A List of Potential Side Effects of Hair Transplant

Although hair transplants can be a life-changing procedure, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects of hair transplant. Side effects can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include infection, crusting or scabbing of the scalp, swelling, and headaches. In rare cases, patients may also experience hair loss in the donor area.

Knowing what to expect can help you make an informed decision about whether this procedure is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common hair transplant side effects and how to deal with them.

So, keep reading to find out more.

What are the Expected Side Effects of Hair Transplant?

Even though a hair transplant is considered a safe and outpatient procedure, it’s not free of side effects. It’s normal to experience some side effects after the surgery. However, these side effects are usually mild and temporary and recovery after hair restoration surgeries normally takes between 10-14 days.

Here are some of the most common side effects to expect after a hair transplant procedure:

Swelling and Bruising

Swelling is a normal side effect after a hair transplant procedure. You will start noticing skin around the transplant site (especially on the forehead) will be swollen and tender for some time. Some people also experience bruising, though it’s not very common. These effects are caused by the surgery itself and are not indicative of a problem with the transplant.

The swelling will usually be at its peak after 3-4 days and then gradually subside within the first week.

side effects of hair transplant

What Causes Swelling After Hair Transplant?

Swelling is mainly caused by what is known as “Fluid Retention” due to the local anesthesia and serum injected into the scalp. During the operation, the anesthesiologist will inject lidocaine to numb the scalp. After that, an isotonic solution will be injected into the scalp to make it swell and make the extraction and canal opening process easier.

Eventually, the body will start releasing these fluids which lead to edema and swelling. Remember that swelling is a very normal side effect that goes down on its own and should not cause any long-term damage.

How to Reduce Swelling After Hair Transplant?

You can help reduce the swelling by:

  • Applying an ice pack to the forehead and under the eyes for 15 minutes on each area.
  • Try elevating your head while you sleep. This will help to drain any fluid that has accumulated around your incisions.
  • Avoid bending during the first week to reduce swelling.
  • Make sure not to walk for long distances. If you want to go for a walk make sure to take a rest for 15 minutes every half an hour.
  • Drink plenty of water, preferably 2 liters per day.
  • Stay away from strenuous physical activities.
  • Most clinics will provide a headband to their patients which helps control swelling. Make sure to wear it as instructed by the clinic.

If you have persistent swelling, or if the swelling is severe, it’s important to see your doctor for advice. They may recommend medication to help reduce the swelling. In most cases, though, the swelling will eventually go down on its own and you’ll be able to see your new hairline!

Crusting or Scabbing of the Scalp

After a hair transplant, it’s normal to see some scabbing/crusting on the scalp. This is perfectly normal and is caused by the incisions that are made to implant the new hair follicle. Scabbing is actually a good sign that the skin is healing and the hair is ready to come out.

side effects of hair transplant

 

The good news is that these scabs will fall off by properly washing the hair and shouldn’t cause any permanent damage. In the meantime, it’s important to avoid scratching or picking at the scabs, as this could lead to infection or scarring. Once the scabs have fallen off, you should see new hair growth within a few months.

When Will the Scabs Disappear Completely?

Typically, it takes around two weeks for the scabs to fall off completely. However, this can vary from person to person depending on a number of factors, such as the type of surgery and how well you take care of your scalp.

Once the scabs start falling off, it’s important not to pick at them. This can damage the newly transplanted hair follicles and slow down the healing process. Instead, let them fall off on their own and be patient – your hair will start growing in soon enough.

Infection

One of the most common complications after a hair transplant is an infection of the scalp. This can occur at the incision site or donor area. The risk of infection is greatest in the first week after the procedure, but it can occur anytime during the recovery process.

What Causes Infection After Hair Transplant?

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of an infection, including:

  • Poor sterilization of instruments introduces bacteria into the body and increases the risk of infection.
  • Using unsterile water to wash the scalp can also be a source of bacteria that can cause infection.
  • Itching that will make you want to scratch either the transplanted or donor site. That’s why if you can’t withstand it ask your doctor to prescribe a cream to reduce the itching.
  • Sweating too much may also lead to infections.
  • Finally, smoking and alcohol consumption slows down healing which eventually leads to infection.

Pain

Pain after hair transplant surgeries is typically very well tolerated. Most patients report only mild discomfort during the procedure, and any pain afterward can easily be managed with over-the-counter medication. Of course, everyone experiences pain differently, so it’s important to discuss your concerns with your surgeon beforehand. They will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect and how to manage any pain afterward.

Bleeding

While it’s normal to see a small amount of blood immediately after the procedure, especially in the donor and recipient area.

side effects after hair transplant

 

However, excessive bleeding can indicate that something isn’t quite right. Heavy bleeding can be caused by using blood thinners such as Aspirin or consuming alcohol and smoking.

In case the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t seem to be stopping, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Itching

Itchiness after hair transplant is caused by the wounds and incisions on the scalp. It’s also a reaction of the body to the healing process as your hair follicles start to grow.

Itching usually starts a few days after the transplant and lasts for a week or two. You can help relieve itchiness by using a mild shampoo, saline spray and avoiding scratching or picking at the scabs. If it’s severe or lasts longer than a couple of weeks, you should see your doctor as it could be a sign of an infection.

