As with any procedures that require surgery, hair transplants, no matter how common they have become, are not fail-safe. There are common side effects that as a patient, you need to prepare for. However, side effects vary from one patient to another. So, what are the characteristic side effects of a hair transplant?
Characteristics Of A Hair Transplant
A hair transplant surgery is an intrusive procedure that is performed under local anaesthesia. If you consider having this surgical treatment done, it is important to talk to your doctor about all the side effects that you are likely to experience well in advance. There are side effects you are likely to experience immediately, while others may appear later. Some of the immediate effects you are likely to encounter are redness of the scalp, tenderness and swelling for the first couple of weeks. As you continue to heal, the area where the hair was transplanted and the donor site will also scab over. This process may tempt you to touch or itch, but you can end up dislodging the hair transplants. Whatever you do – DO NOT scratch! If need be, wash the hair using a non-perfumed shampoo to alleviate the itching. You will also experience some numbness post-surgery, and this can last for a couple of days, but it slowly dissipates as your body adjusts.
Due to the numerous tiny micro incisions made during grafting, which are nearly impossible to see, the risk of infection is high. Be gentle on your scalp and maintain extremely high levels of hygiene. You will also notice that you will shed the new hair 2-3 weeks post-surgery. This should not alarm you. It is totally normal as the transplanted hair grafts are adjusting to their new location. You will begin to notice new hair growth between 4-6 weeks after surgery. Other side effects you need to look out for include post-operative hiccups or cough, which can last for 2-3 days, and in rare cases, thinning of pre-existing hair which is temporary.
When Should I Raise Alarm Post Surgery?
What we have stated above are the most common side effects of a hair transplant. However, if you fail to follow all the post-operative instructions from your doctor, you risk suffering further complications. We also think it is important to highlight at this point that you need to carry out your research on the hair transplant clinic you visit. Ensure that the clinic and surgeons are licensed to carry out such procedures and have experience in the field of hair transplants to avoid complications, research we can help you with.
So, when do you need to raise the alarm? If you notice a yellow or brown patch on your scalp where the transplant was carried out or an area that has no hair post-surgery, you may be suffering from Necrosis. Necrosis is rare and considered one of the most dangerous side effects of a hair transplant procedure. It is caused by the death of the skin tissues and cells under the scalp. It is treatable but will set you back a couple of bucks as you will need to undergo other surgeries. Other complications that you should look out for include, an unnatural hairline, poor growth after transplant and if the wound splits open or is not healing, known as ‘wound dehiscence’.
Ways of Managing Side Effects of a Hair Transplant
Side effects are a normal part of the healing process after any procedure. There are several ways you could minimise the side effects of a hair transplant. To manage the swelling of your scalp, you could try sleeping with your head upright to avoid irritation from the pillow. You may need to change some lifestyle choices like smoking which could affect the healing process. Additionally, you must follow the prescribed medication given post-surgery to enable you to get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible. Let us help you find a clinic that best suits your budget and get a free hair assessment report!