minutes. This is the only form of transient sedation after which a patient can drive back home the same day.
With intravenous anesthesia, the effect lasts longer. When needed, we only use Inj. Midazolam in these select cases to make the experience worthwhile.
General anesthesia is ever used for hair transplants.
Most patients who come to us for a hair transplant have the pain factor in mind during the pre-consultation before the procedure. When reminded of their anxieties about the pain after the procedure is over, they always shrug it off with a laugh!
The 'Ugly Duckling' phase of surgical hair restoration is a euphemism for that period of the timeline of hair transplant result when it is in the healing phase of hair transplant when the crusts are present and they give an unkempt look and also when after they shed, the phase of shedding of graft hairs and later the shock loss…More
Hair Transplant is a surgical procedure and is linked to emotions and very often the patient would want to know how long it will take his grafts to grow and he will see a result. Patients are mostly impatient and for a reason. After a period of shedding that starts after 7days after the procedure and continues till 4-6 weeks,…More
A beard is in fashion today and since a hair transplant procedure has made it possible for everyone to grow a beard, these procedures are in demand. There are many circumstances in which a request for a beard hair transplant should be discouraged. These are instances when a beard hair transplant should never be done. A young boy of…More