Scarring

Modern hair restoration techniques such as the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) have significantly reduced the risk of scarring. In the old days, surgeons would use large, circular grafts which often resulted in visible scars. Today, however, surgeons typically use smaller punches to remove individual follicles, which greatly reduces the chances of scarring.

The extent of the scarring will depend on the type of surgery performed and the individual’s healing rate. In some cases, the linear scar may be visible on the scalp when Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is used. In other cases, scars may be hidden by existing hair especially when patients don’t wear their hair short.

Folliculitis

Folliculitis (pimples) is a common skin condition that can occur after a hair transplant. It is caused by an infection of the hair follicles, and symptoms include redness, swelling, and pus-filled bumps.

Folliculitis is usually treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, it may require a surgical intervention. If left untreated, folliculitis can cause permanent scarring. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to prevent folliculitis after a hair transplant.

First, it is important to keep the incision site clean and free of infection. Second, avoid picking or scratching at the transplanted hair. Finally, make sure to follow up with your doctor for any post-operative appointments.

Most side effects go away within two weeks. However, some long-term side effects may also occur but they are usually rare.

Long-Term Side Effects of Hair Transplant

Although most of the common side effects resolve within the first two weeks after a hair transplant some rare side effects can last a bit longer. These side effects can include:

Numbness in the transplanted area

It’s very common to experience loss of sensation in the donor site or even in the transplanted areas. This is due to the fact that the surgeon makes tiny incisions in order to remove and implant the follicles. As a result, this can temporarily damage the nerve endings in the area.

Numbness usually will resolve on its own within a few weeks; however, in some cases, it may take up to 6 months. When you feel some itching this is a good sign that you’re getting your sensation back.

Hair loss in the transplanted area

Shock loss is a temporary condition that occurs when the body reacts to the trauma of the surgery by hair shedding. In most cases, shock hair loss begins within a few weeks of the transplant and affects both the transplanted hair and the surrounding hair. However, it is usually temporary, and the hair will begin to grow back within a few months.

Skin death in the transplanted area

Necrosis after a hair transplant is a rare but serious complication. It occurs when the blood supply to the transplanted hairs is cut off, causing the follicles to die. This can happen if the incisions made during the transplant procedure damage the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the follicles. In severe cases, the skin may turn black and die. If necrosis occurs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Tightness of the Scalp

After a hair transplant, it is normal for the scalp to feel tight and uncomfortable. This is due to the surgical incisions and the removal of the grafts. The tightness will usually resolve itself within a few weeks.

Scalp Laxity

Some patients may experience scalp laxity after hair transplant surgery. This is when the scalp skin becomes loose and stretches. In most cases, scalp laxity is not a cause for concern and will improve on its own. However, if it is severe or does not improve, patients may need to see a doctor for treatment.

Ingrown Hair

Wrong placement of the hair follicles may cause the hair to curl under the skin leading to ingrown hair. This condition could cause some inflammations and the ingrown hair will be filled with pus. That’s why it’s very important to choose your hair transplant doctor very carefully.

Are the Side Effects of Hair Transplant Permanent?

Most hair transplant side effects are temporary and will resolve on their own within a couple of weeks. However, in some cases, some long-term side effects such as numbness and shock loss may last for a few months. If you experience any persistent hair transplant side effects, it’s important to talk to your doctor so that they can help you determine the best course of treatment.

How Long Does It Take the Side Effects of Hair Transplant to Disappear?

One of the most common questions asked by people considering a hair transplant surgery is how long it will take for the side effects to disappear. The good news is that most side effects are relatively minor and temporary, disappearing within a few days to a week after the procedure.

The most common side effects include swelling, bruising, and redness around the sites where the hair follicles were transplanted. These side effects are typically at their worst in the first few days after the procedure, but they should gradually improve each day.

In some cases, people may also experience tingling or numbness due to nerve damage, which usually goes away within a few months. Most people report that these symptoms are manageable with over-the-counter pain medication.

Overall, hair transplants are considered to be very safe, with most people experiencing only minor and temporary side effects.

What are the Risks of Getting a Hair Transplant in Turkey?

Hair transplants are a popular way to combat hair loss, and Turkey has become one of the leading destinations for this type of surgery. In fact, according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, Turkey is now the second most popular country in the world for hair transplants.

But to avoid any risks before making the trip you need to do your research carefully. First of all, it’s important to choose a reputable hair transplant clinic. There have been reports of fly-by-night operations that use poor quality materials and unskilled staff. This can lead to botched transplants, serious infections, and overall poor results.

Finally, there is always the risk of complications from any surgery. However, these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced hair transplant surgeon and following all post-operative instructions carefully.

How to Avoid Side Effects of Hair Transplantation?

Side effects after hair transplant are inevitable; but fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to reduce them.

  • First, be sure to choose a reputable surgeon who has experience with the procedure. This will help prevent serious side effects to a great extent.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions and take care of your incisions.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing the transplanted area.
  • Avoid strenuous activity until the swelling has gone down.
  • You should also avoid exposure to direct sunlight and sweating. This will help eliminate infections.
  • Keep the area clean and dry to prevent infections and skin inflammation
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking for at least two weeks before and after your surgery.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your hair transplantation is successful and that you experience minimal side effects.


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