When it comes to the question of recovery time for hair transplant surgery, it can actually be broken into two categories: the actual surgery recovery time and the time it takes for your hair to receive the transplant and begin producing luxurious locks.
There are two types of hair transplant surgeries. The first we’re going to talk about is Follicular Unit Excision or FUE for short. This is the most advanced method as it does not leave a scar. During this surgery, a very highly skilled surgeon goes in with a cylindrical surgical instrument and removes a graft of skin. Each graft contains between one and four strands of hair. These grafts come from areas of the scalp that can produce hair normally so as to guarantee it’s a hair-producing follicle.
The grafts are then “planted” or “seeded” to the new area. This method works for eyebrows and beards as well. The surgery is minimally invasive and the surgeon will use local anesthesia to numb your scalp. The procedure takes about four to seven hours.
You may be asking yourself, “Do hair transplants hurt?”
Recovery time for FUE surgery is very minimal and the patient is usually back to normal activities the next day. Most people won’t even notice at first that you’ve had the surgery done because it doesn’t leave a scar. All they will notice are the results afterward!
Follicular Unit Transplant surgery is a little more involved than FUE and requires a little more downtime. During FUT, a surgeon will make an incision towards the back, lower part of your scalp…usually where most people who are going bald have the most hair. The surgeon will then take a large graft of skin, hair follicles, and tissue and relocate it to another section of your head.
FUT does require more downtime because the surgeon will need to place the transplant and close the transplant site with stitches. This could take several hours, but can all be done in one surgery session because the surgeon is taking larger grafts of hair and tissue instead of tiny grafts with only a few hairs attached. Because there is more hair moved at one time, FUT tends to cost less than FUE.
Recovery time for FUT really depends on your body’s natural ability to heal. Some patients take longer than others, but usually, the process is rather quick for all individuals.
Either surgery you choose is said to be rather painless and most patients experience only mild discomfort. With FUT, because of the actual moving of entire tissue cells and stitching, there is some swelling that tends to happen afterward.
Which is better?
Both surgeries produce the same results in almost the same fashion and amount of time. With the FUE, the hairs are automatically placed where they need to go and can begin taking root that same day. With FUT, there’s a short healing process that needs to happen first before your hair can begin to grow.
Also, with both surgeries, many patients have experienced hair falling out around six weeks. This is a normal side effect. Your body is basically shedding the transplanted hair because it is ready to grow new hair in those areas. Most patients see great results within three to six months of having either surgery.
In conclusion, if you’re still on the fence about having hair transplant surgery, please go see a highly skilled surgeon. Most of them offer free consultations where you can have all your questions answered from pain level to cost. They can probably show you some great before and after pictures as well. Go get your confidence back!