American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Hair Transplantation and Restoration

Surgical Hair Replacement

Hair transplant surgery involves removing small pieces of hair-bearing scalp grafts from a donor site and relocating them to a bald or thinning area.

How should I prepare for hair transplant surgery?

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. If you smoke, it's especially important to stop at least a week or two before surgery; smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin and can interfere with healing.

You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery. Plan to take it easy for a day or two after the procedure and arrange for assistance if you think you'll need it.

Where your surgery will be performed

Hair transplant surgery is usually performed in a physician's office-based facility or in an outpatient surgery center. Rarely does it require a hospital stay.

Types of anesthesia

Hair transplant surgery, no matter what technique is used, is usually performed using a local anesthesia along with sedation to make you relaxed and comfortable. Your scalp will be insensitive to pain, but you may be aware of some tugging or pressure. General anesthesia may be used for more complex cases involving tissue expansion or flaps. If general anesthesia is used, you'll sleep through the procedure.



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