“When making the decision to undergo surgical hair loss procedure, it must be understood that certain expectations are made of the patient to ensure the best possible results for a successful surgery,” says Ken Robson, founder of The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists. “These expectations begin before the surgery and continue on after the procedure is complete.”
Robson explains that the first thing to note is that the longer the hair coming into the surgery, the better. Most doctors will instruct patients not to cut their hair before coming into surgery, requiring at least two centimetres of hair to conduct the operation.
“This is actually an important step, as the patient wants to be prepared on the day they’ve scheduled their surgery, and not having enough hair on the back of the head is reason to postpone an appointment,” he adds. “It’s also not necessary to use any special shampoo; that should be addressed after the hair transplant surgery is completed.”
Robson notes that on the day of surgery, it will be necessary for the patient to clear between four and eight hours on their schedule, depending on the specific type of transplant surgery.
Know that patients will be placed under local anaesthesia, similar to what dentists use, and that stitches will be placed in the donor area of the scalp, which is where the hair will be removed.
“The anaesthesia is light and patients will be able to go home the same day they undertake the procedure,” he observes. “However, it is suggested that they do not drive themselves back or operate any machinery once they are home, just to be safe.”
According to Robson, small crusts will form along the grafts within a day after the surgery, but will disappear about a week later, with hair growth in the grafted area expected within 12–15 weeks after the procedure.
For special care or intense hairstyling, a hairstylist can help with styling roughly 20 days after the procedure.
“What patients need to know is that it is their hair and as real as any other hair that has grown on their head,” Robson concludes. “Once the new hair starts to grow, they should treat it as they would their normal hair.”
More information on surgical hair loss procedures is available on The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists web site at http://www.CanadianHair.ca.