Is Hair Transplant a Painful Process?

29 April, 2021 | Hair Transplant

Initial reports from the American Academy of Dermatology suggest that over 320 million people in the U.S struggle with premature balding and persistent hair loss. The number is way more in people across the world. Premature hair loss, and balding affect the physical as well as the emotional wellness of both men and women.

However, the advancements in medical technologies and techniques have proven beneficial in restoring the signs of hair loss and also boost one’s confidence. Hair transplant surgery is one of the leading cosmetic procedures done by an experienced cosmetologist by transferring the hair follicles to the balding sites on the scalp.

While the procedure has been in practice for years now, more and more individuals are afraid of undergoing the surgery, primarily because of the myths encircling it. Like any surgical procedure, even a hair transplant inflicts a bearable amount of pain, however, it is not too drastic as imagined by many people.

Here, we will be unfurling the truths about the hair transplant procedure and discuss whether it is actually a painful process or not.

Table of Contents

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye

  1. What Happens During a Hair Transplant Procedure?
  2. Is Hair Transplant Painful?
  3. What Can you Do to Reduce the Pain and Discomfort After Hair Transplants?
  4. Take Away

1. What Happens During a Hair Transplant Procedure?

A hair transplant procedure is extremely elaborative and involves a lot of steps and precautions that both the patient and the surgeon need to discuss. To ensure an easy understanding of the procedure, we have broken it down into three sections spanning from the beginning to after the successful completion of the treatment.

The surgery is often done as an outpatient treatment, wherein the patient can come into the clinic on the day of the surgery and leave within a few hours of the successful completion.

Here’s what you should know about the procedure:

Before the Procedure

  • The initiation of the hair transplant procedure starts with booking a consultation with an experienced hair transplant specialist with years of hands-on experience.
  • It is during the primary consultation that the doctor checks the pattern of your baldness and hair loss and prescribes a range of blood tests and imaging to get it done.
  • Once the reports are in, your doctor will describe everything about the procedure, the consequences, and the kind of expectations one can have from the treatment.
  • Once everything is penciled in, your specialist will give you a date for the surgery and also suggest important precautions that you need to take before the surgery.
  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or using tanning beds that can affect the texture and appearance of your skin.
  • Also, avoid consuming blood-thinning medications and take other important precautions at least a week or two before the surgery.

During the Procedure

  • Keep in mind that the actual procedure of the surgery will vary, depending on the type of hair transplant procedure that the patient is undergoing.
  • On the day of the surgery, the specialist will start the procedure by cleaning your scalp and partially shaving the area of the donor site.
  • Once the donor and recipient site is cleaned, the surgeon uses a small needle to numb the area on the scalp using local anesthesia.
  • Once the primary preparations are done, the doctor then proceeds to the actual transplantation procedure. It can go either way, depending on the type of hair transplant that one is undergoing.

In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

  • The surgeon starts by making an incision and cuts out a strip of scalp skin from the posterior part of the head.
  • Once the strip of the scalp is extracted, the incision is closed with stitches and the surgeon extracts the individual hair follicles from the extracted strip.
  • These individual grafts of hair follicles are then implanted into the recipient site on the scalp.

In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

  • The surgeon starts by extracting the individual hair follicles from the back of the scalp and separates them into grafts.
  • The extracted grafts are then implanted into the balding site by making tiny holes in the recipient site.
  • Once done, the entire area on the scalp is covered in bandages to reduce the risks of infection.

Once the surgery is done, the patient is wheeled into the recovery room and kept under observation for an hour or until their anesthesia wears off.

After the Surgery

  • After the successful completion of the surgery, the patient is given a comprehensive list of precautions and aftercare tips by the surgeon to follow over the next week to 10 days until the stitches are removed.
  • You will likely experience soreness and pain in the scalp for which the doctor will prescribe a list of anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and antibiotics to promote quicker recovery.
  • Some of the patients can return to work within 4-5 days of the surgery, however extensive physical work or strenuous activities should be avoided for at least 1-2 months.
  • You might experience your transplanted hair falling out 2-3 weeks after the procedure and that is completely normal.
  • Consult your surgeon if you notice something amiss during the recovery period.



2. Is Hair Transplant Painful?

To say that a hair transplant isn’t painful would be a lie. However, the pain isn’t as triggering and severe as many people think it would be.

Since the procedure is primarily done under local anesthesia, you might feel a minimal pricking sensation, which can be controlled with correct anesthesia techniques and icing.

To explain better, the pain is quite brief and temporary and can be controlled with proper medications.

As Dr. Gaurang Krishna explains in this video, a hair transplant procedure is a relatively painless procedure. He explains that the patients can develop mild swelling and discomfort around the forehead and below the eyes, however, all of these complications are temporary and resolve within a week after the treatment.

Further emphasizing the side effects and complications, Dr. Krishna explains that they are generally of two major categories – Avoidable and Surgery-related, all of which are treatable and cure on their own within a week or two of the procedure.

3. What Can you Do to Reduce the Pain and Discomfort After Hair Transplants?

If done the right way and under the guidance of a skilled hair transplant specialist, you will likely feel very little pain during the procedure. However, the recovery period after the procedure can inflict signs of pain that you need to get on top of.

Here’s what you can do to reduce or manage the pain:

  • Take the prescribed medications, especially the analgesics and anti-inflammatories as prescribed by the surgeon.
  • Ice the area on the scalp that is swollen or is causing discomfort.
  • Follow the recommended sleeping techniques to prevent putting excess pressure on the treated area.
  • Consume a healthy and nutritious diet to speed up the recovery procedure.

Take Away

The hair transplant procedure is not just effective but relatively painless. So, if someone is filling your ears with lies telling the procedure causes unbearable pain, you need to trust the professionals and not anyone else.

At Medlinks, we assure our patients with the best experience with their hair transplant procedure with minimal pain and optimal comfort.

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Disclaimer:The content published on this website(hairtransplantdelhi.org) is meant to spread awareness and educate the concerned patients regarding baldness and hair transplants as well as the treatment options available for baldness and hair transplant treatment in Delhi India. Any information on the website shall not be regarded as a prescription from a professional dermatologist. We recommend visiting a dermatologist in person for the right diagnosis and the treatment for any hair issues. We do not guarantee specific results as the treatments and the results vary from person to person.

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