Is A Hair Transplant Painful?
Is a hair transplant painful? Hair transplant surgeries have been performed since the mid-’60s. From those years, technological advancements have made surgeries less painful; and comfortable as much as possible. The problems you may feel during the process has been reduced to minimum levels. This clearly means a hair transplant is a comfortable procedure for most patients. Before surgical procedures, most of the patients may seek answers about whether hair transplant surgeries painful or not. To answer that question, we are going to examine the steps of the procedure and the different techniques used by surgeons.
Is there any pain before and during a hair transplant surgery?
Right before the surgery, local anesthetic injections are used to numb the scalp area. Very tiny well-designed needles may cause very mild pain on your skin, but this is temporary. That step must be done because there are nerves on our skin being able to feel pain, and they must be blocked before the surgery. Furthermore, pain-relieving medications and sedatives are also given to patients to ensure that they are feeling comfortable during operation.
Besides local anesthesia injections, surgeons use a device on the patient’s skin to distract the brain from receiving pain signals. All of these efforts are for making hair transplant surgeries as less painful as possible. Aromatherapy, music, and temperature control are other relaxation methods to make patients feel comfortable without pain during hair transplant surgery.
During the hair transplant, patients should not feel any pain after their initial local anesthetic injections. Patients may feel some pain only during the injection of local anesthesia. The level of pain is looking like the pain caused by the injection for dental operations. As mentioned above, patients are going to feel nothing after the numbing medication is applied. And also, patients clearly understand their answer of – is a hair transplant painful? – question.
Briefly, hair transplant surgery is applied to patients in two separate parts. The first one is the removal of the grafts from the donor area and reimplantation of the grafts into the recipient areas such as balding and thinning regions. The technique has become so successful in recent years, and hair groups with only a few hairs or even one single hair can be removed from the donor area to the recipient area. The surgeon can extract the tissue via the FUT or FUE technique without the patient feeling any discomfort.
How Painful Is FUE Hair Transplant Technique?
There are two different kinds of essential hair transplants. The first one is the FUE technique. In the FUE – follicular unit extraction – technique, each hair unit is extracted individually. This procedure involves harvesting and extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area and transplanting them to the area of the bald or thinning area. It is a very labor-intensive procedure, and the timing of the operation depends on the experience of the hair transplant team, and usually, it lasts between 6 and 8 hours.
FUE Hair Transplant Method
The FUE hair transplant method is both less invasive and typically less painful than the other method. After the surgery, it may look a little tender and painful, but there will be no physical pain from the surgery itself. If the patient begins to feel any discomfort, they can let the surgeon know, and the surgeon is going to inject more medication to numb the area. The pain threshold varies from person to person, but the patients’ comfort is always the main concern.
The other technique is FUT / strip or Follicular Unit Transplantation hair transplant method. Follicular unit transplant or also known as strip hair transplant uses a strip of the scalp to extract hair grafts. So, is a FUT hair transplant painful? During the FUT procedure, patients may feel tightness or tension on their scalp. This feeling may be more intense in hair transplants with the FUT hair transplant technique.
Hair transplant surgery using the FUT / the strip method requires several steps. Such as cutting a strip of skin at the back of the scalp, closing the area where the scalp was removed with stitches, stapling the remaining skin back together. And also, making small holes in patients’ scalp where hair will be transplanted, removing each follicle of donor hair from the collected scalp portion, and inserting grafts from the removed piece of scalp into the puncture holes.
Is There Any Pain Post Hair Transplant Operation?
Thus far, we know that patients do not experience any discomfort or pain during the surgery. What about after surgery? Is a post-operation of hair transplant surgery painful? Patients might as well feel mild pain for one day, especially after the anesthesia wears off, and report very little to no discomfort after surgery. The healing process and recovery time will also vary for each patient and based on a variety of factors such as patients’ responses to the grafting procedure and their medical history.
After the surgery, the surgeon will re-administer the numbing medication after surgery is finished. The effects of these medications will continue 3 hours more, and the patient has 3 hours of numbness period before it wears off. In most cases, the recovery time is anywhere from 4 to 7 days. For the next few days, the surgeon may prescribe pain medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and some stimulators for hair growth and relieve symptoms after the procedure.
The level of satisfaction with the procedure is very high, and some patients may experience tenderness, redness, and mild pain a few days later and may need to take pain relievers. However, this does not mean a hair transplant operation is painful. Thanks to skillful surgeons, injecting the anesthetic medications on the scalp before the operation and using medications after surgery, patients experience pain as low as possible in these hair transplant operations. Whilst no hair transplant surgery can be a completely painless operation and likely temporary level of discomfort are possible, hair transplant surgery is typically a pleasant, easy, and comfortable experience for most hair loss people from all over the world.