Preparing for Hair Transplant Surgery - Hair Loss & Hair Transplant Surgery Guide

Your chosen clinic and surgeon will have their own preferences and should supply you with detailed guidelines on preparing for your hair transplant surgery, but here is a quick guide checklist for what to do in the months, weeks and days prior to the surgery.

A month or two before surgery:

  • Schedule the day of surgery with an understanding that the treatment is lengthy, and the following days in the knowledge that rest can be necessary and that any sutures will need to be removed. Make appointments for this removal if required.
  • Find out which foods, vitamins or drugs you should actively avoid.
  • For aesthetic reasons, and to maintain confidence and eliminate self-consciousness, many people choose to grow their hair long in order to comb it over the donor and recipient sites after surgery.
  • Arrange your travel if you do not live nearby; numerous clinics offer special hotel deals. Booking an extra day is sensible.
  • Treat any illnesses, or skin infections or abnormalities around the surgery areas, making sure to tell your surgeon if any of these arise.
  • Fill prescriptions given to you by the surgeon for post surgery care. This often includes antibiotics and medication for pain management.

The week before surgery

  • Buy any essentials for post operative care, such as gauze, dressings, antibacterial soap, frozen peas (as a cold compress) and a thermometer.
  • Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Taking careful advice from both your doctor and surgeon, stop using any medications, vitamins and drugs that can have an adverse effect on the surgery (e.g. they reduce blood coagulation) as long as this is deemed safe. Patients are often asked not to ingest everyday painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Rent a small stool to place in the shower for convenience.
  • Reread post operative guidelines from the surgeon and your doctor, ensuring that you have organized home care for the day after surgery if you require.
  • Alter your diet or vitamin intake as directed by your surgeon. Low-sodium and cutting out carbohydrates is common. Also, plan all your meals for the two weeks following surgery, with an emphasis on frozen meals and snacks which are easy to eat (soup, yoghurt, oatmeal). This should help to maximize your comfort in the days after surgery.

Three days before the transplant

  • Sleep as much as possible.
  • Cease performing certain exercises as directed by your surgeon.
  • Wash your hair every day before the transplant with an antiseptic or antibacterial shampoo. Refrain from using hair products such as hairspray, mousse, or hair gel.
  • Also stop using skin creams.
  • Begin to take any necessary antibiotics.
  • Make sure your travel arrangements for the day of surgery are secure. If you are travelling by car, you should find a reliable taxi service or a free friend or relative. Driving after surgery is not recommended.
  • Pack anything required for overnight travel, including post operative medications, if you are staying in a recovery room.
  • Do not eat or drink anything in a space between 6 and 12 hours before the procedure, as directed by your surgeon. This varies between clinics.
  • Create a recovery space in your house equipped with medical necessities and regular comforts, such as books, music and TV.

The day of the transplant

  • Wash your hair again and take a shower.
  • Eat breakfast as normal.
  • Your clothes should be fit for removal without you pulling them over the head. This will help to minimize friction and disruption to dressings and the scalp. They should also be loose and comfortable.